When running your real estate photography business you need to be able to provide your clients with services and products that help them create a campaign that generates strong interest, exceeds the anticipated results and then encourages referrals and future business them due to the effectiveness of the campaign.
To do this, you need to have a deep understanding of your customers to establish their buying motives and the problems that they face daily. These can be based on the three pillars of a customer profile for real estate photographers, which include (the customers) budget, values and personal (preferences and attributes).
Depending on the property sector you wish to focus on, your clients will consist of commercial and residential real estate agents who require professional photography and floor plans to use in
advertising their listings.
Commercial real estate agents will normally require aerial photography, especially if they are selling development sites, large retail stores and industrial buildings as they will need to highlight proximity to road networks, housing estates and/or capacity of the car parking facilities. They also need to be able to effectively show potential buyers the size of the building and land size from an elevated height.
Residential real estate agents will need good quality interior images; however some may also require aerial photography depending on the subject property and budget.
Establishing your customer profile in addition to conducting a survey and performing a competitive analysis will also assist with developing your services and business strategy. Your clients will favor and use your services because your business provides them with value and aligns with their budget, values, personal and company preferences.
Some agents will have a pre-set marketing budget that will include an allowance for professional photography with sales agents generally having a larger budget than rental and leasing agents.
Depending on the anticipated sale price of a property, the agent will discuss with the vendor the need for additional services such as aerial photography, 3D home tours, lifestyle photography, floor plans, etc.
The level of personalisation you apply to the business can have an influence on your client’s decision to use your services as some prefer to be heavily involved in the photography process and will
organize the photo shoot with the vendor, meet you onsite and even help you style the home during the shoot. However, there are others that are so busy that they find organizing and attending photo shoots an inconvenience.
If your client is a part of a large agency with many property managers or agents, sometimes, you won’t even meet your client, and you will receive work orders or bookings by email with the property address and access details. Some may be time-poor or place less importance on the photo shoot and will prefer you to organize the photo shoot with the vendor or even pick up the keys
If you have an existing relationship with an agent or agency through business connections, family or friends, this can be a good enough reason for an agent to use your services. Customer service and
quality control are far easier to manage with a small number of close clients.
Having a high volume of clients can be good financially however, it can sometimes be better having fewer clients, but better client relationships built on a foundation of exceptional customer service and a genuine desire to build ‘real’ connections. Again, this depends on your personal goals and business strategy.
Note: This article is an extract from the resources on the Education page on this website.
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