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Author: Brian Berkowitz When it comes to real estate photography, the first thing that always comes to mind are phrases like “how big is the home?”, “what’s the listing price?”, “will the homeowners be there?”, or even “will the agent/client be there?” ...



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Coming Soon...

Real Estate Photography Contract Template Now Available From Shooting Spaces and Rachel Brenke (The Lawtog)

Published: 22/02/2020

Sponsored Post Saturday - Shooting Spaces

Author: Brian Berkowitz

Since meeting Rachel at the inaugural PFRE Conference in Las Vegas in November, we have been working with her to develop a contract template that real estate photographers can use to overcome some of the issues we face on a daily basis. During her lecture at the conference, Rachel stressed the importance of not only registering your images to protect yourself but also the importance of having a proper contract and terms, so you don’t run into legal issues.

We also consulted numerous real estate photographers in different locations with different business models to make sure we cover everything we could. The result of our efforts is finally available for purchase.

The contract template includes the following provisions:

• Service
• Booking and payment
• Property preparation, pets, requests
• Cancellation, reschedule, late arrival
• Completion & delivery
• Property & travel
• Independent contractor
• Photographic materials & artistic rights
• Commercial license terms
• Indemnification
• Safe working environment

...and more!

The contract is available in a word document, allowing you to adjust the terms specifically for your business and jurisdiction. Also, for a limited time, this contract includes a complimentary Waiver and Release Document which is an optional document you can have the homeowner sign to further protect you.

For more information, please CLICK HERE.


PFRE Disclaimer:

This is a sponsored post by Shooting Spaces – PFRE does NOT receive any commission or referral fees if you purchase this product.

Shooting Spaces and PFRE are online educational resource platforms for real estate photographers. Shooting Spaces or PFRE are not a law firm; therefore, should you purchase this product, it should not be used as a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Shooting Spaces and PFRE encourage you to seek the advice of an attorney for any legal or contract questions.

4 comments on “Real Estate Photography Contract Template Now Available From Shooting Spaces and Rachel Brenke (The Lawtog)”

  1. I was thinking of getting this but $399 is quite expensive 🙁 I'd like to know others opinion to see if they think this is something I should invest in. I've been doing this for now 18 years and I've never sent out any contracts. It may freak my agents out! I've never had any issues arise, well that I know of anyway.

  2. @Kathy, I agree with you. While it's prudent to have a solid Terms of Service statement and go over it with your clients, handing them a complex multi-page contract to sign could scare them off. Real estate is all about contracts and paperwork, but most photographers don't ask for formal contracts which can make you less attractive to do business with.

    My opinion, and I'm not an attorney, is to scale the complexity of the paperwork with the value of the work. Simple agreements for RE and more complex contracts for higher paid work. A contract is only as good as what you are willing to enforce.

    The listed contents are similar to what I use for my ToS with some exceptions. I consider my ToS as simply a statement of how I run my business and what I expect from my clients. Things like what happens if they cancel jobs at the last minute or fail to show up for an appointment. I let them know that I will photograph a property as-is by default even if I often make small adjustments to furniture or decorations and will move trash cans and distracting elements out of frame. Since none of my terms are something I will negotiate for RE work, it's not really a contract. My licensing terms are separate from my ToS as they may change from job to job though, again, I don't often do that for RE work. It's too much time for the prices I charge. If a client refuses to pay a cancellation or rescheduling fee and I can't convince them that they knew about that condition, I'll fire them. I wouldn't bother to take them to court for $200 which is why I also require payment up front. If I don't provide the number of images I promise and/or under-deliver on quality, the customer is likely to not use me again and may ask for a refund. Neither of us will be so damaged that fighting it out in court would be a good solution. That would change if it were a "commercial' job with multiple days on-site and large costs for travel, shipping, assistants and meals. The nature of the client could be a factor as well. Large companies might take advantage where a real estate agent doesn't have layers of bureaucracy to hide behind.

  3. It's been my experience that a rigid and lengthy contract has a place in RE photography, notably in two areas. Otherwise I think a ToS clearly directed and stated along with taking payment up front or before delivering photos gets the job done. The two areas I think contracts make the most sense:

    1. Ongoing collaboration with a brokerage as a whole. If you're working with a new brokerage a contract signed by the owner, manager, broker, or marketing director may sometimes be necessary. Especially if you are providing a unique bundle of services with exclusive pricing or if the brokerage is paying the bill for the agents.

    2. A large property with a high price tag, especially with a new client. I recently photographed a huge estate (three day project) with a full bundle of services (photography, video, twilight photography, aerial photo/video, etc.) We had moving parts with staging, cleaning, scheduling for ideal exterior light. The client was from out of town and new to me, so I made sure they signed a contract and paid a 50% deposit with the remaining balance due on the day of services.

    Otherwise for my day to day agents with standard listings (charge a few hundred $ per) it just doesn't make sense to offer up and chase down signed contracts. As Ken stated, their entire industry revolves around paper work and they last thing I want to do is thumb through and sign more paperwork for a vendor. Worst case scenario, if an agent tries to dodge an invoice you can always just contact their office/brokerage. I've only had to do it twice, both times the broker was apologetic and embarrassed, the invoice was paid within a few hours.

    I keep a clear terms of services on my website. Every year I send an updated services/price list to each client I've worked with, and any time I work with a new client I send over that same price sheet. On that price sheet and on my standard invoice I send up front before each shoot, there is a link clearly directing to my ToS.

    While this may not be perfect or specifically binding, it's worked pretty well for me going in to year 7 of doing this full time.



  4. @Darren, great examples. If you get a job as the main photographer for a broker and either agents or the office manager can call you up to order service, a solid contract is a good idea. You'd need to spell out who can order service and for how much. You may also want to place a limit on the amount of credit you will extend to the brokerage. They could run up a pretty fancy bill in a week's time.

    I will do up to 3 jobs a day so a 3 day shoot would equal 9 average bookings plus twilight images, aerials shots, etc. I'd want a depost on that up front and a negotiated statement of work along with a signature on a contract. Both scenarios are much more money and much more time so any disagreements will be correspondingly more problematic if some agreement isn't hammered out beforehand.

    For both of those examples, it would be a good place to engage an attorney to draft a contract.

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