Whatâ€™s the one industry that relies on images now more than ever?
People have changed the way they buy real estate. When they are ready to buy, they donâ€™t drive around or spend days going through house after house. Instead, they use technology to their advantage. They zone in on neighborhoods. They look through listings on real estate sites. They watch and look through virtual tours. They find what they think they like online before going with their realtor and physically viewing the place.
In some cases the photography can sell the property. People can be sold before they step one foot into the home, simply by what the photographer showcases in his work.
Yes, youâ€™ll see â€śamateurâ€ť agents who try and do it themselves with their iPhones. But these are the bottom feeders â€“ the realtors that are at the bottom of the industry just getting by.
The true professional knows todayâ€™s real estate market is controlled by the photography.
And the bigger the house, the more they are willing to pay for quality work.
Which is where you come in. Can you make money as a real estate photographer? Definitely. Houses go on and off the market every day. People need real estate photography for all sorts of things:
- A new homebuilder needs promotional images.
- A custom builder needs to showcase his style.
- A realtor needs to showcase her current listings â€“ residential and commercial.
- Interior designers need to showcase the work they do in a room.
- Home vendors need professional images for their marketing â€“ think custom stair builders, fireplace mantels, mural painters, custom cabinetry, and more
With so much potential, where do you start?
Design your packages
There are many ways to go about creating your pricing structure. Start by surfing. See what other real estate photographers are doing. Think about what will benefit an agent most. Agents are busy people â€¦ if they are good at what they do. They understand the importance of paying someone to do it the right way the first time. They will pay for a lot more than just a few images. Theyâ€™ll pay for:
- Virtual tours
- Panoramic images
- Website creation
- Individual domains per property
- Twilight shoots
- Neighborhood images
- Video â€“ slideshows
- Craigslist postings
- Links to other real estate sites online
- Custom flyers and DVDs â€“ marketing pieces
Make it easy for your customers to do business with you. And as always, donâ€™t overwhelm. Make it easy for them to choose the right package â€“ the one that ultimately will make your business profitable.
Teach realtors about photography
Just like every other photography niche out there today, many people think their iPhone images are good enough. You have to teach realtors why photography matters and how they can increase their listings and bump up their profits just by spending a little more on their images. You can teach them on your website, your blog, your social sites, by hosting seminars and training sessions, and even though quick infographics that can go viral online. Check out this great one I found:
Education always makes my lists of â€śmust haveâ€ť, and this industry is no exception. Head over to sites life Photography For Real Estate or Real Estate Photographers of America and International, and learn all you can. They provide resources, tips and links to everything real estate â€“ improve a little every day and youâ€™ll quickly learn how to make it big within this industry.
Go to where the agents are
Agents are everywhere â€“ its one field in which you can find them just about anywhere. Head to a networking meeting at your local chamber and you can quickly come away with half dozen realtor cards. Stop by and visit broker offices. Join and/or visit real estate associations â€“ Association of Realtors, National Association of Real Estate Brokers, or simply Google your local community â€“ youâ€™ll find them in most cities and counties. Network with them regularly and start up your own mailing list to bring people on board with your packages.