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Real Estate Photographers Who Provide Floor Plans

In: 
Published: 20/03/2009
By: larry

What do floor plans have to do with real estate photography? I know many of you will be saying nothing! This last week I talked to two readers who are real estate photographers and offer floor plans as an add-on product to a home shoot.

Bjarne Haug ('Kris') showed me his 2D and 3D floor plans that he is beginning to offer as a product. You provide him with a sketch and he does the rest. Pricing is as follows: 2D B&W: $18. 2D color: $20 and 3D: $30.I'd much rather send Kris a sketch and have him do the floor plan artwork than spend the time in Adobe Illustrator... I'm a Photoshop guy!

Another product that Rob Hudson showed me is his do-it-yourself floor plan tour. DIY in this case means you supply the finished floor plan an the photos and create a floor plan oriented tour like the ones illustrated on Robert's site (www.ifloorplan.net).

So between these two products you could put together a pretty nice floor plan oriented home tour with still photos.

I was complaining to Rob that I didn't relish the idea of measuring a home for a floor plan while I was there for a shoot but Rob pointed out that, "...armed with a laser distance measuring device and a pad of graph paper and a pencil I can measure up in 30 minutes a small apartment. There is also some amazing software out there that works on a PDA or tablet and connects via blue-tooth to a Leica laser measuring device."

The bottom line on floor plans is that if you are willing to put in some extra effort into a floor plan there are agents and home sellers that will buy this extra feature. The way to look at it from a business stand point is once you've made the relationship with the agent (or who ever you are working for) and you are making the trip to the home why not have a whole variety of photographic based products to sell them. The more photo related products you offer the more you stand to make from a trip to the property.

25 comments on “Real Estate Photographers Who Provide Floor Plans”

  1. The prices are right, I have the site, it's just a matter of us doing the measure etc or just having a finished sketch ready so we don't have to handle them.
    So when a realtor contact us for a plan we usually need to do the footwork as well, hence the price on the webpage.

    Kris

  2. So are you saying that if I send you a sketch, you can produce a 3D floor plan for $30?

    I LOVE the 3D floorplans, and I think my clients would go crazy for it, but I have zero interest in actually doing it. If I could outsource it, I'd try to sell them.

  3. I agree with Scott.

    Outsourcing would be great. Buy for $30, sell for $60.
    But sitting in front of the computer for longer then I do already doesn't sound as fun.

  4. Does the agent usually already have the measurements for the property? Maybe from the home inspector?

  5. I looked into doing this at one point, but the broker at my wife's office was very worried about legal issues. Specifically the agent may be liable if someone uses the plan to rob the house.

    Has anyone heard of this before?

  6. "agent may be liable if someone uses the plan to rob the house."
    I have never heard of this before. I remember in the past some grumblings about thieves using 360 tours to check out what was worth stealing. That might be a problem, because with 360 tours everything is photographed. With a still, you can edit what is in or out of shot.

    Floorplans are almost elemental in the marketing of property in inner city Melbourne AU. I rarely visit a property just to photograph it. Our site, ifloorplan.net, that allows you too create a virtual tour product that combines the floorplan with images of the property, evolved from a desire to present the property in a clear and transparent way. And make better use of the material created on the visit to the property. And make a few extra dollars!

  7. Paul- The floor plan show was made by Kris Haug of http://www.papilios.com/ (his handle on flickr is "Mr Haug aka 'Kris'"). You can send him a sketch and he will make you a floor plan like that. I think he uses Adobe Illustrator but I'm not sure.

  8. I really like the 3D model, but what if your place doesn't have wood floors like the model above. For example, maybe it has travartine tiles in some rooms, but carpet in other rooms. Will the model be changed to reflect that, and still cost $30 for a 3D model?

  9. Larry - I don't thing this would be made using Illustrator, that would be to much work, it has to be a 3D program sketch up. I am just interested to know which program was used to make it.

  10. # Paul
    The software that is used it Autodesk 3D studio, the form 3dsMax and a VRay render.

    # Michael
    Pricing for the 3D floor plan is per floor, so it runs up with a 3 story building.
    And yes realtors often have the appraisers, but it's very simple (for the ones I've seen), no windows are present and it needs some additional drawings to make a full floor plan.

    These floor plans are off course not 100% accurate but gives the buyer a brief view of the house. For what I know is it only appraisers that can give a valid and legal measurement of a house, correct me if I'm wrong.

    Kris

  11. # Josh,

    No and yes, we strive after a simple solution so at this price we can't make complete individual results.

    Kris

  12. I also offer 2D and 3D floor plans as an add-on to virtual tours, and attach it to the tour. Some of my savvier agents will order one based on the property they are listing. I carry a laser measure with me and taking the measurements goes fairly fast. For my plans I use Metropix - fairly simple online program.

    As for the agent being held liable if "someone tries to rob the house" - that just seems ridiculous. The onus of responsibility lies with the homeowner to make sure valuables are secured before showing the property. Plain and simple....if they don't want others to "see" what they have, make sure it's secured and out of sight!

  13. I agree that it sounds ridiculous for someone to sue an agent because someone used the floor plans to burglarize the house, but I have heard of worse things.

    I think high rise apartments are a bit different, as the floor plan doesn't help them as much. However, for a surburban house criminals do care which rooms do not face the street and where the alternate entrances are. This information is even more useful if they do not have to case the property to find it.

    One agent my wife knows was recently sued because the owners went on vacation and the pipes burst and caused so much damage the house was deemed inhabitable during a winter storm here. The agent couldn't visit the house due to road conditions but that didn't prevent them from suing her. While it is true that people can take precautions to reduce crimes, people also do not like to take responsibility for their actions.

    Therefore it would not surprise me if a criminal is caught and confesses that he used a floorplan from the listing to commit the crime, a lawsuit would be headed the agent's way.

  14. Is there an app that works with the iPhone where you can enter in the measurements and it creates each based on the data you input?

  15. Erick P. This product (below) doesn't work on the iPhone, but PDA's and tablet PCs. It is not as easy to use as I would like but has the promise of measuring and drawing once and no more Illustrator, smartdraw, autocad or whatever you use. I agree with you though, I'd love software like this for the iPhone.

    http://www.orthograph.eu

  16. My company uses our own proprietary software to produce our floorplan tours. They are very popular and along with our comprehensive syndication package, 2D & 3D style-it feature with furniture placement, we can market the heck out of an agents listing. We price our product based on square footage and are able to price our products competitively. Here is a link to one of our tours.

    http://www.pictureplanit.com/in/3528hintockscr/

    You can see more at our website http://www.pictureplanit.com.

    If anyone is interested, we are in the process of expanding into other markets.

  17. We have a 3D Rendering Studio specializing in 3D Floor plans and Rendeings. Our capacity is to produce 100 floor plans per day. These are not metropix but are created with 3D Max software. Any one interested in Marketing 3D Floor plans? We are offering the Most competitive prices and Very High Quality in 3D Floor Plan industry.
    We are looking for Marketing personell to market our services.
    Please feel free to contact us.

  18. I have a question - I'm looking at including floor plans in my package, but I'm concerned about legal issues. Specifically, if I measure wrong, can I be sued by a purchaser because they relied on my information? I have included a disclaimer on the plan saying that it is not to scale and that I'm not guaranteeing it's accuracy, but not sure if I should still be taking out professional indemnity insurance. Any thoughts?

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