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About The Requirement That You Have a Website to Comment On The PFRE Blog

Published: 10/01/2017
By: larry

Stuart made the following comment about the requirement for PFRE blog commenters to identify themselves with a website URL:

In response to you saying that you are looking for suggestions. your introduction says, in part " My primary goal for the blog is to help people get started ...." In order for novices to participate in discussions, you require that we have a website? For those of us starting out, that requirement prohibits us for taking part in the blog, we can only be bystanders. A website is the last thing that beginners would consider as our money is spent on equipment, and the quality of work does not justify a website. I wish you could make a website optional and not a requirement.

A couple of points in response to your suggestion:

  1. You are missing the point of why I require a website be posted to leave a comment. When commenters are known and somewhat identifiable it results in more civil discussions. Also, a website helps establish the credibility of the commenter. Requiring a website identification over the last year and a half has improved the nature of the comments and the usefulness of the discussions on the PFRE blog in a very positive way. I would never go back to allowing commenters to be anonymous.
  2. There is no requirement that the website in comments should be a full blown real estate photographer website. It could be a FaceBook page or your Flickr stream (like Wayne uses). It could be a free website with just your contact info on it. There are many places to create a free website.
  3. I disagree; a website is NOT the last thing to consider. You should start building an online presence while you are building a portfolio. And it doesn't require spending any money! One example is There are many other places to start out with free websites.

Thanks for bringing up this point! I'm sure it's an irritant for others but it doesn't need to be. Don't be a bystander. Spend few minutes to create an online presence to identify yourself and join in!!

13 comments on “About The Requirement That You Have a Website to Comment On The PFRE Blog”

  1. I agree with Larry on all points, especially moving the the consideration of having a website toward the top of your list.

    That said, I would suggest that a focus be given in this forum to building, maintaining and running a successful website. From do it your self to who to contact to sub out the work of building and maintaining a website

  2. Your website should be started early. Even if it's just your contact information and maybe a bit about what you plan to bring to the market. Why? Because getting decent placement results from search engines depends on a whole lot of variables, but one of the more significant ones is how long has the website been online?

  3. I second the above. You could also use something like
    to make a simple contact page with all your social media links.
    You need even a simple shop window, even if not much there yet.
    A good looking website is one of your priorities for giving you credibility with potential clients.

    WordPress is great of course, and many great design templates available from third parties but I found myself faffing around with it a lot (watch out for time sucks) and have recently gone over to SquareSpace, which is very easy to use and gives you a professional-looking design for a very affordable cost.
    I think the aforementioned Wix is similar in this respect, many other options also.

  4. I am in total agreement with Larry. And I am glad that he accepts alternatives to websites like permanent landing pages and Facebook pages. This is one of the best groups out there and its primarily because Larry keeps it well moderated and its members professional. Thanks Larry for a job well done.

  5. The minute you decide you're going to do real estate photography as a job you should do keyword reasearch for your area and just purchase a year of website use. That way the keywords start to sink in for your seo ranking.

    Equipment is nothing honestly. Buy a Nikon d7000 for example over a d7200 and right there you've got enough money for the website and have lost absolutely nothing. People starting spend way too much on the equipment I believe, and thinking it's too much to spend 100 bucks on a website is the type of logic that's going to get you in trouble.

  6. I agree with Larry completely on all points.

    Any business today absolutely has to have a website and a domain name. And its best to have your email address with your domain name rather than or worse aol or yahoo. It should be part of your cost of doing business and of starting a business to have both. Larry mentioned as a place to have and host your site. I used to build my own site in Dreamweaver but recently realized I don't have the time nor the skills to create sites that work on all platforms and to keep up with the constantly changing technology of the internet today but wix and other such platforms do it for you so at $9.99 a month it is money well spent. Plus they supply many other internet marketing features and are always introducing new ones, have regular tutorials etc. You can host your initial efforts free but then add the domain name for that $9.99 a month as paid on a yearly basis.

    Then you will need business cards that can now display your website and email address. Sure you may not have many shots you want to display so just go with a simple intro page with a slide show and an about me and a contact page to start with. Just get yourself out there and indexed by the search engines so when some one does a search for local photographers you will be in a position to be displayed.

    People may not hire you from the internet but they may well check you out over the internet.

    If you want people to take you seriously, you have to present yourself seriously. Perception drives reality, not the other way around. Something as RE photographers we do for our clients. We try to show their properties in their best light, so to speak. We need to do the same for ourselves.

  7. I agree with Larry completely.

    A web site should be one of the first things any business, big or small, thinks about. It's 2017. Clients expect a web site.

  8. I think the best use of a real estate photography website is to make is (site owner friendly). Let's face it, we're not on the top of an agents priority list. Sometimes we're already driving and still waiting for an agent to text us the actual address. Can't count the number of times an agent has said, " I can't use drop box" and I have to burn a set to a disk and hop in the car.

    At the end of the year I decided build a website for exactly these reasons. My priorities were not about highlighting my work. If you do good work, the word of mouth in an office will spread. My priorities were about ease of ordering, paying and photo pick up. I used wordpress and put it on a host that I already used. There was no additional cost. All the plug ins are free. I really like the order form because it asks questions like when does the sun hit the house and will I get bit by a dog.

    There are only a few tabs: Order a photo shoot, Pick up a photo shoot and Prepping the house are 3 of the most important tabs for me.

    It's a simple site but here it is:

  9. I don't have a website yet, so when I want to comment, I have to put in my real estate website. I'm a realtor also and the agents in my office that are now using me typically do not look at real estate photography websites often. I think they tend to ask other agents what the experience with other photographers has been and of course the MLS photos show exactly what the quality of work is.
    I have been trying to maintain MLS reports of different shoots I've done so far, but haven't gone further than putting them on my desktop in a folder.

    Going OT a bit, I looked at Steven's site - I am curious how you have the photo pickup setup - vendor? Cost? I know delivery options were covered recently in another post, and I will research when I have more time. Thanks-

  10. I used Nextgen galleries and a download plug in. These are both free (as I remember the download plug in was free). The are plug ins designed to work with WordPress. I upload my photos to the gallery and then post the page with the download template. There is another program that I did purchase but have not implimented yet. It will allow me to sell galleries. My goal is to sell the front community signs and community photos. I won't charge much but now if an agent just wanted to buy great community shots they are there for purchase and download. Moving forward, because many agents won't purchase custom drone footage my goal is to shoot some stock footage for areas like golf course communities and sell the stock flyer over, same for some of our beach areas. So if I can resell the same footage over and over for a few bucks, I feel this is good for me.


  11. Everyone has a opinion and advice on the internet. It's great to see if the advice given is from someone that actually knows what they are talking about.

    And here's something...don't have a website? Simply use the link to your Flickr stream or other online gallery.

  12. Wayne sums it up for me with "It’s great to see if the advice given is from someone that actually knows what they are talking about."

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