You may think that all real estate photographers are pretty much the same, but that is definitely not the case. Not only are you likely to see differences in the quality of the images that you receive, but also in the value that they offer. At the end of the day, real estate photographers are running a business, and to stay in business they need to make a profit and to do that they need repeat customers.  Instead of cutting their profits down to paper-thin margins, a lot of photographers will choose to add extra value in the packages that they offer. So you as a real estate agent may be able to use this to your advantage to help you win more clients. Look for services that may be on offer to compliment the photographs that you’ve just paid for. Ask your photographer if they offer aerial photography and videography, maybe they’ll offer you video teasers or 3D virtual tours. Another service you will find that some photographers offer single-property websites. All of these things will add to your portfolio and separate you from your competition. 

Video Transcript: “So if you’re a real estate agent and you’re looking for a real estate photographer, or if you’re a real estate photographer wanting to know what you need to focus on or what’s important. Watch this video and you’ll find out. Now if you’re a real estate agent one of the things that you need to look for when hiring a real estate photographer is price. Now, it might be attractive to see a price at super low, let’s say, a real estate photographer is offering five photo shoots in a month for 250 bucks. Now that might seem like a really good deal. And from your end it is a really good deal. Five photo shoots for 250 bucks a month. That’s a steal! Now, you have to look at it this way. Is it sustainable for the photographer. Or if you’re a photographer watching this, is that a sustainable price. If you’re shooting 30 photos in a month that’s six times to 250, right? So six times 250. We’re looking at fifteen hundred bucks. And that’s full time work. That’s 30 shoots a month. For fifteen hundred bucks. That’s not sustainable in this industry. Now if you’re a real estate agent and you do take this photographer up on this deal what you’re going to find out is, you know, two months three months down the road or sooner, you’re going to find yourself looking for another photographer because either that photographer doesn’t provide very good work or they’re out of business because it’s just way too cheap for them. You also have to look at it in this way.

You’re a real estate agent you’re asking your clients to pay 6 percent, 3 percent for the sale, 3 percent for the buy. That’s a lot of money. And if you go cheap on that what does that tell your client. That you’re basically not holding your own value. You’re requesting them to pay a premium price to sell their home. But yet you won’t pay a premium price for the photos. Granted in the area that you’re in homes might be flying off the shelf, which is great. You know that’s good business for you. But at the same time you have to look at those photos as being a portfolio during downtime. Now during the downtime, when homes aren’t selling as fast, what are you going to show to your clients that gives you the competitive edge against the other agents? And if it’s not your photos then what is it? Now the photo package I offer, the real estate marketing package includes advance HDR images, aerial images, and also a slideshow video with licensed music. Now with these images and with the video you can build your portfolio so that way, during downtime, you have something to show your clients.

Now if you’re a real estate photographer look at your price and look at the value that you’re providing. Do they match up? Now if you find yourself working you know late hours in the night and you’re charging you know a hundred dollars for the shoot, that does not compensate. You need to look for a price that’s sustainable. That will help support you through this profession.

And that brings me to my next point the portfolio. Me, personally, I don’t build a portfolio of clients that I’ve serviced. I build basically credibility through the videos I deliver, showcasing some examples of the homes that I’ve shot, but I would never promote a video, or I’ll never promote a shooting, or a listing, saying “hey, this belongs to this real estate agent”. Simply because I don’t want real estate agents to see who I’m working with. Another factor you want to look at when hiring a real estate photographers the turnaround time. How soon can they get to your shoot, because that’s important. And how soon can they turn around those photos or videos in order for you to list your home in a timely manner. You need to ask these questions up front. So for example in my business I do a 24 hour turnaround time on the photos in a 48 hour turnaround time on the videos. Now this varies depending on the workload. But generally I can promise a 24 hour turnaround time.

Now if you’re looking at a real estate photographer you need to ask them if their license or insured. Now if they don’t have insurance then if their tripod were to knock over a vase, or were to knock over anything and break it, or were to add dents to the walls, or do any damage to the property you need to ensure that the photographer is insured to cover those damages.

Also if they offer aerial photography or videographer and their package you need to ask them and you have the right to ask them if they’re a licensed drone pilot. Now the reason why is if they’re not licensed drone pilot and they’re flying the drone for commercial use, basically to make money or to help you make money, they need to be licensed no questions asked. Now if they’re not licensed then that is considered a federal offense according to the FAA. Now for my drone photography and videographer every location I go to, I pay for an on demand license to Verifly.

Now along with licensing, you want to look at the fine print and ask the photographer how you’re able to use your photos, because sometimes depending on the usage you do have to pay extra or you do have to pay a monthly or annual fee to use the photos. Now the photos can be used on MLS. That’s expected! But can they be used on social media? Can they be using your web site? Can they be used on video? These are the questions that you need to ask a real estate photographer because there might be some licensing restrictions there. Now for example with mine I give the real estate agent free liberty to use the photos however long they want. However they want wherever they want, so long I can use it for my promotional use. That’s a value I can provide and that is in the favor of the real estate agent because then they don’t have to worry about the monthly cost or copyright restrictions. And this is kind of the value I bring in relationship building is whatever the real estate agent needs, we can communicate that back and forth and I can roll things into the price or let them know how much extra time that’s going to that’s going to take for me to build something else. Such as another video, a social media post, a flyer or whatever it may be. These things are negotiable because this is a local business and I want to help the local agents.

Now if you’re a real estate photographer look at your other skill sets that you have. If it’s not just photography. What if it’s design, what if it’s animation, what if it’s motion graphics or video? What other value can provide in your price that can kind of be in a way for you to over-deliver to your clients. These are things that I’ll look at and I also question real estate agents on what they’re needing or wish they had.

So look at your skill sets and see what you can offer to the real estate agents in your area and real estate agents please don’t go cheap with your photographers because you want a long lasting relationship. You want high quality photos and you also want to provide the best service to your clients that that you can provide. “