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Getting Started with Real Estate Photography – Virtual Tours & Pricing

Having covered all the bases from shooting to add-ons, all that is needed now is a place for our gallery to call home. Today we’ll wrap-up our look at real estate photography by exploring a powerful virtual tour ally, and conclude with a few thoughts in regard to pricing.

Virtual Tour Hosting

I would encourage any interested parties at this point to take a look at a turn-key virtual tour hosting platform and consider paying a few bucks up-front in exchange for a wealth of appeal and flexibility. Tourbuzz.net offers a straight-forward platform that allows photographers to create and maintain custom client accounts and publish virtual slideshow & video tours in both branded (with agent image & contact) and unbranded formats.

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Embeddable links are provided to market and display with ease. Clients can choose to generate and post video (automatically, if so desired) to the YouTube account of their choosing or download directly to the desktop. We upload our images, plans and videos and they take care of the rest. Upload a finished drawing and create an interactive floor plan. Make fluid panoramas, generate flyers, and provide clients access to add property descriptions as well as assemble their own custom flyers as needed.

Every conceivable virtual tour need is provided for both photographer and client. For those projects not requiring a virtual tour slideshow or video, I would recommend considering a gallery hosting service such as ShootProof.com or SmugMug.com to provide clients with convenient, password-protected access to view and download their media on demand.

Learn more about Tourbuzz and how to take full advantage of their service(s) by visiting tourbuzz.net/#how-it-works.

Thoughts on Pricing

There appears to be two schools of thought when it comes to pricing real estate photography: one is the low-ball approach that offers every service available at such a low price that no one could compete. These agencies will usually have a sizable corner on the low-to-mid-level housing market with a system that focuses (in terms of value) on quantity over quality, and hourly wage over skill and experience.

The other approach focuses on quality and quantity, and finds it’s success in the mid-to-upscale market. With larger investments on the line, this client possesses a higher standard and is more likely to be interested in a quality photographic product and service.

Return Business

In a service-based industry like real estate, return business is key and we need to be sure our price reflects this. There is no secret formula here. In my experience, aside from extremely high-end and resort scale projects, we have the two markets above on which to set our sights. The latter is harder to break into but worth it if you can stick it out. Successful agents are likely to already have a couple of go-to sources in place, our goal is to make sure our service gets on that list.

Build Trust

If our work is appealing and we’re diligent to make our presence known, it won’t take long to start getting the call and especially if our prices are reasonable. It’s important to remember that an agent might have dozens of properties in varying degrees of readiness for market and the window of opportunity opens and closes quickly.

Successful agents are juggling several things at any given time, from motivating owners to investing in skilled carpentry and pro cleaning, painting and landscaping services out of pocket to get a given property sold – trust me, they don’t need any prima donna photographers hanging around.

What clients need is someone to understand this fact and be there to help them make the most of their efforts to list the place looking as good as possible. It can take time to build this trust. The best we can do is get ourselves and our work out there and make ourselves known as a quality ally to the cause. Being good at what we do is one thing, caring and being of good service is another. Combine the two and the phone rings a lot faster.

General Pricing Information

And finally, for those who must know: I’m not going to get specific, but in my market we’re talking in the $200 to $300 range to produce a (stills-only) mid-size upscale property tour. It may be higher or lower in your own market, but that’s for you to find out now, isn’t it?..

Thank you for stopping by, as always. I hope this helps someone out there seeking a real, practical opportunity to not only earn a few bucks, but a solid reputation in the local business community as well.

Questions? Drop me a line at .

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