Linda's Question: I had a question about business insurance and found your post from April 2010. I was wondering if we also need to be bonded, or if the business insurance is sufficient? I was thinking specifically about times we shoot in homes alone. Do you know the answer to this?
Answer: I've never heard of real estate photographers being bonded. That's more a thing used in the construction trades. Having a bond is like having up-front proof that you can pay a claim. Many MLSs have rules that prohibit contractors of any kind (including real estate photographers) from being left alone in a property that has a listing contract on it, that's why most listing agents will stay with you during the shoot. When my wife and I listed property in the Seattle area there was a NWMLS fine of $5,000 if an agent was caught leaving a contractor alone in a listing.
Art's Question: I wonder if any of you guys have ever tried these cheap, multi mount wireless (like profto B1), flash heads like this one: http://www.linkdelight.com/
It would be great for low budget architectural lighting kit, like the Yongnuo 560-III.
Answer: Yes, actually I know of several PFRE blog readers that use these things. Mark in Australia that's been promoting them and selling them to many to readers. Just last month I got one from him. I haven't had much time to play with it yet. I'd like to find someone that's been using them for a while that can write a post about how to use them and their benefits.
David's Question: I am a new real estate photographer and I have question about charging and licensing builders. Builders would want a set of photos for each of their models so they can use them for marketing on their web site plus letting the agents that represent them to place on the MLS. Since these photos would be used over and over for several years what does this community suggest for initial shoots plus licensing.
Answer: It seems to me when you are shooting for a builder that has multiple properties it's no different than any other property. You are licensing a set of photos of a home for the purpose of listing, marketing and selling that home. If the builder has 10 models you charge him to list and sell each of the 10 models - doesn't matter that each listing is done by an agent. If the builder is going to use the photos from one model to sell many homes that have the same floor plan, I would bill him for each listing he used the photos to sell... if it's over and over then maybe you give him a discount for subsequent listings since you don't to have to go out there and re-shoot each time.
Robert's Question: Has anyone ever used a Comodo Orbit Handheld Stabilization Rig for real estate video?
Answer: First of all you should understand that a there are two schools of real estate videographers, the school that does walk through video and the school that does cinematic video using using sliders, cranes and jibs. My perception is that the majority of real estate videographers do cinematic video. The reason for this is probably that stabilizers are so hard to learn to use. Fred Light in Boston, who uses a stabilizer said it took him years to learn how to do it well. I see that Fred, who may have invented walk through video, uses a the Freefly MoVI stabilizer.
Does anyone have stabilizer advice for Robert?