Alexander Parnell's picture

Wanting to get into real estate photography?

So currently I work as a full time photographer for a company, taking photos and creating videos of luxury accommodation. I came into the job with no experience of interior or architectural photography but have grown to love it!

Im really wanting to move into doing a bit of freelance work on the side of my job, mainly starting with some real estate/property photos for estate agents. I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on how to get into this, and mainly how best to get in contact with some estate agents. It would also be great to know roughly how much people charge as well if possible? I have also recently been filming a lot of property tour videos which would be quite cool to also offer to real estate agents.

I've linked a variety of my work below and you can check out my website for the full portfolio of images and videos.

www.alexanderparnell.com

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10 Comments

Seamus O'Hara's picture

Awesome photos! I've been doing professional real estate photo and video for about a year now. I do a lot more video though and mostly 1 minute for instagram. Realtors here don't want to pay enough for photos as there are guys running around doing cheap HDR shots with no external lighting. I can't compete with that price wise so I've focused more on video for that reason. Because of my focus on video I've teamed up with more established photographers in the area to offer video for them. This and speaking with Realtors has been my best source of business. Often Realtors will stop when they see me outside with the drone shooting and will grab a card. My focus this year is to break into the 2 million + properties and start doing more photo work. I've been invited to speak at a brokerage with over 100 Realtors. If you're good in sales that would be a great opportunity to explain the difference between proper shoots and the cheap guys. I'm hoping that will lead to more high end work. I'm in Canada so the pricing might not be the same.

Alexander Parnell's picture

Thanks for the info Seamus! I don’t suppose I could see any of your property videos? I’ve found it hard charging wise as I don’t want to charge to little but then also don’t want to way over charge, I know it’ll be a bit different and I’m over in the UK but what kind of price are you looking at for these 1 min insta videos of houses?

Seamus O'Hara's picture

Hi Alexander sorry for the late reply! Here's a link to my Real Estate videos. I charge $200 for a 1-minute instagram video. I started out working for free and did about 4 of those before starting to find paid jobs. Now I have a small group of loyal realtors that call me for most of their listings.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCyWYGPSgHFyHutoPxUgVu3Q?view_as=subscriber

Rob Woodham's picture

These are excellent photos and should not be considered real estate photography. In real estate, you'll be expected to supply volume with quick turn-around.

These shots, however, would be excellent material for architectural and interior design photography. The standards for quality are much higher than traditional real estate shots, however you've hit that bar with no issue based on these photos.

If I were you, I would find some architects and designers in your area that look like companies you'd like to shoot for. Go out and find some of their projects that are accessible. Spend a bit of time photographing them. Get a shot printed, frame it, and drop by the office in person with a printed portfolio and ask for their marketing person and tell them you have a gift. Give them the items, your portfolio, your card, and tell them that you love their projects and you'd love to shoot for them and to reach out in case they need your services.

This kind of approach will net you clients as long as the gift, your portfolio, and your website are high quality and speak toward their needs which would be for high-quality photos delivered in a timely manner at market rates.

Best of luck and thanks for sharing the shots!

Alexander Parnell's picture

Hi Rob, thank you for the great response. That’s a really great way of getting in with some architectural companies and I defiantly am going to give it a go. Just had a look in my local area and there’s actually quite a range of projects and architects so that should give me a good start!

John MacLean's picture

I was going to say the same thing. Skip the cheap ass realtors. These images are too good for you to waste your time with them. Keep up the great work Alexander!

Seamus O'Hara's picture

Alex, I agree with these guys. These photos are better suited to builders, architects and designers. I've got some builders I work with and they definitely will pay more than realtors. I wasted a lot of time early on making sure my photos were perfect for underpaying jobs where it really didnt matter if I was using luminosity masks or not. Charging $180 for 20+ photos I quickly realized it's important to set an amount of time spent on each photo.

Red Whitenbleau's picture

I've been retired for some time now but it appears the market hasn't changed much based on Seamus and others comments. Mass market realtors won't pay much for photography and your work is too good to bother to market to them. Some realtors market high end properties and recognize quality photography as their marketing trends toward a different market. They will advertise in national and international magazines and need top quality photos. So don't count that end of the realtor market out. Also, builders have need for and will pay for quality photography for their marketing. Keep in mind that custom builders and architects who design custom homes have to keep their clients privacy in mind and often won't allow their projects to be photographed at all. I would advise you to price your work appropriately, do not come in at the lower end of your market. Great work! You should have no trouble finding clients!

Scott Spellman's picture

Given the quality of your work, I would also focus more on interior designers, architects, developers, builders, cabinet makers, marble counter installers, etc and other commercial clients where you can charge $200-400 an hour. I would create mailing list of all these businesses within 20 miles and start to mail and call them with your promo. Focus on businesses that spend money on magazine, print, and other advertising to start since you know they value marketing.

In my real estate market, many photographers only get $100-150 per house, and so I loose business to them. Trying to compete in that market is not a great strategy.

Seamus is right that you can still charge a premium for video work and it is more unique, so I would push hard in that segment.

good collection of images