Real Estate Photography...Help!

hunterosxAugust 20, 2008

Hello, Given the great economy, I'm about to lose my job of 20 years. It's very specialized and there is almost no chance I'll recover financially. I am a photographer on the side & I'm interested in Real Estate Photography for Agents to put on their websites or MLS or fliers for advertising. You guys know what I am talking about... I've seen some work in the past and always thought I could do a better and more professional job. So, My question is: Do you guys/gals use this kind of service and how much do you pay for it? Generally, what is included in the price? I appreciate your input... because it could be my next career! Thanks a million! Hunter

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What state do you live in?

I don't know prices, sorry.
1-I'm sure the MLS (Multiple Listing Service)has photo services & they would welcome more of them. Contact them. Find out from a local REA what the local MLS is. Maybe the REA can tell you what the MLS charges them.

2-Why don't you get a website specializing in RE photography. Cater to the local RE offices, all sizes, including moms & pops. Stop by & offer them your service.

3-New realtors need pictures taken. Offer that service with "touch ups" for the ladies. I know that for a new agent, ONE RE photo of their face in my area costs $119.

3-Hook yourself up with the local newspaper Sunday FSBO ads. Many FSBOs have no clue how to take pictures.

4-Offer packages & A la Carte photography.

Good luck & let us know how you make out. You have a niche, so put it to good use.

FYI- If you get CNBC, there is a program called "Big Idea" with Donny Deutsch. He's on at 10pm Eastern time. He's awesome & full of business & niche ideas. Many people like yourself seek his help on TV. You can Google his website & get more info.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 6:34PM
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Thanks! I love the big idea... I actually wrote him for some help. Thanks for the info! Hunter

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 6:51PM
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Sorry to say that 99% of all realtors I've ever met take their own pix. You'd be better off selling yourself to the sellers.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 7:18PM
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I agree that most agents take their own pics. I have worked in RE for the last 8 years assisting other agents, and the only ones that I know of that use a professional photographer are the ones that have extremely high end listings. I suggest you ask your question on the Active Rain website, which is frequented by RE agents.

    Bookmark   August 20, 2008 at 7:23PM
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Just to take photos for the MLS? Most people charge $25-50 in my area. I personally wouldn't pay just to have someone else take my listing photos, though.

You might want to contact a virtual tour company, though. What I normally do is pay around $50 to OBEO or TourFactory, and they send a photographer out to do my virtual tour photos. They also create a website and a flyer.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 5:38AM
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Just to take photos for the MLS? Most people charge $25-50 in my area.

That's about what I charge the agents that I work for to take pictures. My daughter is really into photography and suggested that I buy an expensive digital SLR camera and take some classes. I told her that I would have to charge more money than the agents are willing to pay if I invested too much in the equipment. I have a great little wide angle point and shoot digital camera, which takes very nice pictures. I often clear countertops and move other items in a room to make sure that I get a good shot. I don't know any agents that pay to have virtual tours done (except for the very high end homes). There are several virtual tour software companies that charge about $30 per month for unlimited virtual tours.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2008 at 9:25AM
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hunter I think it's a great idea. I've had a realtor drop her purse on my kitchen counter and snap a photo of the purse an dher keys. I've had them take a photo of windows when traffic was stopped outside - which isn't often but of course at that moment... I've seen silly pictures of corners of living rooms. Really. A pic of a guitar leaning against the wall. Huh? This morning I viewed online photos of a home and the Realtor's fingertip was in EACH and every photo. As a seller I would be really ticked off and demand it be removed and taken professionally. You could also consider the panoramic photos that show one room and where it leads so a buyer gets a better idea of the layout. As a buyer, I would welcome it. As a seller, it makes sense. And to help "stage" a room by moving things around or just removing some items from view would be helpful. Good luck!

    Bookmark   August 24, 2008 at 7:58AM
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So far good replies r coming, just keep it up, it would be helpful to me too.

Bill Consolidation

    Bookmark   August 25, 2008 at 10:53PM
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I explored the idea of making a business of taking RE pictures because so many of the pictures are awful, but I was discouraged early on by agents who said they would never pay for what they can so easily do themselves.

I discourage easily, so if the OP really makes a run at it, I hope he will let us know how it goes.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2008 at 12:34PM
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