Cam in Ohio writes:
"I know this question has been asked many times before, but I'm asking for a different reason. I've been doing real estate photography for a few years now and have built up a great reputation for quality and customer service. In recent months, more and more clients have been asking if I will do video for them and as much as I want to satisfy their needs and generate new business, I'm hesitant to make the commitment. I basically have two major concerns:
1) If I say no, I'm worried I'll lose these clients to someone who is a one-stop-shop.
2) If I say yes, and my video quality doesn't stand up to the quality of my photography, I'm worried that I'll damage my reputation.
Any advice would be appreciated!"
Cam, this is a tough situation; one that I've lived through myself and no doubt, many others in the PFRE community have as well.
I'm a high volume shooter and have built my business on service and value. When my clients started asking about video, we had many discussions about budgets and expectations and it was clear that their budgets were not in line with their expectations. Like you, I didn't want to risk having my videography reflecting poorly on my photography, so I didn't want to offer video unless I thought I could maintain high standards. I decided to set my video prices high, right out of the gate, so that I would have the necessary resources to pay for the gear that I wanted and the education that I needed. This way, if the client was willing to pay the higher price, I could commit to the project and do a great job without worrying about the time constraints. This approach has had a few positive outcomes:
This may not be the right approach for everyone but it worked well for me. The experience I've gained from shooting higher-end homes spawned opportunities to shoot promotional videos for local businesses which have generated substantial revenue and in fact, these videos are quickly becoming a major part of my business.
Like I said at the beginning of this article, this is a common situation in the world of real estate photography, so I would love to hear how others in the community have approached it.