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Polldaddy: How Much do You Charge (in USD) For a Basic Shoot of 3000 SF Home?

January 23rd, 2008

There is a new poll up today about real estate photography pricing. Yes, I now there are a huge variation between locations but I get a bunch of questions about pricing so I thought it would be interesting to get a feeling for the broad range of fees. An here’s a currency converter to convert your local currency to USD.Just for perspective the majority of visitors to this site are in US, CA, AU, UK & EU with a fewer number of visitors from other counties.

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31 Responses to “Polldaddy: How Much do You Charge (in USD) For a Basic Shoot of 3000 SF Home?”

  • […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerpt […]

  • […] unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThere is a new poll up today about real estate photography pricing. Yes, I now there are a huge variation between locations but I get a bunch of questions about pricing so I thought it would be interesting to get a feeling for the broad … […]

  • […] How Much do You Charge (in USD) For a Basic Shoot of … unknown wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptThere is a new poll up today about […]

  • Whatever they can afford…joking! Times are tough these days (and its been raining for a month). I like to see about $150 for 12 MLS only, up to $300 for 36 images. I have a special right now thats $169 for about 24 images with dedicated website, Flash Tour slide show for props up to 2000 square feet.

    That said, watching and reading the news here in the US, I ALWAYS work with the Realtors budget, keeping a client these days is like Gold with all the lowball corporate “Virtual Tour” web “Companies” screwing everything up for us purists. I recently shot a $4M mansion (http://www.compago.net/chavez/premier/index.html) and the Realtor had a VT guy there with his 360 setup as well..kind of weird but we got along fine, had a chat although he was using an old Nikon Coolpix???

    Frustratingly, if I see another long distant “Realty Marketing Media Company” selling packages for $49 I’m gonna start throwing broken camera parts at them. “Ars Artis Gratia”

  • Occasional client and homes sq.ft. 2500+

    $269 Pictures in Ad Res and MLS on CD (a dozen shots)
    add $49 for website
    add $49 for music slideshow only
    add $139 for 360 Virtual Tour (up to 8 scenes)
    add $19 manage MLS listing for the agent (images and vt)

    flyers 69c each, edge2edge print card stock (100 lb cover), uv coated, minimum 100 pcs (just with photography)

    box flyers 45c each, no bleed (white edge) on regular paper, minimum 100

    price does not include sales tax and delivery

    I usually work with the agent’s budget and offer discounts from time to time, have specials, I makeit work if I sense a problem and it’s worth… etc.

    regular clients (more than 10 jobs done in the past, per year) have about 20% or as negotiated.

    top 10 clients have about 40% off

    I demand full pay in advance for new clients, this way I keep away the scumbags and avoid awkward situations afterwards…

    With the ones that are on the “pinnacle of cheapness” and want a “Total Solution” for $49 or $99 or so, as advertised by spam-mail, I don’t even bother to do education, I just send them there and tell them “Well, use those guys and then come back”.. I didn’t count but I usually hear from them shortly…

    location is Orange County, socal

  • Dale,

    Your post mentioned different rates roughly based on the number of photos which I know is very common.

    For me, I have never liked having to limit photos to a fixed number and wonder (once again) if I’m the only one. Living rooms, for example; there are some rooms where 1 shot gets the room but there are many rooms where it is much faster and easier to provide 2 or 3 shots.

    Plus, charging more for larger homes. Sure, you’ll take & use more shots but in most of the larger houses I’ve shot, its almost impossible to take a bad photo. Compared to how much harder it is to get good shots in a 1400 sf single wide located in the middle of a 10 acre lot.

    Has anyone else pondered these paradoxes?

    — Now, where’s that wine glass gone to . . . —

  • Hi Mike,

    Most of the Realtors who order photo shoots for props under 2000′ just want the 12 MLS images, and I usually give them 20 or 30. I am always pushing the dedicated website and I think it is slowly coming around – but not at lower levels just yet. Why on earth wouldn’t you want a website for each property???

    If I had money in the bank I’d charge a lot more and be more selective, but inventory is up, buyers are scarce and many clients I speak with are simply out of marketing dollars – or not spending what they have so I’ll bargain, heck yeah.

    The big props I’ll shoot more of course, I usually give them however many look great and let them sort them out! For websites I usually keep it to about 36 – 75-ish, any more than that – unless it’s a big one – are pretty much not needed. I provide what best fits the property.

    In my slide-shows I keep it to under two minutes and at 1 sec fade and 2 secs per image… the best dozen first. Now that inventory is ridiculous here in the Sacramento (and California) area I’m wondering WHEN the Realtors are going to wake up and realize they all need to re-shoot their props and get dedicated websites for all of them in addition to crappy MLS listings?

    I think I’ve encountered maybe 3 Realtors out of hundreds and hundreds last year that actually get “it” – photography as Art that is. I’ve seen more snapshots with pocket camera’s of $2M houses here and it’s really troubling, but in a way it’s also opportunity and that’s how I look at it.

    Does anyone know a flippin’ Stop-the-Rain Dance???

  • Yes, I have some of those Realtors who get “it” and they are so nice yet challenging, but in a good way. Because of their whining, I’ve learned how to get good shots in areas I had troubles with the first time, or second time, or ..:-).

  • Every area is different and it’s a struggle to come up with a pricing strategy that works and is profitable.

    I divide my shoots into three packages, with some a la carte items. The names of the packages represent the size of home.

    For example, I have the Cottage/Condo package for $225 (6 images 1 virtual tour scene), The Ranch package for $325 ( 10 images and 2 virtual tour scenes) and the Estate package for $425 (15 images and 3 virtual tour scenes).

    Also, in conjunction with a photoshoot, I also offer additional virtual tour scenes for $75 and a photo upgrade of 5 images to any package for $50.

    There are also bulk rate discounts of 10 and 15 % for advance package purchases.

    I’ve done some heavy advertising in my area as well as getting involved my local MLS so I’ve been able to build good reputation for myself and my products – my steady clients are really savvy – they work me into their marketing strategy and their listing presentation – and will get business because of the quality of services they provide.

    Cheers,
    Aaron

  • In So Cal. I have been shooting for another company where they get the assignment, call me, I shoot and upload the files to their server, they do the rest and deal with the agent/client. I make $75 on those gigs. Not too bad, I just shoot. On my own jobs I charge $250 – $300 and $350 – $450 for night shoots. These range from 12 – 25 images, processed and digitally transfered to the client.

    BTW, I’d like anyone commenting to add how long an average shoot takes them. My shoots average about 1 hour to 1.25 hours. The only exceptions are those houses that are not really ready to shoot where there are a lot of things that have to be moved, tidied, rearranged. In these cases, I let the client know that in the future, I will either reschedule the shoot and charge a small reschedule fee or take longer to do the job and charge a little more.

    As for why agents should use professional photographers, it IS about the better photos for the sale, AND, it is just as much about the image of the agent/realtors. If I were selling my home and was looking for an agent, I would certainly want to choose an agent that uses a pro. It says something about the agent, their integrity, how much they care about me, what kind of effort they are willing to put into the sale and their own image in the market.

    I also shoot architecture and interiors, other than real estate and these run around $750 – $1500/day depending. If I need an assistant, they are extra.

    Cheers!
    Gar

  • Holly Crap!!
    And I was thinking of moving to Calf. I think I’ll stay here in Paradise. I won’t go out the door for anything less than $400 and that gets you 5 interiors using lights to balance interior with the view. I then give them if they have it, the View, the Front and Back of the home existing light. If they order 7 shots at $65 each I give them two slide shows one being for the MLS.

    As all of you know most agents just do not want to spend any out of pocket money to make thousands in commissions and I for one cannot understand the HOME OWNERS! Are they blind or do they not even take the time to visit the website these agents are putting their horrible shots on. If they did they would realize that a big part of the reason their home is taking sooo long to sell is because of these shots. Buyers want to look at a house that have at least NICE pictures. If the homeowners find out that the reason they had to lower their price wasn’t due mainly to the slow market but because the shots being used turned buyers off to look elsewhere they would fire the agent and hire us directly. I say we pool some money together and do an ad campaign directly to home owners selling their homes and make them aware of these facts.

    Don’t get me started!!!!

  • Ed, I’m with you man, but $400 for 5 shots you must be or very good or very hungry 🙂

    Where are you now? Where’s that Paradise? How many listings you shoot on average a week?

  • Now you’ve gone and done it, You’ve got me started!

    When things are normal I shoot on average of two or three a week. Paradise is where ever you want it to be. All you have to do is convince your clients be it RE agents or Home Owners that the service you perform will make their phone ring requesting an appointment to see the property.

    The RE agent is not the one in control of what is done to promote the owner’s home it’s the owner. The agent is deathly affraid of loosing a client especially when they know another agent will get him. The HOME OWNER, once again most of them just sign the papers and expect the agent to do all the work. They leave the one most important thing that should be performed by a professional up to a complete amature with a point and shoot.

    I realize that agents have at any given time 3 or 5 listings and advertising them could get expensive what with the newspaper, magazine, brochures, flyers etc. costs they have to pay for BUT, what is the point in spending all those advertising dollars if what you’re putting in the ads looks like Sanford and Son. It’s like buying a brand new Mercedes SL something and putting regular gas and bald tires on it. The most important thing that the agent and the home owner must pay close attention to is HOW THE HOME APPEARS IN THE ADS and THE MESSAGE THE IMAGES SEND TO THE BUYERS.

    We as professional architectural / Real Estate photographers have always been dealing with RE Agents. I’ts time to call on the HOME OWNERS who are waiting and wating for their home to sell and make them aware of what is going on if their pictures are unappealing.

    The problem is… running a half decent size ad in the Sunday real estate section of your local paper can run into some money. If you have some advertising dollars saved up and you find yourself in the middle of Custer’s last stand either use it and run the ad directed to the home owners and deal with them directly or use it to buy some tools and become a handyman. If your short on extra cash and you still want to remain a RE photographer perhaps join forces with one or two other photographers in your immediate area and share in the expense of the ad and run it 2 or 3 times and see if the homeowners respond then divide up the work load.

    Believe me if a home owner hires you to shoot their home and they hand your bill to the agent THE AGENT WILL PAY THE BILL OR LOOSE THE LISTING!

    If the ads don’t work your screwed and don’t blame me, if they do work your making a living again and you can still blame me.

    Sample ad… Home Owners! Are You Still Trying To Sell Your Home? Have You Droped Your Price More Than Once when Your Next Door Neighbor Didn’t Have To? It May Not Be Just The Market, Take a Close Look at The Pictures Being Used. Where They Shot By Your Agent? or A Professional Photogralpher? etc. etc.

    I’m gonna take a break now and take a couple of pills.

  • No, Ed. Keep going. u r on a roll. _I_ like it.

    I had a new broker tell me, “homeowners are not asking for your service, so we don’t need it, bye now.” and he carried my laptop bag out to my car. The previous broker had used us for every listing for the last 4 years, and he was an agent at during that time!

  • @ed,
    I like your approach! But I would send postcards to the home sellers instead of doing a newspaper ad!

  • […] Medeiros of Honolulu just posted a comment on an earlier post that I think is a fantastic insight! His marketing idea is that the home seller is really the one […]

  • Larry,
    You’ll need a plan on how to find the names and addresses of the owners of these homes in order to mail out a postcard. Remember you can’t put anything in a mailbox it’s against the law.
    I agree that sending out a direct mail advertising is the best way to go to reach your target but it could be very time consuming. Before you mail out a postcard to a home owner you may want to see if the pictures being used are OK.

    Please keep in mind that I’m not saying that when ever an agent takes his or her own shots their bad, for I have seen many agent shots that are OK to very good. I even create slide shows for these agents as long as the shots meet my approval.

    The fastest way I have found to find homes with bad pictures is is to go on line to the FIZbo sites. Then call them direct and be ready to give them a link to a slide show or whatever visual promotional service your creating for your existing clients for them to look at or ask them for their e-mail address so you can send them a link in an e-mail to your work.

    As far as the home with bad pictures being sold thru an agent, finding out the names and phone numbers is another story. Once an agent gets a client is like gold and will protect that information at all cost.

    Thats why an ad in the RE Section would be my choice. Yes it’s a hit or miss deal I agree but a whole lot less frustrating and time consuming.

  • Kelly,

    It could be that either the agent will try taking the shots him/herself or they found another photographer with cheaper rates or the photographer is a friend of a friend etc. etc.

    Just watch the ads that are being placed by this company and judge for yourself if there good or bad or ugly.

  • Hay Shooters.
    If your really looking for work go to For Sale By Owner . Com type in the zip codes your willing to go to, pick out the ones with bad pictures, give the owner a call, ask if the homes is still available and if yes introduce yourself and explain how you can help them get a better response with better pictures. If the home doesn’t have any furniture you may want to skip it. If the home has an attractive front, back, pool and view but the shots they have are bad give them a price that doesn’t sound CHEAP but fare for 3 or 4 shots $150 to $200 and promise the shots will be far better and will attract more attention not buyers and don’t guareentee anything.

    I just did the same and pick up a new listing to shoot.

    Good luck

  • Gar – Interested in your services, how can I cantact you

  • Hi Rob,
    My contact info is
    e-mail ps808@lava.net or Ph: 808.227.1153 Hawaii Time Please!

    Ed

  • Hay!
    Has anyone tried calling on a few FSBOs ?? How did you do??

  • Yes, tried two and the response was less than receptive. They asked me to partner with them but when I checked their list for what other partners they had, I couldn’t find any!

  • John,
    Was this e-mail intended for me for I can’t grab a handle to what it’s about? What do you mean by partner with them?

  • John, what partnership? what list? Are you replying at the right thread? Or should be the one with the designers?

  • re> good bad or…

    I just checked their site. They are bad images. Horiz squeezed. The broker is d.i.y.

  • Kelly,

    So now what are you going to do?
    If it was me, I’d call and speak with the person in charge of marketing for his/her job is on the line if they loose sellers because of bad pictures. If I really needed that client back I would offer to take the same shots over to show him/her the difference. If they come out much better it would be very unlikly that they would be refused especially if your brought up in the conversation that the home owner may not appreciate using inferior shots. Hey but that’s me.

    I’m sure you’ll do what’s best for you.

  • I charged based on the price of the home – sometimes I get lucky and shoot a tiny, $1.5M Back Bay condo in Boston and get $500 and sometimes I don’t when I do a $700 mondo colonial in Central Mass for $250. I’ve recently added a ‘Ken Burns’ presentation as an add-on to my service. It’s been an instant hit and so far everyone has been paying the extra fee. To introduce the service, I give every client their first one for free when they bring me in to shoot a home.
    Here is my standard tour:
    http://www.OnlinePropertyShowcase.com/showcase/10216
    Here is the streaming video presentation (basic version) of the same home:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=feZdZm8xd4o
    We also offer traditional aerial photography and in 2007 we purchased a mast/balloon system for low-altitude aerials. We’re pitching golf courses for that service this year.

    Jay Groccia

  • Just starting out in SC and need advice on pricing. No fancy equip. (yet anyway) but a Fuji S2 Pro and a good eye. Need some advice quick! Thanks!

  • Hello, likewise, just starting out. Have a tripod, tungsten lights (I don’t plan on using them but I can) a Nikon D200 and an MFA in photo, but the agent wants simple (so far that is!). Since she wasn thinking I’d do a few houses (condos mostly) in a day, I was thinking a base price for the first shoot -that is, listing- ($75-150) and a secondary price for every listing thereafter. Does anyone else use this type of pricing? Also, this is my first time for doing this type of work (as is evident by my website)…Deliverables will be photos embedded in a custom designed (using InDesign) PDF with client logo.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks, & GREAT SITE!!! So helpful!!!

  • Hi I am new to RE photography but not photography I have been asked by my work place to photograph approx 5 to 6 venues while in operation as a bar and as a training ground so it will involve approx 2 visits to each venue some requiring a night shoot i was wondering what would be the going rate for this approx 10 to 15 images per venue maybe more i would like to give them a mates rate but without underwriting myself as i will need to hire gear approx 1 to 2 wider lenses i normally charge $75 per hour with min 2 hours for a people studio shoot would this rate work for this ? Looking for any advice i can get

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