I've had a number of conversations in the last couple of weeks with people getting started in the real estate photography/videography business and of all want to know what do I have to do to be successful in this business? As with most endeavors, there's no one single thing that makes you successful. Rather, there are a number of success factors that are major contributors to ones success in real estate photography. Here are some success stories that I've featured on the blog over the years that illustrate many of the success factors:
These stories are great examples of what you can do if you set your mind to it, stay focused and are willing to put in hard work. All of these businesses are some of the best businesses in their market area. I think the important factors are the following:
- The market area: real estate photography/videography demand results from successful real estate agents which in turn results from a market area with plenty of real estate sales of expensive homes. That is, you don't get the same results everywhere; you need to be in a reasonably active market area to be successful.
- Photography/videography skills: You have to be able to compete with the best in your market area. So you have to know your competition and set your goals accordingly.
- Selling the right products at a reasonable prices: Cal talks about having to compete with a long entrenched tour hosting company that was popular in his market. This comes up frequently. Many listing agents are buying the tour as much as they are buying your photography. There are a lot of big tour companies that have been around a long time that agents are just used to buying.
- Your marketing ability: You need more skills than just photography/videography skills. Most will say that the ability to sell yourself is key to your success.
- Making the transition: It takes at least a year to get up to speed and be making enough to live on, so you have to have the resources to live on while you are building an income during this transition.
- Your work ethic: This is hard work, it's not a get rich scheme. You need to be up to working harder than average while you build your business.
- Your people skills: Getting successful business people as clients is a lot about being able to build relationships with those clients and being able function like you are a part of their team.
So sustainable success in real estate photography/videography is about being located in a good market area and mastering 2 through 6.