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Archive 2013 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing
  
 
reedtess
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


Hello everyone,
I am hired to photograph homes, apartment complexes and architectural photography from a certain local company. I may also be required to take some video of the said units.
This would be my first time to do this type of photography as I am always a portrait, modeling, seniors, glamour, life style, wedding, landscape and some architectural(not paid) in the past.
I have so much confidence in my ability as a photographer for 10 years now so I feel I can do this.
Now,they're asking my desired salary.
Therefore, I'm asking any of you who has the experience on how much did you get paid when you started to shoot real state/architectural photography?
Thank you in advance.



Mar 20, 2013 at 03:28 AM
BenV
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


When I photograph homes 3/3 or smaller, its a flat fee. I add on a percentage based on square footage and/or rooms. Also, one thing you'll notice on this forum, you'll rarely ever get a dollar amount. It all depends on location and clientele, and what you think is fair.


Mar 20, 2013 at 02:39 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


+1 @ "What the market will bear"



A few things to consider ... the value of their time vs. the amount of time you'll put in. For some, the quality of the workmanship/images isn't as important to them, as the issue that their time is better spent on marketing. For them, they are very time/price conscious ... i.e. they'd rather spend 20 minutes with a P&S than pay you a wage for the time & quality. But, that also includes the need for them to spend drive time to & from that they often forget about as being a "cost" to them.

If they feel their time is worth $100/hr (arbitrary number) and you are saving them an hour's effort to do the shoot, then that $100 is relevant. They may not care if you spend two or three hours and give them BH&G style images ... then again, some will.

Which clientele do you aspire to work with/for? Bear in mind, your images will NOT sell the homes. Your images will NOT raise the value of the home? Your images WILL help make the agents phone ring ... or they will simply save the agent from doing the leg work. There are studies out there that suggest that homes with better pics bring better pricing, but I'm inclined to believe that the correlation is a bit skewed. I believe that better agents, use better photography, and that better agents bring better pricing. Better images, make better agents phones ring, better agents get better prices. Better images for mediocre agents ... still gets mediocre pricing. Know where the strong/weak links are in the whole process.

Understanding where the agent's head is on you simply saving them the leg work vs. your imagery making their phone ring with awesome pics is key to understanding how to price. It also depends on whether you are dealing with a broker or an agent perspective relative to selling vs. listing.

My biggest mistake initially was to think that they all valued the superior images ... not all do. I'd be mentally prepared to offer "run & gun" services (priced @ flat fee) or BH&G quality images (scale @ home value). There will be a significant difference in the two offerings that you'll want to either contend for in your pricing or simply elect to perform one and not the other, as per your intended business model. Just be careful not to get caught pricing yourself for one market, while presenting/delivering to the other. You'll either be overpriced and not get the work, or you'll be underpaid and over delivered.

All this of course, takes us right back to "what the market will bear" ... but the better you understand your market and its nuances, the better you'll garner an understanding of how to price your services @ quality of images vs. doing their legwork.

HTH ... GL



Mar 20, 2013 at 03:28 PM
james.d53
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


There is a definite learning curve on real estate photography.

I shoot these in the Dallas area and we charge a standard rate which includes X amount of images, but I always up-sell the realtor on homes that exceed 3000 sq ft. We add more images for a set fee per image. I also charge extra for twilight and for outside my immediate driving area.



Mar 29, 2013 at 01:02 AM
Michael White
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


I looked into real estate photography a year ago or so before my accident and there a group on Flickr that has some good info in the discussion side and great pix on that side.


Mar 31, 2013 at 08:16 AM
ScooberJake
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


Yep, the Photography For Real Estate group on Flickr is the place to be.


May 21, 2013 at 09:22 PM
cineski
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


There's two schools of thought from what I've seen and from people I personally know who do this type of photography: First is shooting for the architectural firm who designed the building in which case you can expect paydays in the mid thousands per location. Then there's shooting for real estate in which case the fees I've seen for this range from $20-100 per location.


May 22, 2013 at 02:25 PM
Scott Snyder
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


go here

http://photographyforrealestate.net/



May 22, 2013 at 02:27 PM
markd61
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


RustyBug hit the key points of this question.
You say you have been hired by the company to take photos. Are you an actual employee that will put in 8 hour days checking off the shot list? Or are they saying they want you to be "their" contract photographer and invoice them per job?

There is a big difference.



May 25, 2013 at 01:26 AM
Sleeping Bear
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


cineski wrote:
There's two schools of thought from what I've seen and from people I personally know who do this type of photography: First is shooting for the architectural firm who designed the building in which case you can expect paydays in the mid thousands per location. Then there's shooting for real estate in which case the fees I've seen for this range from $20-100 per location.


Yep, this has been my experience shooting real estate as far as Hawaii prices go.

Makes a huge difference if you are a contract shooter or an employee, who owns copyright, etc.



May 25, 2013 at 06:10 AM
 

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cineski
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


It's definitely an interesting point of perception from people who buy architectural photographs. In LA, both real estate agents and architects make a killing at this but only architects (artists) feel the need to buy expensive photographs. Although I'm not privy to the current lay of the land as I used to light big architectural shoots but haven't done that for a while. I know a few real estate photographers in different markets and they just don't get paid a lot because real estate agents, even the ones who rep top tier expensive housing, find no value in photos.

Sleeping Bear wrote:
Yep, this has been my experience shooting real estate as far as Hawaii prices go.

Makes a huge difference if you are a contract shooter or an employee, who owns copyright, etc.




May 26, 2013 at 01:43 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


cineski wrote:
even the ones who rep top tier expensive housing, find no value in photos.


In my experience this comes as little surprise. The good ones value their time trying to find sellers to secure listing contracts, and finding prospects/buyers to provide the other side of the transaction necessary for them to receive their commission (completed transaction)

For many, you are doing the legwork that allows them to spend their time doing the work that only they can do. BUT ... for those who are the kind that don't value their prospecting/marketing time, they will only see the images as a convenience factor, for which they really don't want to pay much money for.

Because the transaction of real estate ALWAYS includes the opportunity for negotiation, it is not a typical retail type product. Imo, this is important to understand. The value our images add to a retail product is more significant, because the prospective buyer almost never feels as though they have any opportunity for negotiation, and accept it as such. Thus, the price acceptance decision is more directly influenced by the marketing efforts to increase value.

In a more directly negotiable transaction between buyer & seller (cars, houses, etc.), the active aspect of the buyer is now dealing with the real product and the image of the product has little bearing on that negotiation. Thus, for the seasoned real estate agents that know that the value of the real estate is vastly dependent upon the negotiation, they do not place significant value on the images to be able to enhance the value of the property.

Suggesting that better pics increase property values makes a good pitch on our side of the equation, but, imo the reality is that a great pic will not impact value of a property, unless we are talking about a transaction in which the prospective buyer NEVER actually sees the property before beginning negotiations (as if that ever happens).

Instead, great pics will generate interest (greater emotional response) in the property than poorly lit, color cast images of the same property do. THIS is the value that better imagery brings ... it increases the emotional response to take the action to call the agent and set up a showing. It also helps minimize a property from being "weeded out" by keeping it from conveying a negative emotional response to prospective buyers as they cull through the internet.

Beyond that, the images have largely served their purpose and the remaining determination of the value of the property is in the hands of the agent, seller and buyer as the players in the negotiation process. The images are now OUT of the valuation/negotiation process.

As I've written before, I believe that better agents use better images. In this regard, there does seem to be a correlation between quality of images and property valuations. However, I do not believe that better images are the cause for the valuation increase. As stated before, it makes for a good pitch from our side, but I don't believe it to be true.

If you have an agent that believes the images are the reason for valuation increase, then you certainly can harness that in your pricing. But, if you have an agent that only sees the time that you are restoring to them as the inherent value to them, the you should likewise strive to harness that aspect of attaching valuation to the services your are offering.


You place a value on your time. The agent places a value on their time. The seller places a value on the property. The prospective buyer places a value on the property. When it comes time for YOU to negotiate a valuation (price) for the purchase of your next property ... are YOU going pay more for a house just because the pics were awesome? Or, are you going to negotiate the valuation of that property as best you can regardless of how awesome the pictures are? ... relative to market value, condition of the home and your negotiation skills.

I realize that I'm swimming upstream against the "pitch" that better pics make for higher prices in property values. But, finding seasoned real estate agents that truly believe that isn't always the case. Some believe that the value of the property is contingent upon the negotiation, not the pic.

Just something to consider.



NOTE: This is largely referring to shooting for real estate agents and individual property listings. Shooting for architectural / development marketing productions is a different animal, with a different dynamic at valuation as those properties tend to be sold more in line with "retail" and less "negotiation" impact on the transaction valuation.



May 26, 2013 at 03:09 PM
cineski
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


Rusty, maybe I wasn't clear enough that this is just what I see and hear. I realize every market is different but then again I know real estate photographers in more than one market. I know a few guys who shoot expensive properties locally (LA expensive is EXPENSIVE) and they're not getting good money to do it. I know a guy in another state who does it and he gets $100 per property and he's shooting nice properties (not as expensive as LA but of course point of view is dependent on market values. There's a constant complaint with all I know who shoot for real estate people in that they don't value good photography. They, too can't understand it because your points echo theirs and are very valid. The issue is real estate photography has become somewhat of a scapegoat for either existing photographers who need to earn extra cash or amateurs who have little to no experience but are unemployed and have a camera laying around. Real estate agents know this and take advantage (I guess what smart business person wouldn't??)


May 26, 2013 at 04:02 PM
Psychic1
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


I charge $100 for a real estate listing with a TS-E24L and 1DsIII on a tripod and I rarely spend more than an hour for the shoot and the post on my laptop in the agents office.

Architectural shoots cost $200 for the first hour and $100/hr there after.




May 26, 2013 at 04:30 PM
Wobble
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


Good pictures make a home sell quicker. Most MLS systems require the first photo be of the front of the home. It needs to really pop to entice the viewer to open the listing and see the rest.

The photography fee is paid by a Realtor out of their own pocket in hopes of getting a commission when/if it sells.

Staging a home for the pictures will take as much time as taking the actual photos. Look at your mantle over the fireplace and your kitchen counters. These should be essentially empty except for a few items chosen for the photo shoot. Home owners,and some agents, do not realize what the camera will see. You should see some of the pictures that real estate agents post and then they wonder why they are getting no activity on the listing.



May 26, 2013 at 05:56 PM
Psychic1
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


Wobble
Good point, I recently shot a home where the man was taking care of his elderly wife and had purchased every kitchen cooking aid sold on TV.
He filled 20' of counter and all I could do was laugh and take a shot.
Then we carried everything into the dining room, shot the kitchen and used the first photo to return everything to the proper place.

Reluctantly shot this sloppy house yesterday and then checked MLSLI for the photos listed and found the second shot online. House lists for $1.3 million.












May 26, 2013 at 06:10 PM
Wobble
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


Pshchic1,

Your first shot actually tells a better story of the open expanse of the kitchen along with the eye catching scene over the stove and then leading the eye into the adjacent breakfast area.

Notice how any flat surface will tend to become cluttered and you will need to remove it for your picture. It is hard sometimes to get your clients to realize what they will need to do to get their home sold. Once you get a Buyer through the front door, their first word needs to be "Wow!".



May 26, 2013 at 08:07 PM
Psychic1
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


Wobble
I could have included the breakfast area if the "RENTAL TENANT" had cleaned the area, but they are hoping the landlord does not sell it.
At $1,300,000 it is not going anywhere.



May 26, 2013 at 09:57 PM
Wobble
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


Trying to sell a home with an an uncooperative tenant is tough, especially to an owner occupant buyer that may have to go through eviction proceedings after closing. Btw, what's the rent?


May 26, 2013 at 10:07 PM
Psychic1
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Real State/Architectural Photography pricing


$4,000 per month, they are current and want to stay. The owner wants to sell.


May 26, 2013 at 10:50 PM
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