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DPChallenge Forums >> Business of Photography >> Real estate phototgraphy pricing
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08/12/2009 10:09:53 PM · #1
Good work. Hope the job plays out to be an earner.
08/12/2009 08:05:35 PM · #2
Originally posted by shawnp:

Wow, this post has taken on a life of it's own.

Just a follow up to everyone from my post that started this whole thing.

I took many of the suggestions mentioned and quoted $18/house, on 30 house trial. I just recvd email from customer that states "I think your quote is very accurate, I was in the same ballpark..."

I want to thank everyone, it looks like I will be getting kicked off on Friday.

Shawn

So, how did it go??

08/05/2009 11:01:39 PM · #3
Haven't you figured out that we know very well how to fix your life while our own lives are in shambles?? ;-)
08/05/2009 10:54:33 PM · #4
Originally posted by shawnp:

Wow, this post has taken on a life of it's own.



It's the dpc way. :)
08/05/2009 10:48:17 PM · #5
Originally posted by shawnp:

Wow, this post has taken on a life of it's own.

Just a follow up to everyone from my post that started this whole thing.

I took many of the suggestions mentioned and quoted $18/house, on 30 house trial. I just recvd email from customer that states "I think your quote is very accurate, I was in the same ballpark..."

I want to thank everyone, it looks like I will be getting kicked off on Friday.

Shawn


Of course he said "I was in the same ballpark", he likely expected more and was a very happy guy. How do you think he ended up owning so many palces to rent. But in the end only you have to be happy.
08/05/2009 10:38:19 PM · #6
Congrats. Now get to work! ;-)
08/05/2009 10:28:22 PM · #7
Wow, this post has taken on a life of it's own.

Just a follow up to everyone from my post that started this whole thing.

I took many of the suggestions mentioned and quoted $18/house, on 30 house trial. I just recvd email from customer that states "I think your quote is very accurate, I was in the same ballpark..."

I want to thank everyone, it looks like I will be getting kicked off on Friday.

Shawn
08/05/2009 08:56:19 PM · #8
Originally posted by ellamay:

Remember one house sale means a LOT of income for realtors.... and now a days those pix you are taking are what is luring the customers!

These are rental (income) properties, not houses for sale.
08/05/2009 08:54:27 PM · #9
Originally posted by ellamay:

I would check for pricing on fotoquote somehow or a similar thing. A lot of commercial photographers make 500-800 a day. Granted the high end ones are people who have a fair bit of experience.


$800 a day is low-end for a commercial photographer these days... When last I worked as an architectural/commercial photographer, a decade ago or a bit more, we were getting $1250 a day and were actually considered to be very reasonably priced.

R.
08/05/2009 08:20:33 PM · #10
I would check for pricing on fotoquote somehow or a similar thing. A lot of commercial photographers make 500-800 a day. Granted the high end ones are people who have a fair bit of experience.

Remember one house sale means a LOT of income for realtors.... and now a days those pix you are taking are what is luring the customers!
08/05/2009 08:15:49 PM · #11
Originally posted by shawnp:

I appreciate everyone's input> SDW, I like your idea about rent percentage, but there is no way for me to verify what the rent will be. It would be easy for them to say "all props rent for $500" which holds me at $15. Any ideas on this?


Yeah... It's a ridiculous way to do your pricing :-)

R.
08/05/2009 08:11:58 PM · #12
I appreciate everyone's input> SDW, I like your idea about rent percentage, but there is no way for me to verify what the rent will be. It would be easy for them to say "all props rent for $500" which holds me at $15. Any ideas on this?
08/05/2009 07:36:59 PM · #13
Make it simple. Charge 3% of the monthly rental price.
If the property rents for $500/mo. then you make $15.00
If the property rents for $1000/mo. then you make $30.00

Considering you can do 5 to 10 properties per day that's $75 to $150 per day.

If he/she complains inform them that 3% is 5 times less than the average tip for services rendered.
08/05/2009 07:19:25 PM · #14
The OP mentioned that interiors would be shot only in unoccupied houses, so tenant cooperation (or lack thereof) is essentially a non-factor, especially if the exteriors are shot from the sidewalk.
08/05/2009 06:58:41 PM · #15
Originally posted by Bear_Music:

Originally posted by Ivo:

Been in Sales for 25 years and have taught more than a couple of people how to do it.

$11 K sounds like alot, $25 per house sounds more reasonable

430 houses at an average $100,000 per house is 43 million dollars worth of real estate.

An average full page display ad in a newspaper is at least $2000

430 houses at 4 houses per day is 107 days of work including edits.

107 days of work is just over 5 months of 5 day work weeks.

$11,000 divided by 5 months of work comes to $2200 per month.

$5 of gas per day (conservative) is $535 worth of fuel.

Income tax??

Lost opportunity - priceless.

Think it through before you sign on the line.

Some marriages are not worth getting into.


Ivo,

This is all very sensible advice, a good perspective. But regarding 430 houses at 4 houses/day, remember the IOP:

"These do not need to be high quality, just something that looks good on their website and when printed (small pics, maybe 2 exterior, 4 or 5 interior for each just to get general idea of house). These properties are all single family rentals and within a 3 mile radius of each other. "

He can easily do 10 houses a day, easily, and I expect that's what the owners will be expecting at a minimum. So that's 43 days of work, a month and a half, and that 11k gross comes out to what, roughly 7k/mo... Granted, that's gross, but nevertheless it's a more realistic perspective IF you're discussing "how much a month" this comes out to.

Of course, that's not how I'D price anyway, but that's neither here nor there. I knew a LOT of people tried to break into architectural photography by shooting for agents, and it's just not the same world at all...

R.


Maybe suggesting 4 houses a day may be a bit slim ....... but .......there are a couple of variables.

Will the existing tenans be cooperative and available? This can be a huge time waster.

I did a couple of real estate shoots and found myself editing the damn images near as much as I do for weddings.

The biggest obstacle will be what the OP will satisfied with as an end result. Will he damn himself into excessive editing to ensure he give the end result he sees fit for consumption?

This is where the cost can skyrocket.

Just a thought.
08/05/2009 06:56:33 PM · #16
Also, don't fall into the trap of thinking that you must underbid everyone else--the lowest bidder may not get the job, especially if the client is experienced enough to recognize that the bidder doesn't understand the scope of the job. Our studio just won a job almost precisely because we were not the lowest bidder: a large event shoot, short fuse deadlines, thousands of images required with short turn-around time. Our bid was detailed, demonstrated HOW we would accomplish the task (we have a large number of photographers we can bring to the event to ensure coverage and obtaining the necessary number of images in the time allowed, etc.).

So even though we were well above the bids of others, our bid gave the client confidence that we had thought it thru, had a plan to accomplish it, and the client would get what they wanted, when they wanted it. The other bids sounded more like "yea, I can do that for ya for $x" and the client had no confidence that they could deliver.

You might want to just go out and shoot your own house, drive to 3 or 4 friends homes, shoot those exteriors, and go home and process them: time it and see how much work it really is. Shoot the interior of your own home for practice, see how much set up it really takes, how much processing you need to do on those shots (might be different). You could set your camera to be taking small jpegs, set the in-camera contrast, color, sharpness etc so that your out of camera shots should need very little processing, then see how they actually come out--if you are confident of little or no processing, just unloading them from the camera and uploading them to a site, or if you know that you do need to allow x minutes of processing to get the quality you want, that is good information to have before you bid. Take into account how you will track the images after they are taken, associatng them with the correct home, and tracking clearly which homes have been shot, which homes's images have been delivered to the client, etc. Sometimes those logistics will take longer than the shots, or the processing. An Eye-Fi card that will upload your images from the camera as soon as you get in range of your home might save you a lot of time--an efficiency improvement you can make after you win the job, if you don't want to bid that assumed (but not yet measured) efficiency from the start.

You could include some of the practice exterior shots with your bid, too :-)

Price in some average mileage per home to be shot, factor for time in traffic, some on the road meals, etc. Make sure your bid includes time frame or rate at which the shots will be taken and provided, how they will be delivered, and when. etc. You might find that 430 homes, exteriors only will take weeks or months based on your own trial run, so you might want to work out a bid that builds that into the plan, deliver images in blocks, with payment due in stages as images are provided (and if payment is not forthcoming, delayed work, cancellation clause, etc). The rate of image delivery is important: if he wants all of them done so fast that this is a 40 hour or more per week effort for the duration, then you are basically exclusively working for him, and cannot accept other work until you are done. That could warrant a bit of a premium in your bid. If, on the other hand, it is a variable rate, not urgent, and might take 10-15 hours per week for a longer span, which you could cover on weekends if necessary (or could deliver faster for earlier payment) then you have some flexibility if another job opens up.

Don't assume that the shortest shoot/process time in your trial run is the one you should go with--some will be easier than others, so put a little pad in there for yourself.

And, once you have a clearer understanding of how much work it is, how long it will take, whether you will be able to accept another job offer or be exclusively working for this client until it is done, etc., then put a value on all of your time and effort above your costs. Don't bid the bare minimum you would accept, since your estimates of costs and time might be off some, and you might hurt yourself.

I don't know if bidding based on a per home basis (only) is the way to go. Bidding based on the number of exterior shots per home, with a charge for extra shots above and beyond that, seems reasonable. Likewise for interior shots. It might be possible to bid "plus expenses for travel, gas, meals as required" (though documenting those adds a little time too). I am guessing you can come up with a reasonable average mileage per home or co-located groups of homes, though, and build it into your bid. {ETA: I had missed the "3 mile radius" info before--that helps a LOT}

The more professional your bid is, the more understanding of the task, the desired product, with options like interim deliveries and payments, cancellation clauses, etc, the more it will support the value of your work, the price you charge. The client may go with the lowest bid just to see if they deliver, or he may have been down this road already and have a instinct for who has a clue and who doesn't. I'm guessing with that many homes, he is no newbie.

Whatever you do, whatever you decide, good luck to you!

Message edited by author 2009-08-05 19:32:43.
08/05/2009 06:35:27 PM · #17
Originally posted by Ivo:

Been in Sales for 25 years and have taught more than a couple of people how to do it.

$11 K sounds like alot, $25 per house sounds more reasonable

430 houses at an average $100,000 per house is 43 million dollars worth of real estate.

An average full page display ad in a newspaper is at least $2000

430 houses at 4 houses per day is 107 days of work including edits.

107 days of work is just over 5 months of 5 day work weeks.

$11,000 divided by 5 months of work comes to $2200 per month.

$5 of gas per day (conservative) is $535 worth of fuel.

Income tax??

Lost opportunity - priceless.

Think it through before you sign on the line.

Some marriages are not worth getting into.


Ivo,

This is all very sensible advice, a good perspective. But regarding 430 houses at 4 houses/day, remember the IOP:

"These do not need to be high quality, just something that looks good on their website and when printed (small pics, maybe 2 exterior, 4 or 5 interior for each just to get general idea of house). These properties are all single family rentals and within a 3 mile radius of each other. "

He can easily do 10 houses a day, easily, and I expect that's what the owners will be expecting at a minimum. So that's 43 days of work, a month and a half, and that 11k gross comes out to what, roughly 7k/mo... Granted, that's gross, but nevertheless it's a more realistic perspective IF you're discussing "how much a month" this comes out to.

Of course, that's not how I'D price anyway, but that's neither here nor there. I knew a LOT of people tried to break into architectural photography by shooting for agents, and it's just not the same world at all...

R.
08/05/2009 05:42:21 PM · #18
I love pricing discussions, because when it comes down to it, none of us have the right answer haha. It is what it is. Some days youll take what you can get, other days you can nickel and dime your way closer to early retirement.

Bottom line, read your client, get a feel for what hes expecting...if hes talking to other photogs, then odds are he now has a price in his head that he finds "reasonable"

Also, as you mentioned, youre currently unemployed, and I dont know how many other jobs you have scheduled, but if its enough that you feel that you won't make enough on this job, then don't be afraid to say no and walk away.

But if its a case of where you are getting a little thin in the bank account, you might want to do whatever you can to get this job, and be prepared to get down and dirty in negotiations.

Thats one thing I learned from my sales days...you can be much more loose and selective when you already have hit that quota for the month.
08/05/2009 05:38:07 PM · #19
Been in Sales for 25 years and have taught more than a couple of people how to do it.

$11 K sounds like alot, $25 per house sounds more reasonable

430 houses at an average $100,000 per house is 43 million dollars worth of real estate.

An average full page display ad in a newspaper is at least $2000

430 houses at 4 houses per day is 107 days of work including edits.

107 days of work is just over 5 months of 5 day work weeks.

$11,000 divided by 5 months of work comes to $2200 per month.

$5 of gas per day (conservative) is $535 worth of fuel.

Income tax??

Lost opportunity - priceless.

Think it through before you sign on the line.

Some marriages are not worth getting into.

Message edited by author 2009-08-05 17:52:11.
08/05/2009 05:34:06 PM · #20
Originally posted by Ivo:

I just shot a 2 hour wedding for $600. Was that too much?

This is why wealthy people get wealthy, they are not afraid to ask what they are worth and they prey upon those who do not have the savvy to justify their own self worth.

I disagree with Cutter, I'd have to say at least $85 per house and a cold beer waiting on each doorstep.

Oh yes, as pointed out by chromey, make sure you tell the customer he is ugly as well. ;-)


Guess you swiped a few too many beers off your neighbors' doorsteps, it's got you hallucinating quotes, now....
08/05/2009 05:23:42 PM · #21
Originally posted by Ivo:

Originally posted by ajdelaware:

$25 per house seems kind of outrageous to me, and I tend to be all aobut making as much as you can...430 at 25 an hour is almost 11k dollars.

If you came to me with that number, I would escort you to the curb via my foot in your ass. The rich are rich because they are cutthroat and savvy.

Id ask what thier budget is...odds are they won't tell you an exact figure, but youll get a general idea of where they are thinking.


Wow, this is an excellent lesson of how to maintain a modest lifestyle and never have aspirations to shoot for what your time may be worth.

If you think you are worth $10-$15 per hour, you are right. If you think you are worth more, you are right as well. Let the customer decide.


I dont know how much sales experience you have, but there is a delicate balance to pricing. Yeah yeah, there is the charge how much you feel your worth, and I agree with that in theory, and when it comes to artistic photography and things like weddings, I think it is insanely valid and you can make a killing doing that.

This on the other hand is simply photographing exteriors of houses for lo-res files on photo copied printouts and web. This guy isn't looking for Ansel Adams landscapes of his homes, hes looking for a picture of the unit. This is something he probably attempted to do on his own and just didn't have the time to complete the task or didn't want ot be bothered.

$11k is going to completely price this guy out of the job, and I would say almost to the extent of not being able to counteroffer.

Artistic creativity and all that jazz aside, its still a business, its still sales, the standard concepts of reality still apply.
08/05/2009 05:20:37 PM · #22
I do quite a bit of real estate photography for real estate agents.

Here is a small sampling of my work:

' . substr('//farm4.static.flickr.com/3279/2578564201_ed25ef1d3b_t.jpg', strrpos('//farm4.static.flickr.com/3279/2578564201_ed25ef1d3b_t.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' . ' . substr('//farm3.static.flickr.com/2311/2349377819_14f30b9bb1_t.jpg', strrpos('//farm3.static.flickr.com/2311/2349377819_14f30b9bb1_t.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' . ' . substr('//farm3.static.flickr.com/2145/2433538030_a2ea650b1c_t.jpg', strrpos('//farm3.static.flickr.com/2145/2433538030_a2ea650b1c_t.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' . ' . substr('//farm3.static.flickr.com/2260/2358885344_2fde0e5738_t.jpg', strrpos('//farm3.static.flickr.com/2260/2358885344_2fde0e5738_t.jpg', '/') + 1) . ' . ' . substr('//farm3.static.flickr.com/2040/2366950403_4ea10f3c21_t.jpg', strrpos('//farm3.static.flickr.com/2040/2366950403_4ea10f3c21_t.jpg', '/') + 1) . '

Here are more samples of my work.

There are some tips to consider:

- Use an ultra-wide angle lens (among other lenses) for interior rooms. I use the "Canon EFS 10-22 USM" for my ultra-wide.
- Quality tripod
- Remote shutter release (wireless or wired)
- Knowledge of shooting with the camera mirror raised
- With rooms with pleasant exterior views (through glass windows/doors), shoot in High Dynamic Range (HDR) to capture both the interior and exterior detail.
- Close curtains/drapes/blinds for those windows and doors with non-flattering views.
- Turn as many lights on in the rooms as possible
- Wet the driveway, entranceway, sidewalk, etc. with water for street-view photographs
- Remove all clutter from each room
- Be aware of your camera/tripod's reflections (and your own reflection) in mirrors and glass.

If the images are just for an MLS listing, I normally charge $250 for a "normal" house, consisting of 8-12 basic images. "Normal" roughly meaning 1600 to 3500 sq. ft. and up to 4 bedrooms. If they want something not-so-normal like a view of the grounds from a rooftop or maybe a gazebo or other separate structures, then I alter the price. Sometimes there are sellers that have a large vaulted ceiling and they want a view of the room from atop the ceiling. This is extra, of course. If they don't have a large enough ladder or scaffolding, then the cost any such rented equipment is passed-on to them (with a markup).

If the photos are for a feature in a magazine or other publication (non-MLS), I price it differently.

Either way, I retain ownership of all the photos--I never "sell" the photos, but I license them to the agent, seller, or whomever.

Message edited by author 2009-08-22 02:22:15.
08/05/2009 05:10:37 PM · #23
I just shot a 2 hour wedding for $600. Was that too much?

This is why wealthy people get wealthy, they are not afraid to ask what they are worth and they prey upon those who do not have the savvy to justify their own self worth.

I disagree with Cutter, I'd have to say at least $85 per house and a cold beer waiting on each doorstep.

Oh yes, as pointed out by chromey, make sure you tell the customer he is ugly as well. ;-)
08/05/2009 05:04:58 PM · #24
It is not just a consideration of what you think you (your time) is worth, but also a consideration of what the product or service is worth to the customer, what the market rate for such a product or service is worth. And even big profit conscious companies are not dumb to the idea of loss-leaders, either. So the consideration of what the experience is worth, in terms of resume building, contacts, networking, or other opportunities all comes into play.

In the end, it is up the OP to figure out what the net experience is worth to him, what his cost would be to do it, and if the net benefits in terms of actual pay and less tangible items like opportunity, experience, potential are worth it.

It might be reasonable to bid on 25 homes as a start--you can see if you want to spend your time that way, if it is cost effective, and the client can see your work. Then you can bid on the remaining homes if you want, change your rate based on the experience in hand, and the client can determine based on the 25 that you are worth it. Experienced folks often can ask for and expect more payment than inexperienced folks ;-)

Or you can tell him that you will only work for $25/house if he brings the homes to your front door, as suggested earlier. See how well that goes over.

Message edited by author 2009-08-05 17:05:34.
08/05/2009 05:00:25 PM · #25
Originally posted by karmat:

[

And chances are he's more concerned about HIS profit than the OP's. ;)


Seriously.

If he rents out just 10 places out of the 430 because of your photographs...and let's say gets just $100 per property per month over his cost in rental profit (and that's a low figure), then he has already paid for the photographs if you factor in $25 per house. Letting alone the fact that is just over the period of one year.

I wouldn't touch it for less than $50 per house. And I shoot residential and commercial properties.
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