“It is difficult to bring life into a picture without professional photographers as photography is an art of observation. It has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them. Photography business owners, through their imagination and artistry eye, perpetuate special events. The resourcefulness of high definition photographs helps companies sell their products and services, and evoke emotion through soul-moving images to create an emotional connection with consumers and hence plays a vital role in telling the story of a brand.” (designhill)
Some will say real estate photography is just a business, while others will describe it as art. We see real estate photography as a combination of both and to succeed in this field, you need to understand both the artistic and business perspective.
So from the business perspective, is there any demand increasing for real estate photography?
According to PFRE, buyers are continuously searching for properties to buy online. Usually, upper-end houses have professional photography, while lower-end homes have more amateur-looking photos done by real estate agents with their mobile phones. Indeed, the buyers are expecting great images of the properties, and here is where your talent is indispensable.
Now, we may have enticed your imagination and you are thinking about how to start this new photography adventure and especially how to make your business grow after starting it. In this short guide, we offer you 5 effective ways to grow your photography business.
1. Upgrade your offering
Here, the fundamental question is: who is your customer? If you want to expand the market and reach an increasing number of people, you need to understand what kind of services you could offer and how to do it.
But remember: the wider the audience becomes, the wider the range of needs you have to meet. For this reason, assessing the necessary resources to meet them – might be helpful.
The best way to grow your business is to create a niche sector where your customers are prompted to choose you over your competitors. For example, you could offer the possibility of excellent quality 3D tours or drone photography in order to attract new customers.
In other words: Be ready to re-evaluate your current offering by upgrading to new technologies – it might be the beginning of a new era for your business!
2. Network and cooperate
If you already considered expanding your offering, you are probably wondering how to find these new golden customers. The answer seems simple but it’s really practical – networking.
For photographers who want to attract new clients who will be genuinely interested in your service – networking is the key.
It relies on the organic exchange of information and ideas between professionals in the same field; it is also useful for getting people to know about you and finding new job opportunities.
For a small business, for example, it is an opportunity to develop relationships with companies and people with whom future collaborations will be possible. But how is networking done in practice?
You can find professional networking platforms online such as Linkedin, which creates networks based on professionals near to your location. Other online places to look for are Facebook groups, Plaxo, Meetup, or Jobster.
Otherwise, you can develop relationships in person by attending open houses if you are looking for clients in the real estate field, or in an event like conferences and expos.
3. Create an outstanding portfolio
A portfolio is a unique way to show your professionalism but also your creative side. This is the moment when you can impress your potential clients with your best work.
While creating a portfolio, first of all, enhance your skills in a simple and understandable way for your client. It must be simple and clean, the quantity of work is not as important as its quality: exclude everything you are not proud of and that does not represent your style.
Then make it original and diversified so that it shows your flexibility and availability for new projects. However, consider the use case of the company/client you are looking to work with. Commercial companies will have different needs compared to residential and for this reason, customization is great.
4. Be innovative and proactive
Think about the end-user and your client’s ultimate goal – to find the most interested buyer and sell the property. Anything new, innovative, and different might set their real estate listing apart from all others available out there.
Be the innovator or early adopter, attend courses, upgrade your equipment, offer videos or any customized services based on your talents and interests. These are only a few examples of how you can be innovative.
The more you show yourself interested in new technologies, the more you show you are being resourceful.
The aim is to personalize your service for customers as much as possible. 3D walkthroughs are finally taking hold in real estate photography. It allows users to virtually visit the building and to have a clear idea of it.
Hence, you will unlock a new possibility to grow your photography business. Be proactive, and show customers that they can have much more than just 2D photography.
5. Increase your income by offering floor plans
Without any doubt, a talented photographer makes beautiful property shoots but when one decides to step up the game and offer add-on services – he becomes irreplaceable.
One of the easiest add-on services to your photography package is 2D floor plans. It takes only 5-10 minutes of work depending on the complexity of the work and the output is a marketable asset that real estate clients appreciate.
These well-drawn floor plans show the space and width of the rooms, where the doors are, how they open, where the windows are, and consequently, let the buyer picture himself in that property.
For example, most active certified photographers take 20-60 scans a month and have been able to increase their monthly profits by $1000-$3000 with a small amount of extra work per shoot.
That is the reason why Eli Jones, from Norman & Young, affirms that floor plans are “One of the most profitable add-ons”.
If add-on services, such as providing floor plans, still leave you puzzled you can learn from fellow photographers as well.
Tacey Jungman, the owner of Snowberry Lane Photography, bases her work on the relationship with clients and therefore seeks new services to satisfy their every need. She has increased her revenue by using floor plans because with a single image she is able to show the potential of the house and buyers can get an idea about it even before the visit.
Tammy Dwight, a Seattle-based real estate photographer and community manager at CubiCasa suggests this pricing strategy to charge your clients for floor plans:
P.S: CubiCasa floor plans with dimensions are free in the US. Fixed furniture is the most popular add-on for real estate photographers and it costs only $15 per scan which makes it a very profitable service. Since we launched FREE floor plans, many photographers are able to create a floor plan on every shoot without investing in additional cameras. At the same time, volume discount allows the top producer photographers who scan more than 20 floor plans per month to be automatically eligible for a 25% volume discount.
With floor plans, buyers and agents can save time and avoid unnecessary visits to open houses that do not fit their needs.
Find out more about how CubiCasa can help you grow your real estate photography business. Book a meeting with our floor plan expert to learn more.