Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

Promoting Yourself as a Photographer

Posted by larrylohrman on April 1, 2006

I know many readers of this blog are Photographers that are in various stages of building a business of photographing listings for Realtors. Janie from Indiana fits that profile and asks two great questions:

1. What is the best way to market myself to agents?
2. What should I charge?

Here are my answers to Janie:

Promoting your self:
· Website: Eventually I would have a website where you could display your work. Agents are going to want to see examples of your work and a website is the best all around way to display your work.

· Direct Mail: If you don't have the money to start with to build a good looking website another great way to promote yourself is to make some good looking postcards that have your work. I would use a Jumbo postcard (8.5 x 5.5"). I use www.expresscopy.com for creating postcards. They make postcards from PDF files you send them. I use their Jumbo postcards that are laminated on both sides. These laminated postcards have a very elegant, professional look because of the lamination. The way to build an agent mailing list is to use websites for real estate offices in your local area which typically have the address of the office and a list of agent names. Once you build the mailing list send everyone on your agent mailing list a Jumbo postcard with some stunning examples of your work about every 3 or 4 months.

· Referrals: Once you get started if you do a good job for agents the will refer you to your friends.

· Visit agents at their meetings: Almost all real estate offices have meetings once a week where all the agents come and discuss various things. Vendors routinely go to these meetings and promote themselves to agents. If this is your kind of thing I'm sure you could just call the broker at the various offices in your area and ask them if you could come say a few words to promote your product. Have some thing to had out like business cards or better a jumbo postcard that has examples of your work and your phone number on it. Use the Jumbo postcards like business cards.

What to charge:
· Of course what you charge depends on what your services are… I see a lot of photographers just shooting conventional photos and delivering about 15 shots to an agent on CD or via the web. To me these photographers are defining their services too narrowly. What agents need is not only about 15 shots interior and exterior of their listing but they need flyers and virtual tours (here is one of our recent listings: www.johnlscott.com/79059 Be sure to click on the "Virtual Tour" link and then the "more listing info" link on the upper right hand area of the virtual tour). For our listings I do conventional photos, double sided color flyers and a virtual tour. Many agents would like to have someone just take care of the whole thing like I do for my wife's listings. And would be happy to pay up to $250 for the whole thing. You want to focus on the agents that do "upper-end listings" (that is expensive homes). In our area this is $900,000 to $1,000,000 and above but what is "high-end" will vary with location. Seek out these agents and look at their marketing these agents are likely to spend more on marketing.

· I think you have to charge $100 to just show up at any given location with in about 30 miles of your home just like any other service you buy.

· A local photographer charges $199 for 15 web images and a designed flyer. You could also charge about .25 to .30 per flyer to supply the flyers if you have a color laser printer. I have a HP-4650 laser printer that turns out double sided color flyers for about $.10 each.
· Virtual Tours: As you can tell from my blog I like buildatour.com virtual tours that you can buy for $9.95 each. You could easily charge $20 or more on to that for setting it up for an agent.

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2 Responses to “Promoting Yourself as a Photographer”

  1. NYT said

    Great info– and lots of it!

  2. Ice said

    That’s really thkining of the highest order

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