Are you among the lower-priced real estate photographers in your area? Do you feel afraid about raising your fees because companies might complain? We're going to see the average real estate photographer income, as well as tips on raising rates so that you can earn the standard pay or more.
In the United States, the national average for a real estate photographer's salary is $53,633. Salaries commonly range between $42,168 to $60,520, with a standard rate of $29 per hour. Some photographers earn about $20,000 annually on the lower end, while more experienced real estate photographers can make over $150,000 per year.
Those who are fairly new in the real estate photography market may not make lots of money right away, although there are ways for you to work on it gradually.
If you're not making any money, it's a sign that you also need to work on your prices. Before that, let's first take a look into the ballpark figures of your potential pay as a real estate photographer.
Salary ranges in real estate photography vary significantly according to your location. This may also impact aspects like cost of living, skill level, years of experience, operational expenses, and services.
These factors play a key role in how much you can earn as a real estate photographer. Make sure to weigh these aspects as you find ways to make photography a profitable job.
The cost of doing business is a major factor that affects real estate photography salary because it takes a huge chunk of your rates.
Working in the real estate photography market also has specialties, which can greatly influence how much you can possibly earn.
For example, if you are an associate photographer and you shoot on behalf of another experienced photographer, your average base pay might be around $28,860. Meanwhile, an assistant photographer may only earn $34,471 in 12 months.
In comparison, full-time freelance photographers who work with a steady stream of high-paying clients can earn up to $50,201 per year.
The pricing model you would use can also gravely affect how well you can earn. For example, rates according to square footage pricing give clients an all-in rate, whether for a furnished or unfurnished house. Properties with bigger square footage would equate to more expensive packages.
Hourly or day rates are also standard pricing systems. Although this is more beneficial because you can ensure you get paid for the actual time or number of hours you work for the entire day, regardless of type or house, or property size.
On the other hand, there are pros and cons should you prefer to base your real estate photography prices on the number of photos. If clients only need a few photos, you may find that you're better off setting an hourly or day rate.
Interior and exterior sessions are among the most in-demand types of real estate photography because it explicitly lets customers see the inside and outside parts of a house. In general, the bigger the property, the more you can charge.
Meanwhile, commercial real estate photography has a higher salary than other types because the work generally caters to large companies and businesses. You can even increase the rates if it includes aerial and virtual staging.
While headshots for agents overlap with the specialty of portrait photographers, having the versatility to take photos of people can also make you an all-around photographer. In effect, you can ask for a more substantial salary that's good enough for two jobs.
One of the things that greatly influence a real estate photographer income is the highly active competition in terms of the number of additional product offerings.
Granted, doing the standard job of taking interior and exterior photos can ensure enough income. However; some photographers go above and beyond in providing additional services to attract clients and increase earnings.
These are among the additional products and services that can show how valuable you are as a real estate photographer and noticeably improve your pay.
Real estate photography post-production can either be a simple or extensive work. Some post-processing jobs are time-consuming, while others only last for a few hours. The more complex editing real estate agents require, the more money you can get.
Typical editing can include things such as applying Lightroom presets, adjusting white balance, or doing lens corrections. If your clients demand something like replacing backgrounds or adding people in the scene, that means longer editing hours, and subsequently, a higher rate.
For example, basic retouchers might receive an annual pay of $47,324, whereas photo editors who can do highly advanced editing might earn a whopping $70,391 per year.
The mode of delivery varies according to the preference of your clients. Suppose you only use Cloud storage to send photos. If you shift to a client management software or website gallery for your storage and delivery, this is an opportunity to raise fees, and consequently, receive bigger pay.
Furthermore, while photographers usually need to set a standard turnover timeframe, offering rush editing and deliveries can also boost your potential earnings.
Real estate is among the industries that rarely sleeps, with people finding their next homes and companies looking for properties to acquire or rent.
The summer months typically see the peak selling season in most states in America. Consequently, this means agents or sellers would take the winter months as an opportunity to ramp up their marketing efforts, including real estate photography.
However, some brokers and sellers also prefer hiring photographers during the warmer months because of the weather. Hence, you can offer seasonal rates that can help increase your earnings.
If it's your first time, you can compare prices to see the market competition as well as the potential salary. However, you might not be able to determine your rates objectively because the pricing model of a different company might not be compatible with the pay you want to receive.
If you want to raise your salary, you must first review your expenses, then research the upper-end agents in your area. However, you need to be able to overcome your fear of losing old clients. Additionally, develop a profitable pricing list that supports your business management needs and professional fee.
One of the best ways to boost your earnings is to sell photo licensing. Keep in mind that you would be working with companies or agents who would financially gain from your images, so compensating yourself for their use of your photos can be a great addition to your payment.
It's possible that you're underselling yourself due to competition in the field. Another reason is that you might be doing more free photo sessions than paid ones. If you set prices that won't return your cost of doing business, you won't get your target real estate photography salary.
Real estate photography salary can range from $42,168 to $60,520 every year. However, your earnings may depend on your experience, skill level, and services. Make a profitable price list, take time in honing your craft, and search for the right companies or clients to market your business.
What are your experiences with raising real estate photography prices to generate more money? I know this works because they had reported an increase in business when they increased their prices.
Lastly, please take the poll before you leave! Remember the poll is about NET income in USD= Yearly Gross - Yearly Expenses. I thought it would be interesting to do a different poll (the one to the right) for this post that clearly polled Net annual income.