April 9th, 2017
Recently, I’ve been involved in a number of conversations on and off the blog suggest that real estate photographers frequently have trouble moving from low-end to upper-end shooting.
For example, Jonathan in NYC says:
I was featured in an article on a big NYC broker’s website that I’ve shot for several times. I am wondering if I should have separate pricing for those who are able to pay more, like large companies? They list inventory of up to $65,000,000 three bedroom condos overlooking Central Park. Normally, I shoot pretty low-end stuff, which may be no different in this case, but I’m thinking about insurance and other costs or protections.
So, in time my prices will be coming up. I’m meeting people left and right, and soon I’ll be working with Architects and Designers; people that attended school with my interior designer wife. I think that is where I want to do my premium pricing.
I think the basic issue is that agents who list lower priced properties are a different culture. When you move from shooting lower priced properties to shooting $65m condos overlooking Central Park you have to completely change your thinking about the value of your work, the way you communicate with the elite listing agents and what you charge.
I think it is a mistake to have two pricing structures. If you work is good enough for the $65m condo overlooking Central Park then price your work for that market and move into that culture. Here are my suggestions that may help you make that move:
- Website: Your website is central to your marketing. Put only the very best images of properties that are in your target price range in your portfolio.
- How to find high-end listing agents: Getting to know the high-end listing agents in your market is essential. Use broker sites to find out which agents are listing in your target price range and location.
- Do your marketing face to face: High-end agents expect to do business based on the trust they’ve built from personal contacts.
- Read George Gutenberg’s comments on this post: George shoots in the high-end market in the Palm Desert – Las Vagas market. You need to start thinking like this in your pricing.
So in summary, have one pricing structure. Charge what your time is worth. What your time is worth has been demonstrated by the fact that you’ve shot those $65m condo listings that overlook Central Park.
All you high-end shooters feel free to give Jonathan your advice too.