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FORUMS Post Processing, Marketing & Presenting Photos The Business of Photography 
Thread started 01 Sep 2011 (Thursday) 12:01
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Is there a market for low end MLS/real estate photography?

 
crash331
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Sep 01, 2011 12:01 |  #1

After looking for a house for a few months and then helping my cousin when he did the same, I came to realize that almost all of the photos on the MLS/real estate listings for houses less than 300k are of very poor quality.

They all look like they are taken with a P&S with no tripod, no wide angle lens, no photoshop, etc. I can't help but think a decent picture would help the house sell a little better.

Now, I'm not talking about some of the real estate photography you see on youtube for 3 million dollar homes using light painting and 8 hours in photoshop. I just mean get in, take some decent pictures with a wide angle lens with decent lighting, edit them for color/tone, give them to the listing agent and be on my way.

Anyone know of any agents that cater to homes in this market? Are they perfectly fine with snapping the photos themselves with $100 P&S cameras? Would they be willing to pay $50-100 to have decent photos taken?


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scorpio_e
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Sep 01, 2011 12:04 |  #2

I doubt there is a market on the low end. I think most are happy with their $100 PS. I know my sister is and she does a bunch of listings every month.


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gonzogolf
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Sep 01, 2011 12:10 |  #3

If you know a high volume realtor, you might be able to convince them of the value of good pics and create your own market. But you will probably have to be doing high volume, low margin work.




  
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cdifoto
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Sep 01, 2011 12:11 |  #4

You're looking at the low end. If an agent can snap a few shots with his P&S and still sell the house, he isn't going to give some of his percentage to a photographer of any level. If he is paying for pics, he's paying the least amount he can get away with paying. Your idea of low end is probably higher than what he needs.


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crash331
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Sep 01, 2011 12:15 |  #5

Yeah, I guess there is a reason all the photos look so crappy.

I mean taking these "virtual tours" is laughable on most sites. They take something like a 200x200 pic and scale it up to 800x800 on my computer screen and then ZOOM INTO THE PICTURE with a Ken Burns effect. I mean zooming INTO an already pixelated picture?

I guess they just do what's cheapest/easiest and it sells just fine for them. I just know when I was looking I would have loved to have more detailed photos.


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cdifoto
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Sep 01, 2011 12:37 |  #6

Yeah they tend to do the minimal required effort. If the houses weren't selling I'm sure they'd rethink their approach. On the other hand, it might not matter with the housing bubble splattered all over the place.


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BreitlingFan
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Sep 01, 2011 13:13 |  #7
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My brother-in-law is a high-end real estate appraiser. He hasn't appraised a house that wasn't selling in seven figures in almost ten years.

When he was running comps, he used an old Minolta P&S. I gave him my old digital Rebel, and he started using that.

He says the quality of the images didn't seem to impact anything...


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Scatterbrained
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Sep 01, 2011 13:24 |  #8

BreitlingFan wrote in post #13036329 (external link)
My brother-in-law is a high-end real estate appraiser. He hasn't appraised a house that wasn't selling in seven figures in almost ten years.

When he was running comps, he used an old Minolta P&S. I gave him my old digital Rebel, and he started using that.

He says the quality of the images didn't seem to impact anything...

It's more than just a decent camera. I recently put my house in Fl up for rent and the thing rented within a day of being listed. The difference was that I took the time to properly photograph the house and the amenities while most people were just sending in pics taken with their iPhone. It definitely made a believer out of my property manager, of course, he just assumed it was the camera I used. :rolleyes:


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NickJushchyshyn
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Sep 01, 2011 14:32 |  #9

The thing is that a "mid-range" to "high-end" home real estate shoot sells for $60-$100 flat rate regardless of distance or other expenses. This includes all the post production cleaning work and submission to an MLS compatible host so that the entire adventure is a turn-key experience for the realtor.

"Low end" doesn't want to pay this, so how much are you going to get for your time and travel and insurance cost where, in this market, the realtor has no idea how long it will be before the home ever sells. The realtor is already at the house with their cell phone or P&S and get photos posted to the listing for "free" ... so that's what you're competing against.

Is that something you really want to "win"?


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Nightstalker
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Sep 01, 2011 14:41 |  #10

Can only comment on the UK but I've spoken to several estate agents in the past and found them to be absolutely clueless.

As they are all equally as bad (gross simplification) they do not see the value-add in improving as what they do is good enough and to "market standards".

You would like to think that they would spot a gap in the market and take the attitude that if they deliver their selling clients a much better product then this would be to their advantage - but no, free but crap beats good and cheap any day.

High end agents dealing with properties in the multi Million price range "may" be prepared to spend but that's about it - lower end properties of say £100K to £250K generate such low profits for them that a £100 photography fee becomes significant.


  
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mikekelley
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Sep 01, 2011 14:57 |  #11

NickJushchyshyn wrote in post #13036690 (external link)
The thing is that a "mid-range" to "high-end" home real estate shoot sells for $60-$100 flat rate regardless of distance or other expenses. This includes all the post production cleaning work and submission to an MLS compatible host so that the entire adventure is a turn-key experience for the realtor.


Is that something you really want to "win"?

This is completely false.

That being said, don't bother with low end real estate photography, it's like squeezing blood from a rock.


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Phoenixkh
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Sep 01, 2011 15:27 |  #12

I got my real estate license in June of 2006.... talk about bad timing. Our local MLS (multi-listing service) had restrictions on photo resolution, etc. In other words, it didn't matter how good your camera was, the photos always looked grainy. I used a Canon A640 and my photos looked good on my computer until I sent them to MLS... then they looked like they were taken with a rock. Back then, it wouldn't have mattered if I was shooting with a 5D. Things might be different now. I had to find another way to make money so I've been out of it for a while.

Where I see a difference now is in the private realtor sights. Some of them have very nicely done tours and sets of photographs.

Kim


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Fernando
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Sep 01, 2011 16:12 |  #13

gonzogolf wrote in post #13036039 (external link)
If you know a high volume realtor, you might be able to convince them of the value of good pics and create your own market. But you will probably have to be doing high volume, low margin work.

What you need to convince them of is that their time is more valuable than yours...


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NickJushchyshyn
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Sep 02, 2011 12:54 |  #14

mikekelley wrote in post #13036808 (external link)
This is completely false.

Just reporting the conditions in my area. They are what they are. I would expect things to be different depending on regional market trends.


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markd61
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Sep 02, 2011 20:27 |  #15

NickJushchyshyn wrote in post #13041586 (external link)
Just reporting the conditions in my area. They are what they are. I would expect things to be different depending on regional market trends.

I have to agree with Mike.
Your info says Philly area.
I find it hard to believe one cannot carve out a decent number of properties listing at 500k and above in your area.
That is the point where agents start thinking of stepping up their game with photography.

In some areas the market is so depressed that no one will buy but that is not true for most of the country.




  
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Is there a market for low end MLS/real estate photography?
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