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Raising Your Shoot Price Can Increase Your Business

Published: 18/04/2011
By: larry

PeggysMessagePeggy Taylor, of Tampa Bay, FL left a comment on last Thursday's post that is just too important not to highlight for everyone.

First some background. About a month ago I did a post on Peggy's work because she was featured on Many PFRE blog readers complained at Peggy because she was charging $99 for a basic shoot and pointed out she couldn't be making money at that price. There are actually many out there charging, $50, $60 and $75 for shoots. Peggy's price was better than most. This whole discussion motivated me to create a cost of showing up spreadsheet and include it in my business eBook and do a post on the arithmetic and process involved in estimating what it costs you to show up for a shoot.

I had a discussion with Peggy and sent her my cost of showing up spreadsheet and suggested there may be some expenses she was not including in her shoot price. Some time later Peggy raised her basic shoot price to $150. And on Friday she made the following comments:

"When you raise your prices to a professional level, you will discover that Agents will take you seriously…the Agents who actually use professionals… and that is your target market as Larry has stated. When I raised my prices I actually picked up lots of higher end Agents."

"Since I have been getting the higher end agents, they have larger homes and want more images.  I have only done a few at $150. Most have been $185 to $225."

Wow! Peggy's experience is more graphic than I expected. It clearly illustrates that your shoot price is a factor that upper-end agents consider in recognizing photographer as a professional. This makes perfect sense. Agents hire lots of other contractors in the process of listing a property and can easily recognize someone that is not professional. Successful agents clearly know that professional real estate photographers need to charge more than $75 or $99 per shoot! As I recall, Peggy mentioned that several of her existing were wondering why she didn't raise her price.

Thanks Peggy for being a good sport and taking all the pricing heat from us all and letting me tell your story! I think this experience can be very valuable and insightful to other people! Oh yea, Peggy doesn't have bright red hair. Sorry Peggy, I couldn't find a lady with a sign that had blond hair.

7 comments on “Raising Your Shoot Price Can Increase Your Business”

  1. It is very true. i raised my price from $99 to $189. I instantly got agents that took me more serous. What was even better is those agents that I consider a chore to work with magically stopped calling me. Turns out the most needy and annoying clients were the ones that also wanted the cheapest price. Who would have though cheapskates would be hard to work with 😉

  2. Jason, believe me, most of my clients didn't even flinch when I raised my prices. My new clients never knew what my old rates were and are pleased at the starting price but usually order more than the basic. They tell their friends and voila... more clients at your new rate. I wish I had done this a year ago! I am phasing in some of my oldest clients but they will all be charged the new rates within six months. I have been booked solid since I raised my rates. I don't know it it's the market or the rate change or a combination of the two but I have been turning down work since I raised my rates.

  3. I am very happy that it is working out for you Peggy. I hope it continues to improve for you. It seems counter intuitive but it does bring in better clients when you raise your standards. Good Luck!

  4. Thanks Peggy, Been thinking about this post since reading it yesterday. Good idea to allow current clients time to adjust to new rates. In the process of deciding what a good rate would be (keeping Larry's post in mind too).

  5. Peggy,
    I am a photographer in Sarasota, which has many photographers. Many don't charge enough, which makes it hard on the ones who do. I am glad to see you brought your prices up to a realistic price and agents who want quality work will still use you.

    One of my friends charged $99, but when he left town and I took over, I raised it to $125, then to $149.99, and now up to $169.99 for teh basic tour. plus, I add $75 for an elevated view.

    You will be treated much better and get more respect if your prices are in line with your work.



  6. I've been an advertising photographer for 40 years, and began doing real estate about 4 or 5 years ago. I was appalled at the rates my competitors were charging. Why even waste the gas to get there at their rates, let alone use thousands of dollars worth of equipment, let alone your time, the most valuable asset. The cheaper you are, the more they complain anyway. The more they pay, the more they bragg. You might as well become profitable by raising your rates!

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