Starting Up Real Estate Photography

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by LarissaPhotography, Jan 8, 2010.

  1. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Do any of you guys do real estate photography? How did you start out? What is the going rate for this kind of photography? Anybody do commission based?
     
  2. Big Mike

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

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    There was a long thread about this, within the last year or so. Maybe you can dig it up.

    I think that the general consensus (from photographers) is that there isn't much money in this, unless you are photographing the upper echelon of the real estate market. You can probably make some good money if you are photographing million dollar homes/properties, where the commission is big enough for the agent to spend good money on the photography. But if you think that the average agent is going to pay well, on a listing for an average home...then you might be disappointed.

    Maybe there is a market for doing some quick turn-around, shoot & burn type stuff...but that's probably not what you are wanting to do.
     
  3. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Most of the shots are now done by realtors themselves. With the huge number of low-priced d-slr cameras, affordable ultra-wide zooms, and easy software, the market for real estate photos pretty much dried up and blew away about five years ago, except at the very high-high end of the housing market.

    Talk to realtors in your area and see that they are already shooting most of their own stuff. Photography is super-easy now, and even a hack can look at the LCD and see if he got the shot he needed.
     
  4. CSR Studio

    CSR Studio TPF Noob!

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    No money in it. Even the upper end of the market. The agents don't want to part with any of their commission so they don't pay much. I had a realtor call my studio and want us to do a few of her homes. She wanted to pay us $50 per house for 12 shots of each house. It was all I could do not to laugh.
     
  5. themedicine

    themedicine TPF Noob!

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    the only chance to make any money in it is with 360 virtual home tours, and even then, there are already companies holding the reigns on this.
     
  6. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    You are better off contacting interior designers, cabinet makers etc. These clients pay well and need outstanding photography. As your architectural work grows there is a huge editorial market.

    Arguably; Real Estate agents do most of their selling in person at the location. They do not need great photos.

    Love & Bass
     
  7. C.Lloyd

    C.Lloyd TPF Noob!

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    Fixed.

    I used to do the PP of photos taken for REAs in Orange County CA, at a full-service print shop in Cypress. Agents would give us an address of one (or several) of their listings, we hired 2 part-time photogs to shoot the properties (3 or 4 per properties day) and then charged the agents for the mailers and take-away brochures that we printed. Our store provided the camera equipment (a D3 and lenses, flashes, case, etc for each photog to keep with them full-time) and paid them $100 per location. So they were making $3-400 per day, 2 or 3 days per week.

    Those agents were getting high-quality photos for their properties, but they were half-million dollar properties at least, usually.

    Agents selling a $90,000 home aren't going to spend $2-3000 on mailers and take-away brochures, like the OC agents would.
     
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2010
  8. LarissaPhotography

    LarissaPhotography TPF Noob!

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    Craig - thanks for the advice. It seems like that would be a pretty tough market to move into though. We started portrait photography charging next to nothing, and people didn't expect much. Then as our skill improved, we started charging more. It seems like the architecture photography world might be less forgiving of less than stellar work even starting out at lower pay. I'm not sure - was that true in your case?
     
  9. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are TPF Noob!

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    Bah! There are plenty of folks making money - if not a living -shooting real estate. Not just high end properties, either.

    The real challenge, once you've acquired the right equipment & software (and skill), is in the marketing.

    Start here:

    Photography For Real Estate
     
  10. craig

    craig TPF Noob!

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    Tough market for sure. Follow the money is my thought. Your book is good. I think you can pull it off.

    Commercial work was tough in the beginning, but my clients helped me a lot in the early days.

    Love & Bass
     

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