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08/05/2009 01:42:13 PM · #1
I just had a meeting with an investor that wants exteriors of 430 single family houses shot, + 30 interiors (now, more later) that just require basics for his own website. I am wondering how to charge for this. 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.

Does anyone have any idea how I should price this? He is interviewing some local college interns too(I am a landscape photographer just trying to make some xtra money).

I appreciate any assistance you can give. Again, these are not pics for VR tours, just basic pics that end up being 2 x 2" on a print out.

Shawn
08/05/2009 01:51:23 PM · #2
your best bet with something like this is to work out a reasonable hourly rate and something for your mileage. if you're lucky, you might be able to get as much as $25, but more than likely, it will be something between $12 and $17. if he offers to pay you per house, be ready to figure out about how much time is going to be involved so you can compare it to what you could be charging hourly. if he wants to pay by the house and the houses are relatively close together, then you might be able to realize a higher hourly rate just by being real efficient.

all the same, there's not a whole lot of money in this type of work; even when you have experience and the ability to upsale yourself, most people don't want to pay a lot for this. so, if you can come to a number that works for you, go for it. otherwise, it's probably not worth the aggravation.

good luck!
08/05/2009 01:58:30 PM · #3
Thanx for the info. I forgot to mention that I am currently unemployed so any extra income is appreciated.

I believe he does want a per-house number, so I will just have to shoot from the hip on how long it will take per house, per your suggestion.

This is first time doing this and did not expect such a vast number like this guy wants.

Thanx again, at least you've given me something to work with.
08/05/2009 02:05:55 PM · #4
even though you're out of work, you still owe it to yourself to evaluate how you use your time. if he has you riding around all day, shooting for say, $5 a house, he's looking to spend less than $2500. that's a nice amount, if you can do it all in a week, or even two. on the other hand, if it's something that is going to take a month, working at it almost full time, well, i gotta believe if you put that much effort (160 solid hours) into networking, researching, interviewing, self-marketing, you could probably come up with something bigger and better. just something to think about...
08/05/2009 02:11:38 PM · #5
Again, I appreciate your comments and you make good points. Something for me to think about.
08/05/2009 02:19:18 PM · #6
A way you can come up with a figure is seeing what your cost would be.

What kind of camera are you going to use? and what kind of lens(es) will be needed.
Gas cost
Time cost
processing the images
etc.
Then set a percentage profit.

ETA: The reason I ask what camera. You have to think about shutter life. At 430 house at 32 shutters each, thats close to 14000 shuttle click on a camera that the manufacture rating is 100,000 shuttle life. So you would need to calculate that into your formula. If you pay $1000 for a Canon 40D (example camera) then you would need to calculate at least 14% of its cost for that job. So that alone would be $140 divided by 430 houses = 32.5 cents per house. So charge $1.00 per house on shutter life expediency encase of shutter failure. The do the same for gas, time, and your pay. Remember wear and tear on equipment.

Message edited by author 2009-08-05 14:28:26.
08/05/2009 02:33:39 PM · #7
I currently have a 20D (was looking at moving to 50D before this opportunity came up). I tried to run the formula to check my total clicks but couldn't get it to work. But I bought it new and have not really taken the photos that I hear others taking (ex. 800 on a vacation, etc. If my current photo count, with the same card since new, is an indication, I recently broke 1100 exposures.

Good idea on the wear and tear, I had not considered that.
08/05/2009 02:45:03 PM · #8
Why in the world would you be taking 32 shots of each house exterior?
08/05/2009 02:47:36 PM · #9
I believe he meant 32 total, as I need to take interiors on 30 to start with, eventually all of them over time.
08/05/2009 02:52:26 PM · #10
A side point, although you might take all those photos and, therefore own the copyright in those photos, unless you get a property release signed for each building by the owner, you do not have the right to commercially exploit those photos. That means you could not, for instance, sell the photos via a microstock agency. It also raises the question about whether the potential client has the right to use those images on a web site.
08/05/2009 02:55:53 PM · #11
Good thought on the stock photography side, I will need to ask.

The company OWNS all 430 of these houses, so they have no issues with property releases.
08/05/2009 03:05:42 PM · #12
OK, that sounds like a possibility. If you can get a release signed, then you have another way to make money from this venture (possibly). Good luck.
08/05/2009 03:12:10 PM · #13
Let me throw this out there to see what you all think.

If I figure 1 hour/house for interior and exterior photos at $5 for exterior (I need to break it down because some will be just exteriors) and $15 for interior. That equates to $20/hour. Then if I figure 15 minutes/house to upload (should be little post processing, again just simple pics), that puts me at 75 minutes/house. Based on $20/hour, this works out to $25 house. Does this sound reasonable to a family that owns 430 houses (in Michigan) with 300 of them rented and bringing in cash each month?

Also, while 75 minutes times 430 houses equates to 535 hours, right now I have only 30 total that need int+ext, about 80 that need only exterior, and the others will need exterior when I get to them. Eventually the 80 will be refurbished and will need int and the 300 will have leases up now and then and will need int, so I don't need to put 535 hours into this in the next month or two.
08/05/2009 03:25:30 PM · #14
If they are rented out, then that might mean knocking at the door, some chit chat, and then photos. First thought is that is sure to slow the process down somewhat. Second thought is if this is the landlord you might be working for, then there are landlord-tenant relations to consider. There might well be applicable laws to consider with regard to tenant's privacy etc. My question is, what is the purpose of the photographs? for marketing the properties - selling all of them? use for future rental add?, evidence for insurance? Usage sometimes helps to decide the price - but also helps you to understand where you might find yourself if there are landlord relations to consider...

Message edited by author 2009-08-05 15:26:08.
08/05/2009 03:30:45 PM · #15
Landlord wants pics to add to website (and for office usage) to market props. They currently have one ext of each these props and feel they are missing business by not having more in depth, especially since their software allows for much more info on each property.

As to tenants, all of the properties will be shot TENANTLESS. The 30 are ready for rent, but not rented. The 80 are being refurbed by owners crews, not ready for rent. The 300 remaining will only get exterior now and interior once any tenants leave.

Also, is this a standard 1099 relationship as pertains to pay/taxes?
08/05/2009 03:32:26 PM · #16
I misspoke. The 300 for exteriors are rented, but I would expect no conversation would be needed other than to tell them I am with the company.
08/05/2009 04:03:03 PM · #17
In that case it sounds reasonable. The client has money, obviously. Sounds like you could make some money on the venture. If you can get 25-30 per unit and also get a signed release, then why not make a go for it. You also might meet some RE people along the way...
08/05/2009 04:12:05 PM · #18
Thanx pineapple. And thanx to everyone else. I was ready to just quote this at a much lower number, but very good points were brought up, including several legal issues that had not at all occurred to me. As things stand right now (I have an email into the guy with a few questions) I think I will go with the $25 and see what I can get.
08/05/2009 04:20:50 PM · #19
$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.

08/05/2009 04:33:42 PM · #20
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.
08/05/2009 04:41:17 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.


There's truth in that to some degree. But, you also have to factor in that this isn't an open check opportunity. The "owner" is also looking at college interns, and will go with the lower quote, I would suspect. My husband has to do quotes for his company that builds custom designed machines. Now, he would love to be able to quote what they are worth to him and the company, but in reality, if they did that with every job, pretty soon, they would have no work.

The balance lies somewhere between "What am I worth/what it is worth to me?" and "What do I do to get the job?
08/05/2009 04:44:46 PM · #22
Or you could get creative....you say you are currently out of work. Is there an opportunity there to maybe live rent-free in one of the units? Don't know what your housing situation is or even if these properties appeal to you, but just thought I'd throw that idea out there.
08/05/2009 04:49:20 PM · #23
Originally posted by karmat:

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.


There's truth in that to some degree. But, you also have to factor in that this isn't an open check opportunity. The "owner" is also looking at college interns, and will go with the lower quote, I would suspect. My husband has to do quotes for his company that builds custom designed machines. Now, he would love to be able to quote what they are worth to him and the company, but in reality, if they did that with every job, pretty soon, they would have no work.

The balance lies somewhere between "What am I worth/what it is worth to me?" and "What do I do to get the job?


If the customer would bring the houses to your front door and ensure there are no access problems, adequate lighting and accepted images with zero post processing,I'd agree. Factor in gas, possible reshoots, weather, etc and you may find $25 hour to be a heck of a deal. Its all in the packaging.

Like Skip said, its likely not worth it otherwise and you've also bound yourself into something that is not profitable in the event something better comes along.

If the guy has 430 houses available to shoot, he is not dumb to the idea that profit is required to ensure continuity.
08/05/2009 04:51:32 PM · #24
Originally posted by Ivo:

Originally posted by karmat:

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.


There's truth in that to some degree. But, you also have to factor in that this isn't an open check opportunity. The "owner" is also looking at college interns, and will go with the lower quote, I would suspect. My husband has to do quotes for his company that builds custom designed machines. Now, he would love to be able to quote what they are worth to him and the company, but in reality, if they did that with every job, pretty soon, they would have no work.

The balance lies somewhere between "What am I worth/what it is worth to me?" and "What do I do to get the job?


If the customer would bring the houses to your front door and ensure there are no access problems, adequate lighting and accepted images with zero post processing,I'd agree. Factor in gas, possible reshoots, weather, etc and you may find $25 hour to be a heck of a deal. Its all in the packaging.

Like Skip said, its likely not worth it otherwise and you've also bound yourself into something that is not profitable in the event something better comes along.

If the guy has 430 houses available to shoot, he is not dumb to the idea that profit is required to ensure continuity.


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