Peggy 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 agentgenius.com. 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.