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Real Estate Photographer Marketing Needs to Be Targeted

April 14th, 2011

I recently had a discussion with a real estate photographer that is struggling to get his business started. I was challenging his $75 pricing. And he was telling me that he has spent the last year or so friending about 250 local agents on Facebook and then offered them all a $50 shoot for their first listing. The was dismayed and frustrated because no one took him up on his $50 shoot offer.

Here is the advice I gave him:

  1. The top 10% of agents these days are making 90% of the sales (it may even be 5%/95% in this market). This means you should be focusing your marketing ONLY on the top 10% of listing agents in your market and not even wasting your time on the lower 90%.
  2. While Facebook may be a convenient way to connect with local agents, it is not easy to focus on the top agents unless you have done research to identify the top 10% local listing agents.
  3. I highly recommend you create a top 10% listing agent list and update it every year. Use this list to keep whatever marketing you do completely focused on your best potential clients.
  4. Too many of the top listing agents I know are not even technical enough to use e-mail let alone Facebook. I know, it’s sad but true.
  5. Top listing agents are very people oriented. That is, they would rather talk to people than any in the world! This is why they are successful at what they do. I highly recommend that real estate photographers starting out with an initial face-to-face contact with potential clients. E-mail, Facebook, etc is fine for follow up or continuing the relationship but initial personal contact is essential.
  6. Don’t let what some agents are “willing to pay” drag your shoot price down below what it cost you to show up plus a decent hourly rate. You MUST do the arithmetic to understand what your minimum shoot price is. As I argued in a previous post, I seriously doubt anyone can make money with a shoot price below about $150.

Any reputable business person will charge you $150 or more to come to your home to do ANYTHING! This weekend I had to pay a drainage contractor $180 to come give me a bid on some work I need done at my Seattle area rental property. He spent, 20 minutes at the property and had to drive about 50 miles round trip from his office. This was perfectly reasonable for what he did. It is for what you are doing too!

When real estate photographers charge $75 to come to a property, spend an hour plus, then go home and spend another hour plus on the job they are “broadcasting” that, they are not professional and what they are doing is not valuable.

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39 Responses to “Real Estate Photographer Marketing Needs to Be Targeted”

  • I am shooting for an Obeo like company and this is my biggest fear. Have been dreaming of going solo for a few years but do not want to throw away the income I currently have.

  • I have been there I was there back in October. I was going to charge $99 a tour for everything. After some convincing I decided to go for $189. I could not be happier with the decision. I would have died a slow painful death at $99 a tour for the work I would have had to do. Most agents feel like what I provide is a good value for the price. Remember they are closing a sale on a house and stand to make THOUSANDS. They can sand to pay you adequately for your work.

    Here is a good example of perceived value too. I am going to try working for a guy who will pay me $100 an hour to go out and just shoot HDR images of a house and hand him the memory card for his firm to process and I am done. That means I don’t have to do any editing I show up press the shutter and leave and I am making $100 an hour. How can anyone only make $99 a tour and have to do all of the editing and everything. It is just too much to do.

    At my rate of $189 you are looking at 4 or 5 hours of work spread over a week. 2 with the shoot 2 with the production/editing and .5-1 for the media management. Which is more work for less money then what I am getting offered for the $100 a hour no editing. long story short anyone who is milking someone for $99 a tour probably can afford $189.

  • Unfortunately, the bar to entry for quality and service in real estate photography is very low. Trying to get started without good photographic, business and sales skills leaves a lot of people with the only option to try to compete on price. A drainage contractor needs to have a license and spends time learning a trade. So many amateur photographers seem to see real estate photography as an easy avenue to getting into professional photography, when they really lack sufficient technical and visual skills and couldn’t make it with any other type of professional photography. Actually, it seems to me that experienced professional photographers in other fields of photography can have difficulty learning to deal with the challenges of shooting interiors.

  • David you are very true. Allot of the price tends to come with a certain level of skill. I always say photography is the one profession anyone can wake up one day and decide to start calling themselves. I knew I wanted to do photography (I know this is cliche) on a trip to NYC when I bought my first Digital and went to central park.

    That was back in 2003 which was my Senior year in high school. Since that decision I went to college. I got my BFA in Photography. While in art school I realized I had a passion for architecture. Naturally this lead me to real estate work. It was a struggle to get started. I did some work in college. Some of that was $99 a tour. Keep in mind this is poeple who are looking for decent work from college students they pay $99+ a job. What does that say about someone who is trying to pay a “Professional” $99

    After i graduated I realized I did not have any of the marketing knowledge I needed to get started. I tried several times to start the buisness. I got the marketing knowledge I needed by teaching myself. It was not until I was able to walk out there and present myself as a complete package that has an inherent vale was I able to actual get what I was worth. Until that moment everything else was doomed to be a false start. I did not realize how much of the job requires you ability to market yourself and your service. It is 80% marketing, 10% logistics, 2% Travel, 4% photography. 4% editing. Each of those stages except I guess for the travel you need to have a certain amount of skill in order to be able to properly represent yourself.

    When I first started on my own I did work for $99 for a few agents. I found though that they were by far the most needy and annoying agents to work with. That is another thing to keep in mind. The quality of the client will come with the price you charge.

  • Also David is right about some professional photographers not being able to overcome the differences in studio vs architecture. I have had agents come to me and ask me to re shoot a home that was shoot by a professional studio photographer.

    Really now that I step back and think about the road I have been on it has been a journey that has taken me 8 year to get to the point I am at today. 6 years of which I was very focused on the goal of architecture and real estate photography.

  • Robert is absolutely right about the importance of marketing in acquiring and maintaining a client base. And Larry is absolutely right about the preference for face to face encounters that seems to be prevalent among realtors. The first year of business for myself was a continual struggle to attract new clients and to retain ones that I had, as in my area, there was no existing industry in place and it seemed risky and many were entrenched in the existing advertising format in the city. Now that I have a brand presence, my own third party advertising, great SEO, and awareness among consumers and agents, I no longer have to make phone calls or visit offices, which is a huge time saver.

    I think one really important strategy to adopt when looking for new clients is to stress not only the importance of a strong first impression that your images will create for their listings, but equally important is the advantage that your clients will enjoy when competing for new listings. By hiring you, or partnering with you, they will be able to present your service as a component of their advertising strategy to home owners. I personally have found this angle to be very well received among agents. I know it has been mentioned in previous posts, but I provide clients with information brochures to bring on presentations, which always pique curiosity.

    Also, my personal experience, although only 16 months long, has led me to believe very strongly in point #6. Absolutely under no circumstances should you undersell or discount your service. I charge $175 for a ten shot show with a voice over, which, because of the streamlining that has been done on the development end, can be completed, uploaded, and shared through various social networks in 3 hours give or take. I’m happy at this price point – it’s a decent amount of money, but recognize that it takes a specific skill set to accomplish these tasks. I think there are many people who assume too easily that the industry is very easy to become a part of, and therefore they set their initial price point to reflect that and then wonder why they are working 16 hours to complete 9 shows for $100.

    I will conclude with an example to stress the importance of #6
    In the past week I have shot 7 listings for the same agent, all of which are between 200,000 and 450,000
    I did a rough calculation, and because I know what this agent charges for commission, I determined that the total potential commission from sales without double ending it is around $40,000
    My total cost for doing these shoots was basically $1400 after taxes – this is 3.5% of the non double ended potential income, which could theoretically be over $80,000, meaning my cost is reduced to 1.75%

    The example doesn’t take into consideration all kinds of things, and it makes all sorts of assumptions, but the point is that real estate photogs need to recognize their own specific skill set, transmit the value of their skill set both on the acquisition of listings and sales side, and set their prices accordingly. If you start low, you will be expected to stay low.

    Sorry for the long windedness.

  • I’m a realtor and it’s quite difficult to find a good (average) RE photographer. Most are very crappy at it. Even if they are great in other areas. RE photos needs to be learned with time. That’s why I tend to hire people who are in the business for more time. that said I won’t contract them for all my listings because it would be insanely expensive. premium photos = premium price.
    Lousy professionals is your major problem. It’s hard to justify even $50 when we known that most of you are just a bunch of noobs and that any agent with some experience can take BETTER photos; the only reason why I would hire someone to do the job that I known how to do is to impress the client. Clients are impressed when we hire a photographer, even if he/she is very bad the client won’t notice much difference and we will always be a great agent. That’s the true that most of us don’t want clients to known about.
    Actually many times I even edit the photos that some “professionals” take because they are all so bad!
    Sometimes when I hire someone to take the photos and if the photos are very bad and if I have the chance I even take new photos myself (client won’t known and photos will be better).
    Clients don’t care about photographs, if they aren’t very bad they are satisfied. But for ME it’s extremely important that the photos are the best of the best. It’s one of the major factors for bringing me CONTACTS. Even if photos don’t sell it can bring me contacts and I can sell other house and not that one specifically.
    Also another problem with good professionals is that they refuse to shoot lousy properties. THAT is a major problem, ALL properties need GREAT photos. I don’t understand that! Don’t you want to get paid?!?

    That’s why I’m learning RE photography and just hire noobs. It will be a lot more cheaper and profitable. I would just hire premium professionals for premium properties. But premium is just a niche! and nowadays they are hard to sell.

    So my 2 advices is to:
    -shoot everything and don’t refuse any job. you also get paid!
    -defend your quality and justify your prices, clarify what you do.

    Also, bad photos and cheap prices are NEEDED. We known that sometimes we will never sell a house at X price so we won’t invest. BUT we can explain: “Mr. XPTO I have made A,B,C,D marketing and even hired a photographer, your price is very high you need to lower”. And then he will get a new price that we known we can get contacts and sell, at that time we can even hire a good photographer to get new photos, the investment will be worth it.

    But it’s hard to find if a photographer is good or bad because usually bad or good charge the same prices!! Of course I won’t use a bad and expensive photographer ever again. I use cheap and bad ones and, at a good price, good ones just for premium properties, otherwise I take myself. Also I consider myself a “good” photographer.
    That’s how it works.
    Also if good professionals weren’t that expensive I would hire them for ALL my listings. Say $75. if you are good you would always have a job and make tons of money. Shooting 100 houses for $75 each is way more profitable then shooting 10 at $200!!!

  • Stop!!!! We need to establish a basic rate for our services. And we need to stand by it. We have all, collectively, developed and established a profession. And hats off to Larry. What an awesome rallying point. If every single professional real estate photographer and cinematographer in the world were to agree on a set-piece of prices, per hour, we’d protect each. Of course, there will always be people that will be paid more. However. There should never be people who are paid less.

  • When you raise your prices to a professional level, you will discover that Agents will take you seriously…the Agents who actually use professionals… and that is your target market as Larry has stated. When I raised my prices I actually picked up lots of higher end Agents. Once again…Thanks Larry!

  • Larry, keep beating this drum. As Brett says this is a rallying point worthy of the effort – without an insinuation of price fixing – but guidelines.

  • Tomorrow is “day one” of my RE Photography career.
    My first assignment comes from the #2 agent in our area. He’s been #1 a few times. When I told him what I was up to he looked me straight in the eye, shook my hand and said “my next listing is yours”. Tomorrow it begins.
    This will be a $400K home about 2000 sq. ft. The owners are giving me full run of the place and all the time I need.
    This is not an expensive home in this area. 300K are starter homes. I would have done this for free just to get my foot in the door. I quoted $160.00 for starter homes up to 400K. Next level $190 up to 700K, and $250 up to 1M. I’ll individually quote everything higher than 1M.
    I have a Canon T2, Sigma 20-200 2.8, Tamron 18-270 3.5, Tamron 10-24 3.5. Canon flash and a couple of off camera continuous lights. I’ve been shooting in my own home and and like the results.
    I’m pretty good with Photoshop Elements 9, PTlens if I need it, and wading myself through Lightroom 3.
    I feel really good about the pricing structure I’ve set up. Of course time will tell me where to adjust.
    I’ve wanted to do this for a few years. A giant thank you to PRFE and all of you for your constant input and the wealth of information you all give, and will share in the future. THANKS

  • I am a Realtor and an RE photographer. I find that it is very true that the top 10% of the agents will be your main source of income.

    I recently had a photographer who is trying to start in the business and contacted me. I was thinking of maybe working with him under my business. He was trying to start out offering his first shoot free and 50$ for his basic shoot after. I met with him and told him that he will lose money..and doing that he is not only hurting anyone else in the business..which around my area isn’t much..but he will never be able to up his prices in the future.

    Some people just don’t get that starting out. To me though.. He hasn’t been competition for me yet. I offer way more then anyone else in the business and agents see what I offer in photography and marketing services and love the price i give them!

  • Problem is, if you establish a basic rate, there always will be amateurs trying to make it through and no one will known who to hire.

    Also let me put yourselves in the agent position.
    Selling is not like take pics. you take pics, you get paid. If you promote a house, sometimes you get paid despite the lousy or awesome job you make (of course luck is something that you work for, so if you work is great of course you will sell more but not 100% accurate).
    I loved a suggestion on this blog on a previous post about an agent proposing paying more X if it sells the house. risk must be shared.

    But let explain our point of view:
    You always have some fix costs to get something on the market:
    -dislocations, prospecting, marketing etc.
    I spent per house like:
    -50€ on gas and car, 200€ on marketing (flyers, brochures, etc), 25€ just to show your job you also spend money on dossiers dvd’s etc, 50€ fees, 100€ legal documents and taxes, 50€ phone. = 375€ + photos
    -many times I need to spend more: home-staging 250€, gardening 100€, painting and small repairs 100€, other offers of marketing 100€. = 925€ + photos.
    Usually for all this I spend at least 50hours of work.

    I earn at least for an average apartment (which is what is sold 90% of the times) liquid without taxes, about 800€.

    Please note, only 3 in 5 houses (at market price, most aren’t at that price) are sold so you won’t profit from all of them but you still need to pay for all those costs (you can’t ever lower your standard, you have a name to defend).

    Now make your own calculations and see that is impossible for 90% of the cases to pay like 200€ to a photograph despite being good or bad, it’s just not worth it.

    That leaves the other 10% which are highly debatable. but that’s just 10%!.

    Of course if I’ve a million euros house for sale that I will invest a lot more on a photographer! (if the house really worth that price, sometimes it doesn’t and isn’t worth it).

    Above all it all depends on our feeling if the property can be sold or not. If I’ve a 1million euros house for sale and it’s market price is 2million, I don’t have any problem whatsoever in paying 2000€ to a photographer if I see that makes me sell faster!

    Problem is this is just a niche. You can’t really put a basic rate because you don’t have a basic quality. Sometimes quality is so bad that even 1€ would be expensive.

    It’s really up to your work!!! if you are just photographing an apartment with 1 bedroom and such without needing for lighting flashes or strobes with basic image editing you can’t charge that much…..
    if you are photographing a million euros mansion with 9 bedrooms with aerial photographs and panoramic and HDR and heavy photo editing of course you can charge a LOT more…

    Problem is that the “basic” for some RE photographers are too high for the income that will come from selling an average house and some refuse to do some jobs. My advice, negotiate your work. If I pay 40€ I can’t expect that much. But of course it will need to have a standard quality. Basic quality for me is better then what I do. Also shooting a small apartment won’t take you much effort and work hours. It’s still profitable. You can make more money taking shots from an average apartment @30€ each that will take you 1hour of work then photographing a multi million house for 300€ that will take you 20hours.
    Get the idea?

    Also if I sell a house I don’t mind sharing it’s profits. It’s way easier to me to accept a standard 50€ price for good quality photos and +150€ if I sell the house that was shot then paying 100€ per session. Risk will be minimized and I’ll be able to have money to pay.
    That business model is what is best suit for all of us. You will have tons of jobs and it will be profitable and if you are good you will help selling houses and you get rewarded for that and making even more.
    Think about it.

    I understand your problem trying to set a “basic” but there’s no such a thing as “basic”. Basic is highly dependable on the work you make. I suggest you make a large add-on list to your basic job like (keep the basic, basic!):
    30€ basic per session: includes dslr+ wideangle +lens + tripod+ 1speedlight+ soft editing = 8 photos delivered in less then 3 days
    additional photos +3€ each
    average editing +3€ per photo
    HDR editing +6€ per photo
    strobes and speedlights, illumination +15€ basic +30average +50€ extreme
    360º photos + 40€
    rush service less then 12hours +30€
    rush service less then 24hours +20€

    Something like that, don’t know much about prices and how much time you take to do some things but you get the idea. Believe me, it would be much more profitable for all of us!

  • I’ve quite an experience with RE photographers, or pseudo ones… want some horror stories?

    After some time I’ve learned to ask what material they would bring to shoot. About the camera itself most just use a cheap dslr like D40 and such… only a few use full frame dslr’s and SOME even want to bring just a point and shoot… er.. About lenses, I’m not kidding, only about 10% shoot with an wide-angle lenses! Most bring a zoom. Usually 28-200.
    Tripods, only a few bring. it’s a shame really.
    Some like to photograph paintings or mirrors or sculptures or sinks, yes they make close-ups like that… er.. I’m trying to sell the house not what’s inside….
    Barrel distortion, some don’t even known what that is, for the few that known only a very few correct it (only because I asked about it).
    About lighting, usually only 1 speedlight (the one on the camera body), don’t need to say much about quality.
    Photo editing? most don’t edit anything. “you just hired me to shoot not to edit” er… it was ok if the photos were any good…

    Really… with the load of pseudo RE photographers if you are any good you won’t have any problem charging more if you explain what you will do and why.

    See why I hire those crappy ones? 25€ per shooting, I impress the client, later I take myself much better photos. End of story.

    I need great quality, I hire a professional that knowns how to do it and I pay accordingly. Basic is very expensive so it’s not worth it to hire it always.

  • Is there any way to look up statistics to see who the top 10% in a market are?

  • @Shawn- Yes, you go to your local broker web sites, go down their list of agents and count how many listings each agent has and what price it is. Every local office site has this info. Put this in a spread sheet then you can sort it by office or just buy number of listings. The top dogs immediately stand out. I find it amazing the number of beginning real estate photographers that won’t take the time and effort to do this. But once you do it is incredibly valuable! If you have such a list, when you go give a presentation at some office you know exactly who are the top listing agents and make a special point to meet them. This list of top dogs tells you exactly who to focus on.

  • Sorry, kinda new to the site, is Pedro a troll?

  • Wow Pedro if this is your experience with photographers i suggest that a “professional” probably is inclined not to want to work with you.
    Why would you even hire a bad photographer, OK yes they are cheap but you then are going to reshoot the property yourself, and im sure the owner would be aware of you reshooting the property, this just makes you look incompetent and very unprofessional as an agent hiring a crap photographer to start with, i hope you dont charge the seller for any photos if they are that bad.
    As for hiring someone, you ask them enough questions i.e. what equipment etc they use, what editing they will do, why would you even bother if they are even half as bad as you are suggesting, just tell your sellers you are a photographer and will do it yourself, post some examples of your work so we know what level to which you are talking.
    All my agents use me for all the properties at all prices as they know the value of the photos, and they know the photos make their agency look professional, the hiring of a photograher doesnt make you look professional if they deliver crap, just makes you look very inexperienced and incompetent as an agent

  • Pedro, Where are you from? which country?

  • Some of the best money you’ll spend is to get a Real Estate License.
    Allowing yourself to be an MLS member will give you all the info you’ll ever need on agents, homes in the area and who is taking and allowing the below average photo’s.

  • @Dennis- All photos on MLSs are syndicated (automatically transfered) to virtually every broker site (ReMax.com etc.) and large national sites like Zillow.com and Realtor.com so having access to the MLS directly is no advantage. Zillow even has tax record information so you can see the last sale price. There are a view benefits for a real estate photographers to have license but access to photos is not one of them. I your just doing photography it is not worth the cost to bother to be licensed.

  • Agreed. Having a license has been a great benefit for my photography business, but by no means is it worth it or practica to get licensed for this purpose.

  • I’m from Portugal. You are missing the point adam. I can be the best RE photographer in the world and shoot the house, for the client that’s meaningless. What the client wants is your attention your commitment etc. Just by hiring a photograph (despite if he is good or bad) makes you a good agent, the client will be impressed just by that. And clients don’t understand nothing about photography. In fact they are always admired by the quality of the photos (maybe because the standard is so low).
    Photography quality is just important to ME, not for them. People don’t realise the importance of photos until I mention it.
    That’s, unfortunately, how it works around HERE(I known it’s not the same everywhere).
    Most photographers around think RE photography is a minor art that doesn’t worth any-kind of quality or effort, some even refuse works just by knowing it’s for RE.
    I just hope the RE market around here can evolve to the level you have. Then RE photography will be fully recognized and I’ll have some freedom to hire some good photographers without fearing lousy photos.

  • I agree with Brett 100%. The line has to be drawn somewhere. Yes, there will always be people trying to undercut your prices, but if we as an industry try to adhere to a standard of pricing, it will be to all of our benefit in the long run. I have been shooting RE for over 8 years and I have seen prices fall year after year. In any other industry after gaining a certain level of experience and expertise you can expect your income to grow. Unfortunately that is not the case with RE photography and those who are helping to cheapen our industry bear much of the responsibility.

  • “Stop!!!! We need to establish a basic rate for our services. And we need to stand by it. We have all, collectively, developed and established a profession.”

    OK. $500 USD minimum for a basic shoot (12-15 still images). Whew. Glad that’s settled….Now we can move on to the next pipe dream.

  • I feel like wee need better organization. Something where you have to apply and be approved. Something that establishes a basic rate everyone should follow. Gets you listed in a directory of certified photographers. I have feel like we should have a stronger organization as a field. We need to follow in the steps of other specializations.

  • Regarding price guidelines, there are laws in at least the US, AU, NZ, CA, UK and EU intended to prevent price fixing. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing. My understanding of these laws is that only unions a guilds are exempt from these price fixing laws. At this point not prepared to start a union or a guild so my approach is going to encourage photographers to make sure they are recovering their costs and making a reasonable hourly rate and doing high quality of work.

  • That price fixing prevent laws are worthless. if a group of people of one organization decides to charge the minimum of X amount of money per Y service laws can’t do anything. Fortunately, at least in EU, there’s a thing called freedom. I’m free to charge whatever I want. If someone wants to pay for it that’s a completely different thing. You don’t need to create an union. just get organized.
    It’s easy to start. Just create standards. something like:

    “”EREP” exceptional real estate photographers is an organization of RE photographers with the objective of defending rights and creating quality standards among professionals.
    rule 1: to become a member of EREP you must submit X RE works with Y photos to the EREP nominated juri that will evaluate the work. If the juri decides the work is good you can join EREP.
    rule 2: members of EREP are completely forbidden from charging less then X amount of (insert currency).”

    Of course it will take some time and work for this to be considered a trustful organization. But trust me, if you create quality standards no RE agent is willing to hire anyone who’s not part of that organization.

  • Its not price fixing for us to discuss our value proposition and how to sell it. Its not about rates, its about what problem are you solving and what’s a fair price to charge for it.

    If the problem your solving for a realtor is taking pictures then your in a weak position to negotiate, any idiot can take pictures, how good they are is very subjective and it appears that most realtors don’t value our services, if they did they would be a lot more willing to pay more, but then why should they.

    If you think pricing is a problem then I suggest we collectively figure out way to move up the food chain. Brett doesn’t only produce great videos but he now has a destination website for anyone interested in watching property videos. You might think that’s a relatively small percentage of people but you might be surprised. How many people here have produced any kind of video that has more than 2,000 views? PlatinumHD views must be in the tens if not hundreds of thousand.

    Every realtor I know quotes the statistic that 90% of home buyers start their search online but follows up that statement with “but I don’t know if the number of views is relevant.” What was I thinking, forget quality photographs and video just whip out the rolodex.

  • If the group does not accept people who do not charge a certain amount it is not price fixing. It just means this particular group is representing member who charge “market” rates. You say on the website. We accept photographers by application process. We accept photographers that charge over * per shoot. You are not setting the price that way. You are only stating that in this group we allow poeple who have went through an approval process and also meet a certain marketable price. I don’t think we have to form a union in order to be a little more organized as a group. I have seriously considered trying to start some sort of group or more organized collection of RE photographers.

  • @Robert, @Chuck, @Pedro- Having an association of real estate photographers that focuses on quality is not a problem. There are already two that I know of: IAAP (http://www.architecturalphotographers.org/) and AIAP (http://www.aiap.net/).

    Having an organization that attempts to set a price minimum (other than a union) is illegal in US, AU, NZ, UK, EU… read the law (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Price_fixing). Any attempt among competitors in a market to fix a minimum price is “price fixing” and will get you free room and board and a orange jump suit. Be my guest… I’ll write to you but I will not participate in it.

  • I had a conversation with a couple lawyer friends of mine. They seemed to say that a union is kind of overkill. It depends on how we word things and the type of organization. I need to talk to them more about it but they did not seem to discouraged at the thought of establishing a group. I personally thought about the IAAP and the AIAP but they both kind of lacking as an organization. They feel like expensive databases.

    I just think there is a way to do it with out it being price fixing. For instance if you say we only let in member who do not undercut what we consider to be a livable wage. Then you say the average livable wage is X for a photographer. This lets people know that we feel like there is a minimum that should be established. It also lets people know that the poeple in the group don’t wish to undercut or work below that. It seems like you would be establishing a level or standard of quality vs price fixing.

  • Here’s my question….How do you find out who the top 10% are? I agree it’s definitely important to target the best agents in your marketing, but how do you find out who’s selling the most and listing the most? Is there a list with relevant data published somewhere?

  • Market determines the price and what one can charge and markets vary depending on location and demographics.

  • Hi Larry,
    I know how it feels getting started. I almost went through went through the same scenario you mentioned above. I was very lucky to get in with 2 top producers in my area and they have really helped me. When I first started, I couldn’t give a shoot away, but now it is getting better.

    I recently found SendOutCards and that has helped my business. I send my clients thank you cards and small gifts and it seems that I’m getting more business and more referrals. Not to mention the extra income from greeting card sales.

    Jody Moore

  • “This lets people know that we feel like there is a minimum that should be established.”

    Yes, but who cares? So now you’ve got this group of people who pledge to not shoot for less than $500. Then what? Do the group members go around telling all the RE agents they know that they shouldn’t hire anyone not in your group because anyone not in your group is undercutting you?

    “It seems like you would be establishing a level or standard of quality vs price fixing.”

    So who decides what is “quality” and what isn’t?

  • JReece, Read the post below mine above.

  • Finding the top 10 agents can be simple. Your local MLS group will have all those statistics available the their Realtor base. If you have a good contact/friend that’s a member sit down with him some time, look up the figures and make a list. You can find out everything but the color of their underwear doing this. How many homes, dollar value, market share, etc. etc.

  • Hello,

    First I want to thank everyone who has contributed on this website! There is some great, and invaluable information here!

    With that said, I have a few questions that I hope some of you may have some insight about? I’ve been shooting photos for the past 10 years, but the last year I really found a focus for my photography. I started photographing abandonment’s as a hobby and quickly became obsessed with my lines and composition. While looking at my photos I realized that even though I was photographing abandoned, decaying structures, it was architecture and real estate never-the-less. I’m very anal about my lines and making sure everything is vertical, crisp and properly exposed…

    Long story shot, I’m currently unemployed and working towards being approved for a government assisted program that will provide me with income support while I start my business. To be approved for this program I must prove that my business idea will be viable. I’m wondering how many of you guys are successful and making a steady living from RE photography? I do intend to diversify myself with portrait, stock and commercial photography as well, but I need to be focused mainly on real estate for this proposal.

    Another question I had is how do you go about charging someone $189 for your services if you don’t have an online presence or portfolio? And how do you build your portfolio? I’ve put an add on Kijiji asking if I could shoot any local agents’ next listing and I didn’t get a single response. I also tried going to a few local model homes with my camera and tripod and asked if they minded if I took some photos – I got shot down!

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    Barry

    P.S. Here’s the link to my flickr page with some of my abandonment photography.

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