Marek Biela, a long time PFRE reader in Boston was recently telling me about his real estate photography business. Marek describes his business as follows:
I started a Real Estate Photography business in Massachusetts over 6 years ago. I would say that it took me about a year to realize that if I want to be able to expand and provide my clients with great service, excellent quality, and reliability and have the ability to be able to handle a large number of photo shoots per day without worrying about overload from the post-processing work, I had to have my post-processing done by someone else. I had to outsource.
I did work up to 15 hrs per day for some time, but that was just too exhausting and I had no life.
The problem was that I wanted to have excellent quality, fast turn-around time and reliability and that was just not something that I was able to find.
I did test a few post-processing companies that were advertising their services, but I knew right away that the quality of their work is just not good enough for me and I did not want to be second best in my area. I believe that the quality of photographs is most important.
A lot of post-processing companies will pick and choose a few nice photos for their website, but when I looked at the actual photos that they processed the quality just wasn’t there. At least it was not good enough for me.
Because of the high quality of our photography, we are able to charge our standard $250 per photo shoot and limit up to 30 photos and our biggest problem during our busy season (about 9 months out of the year) is we don't have enough time for all the photo shoot inquiries. We shoot 10 properties a day during our busy season. We have 2 photographers and several post-processors to handle this level of work.
Because we have a separate post-processing department we are consistent with the quality of post-processing and can always deliver our photographs along with slideshows back to our clients by the next business day.
We also provide each of our clients with a YouTube slideshow. This an example of our final slideshow.
I truly believe that the formula for success in the real estate photography business is:
- Excellent quality photographs
- Not too much time spent at the property. Agents are busy. They don’t have time to waste waiting for the photographer
- Consistent quality. So agents don’t feel the need to request a particular photographer
- Providing agents with at least an MLS version of the fast loading slideshow
- Ability to handle many projects even at the busiest times of the year… agents consider us as part of their marketing
- Consistent next business day turn around
- Professional and friendly staff
Thanks Marek for the summary of your business.