March 4th, 2015
Chris posed the following question yesterday:
Our real estate photography business has grown quite a bit and I am anticipating needing to have 1-3 photographers on call for the busy spring / summer season. Does anyone have a recommendation of what to pay? I am scheduling the shoot and delivering the shots. I just need to pay for onsite photography and editing. I have paid 33% of the package price. Others are asking for $25 / hour. Anyone have a system that works well for paying? I’m talking sub-contractor work, and they have their own gear.
Excellent question! The big tour companies pay as little as $30 to $50 a shoot which most will agree is too low. I see from your site your basic shoot price is $249. I suggest that 33% to 50% of the billed shoot price would make sense. Although this only makes sense because your shoot price is relatively healthy. If you were charging $100 a shoot you’d be down there with the big tour companies. I’m sure where the $25/hour is coming from is average earnings data.
- Travel costs shouldn’t eat up the contractors wage. Establish a service area outside of which you charge extra. This would control travel costs.
- I think contractors should be payed for the quality of work and reliability. That is, start someone at a lower rate until they demonstrate their quality of work and reliability. A contractor that can deliver the quality you want and be dependable is very valuable to your business and should be paid more.
- You should track what a contractor is doing to the point you know approximately how much per hour they are making even though you aren’t paying them by the hour. I think a business owners should know if contractors are making a living otherwise you could loose good people. Many newbies would take on a contracting job like this and not even knowing if they were loosing money. Many cities in the US (Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, Chicago) are moving towards a minimum wage in the area of $15/hour.
- I would be concerned with maintaining a consistent high quality product that you show on your site when you are hiring short term temporary contractors. I’d establish some quality standards and do some training so you make sure you keep your quality high.
How are others out there deciding what to pay real estate photography contractors?