Your wedding day. Your daughter’s graduation. Your parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. You wouldn’t hire just anyone to photograph these special occasions, would you? Unfortunately, we’re in a society where getting things on the cheap is the norm. But do your real estate clients want to sell their homes on the cheap?
There are many reasons why hiring a professional real estate photographer is important for your real estate business. But just how do you find the right one? Here are a few tips for finding the right real estate photographer to make your listings sell!
Evaluate the photographer’s real estate portfolio.
Just because you know a professional photographer doesn’t mean he/she can capture real estate photography. Real estate photography requires a special skill both at the shoot and during editing. Request to see a portfolio of work and look for quality, emphasis of important features, and attention to detail. Many high-end photographers shoot real estate with flash but only produce 5 images of a property. They take many shots and layer them in their editing software–it is extremely time consuming…and costly (upwards of $1,000 per job!). Most realtors do not have that kind of portfolio and, therefore, do not want to pay that kind of money–so HDR is the next best option. We shoot all of our properties in HDR, and our editing process leaves clients with crisp images that aren’t overdone or oversaturated. If the photographer cannot provide a portfolio, consider continuing your search for a different person.
Ask about turn-around time…and be realistic about expectations.
Before you schedule an appointment with a real estate photographer, ask about his/her turn-around time. You should expect 24-48 hour turn-around time as HDR editing does take some time. Remember–you’re likely not the photographer’s only client! In the event that you do need same day turn around, be clear about it with the photographer beforehand (because, let’s be honest–you probably know in advance that you’ll need a faster turn-around time!) Don’t be shocked when you’re charged a premium for faster editing time, either. Photographers often schedule several shoots on the same day to cut down on driving time and speed up their editing time by batch processing images.
Ask about the real estate photographer’s licensing.
Some photographers only provide watermarked images, meaning their logo appears on your images. Some photographers charge a premium for non-watermarked images. Others might have strict usage rights with their images. Whatever the case may be, learn up from what a real estate photographer’s licensing entails. Note: many photographers still own the rights to their photographs even though they’ve provided you with the rights to use them for listing purposes. If you plan to print or use them for any other purposes, check with the photographer first!
Ask about their policy on reshoots.
It’s always a good idea to ask a photographer about their reshoot policy. For example, your listing may not be 100% ready, but you might be in a crunch to make the listing live on the MLS. If you need to have the photographer go out another time, find out what their policy is and what the pricing might be. On the other hand, if you know what kinds of images you want from the photo shoot, be sure to tell the photographer beforehand OR ask if you can go on the shoot with them. Just don’t expect to critique the photographer every step of the way…or ask them to share their secrets or train you.
Inquire about pricing.
Some real estate photographers charge mileage, while others charge by number of images. Many real estate photographers have packages according to HDR, print ready, MLS ready, and so on. Don’t be afraid to ask them for specific pricing information so you know before the shoot occurs what your pricing is to avoid any surprises.
Additional miscellaneous questions.
Here are a few additional questions you can ask a potential real estate photographer:
- Do you have an E-Key?
- What is your cancellation policy?
- How many photos do I get with my package?
- Will my photos be MLS ready?
- Can you shoot commercial properties?
What questions do you ask when meeting new real estate photographers? Leave them in the comments below–we’d love to hear them!