A picture is worth a thousand words and thousands of dollars in commission. High-quality photographs drive the real estate industry and can make or break a sale. If you’re a photographer looking to niche down, real estate photography is a great choice. You have the potential to earn six figures per year.
We teach you everything you need to know about real estate photography and provide tips to start your own business.
What is real estate photography?
The real estate industry is competitive. Property owners and real estate agents need to stand out with stunning visuals to get their properties sold and earn a commission. That’s where you come in.
As a real estate photographer, you’ll put the listing’s best foot forward. Real estate photographers capture the property to get more eyes on the listing, more home viewings, and hopefully a higher closing price. Usually, real estate photographers produce 20+ edited images of a property to be shared on agency websites and property boards. Your goal is to reel in potential buyers with high-quality, eye-catching images.
You can shoot either residential or commercial properties or both. And, once you have experience under your belt, you can specialize. Maybe you primarily shoot apartment complexes, luxury family homes, or modern offices.
Why should I start a real estate photography business?
Real estate photography is one of the most profitable photography niches. In general high-value properties will earn more money. And you can increase your income and stand out from the competition by offering aerial photographs or creating virtual tours of the property. Some clients even expect to find these services on your booking site. Seasoned real estate photographers earn more than six figures per year.
How to start a real estate photography business
To get started with a real estate photography business, you need to attract clients. Of course, there are many established photographers in your area. But with a few techniques, you can carve out a space for yourself in the industry.
Here’s how to start a real estate photography business.
#1 Build a portfolio
First things first, you need a solid portfolio. Ideally, you should try to get shots of high-value homes or commercial properties for your portfolio. But how?
Potential clients are all around you. Do you have a good relationship with your landlord? Do any family members work in real estate? You may want to offer free photos at first but be prepared to get cheap listings. Just make sure the place has curb appeal.
Here’s an idea: Reach out to Airbnb hosts or vacation rental owners who aren’t looking to sell their homes but still need stunning shots of their place. Show them how your services can increase their income.
Remember to take advantage of your own living space or the homes of friends and family to practice techniques, lighting, and composition. Practice is important. It’ll take time to adjust to eclectic living spaces with dark walls and decor or a mix of colors.
Share your portfolio on social media profiles, the website, or the PocketSuite booking page. You can send it off to real estate agencies or potential clients as part of your pitch.
#2 Get Your Equipment
If you’re ready to dive into the world of real estate photography, you need the right gear.
Wide-angle lenses are a must to capture an entire room in one shot. Some photographers say a 14 to 16 mm focal length is ideal for real estate photography. But you also have to capture those small details on the property, so make sure to have some macro lenses on hand.
And you may need special equipment, like a drone, to get aerial shots or video.
#3 Find referral partners
At its core, real estate photography is about making sales. So, soft skills and professionalism will take you far. Your connections with property owners and agents are invaluable to growing your business.
It’s good to market your services to homeowners, but they’re not likely to be repeat clients. On the other hand, real estate agents and investors work on multiple properties at a time and can send business your way. So, network with property management companies, even if only for shots to build your portfolio.
One great tool for locking in amazing repeat clients like real estate agents is offering packages. Your real estate agent can get a better price by buying 10 photo sessions at a time, knowing they will use them, and you can lock in a great client with a bigger commitment. Better yet, you get an upfront payment for 10 appointments. And PocketSuite can track the package completions so you always stay organized.
The easier you make it for them to sell the property, the more likely they are to work with you again.
#4 Create a Marketing Plan
A creative marketing strategy is key to growing a real estate photography business. First things first, your Instagram profile is your best friend. Post your shots to show off your skills. And cultivate an audience on other top social media platforms, like Facebook, YouTube, or Pinterest.
If you have the budget, you can launch targeted ads on social media. But it’s best to maximize your organic reach. For example, you can start a blog to drive traffic to your site. Once you build up a clientele, you can display property listings on your portfolio site. Property agents will link back to you, increasing your site traffic.
Remember to list your business on Google so potential clients can find you when they search “photographers near me.”
#5 Use a booking app
Of course, you need great editing software to bring your shots to life in post. But, there’s another kind of software that will take your real estate photography business all the way I.e.booking software.
You need software to book appointments, communicate with clients and accept payments without a hitch. As a real estate photographer, you’ll be on the go a lot, so a mobile-first booking app like PocketSuite is the perfect solution.
With PocketSuite, you can let clients book you online and sell photography packages to maximize your income. It’s an all-one solution to grow as a real estate photographer.
The Bottom Line
Real estate photography is a profitable niche with lots of growth potential. With skills, time, and a solid marketing plan, you can grow a six-figure real estate photography business.
PocketSuite can help you get there. We have a range of intuitive features to help run a high-earning photography business.