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Sell Real Estate Photos To A Client Multiple Times

June 3rd, 2007


Last week M James Northen sent me some examples of postcards (click the image above to see his PDF that has 6 examples) and a brochure that he created for a client.

These are great examples of how real estate photographers can sell the same photos they sell to a Realtor client for the MLS a second and third time. And you will be a hero in the process. Using three photos to create a standard size post card like the example above is easy, takes only minutes and you don’t even have to leave get out of your chair. Once you get some layouts setup you can make a post card at the same time you prepare images for the MLS. I make post cards in Photoshop. Make your layout at 300 pixels per inch (because this kind of printing takes a lot of bits) and save it as a PDF. You will need a PDF for each side. Then login to your printers web site (I use expresscopy.com but there are others- see the resource page just under the blue banner at the top of this page) upload the PDFs and go through their order process and you’ll have the postcards in two days or less. Before you make your layout go the the printing site your going to use and find out the details of their layout guidelines.

Real Estate marketing is a very post card and brochure intensive business. We send out between 300 and 1000 post cards for every home we list (unless the market is very fast… in 2005 homes sold before I could get the post cards printed) and we usually send out another 300 to 500 post cards when the home sells. Then 2 to 4 times a year we send out 1000 jumbo post cards to the area where we do most of our business. All these post cards keep the phone ringing with sellers that want us to help them sell their home. It takes 200 to 500 brochures for us to get a home sold. We print our brochures with a laser printer for low and mid-priced homes but for upper-end homes we print them on heavy stock with a glossy surface at Kinko’s or expresscopy.com.

I suggest that to make the whole process go smoothly you need to have a limited number of good looking templates so the agent can choose which style they like and then you can just plug in the new text for each new post card or brochure. You don’t want to design a new brochure or post card from the ground up each time.

All the Realtors I know need some one to make all their post cards and brochures and they would much rather have the same person do the post cards that does the photography. But for some reason many photographers don’t make use of this opportunity.

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6 Responses to “Sell Real Estate Photos To A Client Multiple Times”

  • One good reason, at least mine, for not making use of this opportunity is lack of time. If you get your business going with the photography, sooner or later your work load in photography alone is going to exceed your capabilities. Most realtor’s don’t ask me to do this and usually have their favorite service. But if someone is so inclined, you could definitely probably make some extra income from it.

  • This is a “different strokes for different folks” kind of thing. I’m not exclisively a real eastate photographer, I’m just a photographer who happens to do some real estate and I’m busy enough and make enough that I couldn’t be bothered to do this.

    However, for some people this is a good opportunity to increase their revenue while providing value added service.

    It’s all how you look at it, how much time you have and how much money you already make.

  • This is something that can easily be an added revenue stream. It’s really no different than a wedding or portrait photographer who sells prints to her clients.

    RE Agents are always responsive to a “one-stop-shop” package, and if you have a good, complete package then price is the last issue on the table. Flyers, postcards, the more you can take from the agent’s hands the better.

    ALL THAT BEING SAID, I’m not doing this either! The problem, for me, is that I’m just plain not interested enough. Same for 360 panos and virtual tours — just can’t get excited about it. As my business grows, though, and staff is added, I could see hiring someone to manage this sort of product, whether they actually do the work or outsource it.

    Larry, this would be a good seque into using postcards to market ourselves – something I know several of us do regularly.

  • I do something slightly different. I offer the design service, and let the client decide where they want to have their designs printed. Many of my clients have access to large format digital color printers through their office. And, usually their broker only charges them a minimal fee to use the equipment. Agents don’t seem to mind because it saves them the time that it takes to put a flyer, brochure or postcard together and they have a custom piece tailored to their listing. Yet, they can save a load of money by printing in their office.

    I find that this works really well and saves me the hassle of handling the actual print work. For instance, when I was selling Real Estate, my broker would send me a statement at the end of each month for all of the color prints that I made…generally $0.15 per color print. The benefit was that I could purchase gloss cover stock for wholesale cost and save a load of money. For about $0.50 I could have high-end gloss 11 x 17 color brochures for all of my listings. I added a CD and people raved. I used to photograph my own listings, as well. It was actually my photos and marketing pieces that got me into this work…I had more agents calling me to find out who did my brochures, CDs and photos than I the number of potential buyers & sellers that called me. It was a natural progression.

    The benefit for me is that I can put together a custom design piece in far less time than I actually drive to a property and download photos to my computer. And I can burn and print CDs for slideshows using an automated CD publisher that I recently purchased. It was expensive, but quickly paid for itself in less than 2 weeks. Agents eat this stuff up! They see it, and they want it! And overall, the cost of the “extras” is minimal when it comes to how much time and headache you can save an agent.

    If you are a good writer, you could also offer to write the agent’s marketing remarks for the listing for a small fee. This usually takes me less than 15 minutes and I charge $35 for the write-up. Believe it or not, agents actually request it.

  • Virtual tours and photography take all of our time, but we are always willing to expand our products if there is a need, so I’ve put some feelers out.

    Thanks for a great suggestion.

  • Another idea is to make contact wit a reoutable print company, there are plenty of these that just service the RE industry and that have been around for a long time. We are talking to one at the moment and basicly we are what they call a preffered partner. This means that our on-line photo system can talk to thier on-line print orering system. The particular print company that we have been talking to have lots of RE industry contacts so by bolting on to them it opens up many doors for us. Beacuse we have a sales force out in the field we can help then get new clients by spruking thier sercvices. Generaly I have found that when I drop the printing companys name to a potential new client they sit up and listen becuase they know the print company, I guess they figure if Property Snaps is good enough to be partned up with this print company then they mus be ok. Anyway, thats my ramblings for the day!

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