Property Photography: An Overview for Property Owners

Why Use A Property Photographer?

How Do Our Customers Rate Us?

Are ‘Professional’ Property Photographers Created Equal?

Buyer Psychology and Statistics

Property Presentaton

Packages, Prices, and Payment Models

Why Use A Good Property Photographer?

Let’s dive straight into the four advantages of using a good property photographer.

Get More Instructions

Wouldn’t all Estate Agents like to have more instructions? Let’s pretend you’re a vendor looking to sell your property. You’re going to find a local agent with experience of selling property similar to yours right?

One Agent’s stock is consistently beautifully photographed and listed with sunny aerial views, dramatic exteriors and bright, clutter-free interiors. The other Agents photographs are cloudy, dark and wonky.  Which agent gets the first call?

Increase Sale Price

Would you like your listings to get consistently higher sale prices? Good photography is a very powerful tool for getting viewings and enquiries. The more interest a property has the more likely a higher sale prices will be achieved.

Having a range of people contact you should also be part of your long term business plan of turning them into sellers because they had such a great experience interacting with your business.

Sell More Stock

As any good Estate Agent knows, you only get one chance to launch a property. Weak launches lead to a lack of interest, and a fleeting vendor eager to launch the property with your competition.

Amazing images, a unique description, and a clear floor plan sets all properties on the right path to getting that needed interest online.

Stand Out. Be Bold.

All businesses, no matter how big or small need to demonstrate to their customers they offer something both valuable and different.

Property photography demonstrates to your customers that you take marketing seriously and that you’re committed to selling their property.

How Do Our Customers Rate Us?

Have a look at the lovely things our customers say about us!

We recently decided to put our property on the market, and we were put in touch with James by our estate agent. We have bought and sold many properties over the years, but have never used a professional photographer before.

One of the most significant selling aspects of our property is its location, and James’ images more than did this justice, showing not just a general view of the river but a different aspect of this view from just about every room in the house on all three levels.

We could not have asked for more, and were completely delighted with the final photos.

Robert and Sandra Cowie

Vendor

We have worked with a number of ‘property’ photographers Cornwall and we have settled on using James because there’s simply nothing as good available.

Although I wish James every success he was our secret for a long time and I am somewhat begrudgingly writing this testimonial for him.

James is not only able to create interest in a property but he’s able to give your business a sense of branding and quality. This is something we have never experienced before and it’s something our vendors subconsciously recognise.

 

Estate Agent

I have been working with James on a regular basis this summer. His eye for property photography is just what we need to set ourself apart from our competition. James is fantastic around Vendors and gets them invovled and quite excited about the idea of a photoshoot.

I would not hesitate to recommend James property photography skills and his ability to really create interest in a property. His images are consistent and create a sense of branding for our business which is sometjhing we have never experienced before.

 

 

Rachel and James McDonough

Vendor

Are ‘Professional’ Property Photographers Created Equal?

Let’s have a look at what it means to be a ‘professional’ property photographer

Unlike other countries, in the UK anyone can setup a ‘professional’ property photography business. There are no qualifications, experience, or industy memberships required. So what does the ‘professional’ in ‘professional photographer’ actually mean? Honestly, not a lot. So how can you determine the skill level of a photographer?

Experience & Skill

Buying the latest camera and lighting equipment is simply not enough to make good property photos. An understanding of composition, architecture, natural light, colour, and post-production is much more useful than the latest camera. You can see this to be true by looking at Estate Agents who have purchased cameras. I have not once seen an Estate Agent be able to match the quality that a seasoned professional property photographer can offer.

Equipment

Equipment is essential but it is only a tool to get the job done. An experienced photogrpaher can use any equipment.

As you probably know cameras, lenses and lighting equipment is not cheap. While the professional grade equipment is expensive it generally does last well and does offer the most flexibility in creating good photography. Surpsingly, spending money on lenses and lighting will offer better results than investing largely in a camera. There are cheaper lenses and lighting available but these all come with their own set of problems. Cheap lenses produce flat and unsaturated images and cheap lighting will spoil images with colour inaccuracies.

Approach to Property Photography

There’s numerous ways to photograph a property. You can photograph an exterior on an overcast day and replace the sky. It will look unnapealing, flat and grey and yet Estate Agents are paying for this service. The mistake I see a lot of “professional” photographers and Agents making is using a flash on their camera and pointing it at the ceiling. Have you ever wondered why a lot of pictures have what I call the ‘nuclear ceiling’. This is because people don’t know how to use their equipment properly. The better solution is the take the flash off the camera and position it such a way that it lights the room as a window would ensuring the room looks natural.

Customer Service

When you hire a third party, whether it be a property photographer, floor planner or EPC Assessor they become an ambassador for your business. Your customers experience of them, whether negative or positive, will be forever linked with your business. By. ensuring each interaction with your customer is a positive experience you gain their confidence in you.

At every stage we manage the vendors expectations by explaining what we believe is the best forward whilst taking on board any information they have specific to the property and area. While we may know an area well, a person who lives at the property will know more and this information can be very useful.

Buyer Psychology and Statistics

Are you above or below average in your area?

“95% of respondents in a survey conducted by Google in conjunction with the National Association of Realtors in the US, claimed they used the internet to search for properties.”

This highlights the critical importance of adding high-quality photos to your listing to show it in its best light and create that all-important emotional connection with potential buyers

“A survey in Australia which asked 600 Estate Agents found that high quality images attracted more buyers (89%), increased enquiries (79%), increased click-throughs to their online listings (68%) and secured a higher selling price (52%)”

 

89% of home buyers find photos very useful, 50% find virtual tours very useful, 44% find neighbourhood information very useful.

 

In the US, a study has even shown that good photographs can add $1,000 to more than a staggering $100,000 to the final sale price

Who can afford to spend 800k-1.5mill on a home? What are the habits of these people? They have expectations. 

Packages, Prices, and Payment Models

 

We know that traditional Estate Agents are currently feeling the squeeze from the online Estate Agents. We believe, rather than lowering prices and creating a race to the bottom, we should instead add value for our customers and differentiate our services.

Packages
We currently offer 2 packages. The first is an elegant solution for any properties but generally up to and around the £600,000 mark. This is an hour long appointment and will present the property well. There is little to no time for de-cluttering and we expect the vendor to have prepared the property in full before we arrive.

 

Currently, we offer a range of packages and payment options for you. We understand that the market is getting more and more competitive due to online Estate Agents. We believe that Vendors need to understand that you get you pay for. We also believe in high-quality work and exceptional customer service and this is reflected in our prices.

and your margins are being squeezed. In our experience, we have found people are willing to spend money if they get the service they expect.
Different Markets

Costs
250-600k
£100 per property
600-3million
£250-£600    

Can I buy a camera and photograph my own stock?

While there is nothing stopping you from going out and buying a camera and photographing your properties, is it really worth the outlay? Let’s look at the real cost of doing in house Estate Agent Photography.

Costs over 5 years
Camera
Lens
Memory Card x3
Flash x2
Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop
Editing Computer
Editing Monitor
Training 3 members of staff
Hours spent per year based on 100 properties per year
Travel cost for staff to property average 4 mile journey

 

Imagine buying your recently employed 21 year-old Sales Negotiator an expensive car, suit, shoes, pen, notepad and sending them out on a £1,000,000 evaluation. You can say goodbye to that instruction. The same rule applies to photography. It is the experience, not the equipment that produces great results. There are many Estate Agents in the UK taking their own pictures. I would say they range from poor to ok but none exactly defining or impressive.

100 properties per year

£10,000

 

Let’s do a quick comparison of a basic Estate Agent photography setup and compare to a professional setup in terms of cost and experience..

Estate Agent

Property Photography Experience
Camera: Sony a7 III x2
Lens: Sony 16-35mm F4
Drone: DJI
Flash x2: Sony
Memory Card x3:
Tripod: Manfrotto
Computer: i5, 8GB, 2tb
Editing Monitor: Dell 24″
Software: Adobe LR & PS
Photography Training x3
Drone Training x3
Staff @£10p/h 3 hours per property
Travel average 5 miles per property

Total
Total yearly cost

 

 

 

 

 

Quantity + Cost (5 years)

0-6 Months
£3178
£1049
£1720
£798
£134.97
£190
£600
£207
£598.80
£3000
£4,800
£15,000
£1,125

£32,400.77
£6,480.15

 

 

Professional Phogotapher

Property Photography Experience
Camera: Sony a7r III x2
Lens: Sony 16-35, 50, 70-200
Flash: Broncolor
Memory Card x3:
Tripod: Manfrotto
Computer: i7, 16GB, 8tb
Editing Monitor: Eizo 24″
Software: Adobe LR & PS
Degree BA (Hons) Photography
Drone Training

 

Total

Quantity + Cost (5 years)

8 Years
£5,398
£2,749
£4800
£134.97
£329.99
£1200
£649
£598.80
£24,000
£1,600

 

 

 

 £41,162.76

 

Equipment and Experience

Experience
Training
Camera(s)
Lens
Tripod
Flash
Computer
Monitor
Software
Total Cost

 

Estate Agent Phogotapher

0-1 Month or 1-10 Properties
None or a short course
Sony A7 II (£1,829)
Sony 16-35 F4 (£1,049)
Manfrotto (£190)
x1 Sony (£599)
Basic PC (£600)
Basic Monitor (£350)
Photoshop & Lightroom (£120pa)
£4,737 before training

 

Professional Phogotapher

8 Years or 1,000+ Properties
BA (Hons) + Training (£29,000)
Sony A7 II (£1,829) A7RIII (£2699)
Sony 16-35 F4 (£1,049)
Manfrotto (£275)
x3 Sony (£1797)
Editing PC (£1325)
Editing Monitor (£690)
Photoshop & Lightroom (£120pa)
£36,995

Conclusion

I haven’t included staff turn over, insurance, repairs, maintenance, data backup and employee sickness.

 

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