Unlocking Earning Potential In Real Estate Photography: Key Factors and Strategies

Unlocking Earning Potential In Real Estate Photography

Why Real Estate?

Architectural beauty has been a subject of muse to many photographers for centuries. People write letters to their houses, dedicate odes, or simply attempt to capture the beauty of their residence with the help of gadgets and technology.

Real Estate Photography

In recent times, architectural photography took a huge turn and became a lucrative profession for people passionate about putting life into an object made of bricks and concrete.

Commercial necessity has made real estate photography two times more market-relevant than any other genre predominating the photography business at the moment.

Needless to say, the demand for appealingly taken pictures of residences for marketing & sales has created a buzz regarding the profession for aspiring photographers to be curious about what goes on into making one and what financial benefits lay there for you.

Why Follow Pricing Guidelines?

As you dig deeper to gain a better understanding of standard earnings, consider reaching out to local photography communities, including MeetUp groups or Facebook communities.

Doing so can provide valuable insight into what typical earnings look like in your area. For seasoned professionals in real estate, it’s important to examine the expenses when pricing your services, including equipment costs, insurance, software, experience, transportation, and marketing.

While pricing can vary based on experience and location, adhering to these fundamental guidelines ensures that your rates are fair, and sustainable that will reflect your skills and expertise.

How To Price Your Services?

To begin with, as an emerging real estate photographer, you need to take into account all the effort that goes into creating high-quality photographs. This means considering not just the time spent on the shoot itself, but also any preparation, travel, and additional fees involved.

Take prior consideration of the time spent on a job, particularly for complex real estate photography assignments that may require significant post-production work.

Also, you should factor in the time required for post-production work, including editing the photos to ensure they meet the highest standards.

Failing to do so can impact both the time invested and profits earned. Offering expedited delivery times may warrant a higher fee to ensure that the quality of work remains consistent.

What Are The Factors To Focus on?

Real Estate Photography

Architectural variety is highly diverse depending on its –

  • Function
  • Location
  • Raw Material
  • Designs
  • Size
  • Complexity

Shooting during unconventional hours, such as sunset or nighttime, can require additional equipment and editing work, which should also be considered when determining your final rate.

For example, you may charge under $200 for homes that are 3,000 square feet and under, and over $200 for properties that are 3,000 square feet and up. Additionally, you may need to adjust your pricing based on the time of day that you’re shooting.

To estimate your earning potential as a real estate photographer, you must consider the type of clients you intend to serve.

Luxury and architecture photography may pay well, but they require a strong portfolio and reputation. Commercial photography is also limited to larger cities.

To provide a clearer idea, the average real estate photographer can expect to earn around $200 per shoot, which can go up to $300-500 or more depending on the client type, location, and home size.

Why Aim Higher-End Real Estate Listings?

To aim higher in the real estate listing, photographers have to align the pricing of their services with the value of the property, it’s important to consider the listing price.

For homes listed at $1 million or more, rates can increase significantly, with pricing ranging from around $200 to $500.

Square footage can also be a helpful pricing guideline, with a common formula of nine cents per square foot.

Real estate drone photography can command higher rates, with one minute of professional video costing between $200 to $400. For video tours of home interiors and individual rooms, rates should start at $1,000.

Instead of charging by the hour, it’s often more effective to base pricing on deliverables, such as a set number of high-quality images or a specific length of drone video.

What Seals The Deals In Real Estate?

Here are some tips to produce the finest real estate photographs-

  • A well-composed photograph of architecture is visually balanced and draws the viewer’s attention to the property’s best features.
  • Proper lighting is essential for showcasing the property’s best features. Photographers must be skilled in using natural, artificial, and a combination of both to create bright and inviting images.
  • Real estate images detail the property, including the textures and finishes that make it unique. Blurriness or distortion are absolute no-nos!
  • The images should be vibrant and accurate, highlighting the true colors of the property. Over-saturation and unrealistic colors should be dealt with!
  • Photographers must use appropriate angles and perspectives that showcase the property’s best features and create a sense of depth and space.
  • Staging the property that involves decluttering, organizing, and adding tasteful decor to create a warm and welcoming atmosphere that appeals to potential buyers.
  • Using the proper lens and equipment that allows the photographers to capture the architecture in a proper frame, enhancing the perspective of your subject.

To get those super-wide real estate images, we’re so used to seeing, your lens should be 10-24mm.

How To Up Your Game With Drones?

Aesthetically dramatic, eye-catching visuals can be created using real estate drone photography, which can help a property stand out from the pack online.

Camera drones can be great for creating a virtual tour, moving through each room of a property so an online viewer can experience the space.

Drones can also create sweeping landscape shots and showcase a large property, but they won’t replace your trusty DSLR camera—when it comes to interior shots, your best bet is still traditional real estate photography.

If you’re interested in adding real estate drone photography to your repertoire, be aware that drones can be pricey, generally starting at about $1000 and going up from there.

Other factors prevent people from becoming drone operators besides the cost of equipment, such, as to legally fly drones in the United States, you must first obtain an operator’s license.

How To Promote Your Real Estate Photographs?

Creating an amazing online photography portfolio is the #1 way to promote your real estate photography business.

Partnership with a well-built website can also serve as a marketing tool to gather more leads. Search engine optimization (SEO) is another popular tool that increases your web page’s visibility when users search for local real estate photography services.

After reviewing our data over the past three years, we found that the most popular days to schedule photoshoots are Tuesdays (18%), Wednesdays (20%), and Thursdays (18%), with only 13% of photoshoots scheduled on Saturdays and Sundays. This means that you’re free to kick back on the weekend!

Seasonal in nature, a real estate photography business can provide steady income year-round, but your larger profits are made in the busier summer home-selling season.

Want To Earn Six Figures Being A Photographer?

As a full-time real estate photographer, your potential earnings can range between $50,000 to $150,000 as a solo photographer. However, building a team can significantly increase your profits.

If you’re committed to sales and marketing, and devote your full-time efforts to the business, you can reasonably expect to earn $60,000 in your first year, $90,000 in your second, and $120,000 in your third.

While some photographers may shoot 8-10 homes per day during the peak summer season, this is not feasible for most. The average full-time real estate photographer photographs between 2-4 homes per day during the busy season and 1-2 homes per day in the slower winter months.

A typical residential home shoot takes 60-90 minutes, with larger homes taking more time. Including drive time, four shoots in a day can take 6-8 hours, not accounting for post-processing and business tasks.

Is Real Estate Photography Seasonal?

Like most photography businesses, real estate photography is highly seasonal and follows the real estate market. Winter is typically 60% slower than summer across over 200 US markets, but this can vary based on location.

A real estate photographer can earn $72,800 per year by shooting a reasonable number of homes each day, with hourly income averaging around $38.

There is a pronounced drop in order volume following US Thanksgiving until mid-January, and then a nearly linear increase in business through the spring, with accelerating sales in April through the peak in June or July.

Organic ranking through content creation can be effective in reducing advertising costs. Building a list of local agents, and connecting with them in person can also increase bookings.

What is the Average Real Estate Photographer’s Salary?

In the United States, the national average for a real estate photographer’s salary is $53,633. Salaries commonly range between $42,168 to $60,520, with a standard rate of $29 per hour.

Some photographers earn about $20,000 annually on the lower end, while more experienced real estate photographers can make over $150,000 per year.

What Did We Learn?

Fairly new in the real estate photography market may not make lots of money right away, although there are ways for you to work on it gradually.

Ensure your pricing is fair, sustainable, and reflective of your skills and expertise, it is essential to factor in all the effort that goes into creating high-quality photographs.

Consider other factors of earning money through real estate photography, like dipping their toes into real estate stock photos.

Make your real estate stock photos available online through resources like Shutterstock, you can add an income source that is entirely passive, meaning less work for you in the long run.

Tazim Ul Mulk

Tazim Ul Mulk

As a fervent writer and an enthusiast in the beauty of imagery, I wish to show the world the true meaning behind each image.