by Devon Higgins
As real estate photography continues to grow in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Europe, there are more and more opportunities for photographers to hop into this new and exciting industry. The beauty of starting a professional real estate photography business is that there are so many different ways you can set up and manage your business. Whether you’re looking to build a real estate photography empire or make a little extra money after retirement, there is something out there for everyone in the world of real estate photography.
When looking into starting up your real estate photography business, there are some important questions you should first ask yourself:
What is the market landscape?
In order figure this out, you will most likely have to do some research. Find out if real estate photography is truly a “need” in your area. Talk with local realtors and get an idea of what marketing tools they are using when they list their properties. Ask them how much they would be willing to pay for professional real estate photography. Search Zillow.com or Trulia.com to figure out who is/isn’t using professional real estate photography when listing their homes. These are all great ways to get a pulse on the market and also get your name out there amongst realtors and others in the real estate industry.
Who is your competition?
By researching the competition in your area you will gain an insight into what your competitors are offering, how their images look, and what they are charging. By keeping a close eye on your competition, their service offerings, and their pricing, it will help you to better understand your market and force you to differentiate yourself in your market. Some ways to differentiate yourself include offering a new or premium look, offering different pricing packages, or offering additional services (virtual tours, floor plans, drone photography, video, etc.). Before you know it, your competitors will be the ones keeping an eye on you.
Who is my target market?
Answering this will help you determine what type of client you are after. It will also help you to hone in your marketing techniques when trying to acquire these types of clients. How far away from home are you willing to travel? Do you want to shoot just a few high end luxury homes? Do you want to shoot a large volume of standard one-family homes? Will real estate just be a subset of services that your photography company offers? Once you have answered these questions, you are then ready to answer one of the most important questions all business owners must ask themselves.
What is my end goal?
What type of business do you want to create? There is no right or wrong answer to this, however it is important to start to think about the future of your business. What type of images do you want to produce? How large or small do you want your business to be? Do you want to hire additional employees? Will you be doing all of the editing in house or will you use an photo editing company?
Will this business provide me with a good work/life balance? We recommend having at least some idea of where you want your business to go and how you want to get there. Having a plan for your business is extremely important. However, don’t feel like you need to pin down your plan and stick to it. Plans change. And so will your business. But having an idea of where you want to go will help you in achieving your business goals.
Having a good understanding of your business goals, the market landscape, and the competition will help you immensely when starting a real estate photography business, or any business for that matter. The more you know about yourself, your market, and your competition, the better equipped you will be to startup, manage and run a successful real estate photography business in your area.
Stay tuned for more helpful information about how to get started in the real estate photography industry. Feel free to reach out to email@example.com to have a personal conversation with one of our knowledgeable team members.