Real Estate Photography Q & A – Older Rebels, Curbed.com and Independents in NZ?

August 19th, 2014

Questions And Answers

Jaimee’s Question:   I’m a fairly new agent (2 years) and want to supplement my income with real estate photography.  Your ebooks are exactly what I’m looking for to gather information on what to use and how to start so thank you for that.  I have an older Canon Rebel 300D from 2003, it’s not a full frame….I’ve spoken with several photographers and received several different answers and I am thoroughly confused on what equipment I need.  ?

Answer:  I don’t think your Rebel 300D is a problem… your wide angle lens is more important. If you wanted to upgrade a Rebel T3i or T5i is the modern equivalent to the 300D, but I doubt anyone will be able to tell that you are using a old model. For starters if you haven’t already take a look at this post that lists all the basic equipment  you need to get started. Some new info is that Cannon recently released the 10-18mm lens and reports are that it is as good as the 10-22mm which is a very popular with RE photographers and the 10-18mm is under $300. See the discussion here.

Heide’s Question:   I was wondering if you have any suggestions or pointers as to how to quickly create property websites for agents.  I don’t want to spend half a day or more creating sites. 

Answer: Yes, with tourbuzz.net tours you can give any tour its own domain name like 1234MainSt.com. Very easy to do.

Reed’s Question:  I was wondering what you think of the way the website curbed.com uses our real estate photography? I found them using some of mine without permission. Can anything be done about this since they actually lifted the photos from the MLS? 

Answer: It looks to me like curbed.com is using MLS photos beyond the typical licensing.  I would contact Joel Rothman. Joel is a Intellectual Property attorney  with Schneider Rothman Intellectual Property Law Group in Florida that is very familiar with the copyright issues in real estate MLS sites. Joel has represented other PFRE blog readers and can advise you how to pursue this issue.

Song’s Question:  I have a question which if you could answer would probably solve a lot of my problems. In my country (New Zealand) my parents have a friend who is in one of the top Real Estate companies in Auckland (we have 3/4 main ones) and according to her, all of their photography is handled via a professional company so none of their photos are from a point and shoot like many are saying and are relatively okay quality photos. I would assume that all of these big companies would do the same. Would they then, hire me as they already have a company who has “monopolized” their listings and I assume would have a contract with them. At this point, how should I proceed? ?

Answer: Some real estate companies have contracts with real estate photographers to shoot for their whole company but I doubt that all real estate agencies in Auckland do it. NZ and AU are certainly very progressive at using real estate photography but I can’t believe that opportunities for independent real estate photographers have disappeared. You should be able to locate companies that don’t have a company wide contract by getting online and looking at the photos that each company/agent uses to market their listings and focus on marketing just agents in that company. Look for agencies that use bad photography and could use your help.

Are their any independent real estate photographers from NZ that can comment on Song’s question?

3 Responses to “Real Estate Photography Q & A – Older Rebels, Curbed.com and Independents in NZ?”

  • Hi, I live in Copenhagen, Denmark and its the same here. Most of the big RE chains are pretty much taken by the bigger photo companies taking out a contract to shoot all of the offices. The smaller 1 shop agents are a good bet or maybe contact the large photo companies and work for those, as I did, for a while to get experience and learn the ropes. These companies pay a lot less than working directly but you do get the volume of work so it does add up. One thing I found was agents are concerned if its only you working for them. What if you are sick, or on holiday, who covers the job? So its a good idea to say that you work with another photographer so all jobs are covered……. then cross that bridge when the time comes :) Jason

  • Big companies have a standard product (a bit like McDonalds). As an independant you need a niche of your own, and a quality standard that shows your worth. Most of my business comes from personal referrals, which takes time to build up. The big companies will always look at ways to take away your business so be aware, and realistic, about the size of your potential market.

  • A great option for quick websites is http://www.filesnack.com (I know, weird name and weird branding) Here’s a property website I did a couple of weeks ago that took about an hour to put together (not including the virtual tour) http://www.1006Foxhall.com

    Filesnack has an array of services and if you buy the premium membership which I think was somewhere around $190/year, you get unlimited website hosting but you’ll have to purchase a custom domain elsewhere, and Slideshows and Flipbooks among other things. Here is an example of a flip book I did for a Realtor Newsletter http://www.flipsnack.com/F57CD77D75E/funsvleq.html You cannot design on the site though. I uploaded pdf’s exported from Adobe InDesign. With my design in place assembling the flip book took about 10 minutes.

    What I really love about this site is the support. It’s live chat but someone is always there 24 hours a day to answer questions. I live in constant fear that someday this site will go away so I spread the good word whenever I can.