Anyone doing real estate photography as a side gig?

SquarePeg

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If so, would love to hear about how you got started, if it’s worth it and what the challenges are?
 
If so, would love to hear about how you got started, if it’s worth it and what the challenges are?
I thought about doing real estate shoots. As an electrician I am often asked by real estate agents to fix electrical problems with a house so they can list it very soon. The work is almost always done on a semi-emergency basis and I am sure that their request for me to do a real estate shoot would be the same...emergency get it done now kind of thing. So, for this reason I am out, as they say on the Shark Tank show.
 
My two biggest non payment for service issues was with an attorney and a real estate broker. Not saying they're all that way but be sure it's in writing, what you'll provide and when payment is due.
 
I tried it, have a SIL that is a home inspector, so I thought I'd have an easier time to break into it. She set me up with some agents looking for a new photographer to do their work.

But now I know why they were looking.

Last job I did, I drove an hour one way to shoot a condo that was "ready to show" according to the agent. It was not. Boxes of crap still sitting everywhere, dishes in the sink. She expected me to move them from room to room so they wouldn't be in the shots. Wanted to know why I wasn't setting up a bunch of studio lights, bounce flash with a soft sock on it did fine.

I did the best I could, made it look clean and presentable, in my opinion anyway. She wanted hours of photo shopping done. Wanted to re-shoot some, (another 2 hours driving), etc.

30 to 50 shots and then she complained and finally told me she'd get someone else to do it. Even said she'd just use her iPhone.

And she only wanted to pay me $100 in the first place. I told her for that price all I could do was show up and shoot about 50 shots as is and hand them over. She agreed and then stiffed me anyway.

A different agent also only wanted to pay me $100, told her the same deal. I show up, shoot up to 50 shots and hand them over. I'm thinking it's one hour work tops. I mean how many different ways can you shoot a room, or the front of a house. In focus check, correctly exposed check.

Well, I show, she doesn't, I call, "oh I forgot". Reschedule, she's an hour late. I do the shots, do minor tweaking in LR, crops, exposure, etc. At this point I'm 5 hours in so I think well it's still $20 an hour so I'm ok.

She wants to negotiate a lower fee, like seriously. Took 4 weeks to get paid but did get the full $100.

My advice, just don't, the pay is very low for the work they want you to put in. You'd be better off shooting dogs or horses or even kids' sports.

After my experiences I looked at web sites for full timers doing real estate and even with 100's of shots, panoramic of the rooms, drone videos, heavy photo shop work, the most expensive companies were only charging $500. I don't know how they can stay in business.

At least that's what the market is like here, maybe it's different where you are.
 
I tried it, have a SIL that is a home inspector, so I thought I'd have an easier time to break into it. She set me up with some agents looking for a new photographer to do their work.

But now I know why they were looking.

Last job I did, I drove an hour one way to shoot a condo that was "ready to show" according to the agent. It was not. Boxes of crap still sitting everywhere, dishes in the sink. She expected me to move them from room to room so they wouldn't be in the shots. Wanted to know why I wasn't setting up a bunch of studio lights, bounce flash with a soft sock on it did fine.

I did the best I could, made it look clean and presentable, in my opinion anyway. She wanted hours of photo shopping done. Wanted to re-shoot some, (another 2 hours driving), etc.

30 to 50 shots and then she complained and finally told me she'd get someone else to do it. Even said she'd just use her iPhone.

And she only wanted to pay me $100 in the first place. I told her for that price all I could do was show up and shoot about 50 shots as is and hand them over. She agreed and then stiffed me anyway.

A different agent also only wanted to pay me $100, told her the same deal. I show up, shoot up to 50 shots and hand them over. I'm thinking it's one hour work tops. I mean how many different ways can you shoot a room, or the front of a house. In focus check, correctly exposed check.

Well, I show, she doesn't, I call, "oh I forgot". Reschedule, she's an hour late. I do the shots, do minor tweaking in LR, crops, exposure, etc. At this point I'm 5 hours in so I think well it's still $20 an hour so I'm ok.

She wants to negotiate a lower fee, like seriously. Took 4 weeks to get paid but did get the full $100.

My advice, just don't, the pay is very low for the work they want you to put in. You'd be better off shooting dogs or horses or even kids' sports.

After my experiences I looked at web sites for full timers doing real estate and even with 100's of shots, panoramic of the rooms, drone videos, heavy photo shop work, the most expensive companies were only charging $500. I don't know how they can stay in business.

At least that's what the market is like here, maybe it's different where you are.
That scenario sounds so familiar. I don't deal with real estate agents anymore at all, period. I tell them I am booked for three weeks and that usually sends them scurrying to find someone else foolish enough to deal with them. They do have a very bad reputation.
 
Whilst my wife was alive she was a solicitor part of her work dealt with the moving house buy and the sale
i would go to the property and do a full coverage shoot. Inside and out.
from there Mrs would make a display that she and her clients could use.
 
@Rickbb your post brought back unpleasant memories, maybe my experiences weren't isolated after all. 😁
 
Don't forget drone shots. Realtors drool over those.
This. Most agents want drone shots now, especially on SF homes where there's a yard involved. You can still probably get some work, but you'll miss out on a lot, and once they know you don't have a drone they'll go elsewhere. My recommendation would be to get a drone and learn it before advertising.
 
This. Most agents want drone shots now, especially on SF homes where there's a yard involved. You can still probably get some work, but you'll miss out on a lot, and once they know you don't have a drone they'll go elsewhere. My recommendation would be to get a drone and learn it before advertising.
There can be state/federal licensing requirements for regulation-size drones capable of decent images. On my side of the border, Transport Canada mandates course and exam requirements for licenses.
 
There can be state/federal licensing requirements for regulation-size drones capable of decent images. On my side of the border, Transport Canada mandates course and exam requirements for licenses.
Yeah, my son is federally licensed for this very reason. It isn't hard to get the license.
 
Yeah, my son is federally licensed for this very reason. It isn't hard to get the license.
Not so here. My kid did several courses with exams before a 3hr practical exam before licensing. Courses and exam were no cake walk.
 
Yes, all commercial use requires license.
 

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