Question on Real Estate Photography

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by bdavis, Mar 31, 2009.

  1. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    A while back I took some photos of my girlfriends condo using my wide angle and flash. The pictures turned out really good and look very professional. When her realtor saw the photos, she asked if I would like to go and shoot another condo in a nearby small town. I really want to do it and she wants to know how much I charge. My girlfriends telling me I should do it for free to get my name out, but I think I should charge for my services, after all that's what professionals do isn't it?

    So my questions are, should I charge for this first time shoot? and How much should I charge? I'm totally clueless when it comes to pricing this kind of photography. Anyone else do this part time? What do you charge?
     
  2. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    Your instinct not to do it for free...was a good one. If you do it a couple times for free, that's what they will expect. As for what to actually charge, I have no idea. I've also been considering this. I'm currently selling my home and looking for another house, and the photos I took for our listing...are much better than 95% of the photos on the other listings.

    However, I've recently heard from a few photographers, that most realators are pretty cheap and don't want to pay much for photos. But there are some who do see the value of great photos...and they can be a great client for you.
     
  3. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    Thanks Mike, glad I'm on the right track.

    I had a feeling that most realtors were kind of cheap so I was thinking about maybe $25 a place or something. But that may be too cheap. Thoughts?

    I guess I'm just thinking that the photos are the first step in getting someone to look at a place and if they are really good then they can show the place for what it is and bring more buyers.
     
  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    My first thoughts would be $100-$200 minimum. Remember that there is travel time, shooting time, processing time etc. Then remember that these might be used for publishing on the web, maybe in news papers or real estate listing magazines etc. Then consider that the commission on selling a home is several thousand dollars. $25 is way too low.

    What a Realtor usually does, is take 10 photos in three minutes...snap, snap, snap. That is worth $25. If that's what they want, they can do it themselves.
     
  5. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    I see your point, thanks for the clarification. I'll email the realtor now and see what I can work out.
     
  6. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    I`m in canada...... but I structure my pricing on cost of the listing
    $250.00 299,000 and under

    $350.00 300 - 499,000

    $375.00 500 - 679,000

    custom quote on anything with a higher listing value

    sometimes agents will convince the customer to absorb this cost.... sometimes the cost is split.. sometimes the agent will pay

    these prices include moderate travel, post processing, and nontransferrable limited use license for 1 year....

    lots of p.p. makes this barely worth it.... exposure blending windows... pano stitching....cloning out junk...

    location time is minimal.... shoot mostly wide and correct with dxo....

    bring a latter with you.... top angle perspectives in small rooms, bathrooms can get you repeat business....

    it`s good to have a few off cam strobes to help out in basements and other areas.....

    also add windex, papertowels, pledge, and a couple of basic white table laps to your real estate road kit..

    you also need to get to the job quick and have the results quick....
     
  7. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the advice.

    Do you get a lot of business doing this?
     
  8. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Interesting thread... I just took some pictures of my dad's condo for his agent and she loved them and we started discussing future work potential...

    I guess the quotes include 1-2 pictures per room for the main rooms?

    I was initially thinking of a base of $100 + travel costs, which would give them 10 pictures. Any more pictures would be extra.
    This means that they could get a picture of 3 bedrooms, 1 kitchen, 2 bathrooms, 1 of front, 1 of back, 1 living room, 1 other.

    Or is this system just too damn complicated. lol
     
  9. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    I talked to the realtor and told her $50 an hour. That may or may not be as much as I should charge, but I'm just starting this so it might be a good way to get my name out. Plus, if I do good work, other realtors in her office will take notice, etc etc.

    I just have to do a few interior shots of a kitchen, bathroom, couple bedrooms and a living room. The travel isn't very far and I'm pretty good at the PP, so I estimated about 2 hrs or so making me total at least $100...I didn't think that was bad for a little condo.
     
  10. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    One thing that I was also thinking about was; who is responsible for the clean-up/presentation of the home? We all know that the photos will look at lot better if the room is clean and uncluttered...that should be the responsibility of the home owner...but what do you do if you show up to shoot a place and it's messy?
    For example, what if the kitchen counter & sink are full of dirty dishes? A pretty common occurrence in most homes. What if it's a messy bedroom or a dirty bathroom?
    Do you just shoot it anyway and end up with bad looking photos? Do you get the realtor or the home owner to do it...and wait for them? Do you do it yourself?
    Ideally, all that stuff is done before you get there...but I'm sure there are plenty of times when it's not.
     
  11. dEARlEADER

    dEARlEADER TPF Noob!

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    I don`t usually have issues with dirtyness..... most houses that subscribe to this service are showroom ready... if a place is a real mess i`ll call the agent if they really want me to do this (if the agent is paying).... if no i charge half for cxl..... this happened once.... if the agent is flipping the bill it pays to be straight up with them...

    poor taste in decorating is another matter..... i`ll usually clone out crappy stuff if I can.... i`ll also move things around in a room to show it better.... make sure your contract does not hold you responsible for inadvertant damage with respect to this....
     
  12. bdavis

    bdavis TPF Noob!

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    Yeah I'm definitely not cleaning up someone's mess, I have enough problems cleaning up after myself sometimes.

    I'll talk to the Realtor and make sure the place is clean when I get there. Thanks for the advice.

    I know you mentioned that you will sometimes move around the furniture, Do people mind when you start moving their stuff around?
     

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