In this article, we explore the ways you can start building a sustainable, profitable, and scalable real estate photography business.
The Challenge and Opportunity of Real Estate Photography
Many of the most successful businesses that you know started off during a time of crisis.
Microsoft, AirBnb, Netflix…all of them began during recessionary times when the founders saw a problem and decided that they would take a chance and try to solve it. While 2020 may feel like it’s thrown more at you than you can handle, maybe it’s really just pushing you to take a leap of faith and start the photography business that you’ve been dreaming about doing.
When you’re considering what type of photography business to start, real estate photography has a lot of great benefits. Firstly, you get to be your own boss and set your own schedule. You don’t need a lot of capital or equipment to get started. You can avoid crowds and essentially work on your own using just a DSLR camera, tripod, and possibly some external flashes.
And even though the economy is tight, there continues to be a lot of movement in the real estate market. Now might be the perfect time to start your own real estate photography business!
What You Need To Get Started
Getting started in the real estate photography business is not hard. You’ll need a good digital SLR camera with a wide-angle lens and a tripod to start with. iPhone or point and shoot cameras might work if you’re listing your car or bike on Craigslist, but to be a professional real estate photographer, you’ll need to invest in the quality of your photography equipment.
You’ll also need transport to be able to drive to the location to shoot, and a reliable internet connection to access all the digital tools you need, and to stay in touch with clients.
Start by doing a free shoot or two for a realtor friend of yours. Or make an offer to a local real estate agent to do some work for them – whatever it takes to start building up a portfolio of work that you’re proud of and that showcases your talent.
Once you have that, then you can start to do some marketing and grow your new business. Start off by showcasing your portfolio online by building a clean, mobile-friendly website. We recommend using Folio Websites to build your photography website.
Building Your Photography Business
The first step in building your real estate photography business is to create a website that showcases your needs. Keep it clean and simple, while showcasing your best work, your personality, and the area where you live and work. Folio Websites has years of experience building websites for photographers, and they can have you up and running in no time.
Make use of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn to start marketing your business online. On your social channels, you should keep it light and informative. Let people know who you are and what you do, but don’t overwhelm them with too much information or bombard them with salesy content.
Digital Tools to Help You Grow
Once you are up and running, then you should start accessing all the digital tools that can really help you scale and grow to become the best real estate photography business in your area.
Here are a few suggestions to help with your productivity and the quality of your product:
- Real Estate Photo Editing: You don’t need to spend time and money on buying and learning to use Photoshop and Lightroom. It’s faster, cheaper and more efficient to set up an account with an outsourced editing provider like PhotoUp. They have teams of photo editors on standby, ready to take your RAW photographs, edit them to match your style preferences and standards, and get them back to you within 24 hours (or less!).That’s an incredible advantage and asset to your photography business. A real estate photo editing partner lets you keep shooting and generating more work without having to manage the time and effort it takes to process photos.Start a trial account with PhotoUp today for just $1.00.
- Virtual Staging: This trend of using hi-res, digital furniture to transform the look of an empty property is sweeping the industry. All you need to do is shoot clean, high-quality images of empty rooms and upload your photos to a team of editors who will furnish the room, fix the lighting and provide a realtor with beautiful marketing material that they can use to showcase the listing.PhotoUp also offers Virtual Staging services starting at just $25 per image.
- Single Property Websites: As a real estate photographer, you can do so much more than simply deliver images to your clients. Take the time to learn how to build a single-property website for your clients that combines imagery, text, video, floor plans, and even a virtual 3D tour. It’s a great service that is perfect for high-end properties and offers huge value and time-saving for realtors.
With a little bit of ingenuity and perseverance, you can set yourself up as a professional real estate photographer and carve out the kind of career you want. The digital tools that you need to succeed are just a click away.