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I sometimes have what I call “Blog Block.” It occurs when I have so much information and ideas going through my head that I can’t commit to writing about a particular idea and so I don’t blog at all. I have so much to write about but I don’t want to spill it all out at once. Not to mention the time it takes to actually update the blog.
Well, anyway, I finally extracted something from the busy highway of thoughts running around in head. 🙂
All this idea takes is a few hundred bucks to develop a website, a digital camera and some free time.
Start in a city with a population of around 15K to 20K. Get a map and start planning your attack. What you’re going to do is walk by each and every home in the town/city and take a picture of every single one. You’ll have to create a form that will allow you to write the street name at the top and then you’ll have a line for each house. Write down the address (just the number, since the street name will be at the top.) Take a picture of the house and write down the number picture it is in the current sequence in your camera, next to the address of the house on your log. That way you know what picture goes with which address on the log.
The log will have columns allowing you to mark for each house whether it has a bad yard (that needs maintenance), if it has a satellite dish, if it has bad windows (broken or other visible problems), bad siding perhaps, concrete in the driveway needs replacing, needs a paint job, does it need to be pressure washed, is it being sold “by owner” (real estate agencies can track this and if they are still being “sold by owner” the next round of pictures, they could come to the rescue and offer to list the house), the list of things you can note go on and on. You can even catalog the type of car they are driving or that’s parked at the house. Windshield cracks is a great piece of info. Windshield replacement outfits will pay a pretty penny for that info. Heck, you could make a living JUST off of car windshield information.
What you’re doing is creating a picture database of your town to sell to companies interested in marketing to these houses, based on certain criteria. Once you have a picture catalog of your town, you can create a website allowing authorized (paying) individuals to log in and bring up any address and see the house at that address. Or, your customer can sort by the categories that you have visibly checked during your picture taking rounds.
This info would be vital to many different businesses. You could sell annual memberships to the site to real estate agencies, yard maintenance outfits, siding companies, satellite dish companies, the cable company, window companies, concrete outfits (to replace the driveway if it’s all chewed up)… the list goes on. I’m sure you can probably think of other industries that could benefit from having visual access to an entire town via one web site.
This is a direct example of my belief and mantra that, “He who knows, profits from those that don’t but want to know.”
You can even sell different levels of membership. For instance, certain info might be worth more than other info. So, for instance if they want to sort by houses with visibly bad siding (needing replacement) than that will cost them more than if they just want to sort by houses with bad yards. You get the idea.
You can picture and catalog about 100 – 150 homes an hour as you get better and better at it. A town of 20K people will have about 10K homes, give or take. You could catalog the entire town in about 10 – 15 days with no problems. Then you can update the entire town once every 180 days (or whatever you think would be necessary based on the feedback of your paying customers.) Once you have the first town, go to a neighboring town and do that one as well. The more towns you have in the local area, the more valuable your database becomes.
If you maintained a database of 500,000 homes, updated every 6 months, you could easily take in over $200,000 a year, I’m sure.
Think on an even grander scale… become the first outfit to catalog and photograph every house in America and you’ll be one wealthy son of a gun.
Coming up in a future post… I’ll tell you a way that you can profit directly from the use of your own database of house pictures. Hint… it has to do with Santa. 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. So, it’s your fault a total stranger was taking a picture of my house and writing on a clip board this afternoon?

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