Are you a solo real estate photographer or run a small real estate photography business? If so, you don’t want to miss out on the tips we’re sharing in this article, as they may just change the way you run your business forever. There’s no question that Real Estate photography is an awesome career and here we’ll discuss the practical aspects of how to dominate your local market as well as run your business smoothly as it grows.
You may be wondering how important Real Estate photography is when it comes to selling more homes. The answer is very important.
Homes with professional photography sell 32% faster, and homes from $200k-$1M sell for $3,000-$11,000 more with high quality photographs.
Redfin even found that homes listed between $400,000 to $500,000 sell 18% better in the first six months with high-quality photography.
Knowing this, it should be no surprise that NAR found that 87% of home buyers listed photos as the most important factor in their decision to make an offer.
With 90% of home buyers finding their home online, it’s more important than ever to have great photos for real estate listings.
Recently, real estate agents have even started using drones to take awesome pictures and videos of their listings in order to get them sold faster at higher closing prices.
The opportunity to make great income for Real Estate photographers is well within reach as salaries range from $100K to upwards of $500K according to FixThePhoto.com.
It’s no question that Real Estate photography is a booming industry.
Just imagine you wanted to buy this home… which pictures would make you want to buy it more? (Keep in mind, this also features staging as an essential add-on):
HOW TO START YOUR REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS
If you’re a Real Estate photographer, chances are you’re always on the go.
You’re busy getting confirmations, collecting deposits, and creating relationships with potential clients.
Your main clients are probably either Real Estate agents or folks with high net worth that have boats and luxury properties.
Unfortunately, for you and your small business, typical Real Estate agents will hesitate to recommend your services to other agents for one big reason – they don’t want another agent to have high quality photos, since they’re directly competing with them in the local area.
This puts the onus of drumming up new business squarely on you as the owner and operator of your solopreneur Real Estate photography business.
After all, you can’t count on referrals if your clients are stingy with their recommendations, especially to other agents in their market.
This is why it’s vitally important for the success of your business to proactively reach out to new Real Estate agents.
You can find directories of Real Estate agents on sites like Zillow and Trulia, as well as by looking up local offices of popular brokerages such as John L Scott, Windermere, or Keller Williams online.
Contact these agents by giving them a call and offering a discount on first-time services, or send them an email.
The great thing about contacting Real Estate agents is that it’s very easy to find their contact information, and due to the nature of their job, most are likely to pick up the phone or view your email.
You should also consider your area’s specific rules and regulations regarding photography. You may need to obtain some permits or licenses, depending on where you operate.
Format recommends to set your prices differently for different sized homes, as this may impact the amount of shooting and editing time that it takes to finish the job.
Some Real Estate photographers even offer 3D modeling using a special 3D camera, so they can give the agent and clients a virtual walkthrough of the property. This helps clients get a sense of what it is like inside the home directly from their computer or phone.
You should also consider setting up a relationship with a printing company so that you can quickly, efficiently, and cost effectively process and print completed photos for your clients.
You can also consider offering premium services such as drone phones, 3D models, color/glossy/matte printing, and more.
This article is especially geared toward the business aspects of your photography operation, but we would be remiss if we didn’t include a section on how to provide an amazing end-product.
This article details a more exhaustive checklist of items to keep in mind when shooting photos, which we don’t have room to cover in this article, such as:
- Use a 16-35mm lens to add foreground and minimize ceiling
- Sunrise shots for optimum lighting
- The dusk/dark technique
- Vertical line correction
- Avoiding diverging lines
- Lens correction tools
- Optimum exposure for indoor shoots
- Adjustment brush in Photoshop / Lightroom
- Bounce flash
- Light painting
We highly recommend you visit that article to learn what separates Real Estate photography from other types, and how to do it properly.
As a Real Estate photographer, you probably offer standard, boiler-plate packages to your clients.
Every photographer takes pictures of the various rooms in the home, an outside shot of the front, the back of the home, etc.
Keep in mind that all of these will go into your portfolio, so you want to do your very best on each shoot to highlight your skills and peak the interest of future clients that may be checking you out online.
One way to protect your work is to watermark your images so others can’t use them in their advertisements without giving you photo credit.
Now that we’ve discussed the basics of how to run your photography business well, let’s dive into how PocketSuite can make your life easier and boost your bottom-line income as well!
HOW TO RUN YOUR REAL ESTATE PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS WITH POCKETSUITE
It’s extremely important to collect payment up-front, so when you deliver the photos you already have the full amount in your bank account (or at the very least a deposit).
This helps you to protect your time and energy in case your client cancels last minute.
One way to do this is to use PocketSuite’s deposit feature to collect advance payment before you spend your gas money and time to travel to the location and take the pictures.
Some Real Estate photographers even give their clients access to a customer portal, where they can order their services or special prints whenever they want (such as when they have a new listing).
One way to do this is to give your agents a link to your PocketSuite booking form so they can book their next photoshoot in a flash (pun intended…haha) and fit right into your schedule.
Another tip is to provide your agents with a way to book and pay you online – such as by sending them a link to your PocketSuite online booking widget – this way they don’t need to use cash, and they save time because they don’t need to meet you at the property. They can simply provide you with the lockbox code for access and you’ll handle the rest.
Here is an article from PocketSuite’s Help Center on how to set up PocketSuite as a photographer – keep in mind we have thousands of photographers on our platform and they love it!
If you haven’t tried PocketSuite yet, try the Premium FREE Trial and revolutionize your Real Estate photography business forever. You can get set up in less than 5 minutes!
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