Ten Business Essentials For Real Estate Photographers

August 9th, 2016

It just dawned on me that for years I’ve had a ten essentials list for the technical aspects of real estate photography that I promote in my Photography For Real Estate book and the free PDF on What Real Estate Agents need to Know About Photography but I’ve never summarized the business things that we always talk about here on the PFRE blog in the same way. So here is the first step towards fixing that. My first cut at 10 business essentials for real estate photographers:

  1. Understand your expenses so you know how much you are making. See these posts here and here.
  2. Low fees typically lead to more low fees. See this post.
  3. Good communications are key to being an effective freelancer. Be easy to contact, via phone, email or even texting. Respond quickly.
  4. Spend time and money keeping yourself well trained. Nowadays keeping yourself up to date with new technology is essential.
  5. When and how you get paid is an important consideration. See this post.
  6. The quality of your portfolio always decides your success. See this post.
  7. Marketing your services is a top priority when building your business. See this post.
  8. Make sure your terms of service is understood up front. See this post.
  9. Customer care is essential. See this post.
  10. This is your job not your hobby.

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list but there’s something about a top ten list that can help focus on the most important aspects. I’ve added links on many of these items to previous discussions we’ve had on these subjects.

I’m sure readers will have input on this top 10 list. What did I miss?

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3 Responses to “Ten Business Essentials For Real Estate Photographers”

  • Thank you for these nuggets of wisdom, Larry: re: item 3… I remember reading in your book about the usefulness of googlemail to enable one to keep in touch with clients when on location and to respond efficiently: I came a bit late in the day to this but am now seeing the value of having my entire email archive and calendar to hand!
    If there is any more room on the “tablet” (Moses couldn’t afford an i-pad.. I refer to your excellent illustration!) could I suggest that, as professional photographers, we let clients know that we issue them with a non-transferable licence to use images in a specific context and for an agreed time period rather than supplying them with a downloadable file which is exclusively their property to use, re-use and share onwards in whatever format they choose. As freelancers, our work should never be regarded as “work made for hire”. I believe that real estate photography is technically demanding and of proven commercial value: as such it should be taken as seriously as any other branch of photography, whether commercial or editorial: if we don’t champion our own sector of the industry, no one else will. I’ll get off my soap box now!

  • @Simon, Thanks for the suggestion. Yes, my intention is to include the photo licensing agreement in #8 above that suggest that the Terms Of Service be agreed to up front.

    The problem with putting this stuff on stone tablets like Moses is you have to be extremely concise. This is probably why we only got 10 commandments from Moses instead of 20 or 30:)

  • Good photographed properties bring more viewer to your property, I have experienced this.

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