April 5th, 2015
Any articles on shooting for stock on Lifestyle, Community and Amenities of a city or neighborhood? I charge by the hour to shoot those things if I don’t have them, but would like to offer ‘stock’ images to Realtors with listings where the images may apply. Wondering how to charge for that.
Offering community photos for the major neighborhoods you shoot in is a good idea. I don’t think most listing agents do a very good job of selling the neighborhood. Probably where I get this point of view is my wife is fanatic about selling the neighborhood that a listing is in. As far as what is the best way to do this as a real estate photographer, I’m skeptical that selling neighborhood photos as stock images is the way to go because in my experience the demand for neighborhoods is not huge. Only very diligent listing agents are going to be interested. You could try that approach and test the demand at various prices. Testing in your area is the only way to find out what price would work.
To me it seems like a better approach to use your library of neighborhood photos as another reason for Realtors to choose you as their real estate photographer. Offer 5 or so neighborhood photos for all listings you shoot in certain neighborhoods where you do a lot of shoots. By spending a few days a year on beautiful spring or summer days you can build a library for many neighborhoods. Then, on your website and in your marketing materials, promote the fact that for specific neighborhoods you provide some number of neighborhood photos.
When my wife was representing builders in the Seattle area, this is exactly what I did. I built libraries of neighborhood photos for all the neighborhoods that we listed homes in and then even when it was rainy when I shot the listing, I had good neighborhood photos to add to the listing photos. At the time I was doing this no other listing agents were doing it. Nowadays it’s much more common but not widespread.
In 2015 I think that a stronger way to sell the neighborhood is with a short video. As an example here is a Maui lifestyle video that Travis Rowan shot for Tom Tezak. Although this is not something you are going to sell to low-end listing agents but it shows the strength of video for selling the neighborhood or area. The main point here is that selling the neighborhood is key to selling a property and you do it both with stills and video. You need to promote this idea to your clients, not all listing agents realize how important selling the neighborhood is.