Author: Colin Forte
The amount of time spent on a real estate shoot and the edit should be relative to the cost of services provided. Most photography services offered to real estate agents tend to be at the lower end of the pricing scale. It would not be realistic for any real estate agent to expect photos returned to them at the same quality they would see in Architectural Digest magazine. As some of you may know, Architectural Digest can pay a professional photographer thousands of dollars to shoot a property that they will showcase in their magazine. For that kind of money, the photographer will bring in plenty of lights, do extensive staging, window scrims to block the sun in certain areas, and maybe even a designer or two. They may spend the entire day at the shoot from dawn to dusk because Architectural Digest demands "perfect" photos and are willing to pay for them. That's the time when a photographer must "sweat the small stuff" because they are getting paid to do so.
However, shooting and editing homes for real estate agents is and should be a different process because most agents have budgetary constraints. Their budget usually ranges somewhere between $100 and $400 for a real estate photography shoot. Therefore, the pricing dictates that you should provide them with a "great" photo, not a "perfect" photo.
When editing photos for real estate agents, if you find yourself having to zoom in a few times on an image to see something that you can't see when looking at the photo at 100% resolution and you start fixing it, most likely you are sweating the small stuff. Sweating the small stuff is costing you money because it's extra editing that you are not getting paid to do. As the old saying goes, "time is money," and if you're not getting paid for your time, then you are charitably giving away money. It's better not to lose sight that you are running a business and not a charity; your bank balance will thank you for it.
So when your real estate photos look great, stop sweating the small stuff and stop right there. Unless of course, you are charging thousands of dollars for your real estate shoots.
Colin is the owner of Hometakes and CEO of PhotoAndVideoEdits.com, a market leader in real estate photo and video editing for photographers. With experience as a successful real estate agent, photographer, and founder of a photo/video editing company, he brings an extensive skillset and diverse knowledge base to the PFRE community.