The short answer is: all homes you represent should have professional photos made, but you would expect a photographer to say that. The most value pro photography brings to an agent is a greater perceived value by the home seller of the agent’s marketing expertise. Maintaining consistent quality across all of your listings shows your willingness to provide a high level of service to all of your customers.
The agent doesn’t always have to pay for the photography out of their own pocket. It might be possible to get the seller to foot the bill. All of the industry studies show that professional photography leads to higher selling prices and faster turn around on average. For the agent, a couple of thousand dollars increase in a sale price doesn’t always give enough of a net increase in commission to cover the photos, but it certainly does for the owner. If the seller insists on an asking price way over the comps, offer to rebate them the cost of the photography at closing if they are to pay for it up front.
The two key items that cost a photographer is the travel expense and the number of photos delivered. Just to prep the equipment, travel to and from the site and take care of the paperwork means that there is a certain minimum price to do the job. But, once the batteries are charged and the car is loaded, it’s not as large of an additional cost to do an additional small job in the same general area. This is where having a few days of flexibility can lead to getting photographs made for those lower priced properties at a rate within the marketing budget. Lesser expensive properties don’t need nearly as many pictures as a large estate. 6 to 8 images might be perfect to highlight a manufactured home or small bungalow. A photographer would still have to charge about the same as they would to provide 14-18 finished images of a larger home were they to make a special trip to make photos of the small property. To only have to travel a few blocks while in the area can bring down the price considerably. It’s always nice to have a full day scheduled in the same area whether it’s one big job or a mix of smaller ones.
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