Collecting payment from agents

Hi Everyone. I’m sure this is something you all have experienced from time to time. I’ve just started my business in October. I’ve been fairly busy and doing well making enough to cover all my bills etc but when invoices aren’t paid I’m struggling. I’ve done almost everything I can from sending reminders, texts, calls etc. Most blame it on their accountant and reply with " I sent it to my accountant". I constantly have around 3k sitting in quickbooks for over a month unpaid. I looked into charging interest but that will just make it harder to collect payment. Also, asking agents to pay a deposit isn’t going to change the fact they will take forever to pay the remaining. None of my competitors charge up front or deposits. It’s getting so difficult that I’m considering giving up. I’m at my whits end.

Does anyone have any ideas or advice on how to handle this?

Thanks in advance.

I got royally screwed by a company that was having financial difficulty I did more work because had I stopped it wouldn’t help them generate more income nor me get what was owed. So they told me how great a person i was and screwed me even more. They owe $4000 and I’ll never get it back. Now I ask for payment on the day. I never used to be able to do this as I was embarrassed but after $4000 of embarrassment later I have no qualms. They either pay check PayPal or Venmo. You could copyright your images, show them and Insist on payment first. And you’ll remove the copyright.

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As the previous individual stated, have them use paypal, do a wire transfer to your bank account, or get their credit card and change them the additional 3% that you pay. If they have been a long term client and pay on time then you can do monthly billing , otherwise it’s pay as you play.

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I don’t do a job unless it is paid in full. I have never had a problem and don’t have time to chase agents down for money. If you don’t want to do that then not delivering until you have full payment could be another option.

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You can also use this add on to your website. The company I am referring to is Full Frame. I have no affiliation and all of what I am saying you should confirm on their site. But my understanding is that they allows ordering/estimating via a price list set up the way you want. It allows booking and paying for shoots. It also collects the tax and sends an invoice all automatically. If a customer does not pay with in a time period you select, their access to the content is revoked. I think it costs something like 17-20 dollars a month.

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When you mean pain in full do you mean paid in advance?

I offer credit card payments on my invoice. Like they don’t even need to have the cash in their account so I don’t understand. It’s so frustrating.

Well, I send invoices through quickbooks with the option to pay with credit card. They book on my website and know the prices before hand. I could just refuse to shoot for them again so this isn’t the issues. I don’t want to have to lose half my business by telling clients I will no longer book with them. It looks like I’m going to just have to stop working with half of my clients if they just don’t pay on time. I give them 15 days to pay. Maybe I need to charge up front. I’m scared to do this because some payments can be as high as $500-$1200 and I think those clients won’t want to pay in advance and will go seek out my competitors.

Kassy, usually the broker will take something like non-payment of invoices very seriously. It can (in some states) impact their ability to maintain their license.
You should consider either letting the agent know that you will have to inform the broker, or indeed just send a letter to the broker.
I’m thrilled for you that you are at least covering your bills! Great start for you! Keep it up, fill that funnel!

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Thank you Peter.

Well, I make enough to cover all my bills, but I’m not getting paid on time so bills can’t get paid if you get my dilemma.

I was actually just informed that I should reach out to the broker. That’s something I didn’t think of. A few of my clients actually work for a broker who used to be my marketing client. I’ll have to figure out a way to go about that where it doesn’t make things weird.

Thanks again Peter.

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Like many others, we require payment up front or credit card information to bill afterward, especially all new clients. In the past, we’ve tried going to the brokerage manager when agents don’t pay. Sometimes it works, sometimes not.

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I would appreciate that greatly. Thank you so much.

How do you collect the credit card info and store it safely if you don’t mind me asking. I will have to start doing this as well. I feel like if they know I have their credit card they will be more likely to just settle up.

Since I have recently added iGuide to my photography business I would to see examples of the contracts you use. That would be amazing!

I don’t really want to collect their credit card info. I only want them to pay before they use the product. I can show them what it looks like but they can’t use it until paid for

Thank you everyone for your replies.

I’m going to start collecting agents credit card info and storing it in quickbooks as well as having them sign a contract. Crossing my fingers it help so I’m not chasing agents down constantly to pay their invoices so I can pay my bills on time.

One other suggestion is an email saying that if you don’t receive payment within 5 days, you will need to turn off the virtual tour until you are paid. That is assuming they still need it of course, and the listing hasn’t already sold!

Good to know, thank you.

I would like to have a copy of your client contract agreement if you are okay to share this. My email is kburlesonwebb@gmail.com.
Thanks,
Kevin

Hi Kassy!

Sorry to hear you’re dealing with that situation. When I first start with a realtor, I typically have them pay before anything is released to them. If I have an established and good relationship, then everything is released when it is ready.

I’ve had one incidence where I got screwed by a real estate attorney of all people. I ended up turning him over to collections.

Hope this helps.

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