When is it Time to Hire a Pro for Real Estate Photography?

It’s 2019, and I believe a realtor can get away with a lot with a smartphone for their listing photos, but this begs the question: When is it time to bring in the big guns?

You Have the Budget

For lower cost listings, as a realtor, you just may not have the marketing budget to create a multi-media advertising campaign for your listing. Sometimes, you have to work with what you got. When the house is higher cost, however, it is worth spending more on getting magazine quality photos and cinematic video in order to sell it. Why? The potential buyer of a higher cost listing will have higher standards, so higher budget photos and video will speak to your potential customer more than if you quickly shot the listing yourself with your phone.

You Need a Pro’s Eye

Sometimes there are attributes of a house or property that you really want to capture, and you just can’t seem to capture it quite right. This is when the eye of an experienced professional is important; you’re not just hiring a professional photographer for their extensive gear bag, but also their expertise and creative mind. Not only that, but even the low cost listings can come with their own difficulties that you may need a helping hand with. I was once called in by a local realtor because a house was way too dark and the electricity wasn’t on, so they just couldn’t get great photos with their smartphone or anything else. When I got in there, I hid a couple camera flashes all over the rooms in order to simulate all the lights being on in the house. Long story short: The photos I shot helped sell the house because it showed the buyer the potential of that particular listing despite the lights not being on. When you hire a professional, their job is to problem solve and help give you, the realtor, better tools with which to sell your listings.

You Need Aerial Footage

In a recent post, I explained how it is possible for a realtor to get a small drone and take the FAA Part 107 test in order to shoot their own aerial photos and video. That said, the test costs $150 and requires some study time, so it’s still a hurdle to many people. Not only that, but according to the MLS, homes with aerial photography or video sell 68% faster than without it. Video tours or walkthroughs that also include aerial videography make a huge difference to a buyers perception to the property you are selling as well as your brand as a realtor. This is one of those examples where it’s up to you to weigh time vs. cost: instead of going back to school and studying, just pay someone that’s already done all that work for you.

You Have Too Much On Your Plate

You’ve probably heard the term “hustle” all over the internet. A relentless work ethic is what it takes to survive the over-saturated real estate market, and sometimes you are just way too busy to make time to drive over to a house and shoot the whole thing with your phone on top of all the other work you have to do. Money is replaceable, time isn’t. Often times, I get hired simply because a realtor just has far too much going on and just needs the photos taken with next-day turnaround (which The Drone Studio offers).

You Want to Polish and Differentiate Your Brand

I once talked to a marketing consultant about the definition of a “brand”. She referred to your aesthetics (logo, and media associated with your name) as a manilla folder, and your brand is everything that fits into that manilla folder. Basically, everything you do in regards to your business is your brand. If you’re constantly listing houses with really polished photography and video, that’s going to be something you’re remembered for. Sometimes, to get your name out there, it’s worth spending extra on marketing even for the smaller listings that won’t necessarily make you a ton of money because it’ll pay off in the long run in terms of your brand as a realtor.

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