The CEO at PlanOmatic, a national real estate marketing company, doesn’t know how to operate a camera fully.
What he does know is business.
An entrepreneur from the start, Kori Covrigaru started PlanOmatic with two partners 14 years ago. As a startup in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the trio set out help real estate agents, who at the time were taking their own listing photos. They took photos and did a floor plan at the same appointment, which wasn’t being done at that time. Paired with a fast turnaround, PlanOmatic started saving agents time while providing high-quality photographs. Since then, the company has grown to a team of 45 full-time employees, a photographer network servicing 35 states, and a post-production team overseas.
Like any startup company that grows rapidly, PlanOmatic has faced its own set of challenges. When it became apparent that not everyone was in alignment, they knew they needed to do something to bring employees together as a team.
“There’s never a better time than the present to put core values in place,” Kori says. They focused on getting their values in writing and now work off of 90-day increments so everyone has quarterly goals. “But most importantly,” he explains, “it’s those core values you keep screaming to make sure everyone aligns with them.”
One of the biggest challenges the company faces is working with independent photographers across 35 states. There are real estate agents who are frustrated with the quality or turnover of some of the photographers.
Kori and his team are developing plans to improve the experience for both photographers and real estate agents. While the vision and core values are strong throughout the office headquarters, the photographers are the ones who see the customers every day. “To get a group of talented, creative artists to march to the same beat is difficult,” Kori admits.
But that doesn’t mean it can’t be done. Always in problem-solving mode, Kori and his team are working to implement changes to make the experience better for all involved. Think of Uber: both drivers and passengers know they will be rated after each trip, and also realize that others will be able to see their rating.
“Transparency is important there. That’s something we are working on now - to become more transparent with a rating system, so if there is a bad experience we can be on top of it immediately and avoid more poor experiences,” Kori said.
The Future at PlanOmatic
PlanOmatic knows they need to keep prices reasonable, but there are other factors to consider when it comes to pictures and floor plans.
Price, speed, and quality are the top factors the executives take into consideration when making changes to better serve their clients. “What I think people have to realize is, you are never going to get all three,” Kori said. By factoring in the overall experience, PlanOmatic is working to meet as many needs as possible.
To streamline the process of ordering photos, PlanOmatic wants to make the experience as easy as ordering something on Amazon within the next two years. The company will work to keep a reasonable price while providing quality and speed, paired with an incredible experience.
Kori is preparing agents now, “2020 will be a wild year.”