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How Do Real Estate Photographers Charge for Community Amenity Photos?

August 25th, 2017

NeighborHoodBraulio in Florida asks:

I have been charging community amenities photos separate from property photo shoots, and I also think that community amenities should be charged by standard and wide license. How are other real estate photographers charging community amenities photo shoots?

There are a number of ways to use photos of community amenities:

  • Sell them as stock photos: I’ve heard from a number of photographers who do this. We’ve done posts on this method. This doesn’t seem wildly successful and it takes a lot of extra work to sell them this way.
  • Sell them as an add-on package. This seems to be the easiest way to do it.
  • Don’t charge extra for them. Market them as an incentive to hire you as a photographer.

My experience is that only a small number of listing agents do a good job of selling the neighborhood. I’ve always kept a library of community photos for all the neighborhoods my wife and I listed properties in and added three or four community photos to each listing. My wife was a fanatical about marketing the neighborhood.

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6 Responses to “How Do Real Estate Photographers Charge for Community Amenity Photos?”

  • I’ve seen it done all three ways that Larry mentioned. Majority of the time for me I include them in my regular photo package, so if i sold them on 25 photos then any community shots they want are to be included in the 25. I’ve also sold them after the fact for $10 each (need to up my price on that, but it works for agents that just want to feature one certain photo on their website under their “cities” page) Of course if its a REALLY good client then i’m more than willing to email them over a few stock photos at no charge, because at some point someone else paid me to take them so they technically are already paid for!

  • As Larry indicated, there is more than one way to earn a profit from area shots. Consider the time, effort and expense incurred to obtain your product and then what the long term profit possibilities are. Remember that area shots are usually viable for a year or two before they should be updated.

    I never charge to take area shots, nor do I ever “Sell” them either. No one “technically” pays for them, they are done as a part of doing business. They are used as a incentive to use my services and may be used with their listings as long as I have photographed their properties. Someone else shoots one of their properties, then they cannot use them, period.

    Bottom line, I would think long and hard about squeezing out the last penny from your clients for profit with this simple task of taking area shots while you are in the area. Your base price should be at a level to cover this, whether you have them or not.

  • I do, and have been doing for 10 years now, almost exactly what Jerry has done. When asked, or on my own, I shoot the entrances, approaches, ball fields, tennis courts, gazeboes, libraries, swimming pools etc. I tell the client I am on the shoot with, “I’m not charging for these but will make them available for anyone using my services for a photo shoot they will relate to.” No one has complained. Everyone uses them. There is little noticeable time and effort to do them. I now have a nice library and use them myself. Part of customer service, my value proposition, and agents ask for them.

    How do I make money on them? Well when I use them in brochures I charge for them. I do a lot of brochures and charge by the page. For condos it’s great. Never have to shoot the front or the amenities again. For print ads I use them and charge for ad production. For Building web sites I use them and charge for the web site build. It’s all in there. They’re paying but not specifically for the initial photoshoot.

  • I have it stated on my site that I will do community shots only if specifically asked to do that. I never charge for it any extra – I figure that’s not that much effort but certainly makes my reputation better too 🙂

    Such a great idea from Larry about a library of photos accumulated from all the neighborhoods and putting them on re-use! Thanks Larry!

  • I use community photos as a premium. They are included for free when a customer licenses images of a home from me. It’s unlikely that a company that provides “photo services” will spend the time to make community photos which gives me another point in my marketing. I’ll sometimes look for parks or sports complexes and make an image or two during lunch. I have a stock of images from larger closed communities where I am trying to get more agents to use me when they have a listing there.

    If a broker wants to use stock images for their website and advertising materials outside of home listings, I’ll work out a license fee, but so far they haven’t asked. It is funny to see what are obviously stock websites being used by local agents that have images that don’t match anything in the area.

  • I don’t charge extra…but the photos pay dividends with no re-shoots. On several occasions the Realtor or homeowner got me into the clubhouse for interior shots of the activity and workout rooms. The key is, one shoot and reuse over and over – with that realtor and others. One of my clients specializes in the 55+ community where they live and last year shot 17 homes for them, and this year at 10. I set up a community folder and pull photos from it as the current shoot didn’t require me to go back and shoot the community amenities again. Also attracted other/new clients. Also, in in a new neighborhood, if I didn’t see a community area, I ask wich impresses the Realtor and homeowner that thinking ahead. One time I hit the jackpot…it became a commercial shoot as my client was the HOA as they were developing brochures and website, and obviously, the quality of the photos went up.

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