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Photography is perhaps the second most important element to getting a home sold (after price). A real estate listing’s pictures on Zillow are a buyer’s first impression of a home. High-quality photography can distinguish between a home making the to-see list and not.
There is no excuse to screw it up. Too many companies and tools are standing at the ready to make sure your listings stand out online.
Like the rest of the industry, technology is changing photography and videography and making adding these tools to your business cheaper. In this age, drone photography, 3D tours, and 360 videos are not only achievable but affordable.
Below are some of the best real estate photography companies to either help you improve your photography, or even just do it all for you.
$150+ per listing. HomeJab is a growing real estate photography and video company that is in most major US markets. They offer a standard listing photo shoot, video, 360 walkthroughs, 3D tours, virtual staging, aerial photography, and video with a 24-hour turnaround. Consider HomeJab if you are ready to outsource your photography needs to the pros.
$2 per image. BoxBrownie doesn’t take your photos for you but instead offers a suite of services allowing you to enhance your real estate photos. They provide just about every other photography service you could want that doesn’t include anything on-site, including adding virtual staging to rooms or switching a sky from day to dusk. Consider BoxBrownie if you enjoy taking photos but want help getting them ready for your listing.
$0.99 per image. Exposio is a camera app that takes multiple shots at different exposures and combines them into a great HDR picture. They also offer single property listing site. For photographer professionals, they have “Trigger” which helps efficiently take bracketed shots with your DSLR. Consider Exposio if you are taking photos with your phone and not wanting to spend time in post-production.
$289+. HomeVisit is a photography company owned by CoreLogic, the Matrix MLS provider. They have a shopping center that provides aerial photography, image editing, and brochures.
$150+ per listing. HouseLens bills itself as a “visual marketing service” for real estate, and provides photography, videography, single property websites, and even a DIY app for taking real estate shots with your phone. Consider HouseLens if you want good prices and flexible photo/video packages.
~$90+ per listing. Rocket Photo (formerly Stilio) isn’t a photography service or tool, but an online real estate photographer marketplace. It’s like Fiverr for real estate photographers. Real estate agents can search and shop local photographers and videographers based on prices and service. Consider Rocket Photo if you want to develop a relationship with a local professional for your listing media.
$99+ per listing. Virtuance is full-service real estate photography and videography service. In addition to the standard HDR photography, video tour, aerial video, and single property sites, Virtuance has add-ons like a social media package, brochures, and even image watermarking. Consider Virtuance if you want to completely outsource your photography and videography.
Other real estate virtual photography companies include:
I also haven’t included 3D and 360 cameras for creating listing walkthroughs, a virtual tour, or floorplans like:
Some locally based companies specialize in real estate but are not nationwide like Twist Tours in Austin, TX. There are other places to find photographers like Fiverr, Freelancer, and Upwork.
Considering how crucial listing photography is, beware of forgoing a professional photographer. There are so many elements and tools to taking a good photo, like natural light, wide angle lens, shutter speed, exposure, and more. If you are not a photography or video aficionado, don’t try to do it yourself. Hire it out.
Even if you do enjoy photography or know what you’re doing, are you a Realtor or a photographer? Focus on your core competencies and building business, and let another professional handle the photos and video.
Finally, it is best to hire out your drone footage in the age of aerial. With FAA licensing rules, there is generally too many moving parts to justify diverting your time from your core business.
One reason so many agents skip on professional photography is the price. Agents are very wary of spending money before earning their commission. But it is not uncommon for agents to bill their sellers for the cost of pricing. Perhaps even give your sellers a menu of options and let them choose what they want to pay for. Or include it as part of your standard services to stand out from your competition.
Most photographers charge different tiers by the square foot and/or the number of photos. $150 is a typical price for just a primary group of 30 high-resolution pictures.
There are numerous advantages to starting a real estate photography business. No Bridezillas. No wrestling babies. Just a stationary building to photography.
However, one of the biggest differences to other photography fields include the turnaround. A 4-week turnaround for a wedding video is fine. But for real estate agents, photography is the only thing between them and getting the home listed. It’s the last thing before a sign goes in the yard. Everybody is waiting on you, and a 24-hour turnaround is essential if you get into real estate photography.
Real estate photography can be expensive. If you are wanting to provide the full suite of services for a real estate agent, you will want to invest into a 3D camera (like the Matterport), a drone, a good gimbal, and some real estate photo editing training.
To get started, check with the companies above for work, and advertise yourself on Stilio, Fiverr, Upwork, and more. Or start browsing homes on Zillow and start identifying agents who perhaps could use some better photography services.
After picking the right price, professional photos is the second most important part of getting a home sold. Do it right if you want to stay in business. Put the effort in if you enjoy DIY, or just hire it out and make it simple.