Getting started with and expanding a real estate photography portfolio is made easier with this comprehensive guide featuring strategies for each phase of a successful business plan
Matterport was recently featured in “The Business of Real Estate Photography” by Steven Ungermann, a professional photographer who built and established Capture Realty, a full-service real estate marketing company. Capture Realty’s service offerings include everything from project marketing, signage, web development, virtual staging and aerial scans to Matterport 3D’s visual marketing assets.
Whether you’re someone looking to start a photography business as a primary source of income, side-gig or you are already a professional photographer who simply wants to add real estate to your portfolio, entering a new field involves learning a new set of strategies; and “The Business of Real Estate Photography” is designed to help you do just that.
Ungermann offers a comprehensive guide to successfully starting a photography company and gives readers the resources essential to develop a plan for their own business.
Take a look at these tips about starting off in real estate photography and building it into the business you want:
Attract clients by understanding your audience
There is more to real estate photography than simply taking pictures of a client’s house or apartment. You’re capturing the essence of a person’s home and, in doing so, offering a representation to potential buyers of how they might make it their own.
"Potential buyers and renters can [now] virtually tour the property from anywhere in the world, at any time… open for inspection 24/7, allowing agents and clients to save time and money while increasing efficiency and engagement.” - PropertyMe.com
Of course, this means getting the most accurate look at the basic aspects of how a space is constructed, but it also means highlighting what makes it unique. Consider the surrounding area, current tenants and target buyers when setting the theme for a given shoot. The ability to tailor your tone to clients’ interests can be key to winning their business.
Capitalizing on trends in tech
A real estate agent’s ability to capture quality first impressions is possibly the most important factor in their ability to bring in quality leads. Visuals can make all the difference in drawing interest from qualified buyers, closing, and ultimately the purchase price for a property listing.
Today’s real estate photographer has a variety of tools at their disposal in creating visuals that are optimized for earning their clients leads. With virtual reality on the rise and on track to become a $29.7 billion industry in 2020, navigable 3D tours present a complete 24/7 view and unique path to efficiency and engagement for clients. Along with 3D models, technologies like drone photography and AR are changing the way homes are discovered, engaged with and sold.
“Matterport’s 3D models have become the standard in the real estate industry… which has proven to cut down the amount of time a listing is on the market. It allows interested buyers to confidently purchase homes ‘sight unseen,’ and create a more efficient transaction process overall.” - Steve Ungermann, “The Business of Real Estate Photography”
Whichever tools you choose to add, the real estate industry is in the midst of a technology revolution and photographers are at the forefront. Staying up to date with these emerging mediums and their marketing potential will put you in the best position for success now and in the future.
Differentiate with a diverse, professional portfolio
Some strategies apply no matter the industry and setting your business apart from the competition certainly fits that category. You’ve collected some pieces you’re proud of and now you need to promote your work in the best possible way.
Providing unique, eye-catching and comprehensive examples in your body of work is instrumental to finding differentiation in a photography business. The ability to provide the variety of views a home buyer looks for (2D photography, floor plans, 3D models etc.) makes you the one-stop-shop real estate agents need and them the resource their clients truly value. Diversifying what you have to offer through technique and technology goes a long way in improving your craft and generating the awareness that comes with it.
Choosing the right format, size and overall presentation of your portfolio can (and really should) vary based on the type of images you’re showcasing and who you’re showing it to, but the desired end result remains the same; impress potential clients and earn their business.
Know your competition
Just as it’s important to know your audience, it’s also crucial to know your competitors. Evaluating those businesses that are looking to reach the same market as your own will give you a better understating of where you stand among them, as well as what can differentiate your business.
Nearly every aspect of a competitor’s business can give insight into what works, what doesn’t and, at the very least, where your photography business differs. A useful tool for conducting this research is SWOT Analysis; or examining ‘strengths’, ‘weaknesses’, ‘opportunities’, and ‘threats.’
This simple acronym will help you more efficiently examine aspects of competitor businesses and your own. Building on identified strengths and improving on areas of weakness will put your photography business on a path to eliminating the amount of threats faced.
Structure your photography business
Behind the scenes of running any real estate photography business are the business decisions that make it all possible and profitable.
There are a number of questions you should ask yourself when getting started. What will I name my business? Will it be a sole proprietorship or joint venture? Do I need insurance as a photographer?
Answers to all these questions and many more can be found in the aforementioned guide on the “Business of Real Estate Photography.”
Ready to make your photography business goals a reality? Learn more about bringing your portfolio the complete real estate visual asset package and all-in-one marketing by contacting a Matterport expert today.