Are you a Real Estate Agent? Are you a homeowner? Are you considering hiring a real estate photographer? You are probably feeling a little overwhelmed by trying to figure out which one to choose from all the options available out there. In this blog, we will guide you on 7 essential things to consider before hiring a real estate photographer so you won’t regret your decision.
1. Products and services
First of all, you will want to identify what product or services you need for your business. Not all photographers provide all the services you might need, and it is best to stick with one that can provide all the services you may need in just one appointment. For example, if you are looking for someone to photograph a ranch or large estate you will definitely want to book aerial photography services, also known as drone photography. If you have a luxury listing to market, then booking a cinematic property video and twilight photography is your best route.
Most of the time, only larger real estate photography companies will provide a wide range of services and products compared to a single real estate photographer. However, you might only need a few ground images and in that case, working with a single real estate photographer might suit you best and help you boost your home’s screen appeal.
Once you have determined the products you will need for your business, the next step is to evaluate the quality of those products. This step is an easy one. Simply dive into their work portfolio which you usually find on their main website. In case you are considering working with a single real estate photographer that does not have a web page, ask to see their digital work portfolio, they should be able to provide you with one. Make sure you pay close attention to the products you are interested in since they might show high quality in some products but not so much in other products. For example, they might have great quality with aerial photography but may lack some in virtual staging services or twilight photography.
3. Turnaround time
Ok, so we made it through finding the products and quality we were looking for, what’s next? The next step is to know their turnaround time, if this information is not available online, we suggest you call and gather this information before making any commitments. Consider your needs regarding time. Most Realtors will need their photos as soon as possible. If that is your case, we suggest you work with a real estate photography company that can provide a next-day turnaround that can help you get your listing on the market in no time.
However, you might not be in a rush, in this case, working with a photographer with a longer turnaround time might not be an issue for you as long as it can compensate for other aspects.
4. Experience and Reviews
Everything looks good so far? Great! Then it’s time to dig into their work experience and reviews. Earlier we took a look at their work portfolio, now we need to take a look at how long they have been doing it and what others are saying about their work. You might want to consider someone who has been working in the real estate industry for a couple of years at least.
In addition, take some time to read through some of their google reviews online before making a decision. One may talk good about him/herself, but what others speak of them is what really matters. Also, consider taking a look at their social media, that might also be a good source to see how long they’ve been in the market and what others are commenting on. You might also get a deeper feeling about them by seeing how they relate with the community and or clients.
For example, if it’s a company that interacts and promotes its clients then that might be a great fit for you if you are all about the social media boost. If you’re still not yet active on social media, here are some steps to start building your social media presence. At Sharp Frame Media we help our clients boost their social media presence.
5. Licensing and Terms for Image Use
Ask if they have any restrictions on the use of images. For example, some companies might have certain restrictions on how long you can use the images or specific marketing purposes you can use them in. As for Sharp Frame Media, our licensing terms allow real estate agents to use the images for their general marketing purposes, even after a property has sold. All in all, make sure you are well informed about copyright when using your listing photos.
6. Professionalism & Service
We all know professionalism and great customer service is important to building true business partnerships. Let’s say you want to take an easy route, you hire a new photographer or the most affordable price, but on the day of the appointment, they don’t show up, or they do not deliver your photos in a timely manner. Until then, you might regret taking the easy route. Unfortunately, you can’t truly know their professionalism until you give them a try. Luckily, you can at least count on the experiences other clients have had with them in the past before making your decision. That’s why it is very important to explore a little more in-depth their reviews and experience.
Take a look at how they present themselves, either in person, online through their website, or how they interact on social media. All of that provides valuable information on professionalism. Perhaps give them a call and see how well they assist you. You really wouldn’t want to work with someone who can’t assist you with the basics. You want to partner with someone who you feel has your back at all times. At the end of the day, your photographer becomes your business partner, and as in any other work environment, we all want to work in environments with whom we feel comfortable, able to communicate needs, and work as a team.
So if you’re not getting that positive vibe then that’s probably not going to be a good fit for you in the long term. Remember that in reality, you are looking for something more than just hiring a photographer, you are looking for a long-term partnership.
You might be questioning why the pricing is not the number one aspect to consider. Although that might be the first thing every person looks at, it shouldn’t be. Why? Because you could easily be deceived by price as you might not obtain what you are looking for if you just base it on the price. For example, you might find an exquisite offer, however, it lacks the quality or the turnaround time you need. Or, you might think the most expensive product provides the best quality out there when in reality it may not.
So, to keep it safe, it is important to consider the pricing after you have searched into all the previous important points. Until then, you can officially just compare pricing. We share this from experience as we have had many Realtor clients come to us after they hired another photographer that did not deliver on their expectations.
Last but not least, it is important to view all these above aspects simultaneously. Therefore, we suggest you make a list of the 7 things to consider when hiring a photographer on a blank sheet of paper. Once you have your list, create a comparison table next to it with all the related information from all your real estate photography options. We guarantee you will be able to clearly view which real estate photographer is your best fit. It may seem like quite a bit of work, but remember it is your real estate business and brand that you are trying to build.
Want to Learn More About Sharp Frame Media?