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Where Is the Most Demand for Real Estate Photography?

Published: 03/11/2017

Jack in Washington DC asks:

I'm considering relocating my business (currently in DC) to either Miami or Tampa/Orlando. Do you have any insights on which market is harder to break into for real estate/interiors photography?
My initial thought is Miami may have more opportunity, but the sheer volume of photographers is also higher and I'll be up against the some of the best photographers in the country. In Tampa/Orlando there may be less opportunity, but I may land more gigs based on the quality of my work.

That is a VERY difficult question because it's very hard to get much accurate data to compare the markets.

But one way to comparatively measure the demand for real estate photography across geography is to use Google Trends. Google Trends tells you where search terms are being used most so if you look at the search term "real estate photography," then look at the United States, and then metro areas, it will show you the top 16 metro areas in the US where people are searching for "real estate photography." They are:

  1. Tampa-St. Petersburg, FL
  2. Phoenix, AZ
  3. Orlando-Daytona Melbourne, FL
  4. Seattle-Tacoma, WA
  5. Miami-Ft. Lauderdale, FL
  6. Atlanta, GA
  7. New York, NY
  8. Los Angeles, CA
  9. Boston, MA - Manchester, NH
  10. Portland, OR
  11. Houston, TX
  12. Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX
  13. Chicago, IL
  14. Philadelphia, PA
  15. Washington, DC
  16. San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose, CA

This ranking shows general demand for real estate photography because people google a search term when they are interested in a subject. This ranking may not show the ease of getting started in the area because there may be more competition in metro areas at the top of the list.

Watching this search term over time shows you how market demand changes over time. Back in 2013 Seattle was on the top of the list but not anymore!

Larry Lohrman

10 comments on “Where Is the Most Demand for Real Estate Photography?”

  1. I am from a generation that believes you can make it where ever you want to if you put your weight into it. Instead of asking where the most demand is for RE photography is....Ask where can I make a demand. All of these areas that were listed above are only the result of being seeded with pros shooting properties and then other agents realizing that if they want to compete, they needed to get on board.

    You could start a demand wherever you want. The only restriction would be the demographics, are there enough properties in that market to keep you busy

  2. Very interesting. FL comes up 3x and TX 2x. I would have thought that Los Angeles would be higher up on the list than listed as #8. Fascinating.

  3. I would think that the DC area would have lots of opportunity as many people move in and out as elections go by. It means working hard to get on the call list with agents that handle properties in the preferred neighborhoods.

    Any major metropolitan area is going to have a number of established RE photographers along with plenty of new people always nipping at your heels. You may want to see if you can sift through census data for population density graphs. The area I am in is lower density but the cost of living is low and traffic isn't a problem. So while I have to travel further (170 miles today for two jobs) it's all at highway speeds and I don't have much competition. The downside is that agents in the area are pretty cheap so I have to work harder at marketing to get clients that "get it" but I don't think that's really any different than having to run a marketing campaign to attract customers in an area with more competition. If it were too easy, I'd have lots of people hanging out their PfRE shingle to contend with.

  4. I live in Orlando so I will speak about Orlando. There are a lot of homes for sale here. But average prices are low relative to most of the country. This means you won’t be able to charge as much as you do in DC. I’ve run into a considerable resistance to my prices. For example I charge $150 for 15 photos or $210 for 25.

    Look at entry level housing listings and you see LOTS of photos taken by amateurs/agents using their cell phone. At the high end of the market cell phone images much more rare.

    Also, agents tend to stick to “their guy” or “their girl.” Meaning I’ve had agents completely uninterested in trying me regardless of my price or quality differences. I would say loyalty makes it hard to break in.

    On the flip side of my previous comments, Orlando is a growing area. Home prices are trending up 10% over the last year. It’s a beautiful place to live with lots of clean air. If you don’t mind 7 months of 90+ days and high humidity, come on down.

  5. I also live in Orlando. Yes, there are some high end homes here but the 'sweeet spot' is the $250-350K home thanks to the lower paying hospitality industry. While Florida did hit the list 3 times, the omission that surprises me is Naples/Ft Myers on the southern Gulf coast. They consistently lead in the high end homes and top performing Realtors.

  6. Wouldn't the better search term be: real estate photographer ?
    This search term denotes people looking for real estate photographers.
    West Palm Beach area where I am at is very competitive with many shooters struggling.
    A friend of my who shoots strictly real estate hasn't had a listing in almost two months from his realtors that were previously quite busy.
    I can't speak for Miami RE photographers but being bilingual in Spanish , Portuguese and even Russian would be an asset.

  7. For Jack considering a move to Miami: We've worked with Wyndham, Starwood Hotels and a lot of independent hotel brands in Florida. In Miami alone, we have a lot of night clubs we've shoot for, one them a former investment from Daymond John and Mark Cuban (EZVip). There's a lot more work needed for more night clubs and they require 360 and VR tours of the local area, too.

    We have a VPiX ADA (Area Development Affiliate) now based in Orlando, FL. Their office will coordinate the jobs flowing to VPiX certified photographers in the state. Right now we have 17. We need 25 more at least.

    Please reach out to Stephen Moniz for more information, as he is the director for all of leads flowing into the Florida market. They are just now setting his VPiX territory and website. He will need high-calibre talent to: and he can get you the details of shoots in the Dade County area, including South Beach, Aventura, etc.

  8. I tend to agree with Jerry Miller on the issue of demand. We're in an area that's down at the bottom of the list yet we've been able to establish a demand based on our marketing, quality work, and personalized service. This can be done anywhere but I would not relocate just to get into a better area.
    Jack in DC is primarily interested in whether Miami or Orlando/Tampa would be better. It all depends on where you want to be. I spent time in Miami doing business in TV media. Perhaps do some market research by contacting real estate professionals in Miami and Orlando/Tampa areas to see what kind of response you get. I still get emails from Broker/Owners in Miami/Dade who keep in touch in w/me in the event I decide come down. If you envision shooting high rise apt bldngs along the ocean I would recommend Miami. Lots of activity down there. Also lots of drone aerials going on. PlatinumHDTV used to have a branch in Miami, not sure if they still do. Do your homework and then decide where to relocate. Good luck!

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