Choosing a Real Estate Photographer
Finding the right real estate photographer is difficult if you don't know what to look for.
Consider these key factors when researching the real estate photographer you need. Do a little self-guided learning to discover the types of photography; it makes a huge difference in your results. Have a conversation directly with the photographer about their business, how they shoot, what they offer and what you expect. You’ll be a lot happier with your results.
In this article we’ll identify key elements to finding the right photographer for your business.
When you perform a Google search for the “Real Estate Photographer near me” you get about 281,000,000 results. Furthermore, the results are peppered with ads and maps. It’s simply overwhelming trying to decide by sifting through 281 million web sites, an impossible task.
Before I dive into the details, let me share a little story with you. A few months ago, my washer broke. I did a quick search, found a listing for someone with a 5-star rating, was first in the list and had an advertisement, seemed local and had a credible and informative web site. I called the local 817 number. Spoke to a call center and made an appointment.
The next day a very nice young man shows up. He troubleshoots my washing machine following a step-by-step procedure on his phone. After completely dismantling it, he declares a circuit board is bad and it will cost $461 to fix and the part will arrive in two weeks. The part arrives; a different nice young man shows up and installs the new circuit board following the procedure on his phone. It doesn’t work. I’m out $461 for the new board. My washer is still broke. I’m unhappy.
I talk to my neighbor and tells me he “knows a guy”. I search for “the guy” on the web, finding him on the second page of results, his web site is crappy and his nice wife answers the phone. She understands my situation and makes a special emergency appointment for me. The guy shows up, looks at the machine and finds wire with a small nick shorting out. He tapes the wire. My washer is fixed! I feel like idiot, but I’m happy.
I know you’re thinking about how my washing machine drama relates to finding a real estate photographer?
In my search for appliance repair I didn’t think about who was doing the work. I just wanted my washer fixed so I picked the first one that seemed credible. My mistake was that I didn’t do my research. I let Google do it for me. The web recommended company sent an inexperienced technician over with a cell phone app to fix it. I didn’t think about who I was working with or even what my expectations were other than to be able to wash clothes.
It was a huge, expensive, time consuming mistake. What did I learn? Do your research. Talk to people. Discover what works for you. Buy local, not from a marketing machine reselling other people’s time. Have a well-defined vision of your needs. Learn about the technology you are buying.
Look for an individual photographer that will grow to become a reliable trusted member of your team of experts. Your photographer should understand your marketing vision and deliver images that synergize your message. Just as your clients expect to work directly with you, expect to work directly with the same individual photographer at every shoot.
Does the real estate photographer have the skills, experience and equipment necessary to deliver images that reflect your unique brand? Yesterdays “HDR” run and gun recipe when the photographer shows up with just a camera, wide angle lens and a tripod doesn’t deliver the quality necessary for today’s impactful marketing and your future web legacy. Experience means the difference between a photo and a magazine quality image that represents your brand. I’m not saying you need Ansel Adams, but expect quality and experience.
For a good foundation to understand the different types of real estate photographery go to mls-photography.com
Does the company understand industry editing guidelines, ethics and the implications of making non-compliant edits? One small edit, like inadvertently removing the power lines during a sky swap may end up making a buyer feel you misrepresented the property and end with a legal problem. Don’t even get me started on grass! A little greening is great, replacing a bare spot or covering water is clearly a miss-representation of the property that will make a buyer unhappy in the spring when the lawn is muddy and bare.
Do they offer a complete service and product line where you can get all your media in one place? As technology progresses, industry trends move to the next “thing”. Your marketing will occasionally need a floor plan, drone, video, Matterport, iGuide, Zillow 3D home, maybe even a web or a photo for a billboard. Can they deliver the media your marketing needs?
I’m particularly fond of this article about choosing a real estate photographer by Best Real Estate Photographers, you can read it here. The author makes the point that your real estate photography images are your branding, aligning to the service you provide clients. Another key point is finding an experienced small local trusted individual to work as apart of your team.
Real Estate Photography is the primary mechanism that builds your property marketing, brand, and attract future clients. This means your real estate photography plays a big role in whether that home, and more importantly, you get a second look. Your real estate photography images are your branding, leaving a trail to you on the web.