by Devon Higgins
A closer look at the services offered by top real estate photo editing companies; PhotoUp, BoxBrownie, and Phixer.
by Jeremy Daniel
More and more real estate photographers are discovering the value and benefits of partnering with companies like PhotoUp, Phixer and BoxBrownie for their real estate photo editing needs. Beautiful, quality real estate photos are vital in today’s real estate industry, and these three companies are at the top when it comes to quality, turnaround, and customer service.
But it’s easier said than done to become one of the best real estate photo editing companies on the market. Companies in the space are being pushed by the industry to offer faster turnaround, better quality, more consistent editing, and additional services in order to meet the demand of photographers and their real estate clients.
Despite the fact that there are a countless number of real estate photo editing companies out there, there are only three that really stand out from the pack, in my opinion: PhotoUp, BoxBrownie, and Phixer. The others are playing catch-up and still have a ways to go.
So, I decided to take a comparison tour of their services, prices, and websites, to look for similarities and differences, and try to help you decide which real estate photo editing company gives you the best value for your money.
PhotoUp – Real Estate Photo Editing and Marketing
PhotoUp is a real estate photo editing and real estate marketing company headquartered out of Grand Rapids, Michigan with their editing, design, and development teams based out of Cebu City in the Philippines.
- Real Estate Photo Editing (starting at 0.75 credits/image): PhotoUp offers high quality real estate photo editing that matches your style and editing techniques. PhotoUp also allows you to select who edits your images. You can select from:
- * Distributed Editing (0.75 credits/image) – Any available team member
- * Standard Editing (1 credit/image) – Their system will match your images with your best rated available editors.
- * Top Editor (1.5 credits/image) – PhotoUp automatically matches you with your top rated editors to ensure the best possible quality.
- * Editing Virtual Assistant (starting at $7.71/hour) – Choose to work directly with one of your best editors on a daily/monthly basis.
- * Virtual Staging (25 credits/image): PhotoUp offers a virtual staging uploader and white labeled catalog full of over 1000+ pieces and sets of virtual furniture categorized by room type and style.
- * Virtual Assistants (starting at $7.71/hour): Experienced, english speaking and affordable virtual assistants based in the Philippines to help with administrative tasks, photo editing, or real estate transactions.
- * Floor Plans (starting at 20 credits): Choose 2D or 3D floor plans, or a combo of the two. Prices start at $20 and go up from there, depending on how the number of floors. All that is required from you is a simple sketch or floor plan mock up, and floor plans will be ready in under 24 hours
- * Property Websites (starting at 9 credits): Customizable single property websites that are easy to build and manage with simple, elegant templates. All property websites are fully mobile responsive, which means they will look great on any device.
- * Photography & Realtor Websites (starting at $5/month): Great portfolio websites for real estate professionals to showcase their work. PhotoUp’s website brand, Folio, offers template-based or fully customizable websites that are quick, easy to manage, and affordable.
- * Video Editing & Design Services (coming soon!): Some insider info that I picked up from PhotoUp is that they will soon be adding real estate video editing and real estate design services sometime in 2021, so stay tuned!
- * Credits – PhotoUp uses a credit system where credits can be used for just about everything that PhotoUp has to offer.
- * Plans – You’ll select a plan based on the size and needs of your business and all plans come with credits starting at $1.00. Subscriptions start at $49 per month and include credits, free storage, a number of free rush deliveries and rollover credits.
- * Overage – If you use your allotment of credit, there is a small overage fee for going over your plan.
- * 24 Hours (included) – All PhotoUp plans come with 24 hour turnaround on every photo editing batch.
- * Rush Options – PhotoUp offers 12, 15, and 18 hour rush options for most editing orders.
- * Free Next Day Delivery (Pro Plus and above) – Upload orders by 6:00 PM or 9:00 PM on weekdays to have your orders delivered by 9:00 AM next morning or 12:00 PM next day. You automatically receive free next day delivery when you subscribe to a Pro Plus plan or above.
- * Late Delivery Refund – PhotoUp will refund 1 credit for every 5 minutes a batch is delivered past the quoted deadline.
- * If images are delivered late enough, they will provide up to a 50% discount on the entire batch.
- * PhotoUp offers live chat, email and phone support with all of their plans. They are available 24 hours/day Monday through Saturday and all of their customer support and sales people speak great english! Their core sales/support team is based in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
- * Don’t believe me? Give them a call at (888) 330-7559 and ask for Alec or Devon.
- * For a quick answer to your basic questions, check out their support portal, FAQ page, or simply chat with a member of their sales/support team.
BoxBrownie – Real Estate Photo Editing & Virtual Staging
- * Image Enhancement ($1.60/image)
- * Virtual Staging ($24/image)
- * Day to dusk ($4/image ) – Replace the daytime sky with a customized dusk look
- * Object removal ($4 for 2 items; US $8 for 3 or more items) – Billed separately from virtual staging
- * Copywriting (From $28 and up) – BoxBrownie will assign a copywriter to write the text for your marketing material
- * 360 Virtual Tours ($16-24) – Showcase your property from every angle with a quick and easy no subscription tour creation service
- * 2D and 3D Floor Plan Redraws ($24-36)
- * Renders ($280 and up) – Bring plans to life for a wide range of plans and designs
BoxBrownie charges per action per item. Prices start at $1.60 for basic image enhancement and go from there.
They have a large menu of items that they offer, and the price list is quite extensive.
- * Quick and efficient. One day for images and two days for virtual staging.
- * Unfortunately, no rush options are available.
- * All purchases are final and BoxBrownie does not offer refunds.
- * Customer support was available, although not entirely helpful.
- * The size of the company and the number of options that they offer means that their support lacks that personal touch.
There is no doubt that BoxBrownie is a quality offering when it comes to real estate photography marketing. The service is fast and professional, albeit a little more expensive than the PhotoUp’s subscription services. But unless you’re a large, commercial realtor, it can sometimes feel like overkill. Personally, the amount of services offered overwhelmed me a little. The commercial real estate, online retail and automotive aspects of the services added little value and more complexity as compared to PhotoUp and Phixer, in my opinion.
Phixer – Real Estate Photo Editing & Video Editing
Services (All services are offered on a Pay As You Go system)
- * Photo Editing
- * Video Editing – Upload your raw footage and the team will turn it into 4K quality video
- * Lawn Replacement – The team will replace your lawn with a lush green, perfectly manicured landscape.
- * Declutter – Removal of items from any photo
- * Virtual Twilight – Choose a beautiful twilight sky for your daytime images.
- * Virtual Staging
- * Phixer App – DIY applicaton geared towards real estate agents that promises photos back in 8 hours or less. First 10 images you process on the app are free.
Phixer operates on a monthly credit system. You can get 40% off your first month, thereafter it’s $1 per credit, with more services being added (e.g quicker turnaround time, revisions and priority support on the bigger packages).
For video, basic video starts at 65 credits for anything under one minute, and goes all the way up to 149 credits for two minute long videos with all the bells and whistles.
- * 24 hour turnaround time for Starter and Standard packages.
- * 18 hour turnaround for Advanced and Professional packages.
- Priority support is on offer for Professional customers who purchase at least 3000 monthly credits ($3,000/month).
- For any other questions, the FAQ section is surprisingly helpful and informative.
A lot of Phixer’s focus is placed on their smartphone app, which tells me that their main focus is heading towards real estate agents and realtors, not real estate photographers. They encourage their users to do a lot of the editing themselves, which I find to be almost counterintuitive. It’s a decent photo editing service but in that regard, it differs substantially from PhotoUp and BoxBrownie.
PhotoUp, BoxBrownie, and Phixer are all great services in their own right. Each offers a tremendous amount of scope for real estate professionals, whether you are a photographer, real estate agent, or property manager. I found BoxBrownie to be a little too geared for large-scale, commercial users and Phixer a little too niche and unresponsive.
PhotoUp struck the right balance for me – they’re big enough to handle any real estate job but small enough to offer intimate personal guidance and a chance to really get to know their customer support team and the editors who are working on your images.
Do some digging into each service yourself and choose a real estate photo editing company that works best for you!