Aaron in Ohio asks:
I know most real estate photographers charge based on the square footage of a property but lately I have been charging a per image fee. It seems to be working but I have gotten some guff about it. I do this because some Realtors want upwards of 50 images for 1500 sq. ft. homes and 60 images on 3,500 sq. ft. home. Under the square footage model, the difference in price when charging by sq. ft. is substantial but the work load sometimes is not.
I find that charging by the image holds accountability on both parties and it forces Realtors to be more decisive instead of the "shoot it all and I'll pick the ones I like mindset". When shooting brackets for HDR, providing unlimited images based on sq. ft. and clients' desires isn't that hard but when you are lighting a house with multiple flashes, its a game changer. So my question is, does anyone else charge per image and does this sound unreasonable within RE photography?
Historically, everyone used to price on square footage but I think that is changing. I see more and more real estate photographers pricing per image which I think is a much more sensible way to price than square footage.
In one of our past discussions on this subject, Scott Hargis made the following great argument for per image pricing:
You can charge any amount you like, but the basic formula would be that the more photos you deliver, the more money you make. Your clients are perfectly able to specify quantities in every other area of their lives – they know that every candy bar they buy, every gallon of gas, every dozen eggs, is a little “cha-ching” at the cashier. They even know that every kilowatt of electricity they use will be billed, even though hardly anyone really calculates their electric usage that carefully. They’ll be able to handle the notion of each photograph being worth a set dollar amount.
I think that part of the resistance from Realtors to per image pricing is related to the fact that in the last few years many MLSs have increased or removed their limits to the number of photos they can upload to a listing and they think more images are better.
How many others are pricing per image?