This week we sat down with our Commercial Director Jack to discuss all things Connect! Sometimes it’s hard to get the hang of a new system or product (we all know the initial dreaded feeling when Air BnB or Purplebricks decide to update and change it’s dashboard), so we’ve decided to cover some frequently asked questions in order to better share the purpose and drive behind the developments on JJ Connect. We’re creation catalysts after all.. and Connect is one of the toolboxes we use to inspire and assist our clients in creating beautiful content.
What is Connect?
Connect is a Peer to Peer, end to end platform that caters specifically to location shooting. Location owners and Producers can transact directly without any additional human interaction, in a financially and legally secure environment.
Why did JJ Media Group create it?
There seems to be a trend across many different industries of a shift to users wanting to take the power back into their own hands; Air BnB, Depop, Purplebricks, to name a few. Companies such as these are changing the norms of transactions in their relevant fields and lowering the price point for all involved by removing the ‘Middle man.’ We have also seen that more and more content is being created on a smaller scale and with lower budgets. The traditional agency model makes it impossible to help this process, as it’s either prohibitively expensive to the end user, or not financially feasible to the agency. There has been a significant rise in the number of UK properties willing to open their doors to production companies across the UK. Our agency model only caters to a certain number of ‘film locations’ in order to manage them correctly. This new platform allows us to build a secure environment for thousands of everyday owners and producers to connect.
How does it work?
For an owner, they simply sign up to our platform and register their home choosing what plan works best for them, either a subscription or commission based model. Next they upload their photos and add a description of the property. When it comes to the booking stage, everything can be concluded within the platform. The contracts are signed via an online form and the payment must be made upfront by the producer on a Credit or Debit card.
For a Producer, they go onto the website and select the property they like the look of. They then enquire directly on the portal with the details of the shoot, budget, dates etc. and wait for the owner to respond. Once the deal is agreed, the booking forms are signed and payment is taken via a credit card to confirm the booking. Options cannot be held via the Connect service.
How does it differ from tradition location agency?
Connect is a really stripped back version of Location Agency. There is no human interference for either side from us; we don’t negotiate, hold options, invoice, or mediate deposits on anyone’s behalf. That is how we are able to offer a location booking service at such a low price point (no booking fee to the producer and a small commission or subscription fee to the owner)
What are the most attractive points of Connect?
I think the two best things about Connect are:
1) It puts control back in the hands of the user. They can ‘Connect’ any time of the day, 24/7(excuse the pun) and aren’t limited by the opening hours of the agency you are dealing with. It isn’t uncommon for us to come to the office in the morning and a new booking have appeared over night. In theory, a location is bookable in 5-10 minutes any time of the day or night, so long as both producer and owner have access to a smart phone or computer!
2) The fact that we can help and assist in more content being created that we weren’t able to before, by offering a location booking service to cater for all budgets.
What problems have you encountered when developing Connect?
The biggest problem we have encountered is from a producer side wanting to pay via invoice rather than upfront via a credit card.
We absolutely offer that service via our agency, but as I explained previously, Connect as a project is all about offering a great value service via automation. The human cost involved in producing invoices and chasing payments means that we would have to pass those costs on, which goes against the ethos of the service.
Will it replace traditional agency in the future?
No, I don’t think so, or at least not for the near future.
Our agency is still growing year on year and I predict it will continue to do so. Larger productions and shoots as well as premium film locations still want the added benefits and security of booking via the traditional agency, and they appreciate the support and service they get from the team.
I actually think that these two services perfectly compliment each other, rather than being in competition, and are aimed at different parts of the market.
Search hundreds of locations on our Connect platform now, and book direct with no booking fee!