You may think that real estate agents work on their own. However, that often isn’t the case. In the real estate industry, it’s incredibly important to know the right people. A good network allows you to stay on top of things. You never know when you need a lawyer to give you some legal advice, a marketer to help you position yourself well, or a salesperson to guide you on how to seal the deal. You’ll often find that having real estate friends is important too!
One of the most important people that you should have in your network, however, is a photographer.
Why a photographer? Well, just about everyone searching for potential homes or offices start by looking online. In this process, they’ll browse listings, compare prices, and look at pictures. First impressions of a property often come as a result of pictures. An estate - even a fantastic one - may not even get a second glance if represented by poor photos. This means that a great photographer can often be a game changer for you, helping you to up your real estate game and sell more properties.
So how can you find a great photographer to have on speed dial whenever you’ve won a new listing? To start with, you can ask yourself the following questions:
#1 - Does their work reflect your brand?
Different photographers have different skill levels, and not all will be able to deliver to you the same quality of work. Some will produce photos that look like it came from a point-and-shoot, while some will offer you exceptional photos that are of magazine quality. Before you hire a photographer, look at their past work and see if the quality is able to represent the kind of brand image you want to give off. If you want to come across as an experienced, professional agent who sells nothing but the best, you’ll probably want an excellent photographer who will be able to deliver photos of the same quality.
#2 - How are their rates?
It’s great to luck out on a deal, but the cheapest photographer won’t always be the best. Cheap photographers are oftentimes not as experienced or not as equipped. They may be completely new to the industry and don’t know how to set prices as well. It’s nice to support photographers who are starting out, but if you’ve got a listing at stake, you’ll want someone who is experienced and who can really deliver. This person probably won’t be on the lower rung of prices, so consider looking a little further up for someone who is experienced, professional, able to handle tough situations, and can make any property look amazing.
#3 - Are they local?
There are quite a few big real estate photography companies out there providing services. However, the turnover for many of these companies is high, meaning you have to deal with the volatility. You may constantly get different people who deliver different qualities of work. Since the company pays them and not you, they may not be as motivated to do their best. A lot of them are often underpaid as well, meaning that they may just want to get in and get out as soon as possible.
A local photographer who runs their own business has a lot more at stake. Their business reputation and their salary are in your hands, so they’ll be a lot more motivated to offer you outstanding services and great customer service. It’s even better if they’re local - they’re more likely to stick around.
#4 - Are they easy to work with?
You may not be working with your photographer day in and day out, but it’s always better to be working with someone with whom you can get along with. A photographer who is arrogant and doesn’t respond well to criticism isn’t someone you want to partner with. Trust your gut when someone comes off as unpleasant to work alongside. You won’t regret it.
#5 - How do they cope when things don’t go their way?
Things don’t always go to plan. That’s the reality of it. Great photographers know how to handle difficult situations, so when the property isn’t quite ready or the weather just isn’t right, they can take it in stride. They’ll simply adjust their camera settings, move some things around, and make the best of it. They may not be able to bring their initial vision to life, but they’ll still deliver great products and maintain a positive attitude.
#6 - Are they familiar with the real estate market?
Not every photographer is going to be able to do real estate photography. A photographer specializing in portraits will never perform as well as a dedicated real estate photographer when asked to take photos of a house. You want to look for a photographer who specializes in real estate photography and understands the market. This way, they know what people want to see and how they want to see it, and they’ll be able to capture photos that connect best with your prospects.
#7 - Are they easy to communicate with?
Even an outstanding photographer can be difficult to work with if they can’t be contacted. The photographer you choose should be able to answer their phone or at least get back to you promptly. When you are left waiting for days for their reply, your job is a lot more difficult. Look for someone who gets back to you in a professional period of time and is easy to talk to. This makes it easier for you to figure out shoots and make sure they are getting the best photos for your listing.
With an excellent real estate photographer, you’ll certainly improve your real estate game. Don’t rush through the process - find someone great who you can see yourself working with long-term. A great working relationship allows you to rest assured knowing that you’ve got someone who you can call at a moment’s notice to take great photos of your newest listing.