By Ashley Sutphin
As a real estate professional, investing in a great photographer is critical. The vast majority of people use the internet as their primary way to shop for a new home. Having a professional photographer makes the difference in selling a property in a matter of days or having it sit on the market for months in many instances.
The role of an expert real estate photographer is to improve your lead generation and make each property look as appealing as is possible.
There are a lot of photographers who say they can do real estate photos, however, making it a tough decision. There are factors to weigh like their reviews, experience, and price.
The following are a few specific things to keep in mind to hire a new real estate photographer, and hopefully one you end up using for years to come.
Look At Their Portfolio
As much as a photographer might like to tell you they can do real estate photography, it’s unique and sometimes hard to do well.
The best way to know whether or not a photographer can capture the images you need is to look at their portfolio.
If you’re starting completely from scratch in your search, ask other agents for recommendations and go from there.
How Well Do They Understand the Business Aspect of Real Estate?
There are certain rules of business that a photographer needs to understand. For example, the MLS might reject your photos if they include a Realtor sign.
It’s also important that the photographer has at least a baseline understanding of the market, what appeals to buyers and what doesn’t, and how to edit the photos after the shoot to appeal to the most possible buyers.
Can They Help with Staging?
A good real estate photographer should be able to at least provide input into staging and work with you on this. They might also help provide the homeowner with important tips that can make a big difference in the quality of the photos.
You want a photographer who’s comfortable and experienced enough to offer input as it’s needed.
Some real estate photographers will even provide homeowners with a pre-photography staging checklist to help them.
A truly talented real estate photography can visually stage, which means they can look at any room in a home and know exactly what they need to do to take a great photo.
Find Someone You Communicate Well With
A lot of communication is going to be involved if you have an ongoing relationship with a real estate photographer, so you want to make sure you both communicate well with one another.
You want your photographer to respond promptly, to have input when needed, and to be someone that you feel comfortable giving your own feedback to, if necessary.
Does the Person Have Specialized Equipment?
Real estate photography often requires specialized equipment. For example, a photographer may have to take pictures in a dark basement, so they’ll need to make sure they have the right lighting. For aerial photos, a drone may be needed.
Questions to Ask Initially
Once you find a photographer that you can work with long-term, you’ll know all of these things, but in the beginning, some questions to ask include:
• Do you specialize in real estate photography?
• How booked up are you usually, and do you have time to take on consistent work from a new client?
• How long will it take to receive images?
• Do you do virtual tours, drone, and video work?
• How do you get paid?
• Do you have liability insurance?
Remember, good real estate photography can more than pay for itself. It’s an expense you really shouldn’t try to avoid as a real estate professional, particularly in today’s digitally driven world.