Photography For Real Estate

Tips and techniques for real estate photography

Real Estate Photographer Web Portfolios

Posted by larrylohrman on May 29, 2007

I think is is essential to have some example work to show potential clients. In the process of adding people to the real estate photographer directory I’ve noticed that there are are folks wanting to do RE photography that either don’t have a web site or have a general photography web site with no examples of their work. OK, I understand so you want to make a few bucks with your photography and are just getting started and haven’t had time to assemble a portfolio yet.

Realtors (your potential clients) are promoter personalities and understand the importance of promoting yourself. So don’t be bashful, they love being promoted and will respond well to promotion. Promotion in the real estate business is primarily on the web so to be in the game you need a web presence. And there are ways to easily do this for free. At either picassa.google.com or flickr.com you can create web portfolios for free. But you need some work to present. How do you find some nice homes to photograph?

Here’s how to add some work to your portfolio and meet some of your potential clients in the process. Go out on a Sunday afternoon between 1:00 and 4:00 PM and find open houses. Tell the Realtor you are building your portfolio and ask if you can shoot some shots. They typically won’t mind. In fact they will probably be glad to have someone to talk to. Sitting at an open house can be boring!

Oh, by the way if you get some nice shots that you think are better than the ones they have on the flyer offer to let the Realtor use them. They may call you to shoot their next listing.

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12 Responses to “Real Estate Photographer Web Portfolios”

  1. How about a few short paragraphs on more comprehensive websites like smugmug.com or foliolink.com. It seems new hosting sites are “popping” up all over but which one is the best for our business model? MJ Northern uses foliolink. For those of us (in the intermediate group) not ready to jump to the several thousand dollar stand alone website, any suggestions? I have been using smugmug.com but I am always interested in the next level.

    Thanks,

    RLB

  2. Drew King said

    A simple website for a folio , with a hosting account & domain name can be had for around $100 to $300 depending on how you do it.
    Not high design but something presentable for clients. Most of my clients get a laugh out of my site because its light and simple…

  3. I think that BigBlackBag.com offers a nice site with lots of functionality. My favorite part is the client downloads section. I can give my clients a password and they can download their images (even high resolution), so I don’t have to deliver CDs with the image files on them. It is easily customized, and works well for my business.

  4. Some good tips there larry, I got my first portfolio together by going to display homes and asking if I could take some photos and I would send them to them to use. I made a lot of contacts this way.

    In regards to portfolios, I think you really cant beat having a simple website with some contact details, a blurb about your services and a portfolio page. You can get a cheap hosting account these days for about $4 bucks a month or even less, You can get a .com domain name for about $8 bucks. So if your seriouse about real estate photography you definatly wont mind spending some money. There are also some great free open source album packages around such as jalbum, 4images, coppermine or gallery 2. Just to name a few.

    I think gallery2 is great because you can download a small file to your registry that allows you to upload photos directly from windows (my computer) you just click “publish files to web” and follow the prompts, it even resizes them for you!

  5. There is a number of web2.0 portfolio services: http://del.icio.us/tag/portfolio+tool

    like http://www.carbonmade.com/ , http://www.slidez.net/ , http://www.leafletter.com/

  6. I didn’t know about that upload feature of gallery2, this is brilliant! Flickr does uses a similar feature, too.

  7. I have set up a gallery2 page at http://www.propertysnaps.com.au/othersnaps

    The good thing is that you don’t need to do a bulk resize of you orginal images, cause it does it for you.

    Its also a good way to distribute your images to your clients, although I use 4images for that, a modified version.

  8. I think that to be taken seriously as a photographer, you have to have a domain name. Using smugmug or flicker as your portfolio host just implies to clients that you’re a hobbyist.

  9. Yes, I agree, domains and websites are so cheap there is no real excuse for having one. I just recently purchased “photographyforrealestate.net” for $9.95/year (at verio.com) where I have my other sites. For another $11.95/mo you can get plenty of space to post Lightroom galleries.

  10. Without a doubt, you should absolutely have your own domain name. You should also have an professional e-mail address that reflects your domain name. I can’t tell you how unprofessional it looks to use a hotmail or yahoo e-mail account. I see agents do this all the time.

    Let’s face it, the latest surveys from the National Association of Realtors estimate that around 80% of homebuyers are using the Internet to begin their search for homes. While agents need to portray themselves as being technilogically savvy to convince a seller that they can utilize the Internet to market listings to the fullest extent, they also need to show buyers that they can efficiently navigate the Internet to help them find a home. That being said, if an agent fully grasps the importance of branding and utilizing the advantages that the Internet, they will expect you to be even more advanced in your capabilities…thus, they will be more apt to align themselves with others that will help them look good. If you don’t look good on your own, they will be skeptical about hiring you.

  11. Its all about smoke and mirrors! You can appear to look like a very big company for not much money. There are even services where you can get a fax number that goes to your email address for about $4.95 per month. You can also have a 1300 number that diverts to a mobile phone for only a few bucks a month. There are other services where you can appear to have a receptionist who answers your phones. I think if you appear to be a big stable company the agents will have confidence in using you, knowing that won’t disappear a month later. I have even written a company profile for my business. It’s very professional and outlines who we are, where we are going and what we do. I have this on both PDF and hard copy. At the end of the day RE photography can be very lucrative if done correctly, So its worth spending some money on marketing and add the finer details to your bussiness.

  12. As I have time I’m assembling “room-specific” slide shows of homes we’ve done virtual tours for. Kitchens; Great Rooms; Foyers. Should people wish to see the virtual tours of those homes, I can link directly to those.

    Oh my, so many projects, so little time. Now that I’m putting it in print, I guess I’d better complete this project!

    By the way, here’s a fun one that I just completed:
    http://www.realtourvision.com/tour/RE/tour.view.new.php?utl=RE-4935-K6IFIS-02

    Dawn Shaffer

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