Real Estate Photography Podcast: The Basics (Ep. 101)

Real Estate Photography Podcast: The Basics (Ep. 101)

These photos were taken from an MLS system just picked at complete random, and they show exactly what’s being put in MLS systems and real estate
booklets at this moment. Typically these
photos are taken by agents who are great at selling property, but usually do not know how to take
pictures of property to help it sell. So, all four of these are definitely things you don’t want to see as
a prospective home buyer. So, let’s talk about the best one
available which is… “No Photo Available”. This one always gets me. If you are a
prospective home buyer and you come across a listing that says “No Photo Available”
you are more than likely going to move on to the next listing that actually has
pictures, and this is also very symbolic
because – the competition out there if you saw photos like the four that I just had posted in the
slide before this, that means there isn’t any competition
that is successful in your area at this moment or from that agency at this
moment, which is a very, very good thing for you. So what does it take to be a real estate photographer? Well, it takes equipment and business skills. Undoubtedly, you need to have some sort
of talent in photography to do this line of
work, but tangible things: you need equipment and you need business
skills which is more tangible than not. Chances are if you don’t show up to work
on time at this moment with your employer, you don’t follow through with tasks, you’re not very motivated… more than likely you’re not going to be
able to run your own business, so it’s very important and I can’t stress
this enough: being a good businessperson is essential to being a real estate photographer. So, before we go into real estate
photography and all that stuff which we will get to I promise we need to talk about how real estate
works we wouldn’t go in any other field or any other business and talk about how
you can succeed in that business without talking first about their business structure, and real estate can be sort of complicated and this is a very, very brief and short version of how real estate works for our purposes. You need to know
where the money goes and who it goes to because that actually matters a lot because
that means where do you get your money from so there’s the agent and the agency,
or the firm, and those two terms are interchangeable. The agent works for
the agency. The agency essentially works for the agent, but it’s really the agent works for the agency;
and why do they work for an agency? Primarily for name recognition
which is one of those selling points as to why you’d go to one agent over another and the other reason is because the
agency is a broker. An agent can’t just sell
property on their own without being a real estate broker first. It’s all about listing so I just want to
say in this slide, “Listings” is the real estate term for a house or a
home. When you hear an agent talk about
a listing they’re talking about a house. And where does the money go after that
listing is sold? Well, if you are the listing agent you are also known as the
seller’s agent. The buyer’s agent is well, clearly it’s the buyer’s agent, and when a
property is sold the seller’s agent or the listing agent gets a
percentage, the buyers agent gets percentage, and if they’re the same
person they get, well, twice as much; and that money also gets split and goes to
the firm or the agency, which then goes to the broker, which then goes to the franchise; but we won’t
go into that quite yet. So, listings… listings cost money, so all those real estate agents they want listings.
They need listings because the more listings they have, whether they sell them by themselves or someone else sold it, they’re going to get a cut of the commission on that; but, it costs money everyday in newspaper
ads, real estate booklets, personal websites, open houses, and showings. From the day they get that contract…
the listing contract… to the day they close it costs that agent money, so they want to sell it. So, let’s talk about realtors and
incentives. Real estate agents definitely have
incentives just like you and I or anyone else on this planet and that is to make a living, and they do make a living by selling
houses and if you really want to get to know a real estate agent talk to them about the different ways that they actually sell; and, I’m not trying to present real estate agents as slimy people because… I want to say they work really, really hard. Primarily, they have a lot of
knowledge. They know about all these different things I’m not just gonna read off these
things that I’ve put on the slide, but they know them, and just like you know your field, you get paid for your knowledge and your work and your labor their labor really is knowledge it is not
just a smiling face… it’s all of their knowledge and their networks
that they have built which end up benefiting you. Let’s talk about barriers of entry. If you’re an aspiring real estate photographer you had better know what you’re up
against, and let’s talk about the first barrier of entry which is the old-school
real estate agent or agency. I picked Coldwell Banker at pure random and it’s very symbolic of
any old school firm or agency. So we’ve
got this real estate agent she’s old-school and she
only sells her listings. That’s a very old school approach if she
only has five listings, and she has one client she’s only gonna offer them her listings so she can be the seller’s agent and the buyers agent. That’s not good. It’s not very open and you’re
not going to get as much business as you could. The other way is you’re still only gonna sell to your circle of other real estate
agents in your firm or agency, so you’re keeping everything in-house it doesn’t really get out and you’re actually doing yourself a
very large disservice if you are an old school real estate agent. Another big barrier of entry is these big
names. Now, these are here on purpose Coldwell Banker, Century 21, ReMax nothing against all three of them, it’s
says that they are franchises and your local Coldwell Banker, Century
21, or ReMax office pays these franchise fees, so every time they
sell a house the fee goes to the seller’s agent, a fee goes to
the buyer’s agent, a fee goes to the firm, a fee goes to the broker, and then some of that has to get skimmed of
the top for the franchise fee. In exchange, the franchise offers its name which is, I mean, looking
at all three of these you probably know these and you’re gonna more likely go
there if you were to go look for house. So, it really pays off they also do a lot
of advertising for them, different sorts of promos on the web
may be on a TV spot it all depends depending on your region
but they’re gonna they’re going to help you but you should know it’s a barrier of entry for you
because the money that you might have gotten pay from is already spoken for
by that franchise fee another barrier of entry is small firms
in agencies might be a mom n pop agency uh… with two agents i know locally
there’s there’s an agency around me that has two agents they’ve only have one listing in the past
two years because what they rely on is an MLS, a Multiple Listing Service. exclusively, now every, nearly every real state agency uses the multiple listing service. It’s a great way to see what everyone in your area is selling you can even see
the entire country is selling. It’s the best way however small firms and agencies that only have
a couple agents may only get one listing every two
years they don’t have anything to sell that means they don’t have anything to
list which cuts out of the equation so mom
and pop agencies that’s another barrier to entry so let’s talk about opportunity uh… since we’ve already talked about your barriers of entry we should point out that real estate
agents are extremely competitive with one another uh… and that’s a good thing for all parties they’re willing to do many
different things to sell houses they want to uh… they want to get paid just like anyone else Now, here’s the ultimate equation that you need
to convince them of a real estate agent plus a camera does not equal real estate photography you need to explain that the best way
possible i think the best way possible is showing
them your work you may think another way it doesn’t
really matter whatever gets you the job but you do need to actually show them uh… that them plus a camera equals those
four pictures in the beginning another… not really a barrier of opportunity a gateway to opportunity is the fact that uh… agencies in town in in local areas
are extremely competitive just like the agents themselves very competitive they monitor each other on a daily basis
to see what are they doing different from us are they changing their marketing
strategy are they doing whatever they’re always going to be watching each
other uh… to see what they’re changing and
if they change something more than likely they’re gonna get on
the phone with a competitor to what they just changed to see what happens another benefit for you so basically they’re competitive and that is a big opportunity for you so why all this talk about business? Well, simply twenty percent of what i do is
photography eighty percent is everything else so that includes marketing myself making connections
composing and answering emails i could also put phone calls setting up the shoot trying to the shoot
finally i’m shooting driving back from the shoot, processing and it
depends on how you do it it can take just as long or even longer email your clients and then delivering
the photos electronically and/or physically you do that four to five times a day and
exponentially your uh… your time that you actually spend uh… being a photographer is very very
it’s very little so back to real estate photography this is the way that i like to think but
the mission of real estate photography is to attract interest in real state is not your job to replace the real
estate agent and i think that you should be up front about that because you don’t have the knowledge
of the markets you don’t have the networks with the builders so you don’t
know anything that’s happened in the community on except for a friend who bought the
house on the street uh… compared to a real estate agent who knows twenty people who who’ve bought houses in the area so your job is to attract interest online in newspapers in magazines
whatever it is attract people. so what’s the mission of this podcast
and the website that we have? Well, basically we want to teach and produce
quality real estate photographers uh… there’s no money involved here no nothing it’s really just to produce better
real estate photographers so we want to talk about some resources real
quick you can go to our website which is
and i also recommend we have no affiliation with this website but photography for realestate dot com They’re a fantastic resource good blog uh… good Flickr pool. so what we want to talk about now is our
upcoming episodes the next episode, episode 102 is going to be focused
exclusively on interior equipment we were gonna just have one episode on
equipment but it’s not possible to cover interior and
exterior equipment in one podcast it’s gonna be on cameras lenses tripods lighting all that nice stuff The following episode will be the exterior
equipment: Pole aerial photography, bucket trucks balloons we’re not going to go
too much into helicopter or airplane photography you can probably do a lot of research on your
own but we’re gong to talk about the equipment side of that uh… software which may have to be
broken up into two episodes is going to be about lightroom, aperture
photomatix photoshop uh… anything else that you can imagine
with software and real estate photography and then Episode 105 or 106 depending how long software runs we need to talk about business skills
account taxes communication uh… marketing research all that nice stuff because like i said
before you can not be a real estate photographer
without having quality business skills so what we would like to tell you do if
you like this episode if you’re looking forward to our future ones submit your photos to our Flickr Pool, you
can just type in real estate photography podcast it’ll come up uh… we’re going to feature the top five
photos from the pool each episode, along with the comments you provide so if you type in, you know, all about how you composed the shot you wanna share your goofs how do you lit it doesn’t really matter will we’ll put
that on the uh… the episodes top five and then every
month one photo will be selected and be featured on the home page uh… if you have any questions you can
submit them at and we’re gonna try and answer as many
as possible and we’re gonna try and put them on the podcast and the website so before we leave you would just
like to say what can you do to get started and that the biggest thing I can say
shoot for free and this sounds a little odd but it’s probably the most
productive thing you can possibly do shoot for free talk
to your family your friends your neighbors uh… your roommates people you know in
the past people on the street doesn’t matter and say “Hey, can I shoot your house? Can I photograph?” you’re going to look a little silly i’m not
gonna lie. Trying to explain to them just might
make it more confusing you need to get practice, you need to build up a small portfolio before you can
approach a real estate agent and say hey i’m a real estate photographer uh… i
wouldn’t throw that term around loosely unless you are dedicated to uh… what it is you’re
doing, so build up a nice uh… ensemble of photos that you can
actually take to them and say this is what i can do to you compared to what you have right now here’s what i charge and we’ll talk about
charging and fees and that nice stuff in the business section, but that’s what i would recommend do it for free don’t expect to be paid
at first. Give it away. Well, that about wraps it up thank you
very much don’t forget visit our website at Thank you very much.

7 thoughts on “Real Estate Photography Podcast: The Basics (Ep. 101)

  1. this podcast is everything I've been looking for! Going to watch it a couple more times to make it stick..this is such a big deal to me, I'm starting from scratch..I'm a nature photographer trying to get into the field of Real estate photography..I just need the ins and outs of the business. I am going to be an avid watcher of your videos and take notes!  Thank you again for having this podcast available to people who are serious about their dreams! you have a wonderful day! 

  2. Thanks for all the clear concise information about real estate photography! This was a great video and I intend to watch the entire playlist of this podcast.

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