Business Overview

This business consists of an individual, or a team, who are hired to take quality pictures of properties for sale. The purpose is to attract potential buyers who view the property online. Due to the competitive nature of the real estate industry, the demand for quality property photos is elevated and perpetual. Proper lighting and point of view helps a property stand out above the competition, driving potential buyers to view the property.

Who is this business right for?

Ideally, individuals with photography experience and an eye for architectural detail will be the best fits. Contacts in the real estate industry are an added bonus. It is also beneficial for the person to enjoy working outside or away from an office setting. Being in the field requires reliable transportation and an ability to transport gear, sometimes on foot for extended amounts of time, as well.

What happens during a typical day at a real estate photography business?

Your time will be split between running the business and being out in the field shooting photos. A typical week will include the following activities:

  • Meeting with clients to confirm what parts of the structure they need photographed and if they have any special requests or needs for the photo shoot.
  • Surveying property prior to a shoot to get an idea of lighting, time of day for exterior shots, etc.
  • Identifying the best angle for each shot and staging the area.
  • Editing photos
  • Sharing photos with client
  • Following up with client to ensure they received images
  • Re-shooting or re-editing images
  • Administrative work - Entering information into accounting software and paying bills/payroll
  • Marketing and networking - Checking in with past clients to see if they have any other properties that need to be photographed, attending realtor’s meetings, and calling real estate agents and businesses, reminding them of the services you offer.

What is the target market?

Your customers all have one thing in common - they are trying to sell their home or commercial property. They understand the value of publishing quality photos and include this as an essential part of their real estate budget.

How does a real estate photography business make money?

Real estate photographers generate revenue from each shoot and photo delivery. Most charge according to the type of property. When photographing personal property for real estate agents, they are paid prior to or on a shoot and based on the number of images which have been contracted to provide. For commercial clients, a deposit is paid upfront. The remaining balance is invoiced to the customer upon delivery of images.

What is the growth potential for a real estate photography business?

A growing number of real estate consumers are realizing that professional-quality staging and photography can add value to a real estate listing. For this reason, the demand for real estate photographers is high, allowing businesses to decide for themselves exactly how much volume they accept.

Before entering the industry, however, photographers are advised to research their area to define market saturation and identify specific industry needs that are not currently being met. To further expand their businesses, many business owners have opened satellite offices in other areas of the country.