Serving those who serve
From the Gettysburg Address hanging on his office wall, you can gather that Myles Burnett is a student of history and passionate about his country.
Then you hear him speak and realize that a nation “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” represents more to him than a pretty turn of phrase. Myles’ focus is to give every person — equally — the respect that’s due them, through listening, empathy, and quality workmanship.
Playing to his strengths
In 2010, Myles joined GloPro Media, founded by his mom, Diane Burnett. He was already familiar with TourFactory and many of the photographers who now make up Collabra Media Group — Diane had been in the real estate photography business since 1995, first in San Antonio and then Phoenix, and he’d filled in as a freelance photo editor starting when he was a college freshman.
The mother-son partnership seems natural to Myles. “Being an only child and living 10 minutes away, my mom and I have stayed really close. And we have the same passion: she loves working with people and for people, and she loves photography like I do.” Diane and Myles both share a sense that their work goes beyond simply operating a camera to something more like “creating a work of art. When we capture what we see in your house,” they approach it with a personal mission, “almost like painting a picture of you.”
Today Myles is easing into the front seat of the business, taking over as the Collabra Authorized Provider and “day-to-day office manager for the valley” while Diane shifts into a supporting role focused on marketing and advertising.
Myles modestly claims he’s “still trying to transition from taking care of myself first as a photographer to being the contact for other photographers,” but he’s already gained an appreciation for his team’s diverse styles and skillsets. “Agents ask me, ‘Who’s your best photographer?’ That’s an impossible question,” he says. “We all shoot differently. I have to listen to the realtor to gauge what they’re looking for” and discern what images would best highlight the property.
By carefully listening to the customer’s needs, Myles is able to “play to each photographer’s strengths. The photographers that join us are all different — they have their own cameras, their own technology, their own way they edit. I train them to get the corner or to catch the view everyone’s looking for, but I can’t tell them how to shoot,” he says. “That would be like me as a football player telling them how to play basketball.”
Even he and his mom bring their own unique approaches. On one premium GloPro package, they’ll shoot the same house together, but their battle plan is strictly divide-and-conquer. Myles and a lighting specialist shoot the exterior against the “cotton-candy colors” of Arizona’s sunsets, as Diane works simultaneously to capture interior rooms and views in the dusky twilight. And while both bracket HDR images with a NIKKOR 14-24mm lens on a Nikon D4, when it comes to editing, Diane prefers “a natural look to the photo, which can be difficult depending on the color of the house.” Myles, on the other hand, tries to “introduce a little more drama — not changing the color of the skies, but enhancing it for more contrast, more saturation.” Together, their images are elegant and atmospheric, perfect for the high-end Phoenix market.
Serving luxury homeowners
With 300,000 snowbirds descending on Phoenix every winter, “we have a saying here that the leaves don’t change, the license plates do,” Myles laughs. Many of GloPro’s properties sell as secondary homes, and buyers could be shopping from thousands of miles away.
True to his egalitarian ideals, Myles applies the same care to every listing, regardless of the home’s value. But because he’s spent a lot of time listening to the needs of high–net worth homeowners, he’s able to anticipate their unique concerns. He explains in his own words what’s most important to this market:
Create immersive imagery.
Make your respect unmistakable.
Respect the property.
A solid support for agents
Quality imagery and respectful professionalism will always get GloPro a chance at a new client. What keeps agents coming back, though, is the responsiveness and solid support from Myles and his team.
“I love text messages,” Myles says. “If I’m working at a property, I won’t answer my phone. But I can answer a text almost immediately and reassure agents that yes, I got their message and I’ll follow up with them by email. They’re working very quickly. It puts them at ease to hear ‘I’m here, I’ve got you, we’ll make it work.’”
Sometimes agents will even call him during their listing presentations and put him on speakerphone with their clients. Myles might wish he wasn’t put on the spot, but with characteristic empathy, he says, “I remind myself: That realtor is fighting for this job, they’re battling — and there are a lot of agents here to battle.”
Perhaps he just loves an underdog. At Collabra Media Group’s 2018 conference in New Orleans, while others were exploring the French Quarter, Myles made his way to the site of one of his favorite battles from the War of 1812. Why is it a favorite? Because it was fought by “the most American army ever,” says Myles. “There were volunteers, regulars, freed slaves, and Native Americans all united” in the kind of ad hoc, “dirty shirt” militia that the professional British soldiers thought they could easily dismiss.
When the choice is between supporting a faceless behemoth or service-minded agents, Myles prefers serving those who serve. “If I can help them win that listing, it’s worth it.” His support means he’ll win another job for GloPro, yes, but Myles is thinking of the big picture. “When agents trust me to have their back, then I go beyond being just a vendor and become a teammate. We’re in this together, and we’re unstoppable.”