Four Discussions Real Estate Photographers Can Have to Improve Business in 2010

January 12th, 2010

The holidays  are wearing off and it’s hard to avoid the fact that it’s time to start engaging again.

In the real estate world it’s still a relatively quiet time that’s perfect for education, reflecting and planning.

At this time of the year I always like to spend some time reviewing what things I did last year worked and what things didn’t work. Figuring out what worked frequently boils down to having some way of knowing which marketing technique working. I find that a fantastic way to understand your marketing is a simple customer discussion.

This discussion with our listing customers and our listing buyers was what got me so involved in real estate photography in the beginning. Understanding why we got a listing was always pretty easy and frequently it was because a neighbor would see the marketing (flyer or virtual tour address on the for sale sign) we did to sell a home near them. I love to go to inspections of our listings just so I can talk to the buyers and ask them “how did you find this listing”.  To me the underlying question is, “which part of our marketing is working?” After a few years of this kind of questioning of our listing customers and buyers the central role of photography was unmistakeable and striking.

As a real estate photographer here are some discussions you can have with your customers that will improve your business in 2010:

  1. How did you find me? Ask this question of every single new client. You absolutely must know which marketing activities are working. Quit doing things that don’t work well and shift your time or your marketing dollars to the things that do work.
  2. What things can I do to help sell the property? As a real estate photographer your job is to make the agents marketing work better. Good agents will be glad to give you suggestions. The really good agents are marketing masters; you can learn a lot from them. Increase the number of products you offer so you can earn more from the single trip you make to the property.
  3. What areas and price ranges are homes selling? You can figure this out yourself but it’s faster to find out from agents. Just within one metropolitan area what’s selling and what’s not varies within 10 or 20 miles or within a different price range. The current recession has made the real estate market even less homogenous. As an example of what I’m talking about, just because Rusty found that in the LA area homes in the $2 million and up market weren’t selling in November doesn’t say anything about the $300K-$500K price range in LA or the $2 million and up market in Seattle. If your marketing isn’t working change the agents that you are targeting.
  4. Here’s how photography will help your listing sell. These days most successful agents understand the importance of photography. But many need educating. Your marketing should focus on how photography can make agents successful. Here is a free 2 page document that will help you do this. Be careful though that you don’t get stuck spending too much time trying to reform unsuccessful agents that aren’t spending anything on marketing.

The current market for real estate photography is quite varied. I talk to some folks that were so busy in 2009 they are talking about expanding to new areas while in the larger metropolitan areas competition is increasing. There are many reasons competition is increasing but one reason is that the number of print media photographers that have been put out of a job by the dismal print media environment (Apparently 90,000 print media people lost their job in 2009). The one consistent factor is that your marketing skills are one of the most important factors in making your business successful.

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5 Responses to “Four Discussions Real Estate Photographers Can Have to Improve Business in 2010”

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  • Thank you so much for the Realtor Guides! It’s exactly what I need to communicate the value of good photography to Realtors.

  • Great points, Larry. I especially agree that we can learn so much from the top real estate agents. I have many ideas I can’t wait to implement after talking with them (if I can figure out how to do some of them!). I’ve learned so much this past year but the most important lesson is that there is always someone out there who does things way better than me and who has more innovative ideas or who is more technologically capable and all I can do is learn from them. But I watch every single listing I shoot to see if/when it sells and if it’s lagging I approach the agent to find out what else we can do. Asking these questions has been a great learning experience, expanded my services, and hopefully added a few more loyal customers to my base.

  • With the majority of searches starting online, the rapid increase in digital photos should grow for the next few years. The trouble is, convincing agents that more is better. Shoppers want to see everything and any agent should be very generous when it comes to pictures of their listings. If for no other reason than to weed out people who may be turned off for one reason or another.

  • […] more: Photography For Real Estate » Four Discussions Real Estate …Artículos relacionados16/01/2010 — Analyst: Web Real Estate Ad Spending Down But Overall Spending […]

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