Shawn in North Carolina says:
The last time I shot real estate photos was back in the stone age of film. I'm doing my due diligence now as I want to start again (but in a part-time capacity, at least for now). I keep reading that during 2016-2017 the market was so hot, that homes sold within a day or a few days. Is there any evidence of how a hot market has affected the value of real estate photography?
Yes, this is a very hot real estate market right now but even in hot markets, buyers still search for homes to buy online. So I seriously doubt there is any less demand for photography in hot, low inventory markets than in slow, high inventory markets. Actually, you can see the worldwide interest in real estate photography by going to Google Trends and looking at the interest in real estate photography over the past 5 years. The graph above shows the worldwide interest for the past 5 years. It is very cyclical during the year but the overall, trend has increased. Google Trends also allows you to see the geographic variation.
You can get on sites like Zillow and analyze what is going on with photography in your local market. Just look at the homes for sale on Zillow in your city and you can see what kind of photography listing agents are using. Usually, upper-end homes have professional photography (because home sellers insist on it) and lower-end homes will have more amateur looking photography done by agents with smartphones.