- Stop Charging by the Hour
- Sit Down and Do the Math
- Learn How to Work Efficiently
- Think About the Psychology of Pricing
- Add New Services
- The Business of Real Estate Photography: A Comprehensive Guide to Starting your own Real Estate Photography Business
- Photographing Real Estate Interiors and Architecture: A Comprehensive Guide to Equipment, Technique and Workflow for Real Estate Photography
photo by Jennifer_Sharp via iStock
Real estate photography profits can be hard to come by these days when the economy feels so uncertain.
Thankfully, every lull in photography seasons and every lull in the economy provides us a brief respite through which we can learn new skills so that we can make money in real estate photography all year round.
Here are some tips for increasing your real estate photography profits that you can learn during this pandemic.
Table of Contents
Stop Charging by the Hour
photo by shippee via iStock
Event photographers can charge by the hour because the event takes a set amount of time. Real estate photographers should not charge by the hour because if you work a little more slowly to get the perfect results, your client may feel like you are just trying to get more money out of them.
Conversely, clients might try to speed you up to minimize your bill. Working under pressure like that will only lead to photos that aren’t up to snuff.
So, on your next couple of jobs, track how much time it takes you to complete them and begin charging either by room or provide a flat rate that’s based on square footage.
Just make sure that the rate you come up with is more than sufficient to cover your expenses and overhead while also allowing room for a nice profit. You don’t want to price gouge, but you also don’t want to charge a fee that’s so low you can’t live off of it!
Recommended Real Estate Photography Reading:
Sit Down and Do the Math
photo by erdikocak via iStock
There’s something called the “cost method” of pricing, which sounds a lot scarier than it really is.
All it means is that you need to track all of your hours you work on a project. Include driving time, time you spend corresponding with clients, shooting time, post-production time, and so forth.
This way, you will know what to charge for real estate photography jobs that only took 2 hours of shooting time but really took a total of 10 or 11 hours.
photo byExtreme Media via iStock
You should also do one more piece of math if you own a real estate photography business: figure out how many clients you could feasibly take on.
Would that amount of clients be enough to support you? Would you be able to support yourself if you were at 80% client capacity?
If not, you may need to do some more research into real estate photography business tips, because your pricing structure isn’t working for you. Check the Learn More links throughout this article for more tips on real estate business topics.
Learn How to Work Efficiently
Photo by Tranmautritam from Pexels
Your real estate photography profits can take a huge hit if you’re less efficient in your day-to-day, and since you are your own boss, it can be difficult to track how efficiently you’re working.
You need to be able to handle a lot of clients regularly if you’re living on your real estate photography profits by themselves. This means you need quick turnaround time, quick communication with potential clients, and you need to fulfill your promises.
So, try tracking your workflow. What parts of your day-to-day are taking you the most time? Can you cut down on that process to save some time?
photo by onurdongel via iStock
One aspect of real estate photography that can take up a lot of your time is setting up artificial lighting for interior photo shoots.
I’m a huge advocate of ditching lighting setups and relying on natural light and the bracket and merge technique.
Not only does this method result in less time spent on the job, but it also gives you more natural-looking photos and costs less because you don’t have to invest in tons of lighting gear.
As you can see in the video above, it’s a simple process, too.
Using the auto exposure bracketing feature on your camera, take a series of images of the room, each at a different exposure level.
Then, once you have your bracketed exposures, you merge them in post-processing. This is another area where you can save time by using special software that was purpose-built for this HDR technique for real estate photography.
If you need additional help learning how to work efficiently, then you could probably benefit from taking a course with Real Estate Photography Pro.
It’s a completely online course (pandemic-free!) that provides you access to a members-only Facebook group with a live Q&A every week, tons of downloadable presets and templates, and dozens of video tutorials.
The course was designed and built by professional real estate photographers with a proven track record of success. That means you get inside information on how to make your real estate photography business thrive from people that have been there, done that.
What’s not to like about that?
Think About the Psychology of Pricing
Derek Halpern’s video on the psychology of pricing walks you through something that can increase your real estate photography profits in no time: creating three packages for your customers.
You should have your base package, which is the least amount of money you’d be willing to do a job for and takes the least amount of your time. Then, you should have a goal package, which is the package you’d ideally sell to every client, but in reality will only sell to clients with more money.
Finally, you should have a package somewhere in between these two. This package is likely going to be the one your clients choose time and time again. It should include everything your clients need and be a good paycheck for you.
Add New Services
Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash
Have you always wanted to learn drone photography, but never took the time to?
Have you had a client ask for a real estate photography service that you didn’t offer?
Have you taken the time to research services that high-end clients want, like on-sight proofing so they can immediately approve the images?
Now is the time to add new services to your real estate portfolio. Diversifying your income is never a bad thing!