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How Do You Handle Charging for Rebranded Real Estate Video?

June 24th, 2018

Ashley in South Carolina asked:

How do you handle rebranding a video? I created a two-minute “amenities” video including a house that is for sale for a Realtor. That Realtor has been fired by the owner and the new Realtor would like to use the video with their branding. I don’t feel like I should charge the same full price for simply rebranding but how much do you charge and do you see any issue with using a video created for another Realtor for the new one?

Here is my take on this question:

  • I see no problem with relicensing the video as long as you retained the rights to the video and just licensed it to the first agent.
  • Remember, you are licensing for the length of time and where the video can be used; not for your time creating the video.
  • I’d be inclined to charge the new agent the same license fee as the first agent assuming the new listing agent would have the same license agreement as the first.

I’m wondering if others will have more advice on this subject.

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13 Responses to “How Do You Handle Charging for Rebranded Real Estate Video?”

  • We shoot Amenity videos all of the time as well as town tour videos and have much experience with this. We now have a library of over 250 and license them if an agent wants to add them to a tour (see here: http://www.hometakesvideos.com/showcase/web_tour.php?id=10189&cat=tour#page-top ). New ones are shot free if the amenities is not in our library. Once added, it goes into our ordering system. Then when a new order comes in for a tour and they enter the property zip code in our system, they are asked if the property is located in a community. If they select yes, then the list of Amenity Tours appears and they will then can choose the amenity tour from the dropdown menu. We charge $25 for an amenity tour and $15 for a town tour to license it with their home tour.

  • Ashley, why should the new realtor pay less that your original customer did? I think it’s bad enough that your customer lost the listing (and thus the opportunity to recover what they invested in you), without you adding to the pain by offering what you made for her/him, to somebody new for less.

    Personally, I would make the new realtor a new video and charge accordingly. Loyalty (or lack thereof) is usually remembered.

  • I am just an old fashioned guy, I believe that if I pay for a service you may retain ownership to use for your own promotion. Contracts or no contracts. Revlon pays you to photograph lips they expect NOT to see those images used by Loreal (amount of payment isn’t a factor). If the second Realtor wants an amenities video, then make them one and charge them for it. By negotiating the reuse of real estate photos – videos already taken for and used by the original Realtor with the new Realtor you are setting yourself up for some very bad press.

    If your work is resused without your permission, then take appropriate steps. Real Estate photography is a commodity business, don’t argue and except I don’t like it anymore than you do, but that’s reality. I always ask a established Realtor why they are hiring me since they have already been using someone else. The answers generally haven’t any bearing on the other photographers competence, if it isn’t because they are to busy or moved/retired then it’s because they don’t respect our profession, I have been know to tell them it takes two to Tango, respect me and my schedule and I will respect and work to accommodate their schedule.

    But back to original question, don’t be chincy and don’t look like you don’t respect them, believe me, reselling the photography they paid for to another realtor is a lack of respect. I wouldn’t hire you again.

  • I’m guessing most RE videographers charge a single bundled fee for a video rather than breaking it down like a proper production company. i.e. Production + Post-Production + Usage. I do to keep it simple for that particular clientele.

    If that is the case then full price for the new realtor. Pricing for usage is based on the value of the materials to the user not how much time it takes you to make the edit. This is a legitimate revenue stream for photographers and videographers. If they don’t want to pay, fine. they don’t use it. Whatever you do on this will be setting expectations for the future. Just like anything, charge what it is worth or you will lose money.

    Often times, for video, I will re-edit the video with the same footage but change the music and the branding. You can make it very different without having to shoot anything new. Still full price be profitable. This kind of stuff is not a commodity unless you let it be.

    Good luck.

  • I handle this the same as I handle photos of amenities. When an agent asks me to shoot them I tell them I’ll shoot them at no charge but that I will make them available to any agent that has me shoot a property associated with those same amenities.

    If I shot a video of the amenities I’d be sure to tell the agent I’m charging only for the Branding not the video and that I will put the video in my bank of stock videos and photos and now videos, and those are available to all my clients.

    As far as using the images of a home, that’s another story. I have used them over on occasion but as a courtesy to the first agent I ask them if they have objections, some do some don’t. If they object they normally tell me why and I then don’t use them again.

    It’s always a balancing act of good will vs a few dollars. When a home is reused. When amenities are involved there never has been a problem because of how I handle it. They love that they have these available for their use. I love that I don’t have to shoot the same thing over and over.

  • Colin’s approach makes the most sense to me, and will keep you out of any potential conflicts with your clients. I live and work in a small Texas border town and I rely on a handful of loyal clients to keep me busy. As in any small community, most people in the same profession know one another. And as in most situations like that there are jealousies and resentments that build up over time. When you have to provide the same service to all of them, you’d better be perceived as being neutral and fair. Otherwise someone’s going to think you’re trying to advantage the competition. I know my general approach to re-selling my images of a home (or in this case videos) are not in keeping with the money-making model I’ve seen discussed on this blog many times before, but it keeps me out of trouble. When one of my agents/brokers loses a listing and the next one wants to use the same pics for their listing, I charge them the same price as I did for the previous agent and then I reimburse the original agent with that money. In addition to being good PR, I think it makes an agent less reluctant to invest in the professional photos in the first place.

  • I would shoot a new video for the new client however many times the new agent will simply call thier friend and ask if they can use the images. The answer is usually “Yes… of course you can and here is the issue I had with the listing or the client… Good luck… see you at the next meeting, lets have a BBQ”

    I have faced this issue many times over the years.
    Real estate agents are close group. They are friends AND competitors. Loosing a listing is hard enough since everyone (in their world) knows they lost the listing and usually why. To add insult to industry by having a friend/competitor use the exact same images or video is bad for you as well their friendships.

  • If the “amenities” video is of the local community, neighborhood, etc, Any agent wanting to use it should pay the same price. If you normally include those clips as a no-charge extra with jobs where you have made a video of the home, you have to charge something to those agents that aren’t hiring you for a separate video of the home or just not offer it at all.

    If the video is of amenities specific to the home, the advice is the same; charge full price. You are not “selling” a product, you are licensing the media for a specific use. The new customer gets the benefit of knowing exactly what they are licensing where the first customer is committing to paying for something they won’t see until it’s finished. You benefit by earning additional income for something that is already “in the can”. The record companies don’t discount each CD sold, it’s full price each time.

    Be sure to sit down and talk with your clients about how you handle Copyright, your terms of service and what you do in the case of re-licensing to other agents. If your client would be very irritated if you re-licensed images you originally created for their use, work a deal where they pay you a 10% premium over your regular rates for some exclusivity. I say “some” since you may want to have those images available for licensing to clients such as interior designers, contractors, appliance shops, etc. If you were making photos for Revlon, as Bill used as an example, the contract would be a buyout, long term renewable exclusivity or Work Made For Hire agreement. In that case, you should expect to be paid much more money. Some photographers are fine with abandoning their Copyright and most real estate images don’t have any appeal for resale, but that policy as a blanket approach means that when you do photograph a very nice home, those images can’t earn you any more money in the future.

  • You have to look at it from your client’s point of view. Aren’t both clients getting the exact same thing? So, shouldn’t they both pay the exact same fee?

    As for the whole “it will make my first client mad” baloney….I think that’s baloney. I’d buy that argument if the first agent was also refusing to allow the yard sign guy to work for the competition, and the window washers, and the home inspector, etc. etc. etc. But I’m willing to bet lot$ of ca$h that those other vendors are totally free to offer services to anyone. So is the videographer. If your clients are so petty that they’ll punish you for making a living….then you deserve new and better clients, and frankly they deserve to work with beginner photographers who they can intimidate. Wish them luck and move on.

    If the first agent thinks they own or control that video, then the fault lies with the photographer who failed to TALK TO THEIR CLIENT ahead of time about the terms.

  • I have to admit I have not heard the term “Amenity Video” and had to Google it “what is amenities video”. Actually I did not find a definition. But from reading the posts above, I have to assume it is video footage of the area around the property rather than the property itself. It seems to me that that footage falls under the category of “stock” footage and just like stock photos, clients pay for the license to use the images and in this case the video clips.

    Not if the first client actually paid you to shoot these clips, while you still own the copyright but did not shoot it on your own time, I don’t think you are required to consult with your first client, but for the sake of good will (hard to get back when lost) I would suggest you discuss this with them and make sure they understand that you own the footage and its copyright. If you have been working with them for some time, then presumably they already know this as I am sure you have pointed the ownership issue with them. Ad agencies and graphic designers know this but I have found realtors and even owner don’t until it is explained to them and you supply them your terms of business in writing.

    When I shoot such video, I don’t charge it as part of the property shoot, I charge is as stock footage licensing just to make sure my clients don’t think they have some ownership over its use. Just to keep things above board and very clear.

    So while I agree with the others, that you are free to charge for the resuse as stock video, just to keep a good relationship with your first client, I would talk it over with them so they are in the loop. I just had this with a good client when he handed a property that was not selling (priced too high) to another realtor that he works with often on spit listings who requested the permission to reuse the photography I had shot for my main client. I said sure but I will charge stock photo rates. But only after conferring with my main client who was quite happy with that arrangement but pleased to have been consulted.

  • Usage is usage. If your first client paid $300 for a video, and you rebrand and give the same video to a competitor for $150, why would should the first realtor EVER use you again? Not only might they have taken it in the short because they lost the listing, but YOU charged them double, or you gave their competitor 50% off. Not good business no matter how you describe it. Same goes for stills. It’s got nothing to do with effort. It’s about being perceived as fair, ethical, and respectful, and about preserving our industry by maintaining a standard that ALL of your clients can count on.

  • @Ron Castle Not to rain on your post, but reimbursing your first client (who made use of the photos), for photos used by your second client (who is also going to use them) is bad business. Photographers aren’t in this business to assume their real estate client’s risks. If you want to take risks, get a realtor’s license. Preserving our industry standards is far more important then setting up a very unusual expectation that folks in real estate don’t have to assume their own risks. I mean, is the realtor’s sign company going to give them a discount because they didn’t sell the last house? Is the bank going to charge them 0% interest on their business loans because they didn’t sell the house? If you’re going to reward someone somehow, it should be the realtor who makes sales. (not that I’d really suggest going there either… 🙂 ) But you could bake them some cookies.

  • My business is producing photos for people to use and charging clients according to how much they want to use the photos. The simple rule is,
    the more the client wants to use the photos, the more I charge; and anything that restricts my ability to earn additional income
    from the photos requires compensation for that loss of income.

    I am not a service. I am a content creator. Providing the photos as agreed is not a service; it is just being professional.
    Providing clearly written terms for the scope of work and use of photos should be sufficient. When it is not, explaining how the business works will generally help clients
    understand why the terms and fees are what they are.

    My problem is usually not with clients objecting to my relicensing the photos to subsequent agents, but rather clients forgetting about my usage terms and just
    giving the photos away to other agents (and other parties as well) to use without first seeking my permission.

    When I do relicense my real estate photos to new agents for a property, it is my standard practice to charge at least as much for the reuse as I did the agent who
    commissioned the photos, assuming the same package of usage rights applies.

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