Real estate photography involves taking photos of residential and commercial properties to be used by realtors for property listings. The real estate photography industry is bigger than ever, thanks to most home buyers making initial buying decisions primarily based on online property listings. If you want to start a real estate photography business, the following guide breaks down the skills, camera gear, and marketing strategies you need to get started.
One of the main reasons why a real estate photography business can fail is a lack of proper photography skills. Before starting the business, learn the basic skills of shooting real estate images, such as using long exposures to shoot in poorly-lit interiors or creating window pulls using a photo-editing program.
With the right skills, you can exploit the full capability of your camera gear to produce higher-quality images that beat your competitors. If you plan to employ photographers or editors, you can use these skills to monitor the quality of their work. You can also search available real estate photography jobs online.
Like in other industries, the photography business has challenges and competitors that you need to deal with. A business plan can help you define your objectives and what you want to achieve. It can also help you define what your unique selling point is, or USP, which will help focus your marketing on letting your target audience know what makes you a better choice than your competitors.
In short, a business plan creates a guideline or plan of action, reducing the chances of getting sidetracked by other things. A business plan can also help you set up budget estimations and goals.
Generally, real estate photography involves taking wide-angle exterior or interior photos in poor lighting or cramped spaces. The following camera gear can help you take sharp photos with minimal image noise and distortions.
Considering that potential clients won't hire you simply by chance, consider building a portfolio where they can check and gauge your work. When building a portfolio, quantity is less important than diversity and overall quality.
Diversity means you portray the ability to take high-quality images of all the areas of the property. For instance, you can take several interior photos, exterior photos, and close-ups of objects such as air conditioners or kitchen cabinets.
You can take several aerial photos of the property and surroundings if you have a drone. Considering that you want your portfolio photos to be aesthetically pleasing, take photos of the nicest homes in your neighborhood.
In order to book more clients and find real estate photography jobs, you’ll need to get your business seen. Potential clients might not know your business exists without promotional efforts on your part. That means to land your first client, you need to reach out to the potential clients using different marketing tactics. Different types of marketing are more effective than others when marketing a photography business. If you are a professional photographer, you may not be a marketing pro- but that’s ok! Here are a few tips that can get you started in the right direction.
1. Set up your website with essential elements like clear messaging, simple navigation, an about and a contact page, your portfolio, reviews and testimonials, as well as a blog to offer resources to your clients and to help with marketing.
2. Optimize your website for SEO. SEO is a long game but starting out on the right foot will significantly benefit your business. Make sure to focus on local SEO optimization so it is easier for people in your area to find you when they Google, "real estate photographers near me".
3. Set up your Google Business Profile. This is a very important step in promoting your real estate photography business. When someone searches for a “real estate photographer near me”, your google business profile will show up. Filling this out correctly will definitely help get more eyes on your business.
4. Set up your social media profiles. Write a bio for all of your profiles and consider creating or joining local Facebook groups that focus on local real estate.
5. Collect Reviews for your Real Estate Photography Business. Collecting reviews is a crucial part of getting your business seen and getting new clients booked. Reviews are the best social proof that you do good work and that is what potential clients want to see.
6. Have a video showing your behind-the-scenes, or on-site photo sessions. You can give potential clients a feel for how you get your images and the work that goes into your process.
7. Pitch article ideas to local magazines to get local press
8. Network with local businesses that share the same target audience. Support each other by asking how YOU can help them
9. Support other local businesses by commenting on and sharing their posts in social media
10. Build your email list and send a newsletter / upcoming promotions
11. Create a referral program
If handling the marketing for your business is too overwhelming you can always connect with a marketing expert to help you with marketing strategies. In the beginning, the cost of this might be more than you want to spend, so you will want to use some of these marketing strategies initially to land your first clients, and then assess if marketing is something you want to outsource as a whole, or in part. Once you get your first clients, you will also build a reputation and increase the chances of word-of-mouth referrals.
P.S don’t forget to ask for reviews!
Setting your pricing is a crucial step toward building your real estate photography business. But pricing can be tricky. There is a lot of misinformation surrounding setting your pricing, so it is best to forgo trying to price match others and create your pricing structure based on research and tailor it to your specific business needs. Using a photography service pricing calculator is a great way to ensure that you will charge what your services are worth.
By investing in quality equipment, developing your skills through practice and education, using effective marketing tactics, and networking with local real estate agents, you can start a successful real estate photography business and find real estate photography jobs. Remember to stay up to date with industry trends and continuously improve your services to meet the changing needs of your clients. With dedication, hard work, and a passion for photography, you can turn something you love doing into a thriving business.