I recently ran across a post from over 10 years ago on pricing and noticed that it is one of the most popular posts on PFRE. I think it is still true 10 years later.
I get a bunch of questions from real estate photographers just starting out asking for a way to decide what to charge. I think I've come up with a formula. It is:
Home Shoot Price = Furnace Repair Price x 1.7
First of all, when I say basic shoot, I mean a photo shoot that produces 15 photos of an average size home (around 2000 to 2500 SF... one you can shoot in 1 hour). Added services and bigger homes are assumed to be add-ons.
Here's how it works. You call your local furnace service company (preferably a company that is well established and been in business for a long while) and ask how much it will cost for them to come to give your furnace (or air conditioner if you live in a warmer state like Florida, etc.) its regular yearly service. This service typically consists of driving to your home and spending about 30 minutes cleaning and examining the heat exchanger, etc. My data is with gas furnaces, this could vary for oil, stream, or other types of heating or cooling systems. The idea is that furnace repair takes a similar level of technical expertise as a photographer... it's technical, takes some special training, requires some specialized equipment, and it takes a trip to the home. But in the two cases I tested, it doesn't take as long as shooting a home. I assume that to process a shoot it takes 1-hour post processing for each hour on site. This is what the 1.7 multiplier is for.
My theory is that a furnace company that's been in business for a while has figured out exactly what it costs them to travel to any location in their coverage area and what it costs to pay a relatively technical person to do 30 minutes work. If they didn't have this figured out correctly, they wouldn't be in business. So they've done most of the work for you, all you have to do is apply a multiplier to adjust for the fact that you are going to spend 2 hours instead of 30 minutes.
I've done this calculation for my home in Snoqualmie, WA (Seattle area--15 minutes east of Issaquah) and my home in Salem, OR (1 hour south of Portland) and it comes out as follows:
Seattle area: FRP=$130 so HSP=$221 rounded to $220
Salem area: FRP=$60 so HSP=$102 rounded to $100
So what do you think? Does this formula work in your area?