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Interview with a Real Estate Agent

Our photos serve a very specific purpose for our clients. They are probably the most powerful asset an agent has when marketing a property for sale. As photographers, it's easy to get caught up in the technical and artistic aspect of the work we do every day--that's the really fun stuff after all! But our clients--real estate agents--are managing a business of their own, and the service we provide and the photos we deliver are just a small part of their efforts.

In Mastering Real Estate Photography, I interview two different real estate agents in the Atlanta market and I ask them all about how they market a property; how they deal with competitive situations; and how the quality of their listing photos fits into their brand. In this video, I share an interesting moment from one of those interviews.

How do you work with your clients to make sure they're getting the most out the photos you provide?


3 comments on “Interview with a Real Estate Agent”

  1. The video above seems to me to be a self promo for his own photography. The the "Mastering . . ." A promo for his suite of tutorials for which you need to pay.

    So I am a little confused as to why this is here as a post. What is said in the interview video is hardly new to most of us; or is it? For my clients my work is part of their suite of marketing tools along with stagers, ad designers, and all the people they can call on to offer the best service to a client of theirs. But doesn't that go without saying? Stagers make more than I do as do the landscapers. We are all part of the team, but you can sell a house without staging, without landscaping, but hard to do without photographs.

  2. Hey Peter, thanks for your comment. It's posted to start a conversation. Yes, it's obvious, and I would argue this is the most important concept of our job. But I don't see the topic come up very often, frankly. I was hoping for more of a conversation here. I really am curious what everyone's approach is to making sure the photos are as effective as they can be for our clients.

    I do a walkthrough with my client, for starters. I need to know what they are leaning on as the main selling features of a property they're listing. In our market today, at least here in Atlanta, I might be shooting a house at a higher price point than what has ever been done before in a particular neighborhood (been in that situation several times now). So I need to customize my approach a little more for that listing to match the goals of my client and their client. My client needs me to think like that (and I also charge more for it). So, in this case I truly am a part of the marketing team, well beyond just showing up and providing photos.

    What do you do with your clients? How are you engaged with them as a part of their team? How do you position YOURSELF (not your photos) to your clients, or your prospective clients? It can't all be about the photos - quality is too subjective.

  3. I think it's a good topic. Most of my clients have been my client for a long time. Whenever I can, I also like to do a preliminary walk through. My prices are high enough that taking a half hour is not a big deal. During the walk through not only does it give me an idea of what I will be dealing with but what additional equipment I might need to bring with me. That's my side along with identifying things that the client and his owner could do to declutter, and otherwise make the property ready to shoot. I also supply a "How to prepare a property for a photo shoot" front and back sheet that my client can go over with the seller. Things like putting away hoses and gardening equipment, taking the family snap shots off the fridge and so on.

    But at the same time, it gives me the opportunity to sound out the client on what marketing approach they want to take, what they consider the selling points they want to push so I can make sure to get those well covered as well as those things they would like to minimize. This is good for me and value added for them.

    Plus it lets them feel that I am giving them my undivided attention and really servicing their needs. In some ways, being able to talk out their marketing strategy, helps them develop it by putting it into words. It helps set up a bit of a team work situation and helps cement the relationship beyond just photographer for hire. Also increases the chemistry if chamesitry can be achieved. I have had some clients where there is not chemistry and generally we are more like ships passing in the night and the relationship does not last more than a couple of shoots. Just the nature of things.

    I also make sure that I supply images both for Internet use as well as high resolution print reproduction and make sure they know which is which. I want to cover all their image needs. I also find myself doing some hand holding when it comes to working with video hosting and using video for marketing. But when the eyes start rolling, I don't push it. Most of my clients are over 50 and many have issues with wrapping their minds around new marketing technologies. The idea of using social media platforms is just too much new stuff to process. Not that I am any great shakes at it myself. But I can help they understand how to upload the video to Vimeo and YouTube and how to link the descriptions back to their websites.

    But you raise some good points. I realize I should also ask them how they do their marketing. Not just because I would like to know but it could help me make sure I am preparing and delivering my images and video to them in ways that will help them maximize their efforts.

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