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Do you want to offer headshots for the agents you work with, yet you don't know how to charge for your work? Real estate headshots photography pricing can be tricky, so we're going to help you with tips on developing real estate portrait rates, including pricing factors and sample quotations.
Professional headshots cost about $100 per hour on the lower end and up to $250 per hour or higher for premium packages. Meanwhile, per-photograph prices for a simple real estate headshot can be as low as $50, while a full-blown session complete with outfit changes may hit $1000 or more.
There's no right fee that applies to all photographers since portrait rates depend on skills, experience, business type, service area, equipment, editing, and delivery. Likewise, you have to consider your competition as other headshot photographers have a wide range of prices.
With real estate agents looking to make striking impressions to potential buyers, they need professional headshot photographers to take their official portraits. A great headshot can make their social media and listing profiles stand out, and it requires a good photographer to make it work.
However, there are certain factors involved in a headshot session that you must know, and these can influence your pricing.
One of the best ways to charge your work is to determine your skill level. An experienced photographer can charge much higher than a fairly new real estate headshot photographer breaking into the business, especially if this is your first time charging for portraits.
Whether you're self-taught or trained, your good skills and years of experience must reflect the quality of your work. For example, a professional photographer with decades of experience can charge an hourly cost of $100.
The quantity of portraits can also significantly influence your rates, as this can impact your schedule. The more portraits clients want, the higher you can charge. You can offer a per-headshot price, although in most cases, a package deal is a better option.
Another way to help photographers know how much to charge for headshots is to consider the service area.
A headshot can cost more if you have to rent space or buy materials for setup. However, you can also save money if the client only requires a simple backdrop for real estate portraits, and you don't have to bring extra equipment.
For example, an on-site headshot session can be costly when the property or office is far away from your service area in San Diego. Doing portrait photography in Poway, an affluent suburb of San Diego, can add more than 30 minutes of driving either way. In this case, consider adding a travel fee for every mile. Meanwhile, you can waive off extra fees for a local real estate client.
Like in other niches, equipment is one of the vital factors to consider when setting up prices for headshots. Know that the more photography tools you use, the more complex the work becomes.
For example, a basic headshot would often require a camera body, lens, flash, lights, and a reflector. In some cases, you can add a computer and tethering tools for on-location portrait selection.
When shooting in an office or property, bring additional memory cards, batteries, chargers, backdrops, light stands, and external lights. Likewise, it would be best to use a sturdy bag to keep all of your things safe.
As with general real estate photography, professional headshots typically only require basic editing. However, you should ensure that the post-processing adheres to the right tone or look your clients want for their branding or marketing needs. You can ask questions like:
For retouching, you can generally soften shadows, improve brightness, and do color correction. Depending on your preference, you can also include removing stray hair or eyebags, makeup enhancement, or body-contouring effects.
On the other hand, complex editing work covers changing the background, adding graphics or text, and changing clothes.
One way for real estate photographers to know how much to charge is to take note of the season, as this can affect your shooting time and availability.
The real estate market is an all-year-round industry, as there are many people looking to sell or buy properties. There are peak months where a realtor would scramble to work on their marketing efforts, and this is a great chance to charge higher or add rush fees.
Moreover, there are slow seasons where you can offer discounts or best deals to encourage potential customers to book you and pay in full.
Other real estate portrait photographers tend to overlook delivery when computing how much to charge for headshots. Turnover of portraits can have an extra cost depending on the method of delivery.
Standard delivery ways include sending a flash drive or CD. However, a much better way would be sending the headshots digitally through a client management program, Cloud storage, or Google Drive.
Aside from that, it's best to set a turnover time for the portraits. For instance, make sure that your customers receive their digital files within 72 hours. Add a rush fee should they insist to get the portraits earlier than your usual timeframe.
The confusing thing about creating rates is that sometimes you won't know if you're charging too much or too little. After seeing the different variables that influence headshots cost, we're giving you tips and sample quotations that can serve as ballpark figures when charging customers.
Take time in modifying the prices according to your needs and style as a portrait photographer; just ensure that the final rates justify the package inclusions.
Individual headshots are popular among people who want to establish trustworthiness and encourage realtors to communicate with them. There are times when a business or group gives flexibility to its real estate agents to personalize their marketing work.
You can give a great headshot even with a simple setup, and a headshot is the fastest way to capture a simple portrait as you don't have to travel or bring your gear. You can set a good price anywhere between $100 to $200.
Shooting a lifestyle branding style is more complex than a basic headshot because it needs to reflect an agent's character and aspirations.
You have to discuss this with the client so that you know how to plan the shot list. Hence, you must work on the concept even before the day of the job.
For this reason, a professional photographer can charge up to $550 as you'll be spending more time and resources. A lifestyle branding headshot is like a basic setup with premium add-ons:
Some people need a longer time, as well as more pictures. For the best value of $300 to $350, a deluxe headshot is like a level-up version of a basic portrait session.
As opposed to a studio setting, this one means traveling and hauling your equipment to a different site, so the cost can be anywhere from $375 to $400.
Holding a team photo shoot can be a better option for a business that wants a cohesive theme to identify its members easily. Having a single peg or idea also allows groups to show their branding, goals, and message through high-quality photographs.
The good thing about a group corporate headshot session is that you can offer a discounted package since several people will take part in the photo shoot. This is a great marketing strategy to encourage an agent to get a new headshot.
Make sure to know the number of people, as this influences how long you have to take pictures and edit.
While you can get as much as $375 to $400 for this, you may also make a customized package that fits your customers' particular needs.
The idea is somehow similar to the corporate headshots package, although some groups would opt for using their listings or new offices as background for the shoot. For this, one good way is to charge $85 for every person or $425 for a group rate.
As a portrait photographer, clients would expect you to have the best knowledge on how they can best look and project themselves in front of the camera. For an executive style, the main factor is to dedicate more time to each person.
There are various product and service add-ons that customers may want to get from your service.
A professional headshot is important in marketing because it's one of the first things people will notice. It's a good way to help represent an agent and influence how people think of a business. A realtor can use portraits for listings, websites, social media platforms, and printed materials.
A good way to help is to ask agents where they need to use the headshots. Make sure to help prepare a wardrobe that would make real estate agents look more like professionals yet also inviting. Furthermore, a professional photographer must create a shot list to instruct subjects when posing.
A real estate agent should get a new headshot at least every year or two to reflect the most recent look and trends.
Headshot photographers automatically own the copyright, so customers must pay for the rights for full ownership and use the files on social media and other marketing plans. While selling the rights is a great way to earn more, make sure to have a signed contract that details the usage rights.
Professional headshot photographers can charge portraits for as low as $50 for a basic photo shoot and up to thousands of dollars for complex sessions. A well-done portrait is something all real estate agents must have, so this is a good product to have in your photography business.
For those in the business of photographing agent portraits, what do you think is the right headshots cost?