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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 10-22-2013, 06:15 AM
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Smile Help needed getting into Real Estate Photography

Hi, I have checked the photography forums here and got a few suggestions but I am a retired professional photographer looking to make some extra money. I have approached some real estate agents in the area but most seem to feel they can "do it themselves" with their cell phones. Does anyone know the best way to go about this or the best sites to visit? I live on the coast of North Carolina near Wilmington....lots of real estate goings on here for sure...I appreciate any and all suggestions!
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Old 10-23-2013, 01:20 PM
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Hey there. You should also come and look into the photography forum. I shoot real estate down in Florida. The best way to approach the camera phone reps is a couple of ways. You show them a before and after photos. If you don't have any, you let them use your dslr equipment let them shoot and process the photos (don't tell them about angles, verticle lines, WB, or color correction), then you do the same house shoot and process the photos. Of course your work needs to really stand out on it's own for this. But when they can compare two exact photos of the same room and see how much the difference is they are more likely to come around. Or if they are using the camera phone ask to take a shot of the same house/room and compare your shot with what they had for the listing.

The other thing is move on to other agents shoot for them. Once others start seeing that people are selling more homes due to the photographs you produce then they will come back around and start using you.

Finally if you don't have any luck with getting agents to use your work. Bypass them, go straight to the home owner. I have found this works just as well if not better. The homeowner has more invested in having the home sell quick and at a high price. Don't get me wrong the agent does so as well being that's how they make a living. However, a homeowner knows this was the largest purchase they will ever make in their life (9 times out of 10). Why would they want to showcase their home with crappy photos? They want their home to stand out from the other homes in the neighborhood, if you can capture that then they can hire you directly and provide the images to their agent.

I know obeo is a pretty big company that you can freelance for. Pay is not the greatest but it's a start. There is also Airbnb and Evolve vaction rentals that you can apply to shoot for. Again pay is not the greatest but it gets your foot in the doors, builds the portfolio, etc.
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Old 10-26-2013, 08:28 AM
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Smile my two cents

I am a real estate agent in Pennsylvania and I think the general consensus of agents is that photographs do not really sell a house. As a matter of fact, from an agent's perspective, you don't want to post too many pictures because you want the client to CALL you and make an appointment to see a house in PERSON. Location and price is what sells a house. I don't want to discourage you because you probably have a better market there but maybe you should focus on contacting the vacation home rental companies to see if they would be interested.

I used to spend my summers on carolina beach, my uncle owned the Buccaneer Motel. I believe they tore it down by our good friends at Cole's Motel are still there. Good luck.
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Old 10-28-2013, 09:50 AM
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I respectfully disagree. When I was an agent, pictures were very important in the sale of a house. If you have cruddy pictures on the website, they won't CALL you for an appointment. Buyers are very techno-savvy nowadays and will search the internet for homes that interest them before calling an agent. If you have killer pictures, chances are they WILL call to see the place in person.
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Old 10-29-2013, 07:58 AM
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I have to agree with Lorah and respectfully disagree as well.

Photos and now upcoming videos are helping agents in my area get the people in the door. The photos I provide have driven my sellers with an amazing increase in foot traffic from buyers who are just searching online and do not have an agent at the time. This increase in foot traffic means higher sales rates. They are even getting a full 6% of the sale in this market and pushing out over a 100 home average each year for the last 2 years.

Also, people remember photos and addresses. I had an agent who listed a home with very poor photos, cluttered, dark, etc. Well even after we took great photos the listing sat on the market still. We took a small survery as she captured the people who viewed the house with poor photos. Well those people remembered the address and the poor photos that were listed. So even when the photos were updated b/c they remembered the address and location they just skipped on by it again and never took a second look. First impressions sell, especially online.

I will agree to some extent that poor photos will sell homes. These are looked for and found by the bargain shoppers. A home that does not show well or photo well traditionally will sell for less. These shoppers are savvy and will specifically look for these photos to grab up a deal.
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:53 PM
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There's a company that hires you to take pictures of properties for them. It was posted on this forum a year or 2 ago. Do a search...it should show up.

I considered doing it but never sent my sample photos. They'll ask for samples of the front and side of house, pictures of the street, etc. You send them in to show them what you can do and if you're lucky they will hire you. I hear it's easy to get hired IF it's in an area where they have contracts.
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Old 12-30-2013, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharmgirl View Post
I am a real estate agent in Pennsylvania and I think the general consensus of agents is that photographs do not really sell a house. As a matter of fact, from an agent's perspective, you don't want to post too many pictures because you want the client to CALL you and make an appointment to see a house in PERSON. Location and price is what sells a house. I don't want to discourage you because you probably have a better market there but maybe you should focus on contacting the vacation home rental companies to see if they would be interested.

I used to spend my summers on carolina beach, my uncle owned the Buccaneer Motel. I believe they tore it down by our good friends at Cole's Motel are still there. Good luck.
I understand what you're saying but you want to get people to want to see the house. If there's crappy pictures of the house, buyers won't even give it a chance. I was an agent too. Another agent posted the worst pics ever...dark, pics of the beds or furniture instead of the room, etc. Never got a single showing so I told him I'd help. We took new pics, I edited them (didn't change anything just make the picture clear, brightened up the rooms) and that first day after we updated the MLS we got 5 calls! After that, we got a few calls a day to show the house and it sold. Those pictures got the right couple into that house. I could almost guarantee those people would not have wanted to see that house if they had seen the first set of pictures posted...it looked junky!
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Old 01-28-2014, 06:01 PM
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As a professional photographer, you should be able to assemble a portfolio of your best work and create an image gallery online. If you do not have your own website, there are many free sites where you can create a personal picture album. Then start advertising your services online (i.e, in specialty forums, free classifieds, etc.).

Besides Realtors, you can approach builders, architects and engineers who need professional images, or even property owners directly.

Another thing would be to diversify (i.e., you could do real estate and cars, boats, etc.).

Last edited by buysell-browse; 01-28-2014 at 07:45 PM.
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Old 12-26-2014, 01:14 AM
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You can show them the difference between your photographs and the ones they take with their cell phones. Tell them that it would have a positive impact on their business.
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