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What Are the Most Common Methods Real Estate Photographers Use to Deliver Photos?

Published: 16/05/2017
By: larry

DeliveryFred in Florida recently asked the question:

I have finally had my first real estate shoot after much work getting my learning curve down. I need to send the files to the Realtor but when I upload them to Google Drive, they are sent as individual images so you have to click on each link separately to view each one. Is there a better program to use so that the images all appear at one time or by clicking an arrow to go from one image to another?

There are a couple of ways to go if you want to stick with using Google Drive:

  1. You could Zip the images together into a single compressed .zip file. Both MacOS and Windows 10 have compress and uncompress functionality (Zip) built in. Then send the Zipped file to the Realtor via Google Drive. This could be too technical for some Realtors.
  2. You could also use the Photos functionality of Google. Upload the finished photos to Google photos, create an album and share the album with the Realtor. This may be more familiar for Realtors.

Neither of the above ways is a very professional way to deliver photos. Here are some of the more common alternatives for real estate photo delivery:

  1. Client logs into your site: This approach is a very professional approach for online delivery because delivery is via your personal branded site. However, this means you have to have a site that has this capability. Photoshelter.com is one example. There are many others. Basically, each client has their own account on your website where they can log in and download their photos.
  2. File/photo delivery sites: A few years ago there used to be a few of these, now it seems like there are hundreds. A few of the popular ones are Box.net,  YouSendIt.comPixoasis.com, Shootproof.com and Pixieset.com. All of these are professional ways to deliver photos and other large files. Many like shotproof.com are tailored for photographers. They are all in the area of $10 USD/month. With Pass.us you can deliver under 100 photos for free.
  3. Tourbuzz.net: If you use Tourbuzz.net for tours, it has a great built-in photo delivery feature that delivers photos in two different sizes. I use this feature all the time.
  4. DropBox.com: I put DropBox as a separate alternative because of its wide usage and the fact that you can get 2Gbs of storage for free. You can send anyone a link to download Dropbox files. This may be a good, free getting started service, but it doesn't look as professional as other alternatives.

Think of photo delivery as a promotion and customer service opportunity. Use delivery to present yourself professionally. For most of these delivery sites at around $10 USD/month, they provide a very professional delivery process.

20 comments on “What Are the Most Common Methods Real Estate Photographers Use to Deliver Photos?”

  1. I use to use Dropbox but I now I use Pixieset. I can brand it with my logo and email and i can track who downloads it. Each home has its own gallery which I can customize with a plethora of features also. It provides a very professional appearance as well. And it's free up to your first 3 gigs of storage. I never get that far because I delete the gallery as soon as the house is sold. I currently have 15 galleries up now that is using 1.4 gbs of storage

  2. I just send stills via email. 24 pictures at 1MB each? I just send 4 emails with 6 pics in each. Easy. Videos? I just post on Vimeo and provide link. They can download from Vimeo too. But I will check out Pixieset too.

  3. If you have you own website, you should have FTP access to upload media. Create a folder in the FTP space to put zipped files and send the customer a link they can click to download. The link will look like . It's a waste of money to pay a third party to do something that you can already do without spending any more. It also easier if all the client has to do is click on a link you send them and, like Larry writes, it looks more professional if the images are coming from your branded site.

  4. I use wetransfer.com with the same backdrop as my website. I want the client to feel that they are in the same environment and that they are working with me all the way through.

    website: http://www.360wickedphotography.com/
    wetransfer.com: https://360wickedphotography.wetransfer.com/

    I would like to know if anyone has found a suitable service. A service where after you have received payments (I invoice it out via Paypal) that the photos are automatically released by a automatic email to the customer/s with a download link. Where they can download it when it fits them. I would save immense amount of time to do it all in one hit versus doing this 2 step dance that I am doing now. Any suggestions?

  5. I use http://www.wetransfer.com. It too can be branded. I pay $120 a year and clients can also send me files through the service so it is a two way delivery. Looks professional and works well. And you can store the ZIP files there for a long time but you have to specify how long after the files are sent in the control panel for each transfer. I have some clients who jump the gun and commission a photoshoot before they have a signature on the contract so tend to leave the photos on the transfer service server until they are ready to actually use the images which in some instances can be months.

  6. I agree with Rob! WeTransfer rocks! Can send up to 2GB for FREE at a time, all zipped up and easy to download for the user. A wonderful find! I used to use Google Drive also, but the end users had too many issues. Everyone can use Wetransfer, even a caveman could do it (with internet access of course!).

  7. Another WeTransfer user here. I also use Dropbox but with the branded (paid) feature it comes across as a more professional service then just a Dropbox link. You can add 3 photos and an email screen and it lets you know when they download the files.

  8. I used to use Dropbox, but even with very clear instructions, some clients just could not figure it out. I've used Pixieset for a couple years now and love it. I'm not sure if I've had one client that's had a problem with it. It also shows me a record of who registered and downloaded the images. $99 a year, well worth it.

  9. When using Google Drive, make sure you're using the link from the folder and not the image itself. If you're in the folder and have all the image thumbnails on screen, click the drop-down arrow of the FOLDER then click share and allow to edit. Do NOT use the top right hand corner share option, that only shares the one file.

  10. Some of my most established highest producing clients use Dropbox; I don't see it as unprofessional at all. If a client has Gmail then Google Drive is a no-brainer - faster than Dropbox too - you just have to use it as @Brent Loe describes. Tourbuzz is good too but they do resize and that always sorta scares me scares me.

  11. Wetransfer is good, but I think smash is better... https://fromsmash.com

    I'm in the process of weening clients off Dropbox and moving everyone to smash. Can't beat it.

    Wetransfer and smash beat Dropbox imo because they let people know there's a time limit on downloading, which implores them to actually download. There's also no cleanup of the old Dropbox files, because everything just auto deletes after a week.

  12. I use tourbuzz.net for all my deliveries of just photos and tours as well. I upload images directly from
    Lightroom at one resolution. The interface is so easy for clients to use, I never have any questions how to use it. It allows clients to download images in 3 resolutions which tourbuzz creates, no extra work for me. It cost $3.00 per listing for photo downloads, regardless of how many.

  13. We use four methods depending on the agent.
    1. We have some agents with very little sophistication - we deliver on the free account of WeTransfer
    2. If the agent has slightly more sophistication - we deliver on DropBox
    3. If the tour company (RTV or TourBuzz) has a download the images capability - we use that as our main delivery tool.
    4. If the agent pays us a $25 fee - we next day mail a CD.
    The agents who use the tour companies love that method the best. Everything in one place and easy to access, upload, download, etc.

  14. I've found the Photoshelter website to be very easy for setting up private galleries where clients can do a batch download of the images. I upload a gallery for their printing specifications and another gallery for their website requirements.

  15. Zenfolio. On-line Digital Asset Management system. Like Photoshelter etc. You can have numerous different client pages, galleries, storage, contacts, sell via ecommerce. It sends a wonderful personalised email with gallery pictures, has smartphone, apple, android apps for you client.
    It also looks so much more professional that dropbox, box, google drive etc.

  16. I've been using ViewShoot for over a year. I love what Lance Selgo has put together. The best part ... clients can't download the images until after they've paid me online. There is a monthly fee for the service, but the time it has saved me and the ease with which my clients can access their files, payment, virtual tours, scheduling, etc. has been worth it.

  17. I use WeTransfer to send high-resolution photos to clients. The expiring link on the free version is helpful to prevent clients from thinking the photos will forever live on the site (this was my old problem with Dropbox...clients who, two years later, would ask why the photos weren't still there).

    I also store photos on SmugMug. They offer unlimited photo storage, so my high-res JPGs live here as a backup, and clients can also access the link and download from here if they choose.

    Sample SmugMug site that I've designed and branded: http://photos.suzi-pratt.com

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