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Let’s talk business tips for real estate photographers. You already know how to take real estate photos, it’s the real estate photography business tips that we want to spend a little time on for this article.
Many of the tips for real estate photography businesses are similar to what works for most small businesses. In many ways, photography is a commodity just like selling baked goods or a service similar to being an insurance agent.
Educate the Client
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One of the basics I’ve noticed when discussing photography work with new clients is that many non photographers have somewhat unrealistic expectations of what is delivered and when. This is different from selling fine art photography because real estate photography is a service that supplies a product and not simply a product unto itself.
So, we need to make sure that the client knows what they are receiving as images and the timetable for delivery. Which is why offering real estate photography packages is an excellent idea. Along with describing our packages, it’s also a good idea to list a standard delivery timetable.
One of the other important business tips for real estate photographers that concerns educating our clients is making sure that they know the level of post processing that we will provide. Our standard image clean up and bracket and merge will look fantastic without greatly reworking an image with Photoshop.
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Networking is a fact of life for small businesses that want to grow. As a real estate photographer, it’s beneficial to network with other businesses that are related to or used by real estate businesses.
Just as a wedding photographer would want to network with businesses like caterers or florists, a real estate photographer would network with cleaning services, lawn companies, remodelers, appliance repair, insurance agents, or financial services.
As to exactly how we network with these types of businesses, consider what we might be able to offer them and what we might want for our end of the bargain. Sometimes this may require going beyond real estate photography and maybe offer family portraits or professional headshots as our end.
Simplify the Workflow
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A vital aspect of real estate photography tips for our business concerns our workflow. Having a generalized plan of action for our capturing the images and processing them lets us standardize on a method that will work for us.
Simplifying workflow can have major implications for us since doing so will help us create consistency, speed up our delivery, and hopefully increase our profits.
One method that I have found to work wonders in these regards is the bracket and merge technique of HDR photography. Here’s a nice video tutorial that helps explain what it is, how to do it, and why it works well for real estate photography.
You relate this tip to the first of our business tips for real estate photographers to show a new client or a prospective one the type of images you can provide for their listings. Bracket and merge has become a standard method for many real estate photographers and it also works well for other photography we may offer such as product photography or as part of our approach to fine art photography.
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This concept relates to the business tips for real estate photography concerning pricing, packages, and educating our clients or prospects. Valuable extras in real estate photography might include virtual staging, twilight images, an extra level of post processing, or drone photography.
Virtual staging is done in the computer, adding virtual furniture to a vacant home. The rendering software is relatively simple to learn and has a lot in common with graphic design and interior decorating.
Twilight images make eye-catching beauty shots for a listing, though you do need to be sure to make them worth your while since it will require being on location either early in the morning or late at night. The bracket and merge technique makes this technique possible.
If you’re comfortable enough with post processing programs like Adobe Photoshop, you might be able to provide a higher level of processing such as adding clouds or other sky effects, fixing small bare spots in an otherwise perfect lawn, or other small fixes. The caution is to not alter the property so much as it is to subtly enhance the positives. Think of it as Glamour Shots for the houses.
Ask for Referrals
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How does a business grow organically? By cultivating repeat customers and asking for referrals. As a business owner, we need to get over any lingering shyness we may have about asking for referrals. Actually, real estate professionals are usually very open to the idea since referrals are a huge part of their own business models.
This might happen without your active participation when you provide superb images, clearly lit, sharp, with straight, even lines. The real estate agents in the same office will likely be wanting the high quality you provide once they see it, but the only way to make sure you get a referral from another professional business person is to simply ask for it.
Other Basics Apply
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Other basic business tips for real estate photographers will apply. Stuff you’re already doing, such as doing a pre-shoot check to ensure a tidy place, having a shooting room guide so you don’t miss anything, ensuring the client knows how the images will be delivered such as by Dropbox or a USB drive and so on.
The most important real estate photography business tips are to treat it as a business, not a hobby, and provide excellent images. Add in these other ideas and you should be able to make your clients very happy.