Smart50 rank: 17
Founders: Rob Watkin, 43
Head Office: New South Wales
Industry: Property and business services
The need for high quality photography is becoming recognised in a number of industries as websites become more interactive and customers demand the ability to see a product before they buy it – and that goes for real estate as well.
Rob Watkin started Top Snap in 2008 to service what he believed was a need to offer high quality images for real estate companies, along with other marketing services.
The concept has a twist – it’s a franchise.
“Probably the biggest challenge, but one which Top Snap values highly, is working in close partnership and synergistically with our franchise owners in order to build on our current success and position our self successfully for the future,” Watkin says.
Top Snap reached $1 million turnover within a year and is now turning over $2.6 million.
There are a number of challenges, with Watkin facing competitors attempting to offer discounted services.
“Obviously anyone can take unlimited images on a digital camera but at Top Snap we are the only property photography franchise system which offers professionally staged and lit photo shoots as a standard practice, along with professional post production of images,” he says.
“We have a unique system and luckily the vast majority of our clients understand that saving a few dollars on professional photography is a false economy when it may mean that a property takes many more weeks to sell.”
There are a few points of difference, Watkin says.
The company has a software service called Photo Genie which manages the post production and delivery of franchisee images to clients “rather than being burdened with time consuming and highly technical photographic retouching”.
The company has an aggressive growth plan – from the current 36 franchises to 75 within the next three years and international expansion within the next three months.