Real estate photography is a burgeoning field for shooters, and can lead to a steady career for many photographers. Maybe you've already built an incredible real estate photography portfolio with the help of a website template, or perhaps you are just starting your real estate photography business. Regardless of where you're at, landing clients as a real estate photographer can be a challenge, especially in the fast-paced, competitive world of real estate. Finding clients, from real estate agents to private sellers, can help you take your business to the next level, building a sustainable source of income and increasing your client list one job at a time.
From creating a stunning online portfolio to marketing yourself to clients, there are several different ways you can grow your clientele in real estate photography. Let's dive into industry tips and practices for real estate photographers to help you land clients and take your business to the next level.
How Do You Find Real Estate Photography Clients?
The real estate photography business is not for the faint of heart; it requires hard work, hustle, and a strong attention to detail. There are a few key ways you can connect with your next real estate photography client, and keep them, including:
Polish Your Skills as a Real Estate Photographer
This may seem obvious, but it can be challenging to land clients if you don't have the skills to back it up. Work on your skillset as a real estate photographer by practicing your ability to shoot different interiors and exteriors. Take some time to build your photography portfolio, showcasing real estate photos that are well lit, clean, and web quality.
From drone photography to professional looking listing photos, you want to be able to show potential clients that you have the chops to meet their expectations and beat out your competition for a job. Plus, you can use your stunning real estate photos in your online portfolio website to land even more clients.
Create an Impressive Real Estate Photography Portfolio
Perhaps the best way to find your next client is to have a portfolio website you can use to promote yourself and your work. Your real estate website should include your best photos, showcasing different properties, interiors, and exteriors in full format. All of the work on your portfolio should be well-lit and professionally processed so it looks its absolute best on desktop or mobile.
You could also have a page on your website for your key services and prices, such as a package for shooting a high-end property or a pricing package for photos of an apartment or a home. As well, you may include an About Me page with contact information and your social media handles so visitors can get in touch about potential jobs.
Use a website builder that makes it easy to update your portfolio regularly and add or remove pages as needed so your site is responsive and grows with your career as a real estate photographer. As you build your portfolio, be sure to choose the right website template for your real estate portfolio so you can attract clients and showcase your work in the best light.
Ask for Client Referrals
In the real estate industry, word of mouth is still a valuable way to find new clientele. Don't be shy about asking for referrals, as this is often how you build a successful photography business. Start with family and friends, asking them to send along your name and professional site to anyone looking for real estate photography.
You can also ask your current clients to refer you to another real estate photography client, especially if they know someone looking to sell their home. If you've worked with a real estate agent in the past, approach them for a referral as well in a professional email or phone call.
Contact Real Estate Agents Directly
Cold calling a realtor can be a bit intimidating, but it could also lead to future jobs. Make sure you are selective about which real estate agents you reach out to. Check the local real estate listings in your area to find agents who have at least a dozen listings in the last several years, as this means they will be busy enough to justify hiring a professional real estate photographer. You should also check if the real estate agent is using non-professional photos in their listings, as this means they'll be looking for help in this area.
When you call a realtor, keep your opening brief and friendly. Note that you see their property listing has been up for a while, and that you're a local photographer who can help them with professional looking photography that can help to sell the listing or close the deal. Be persuasive but not too pushy. In fact, the realtor may be relieved that you got in touch, as it saves them time having to find a great photographer on their own.
Seek Out High-Value Clients
As you broaden your search for your next real estate photography client, focus on contacts that will add high value to your business. This means looking in specific geographic areas where you know property values are high and in demand. Look for potential clients who are in need of a photographer, or who may need help boost their listing with better photos.
Reach out and let them know what makes you different from other real estate photographers, as well as what you can offer them. Even just letting them know you're open to new photography work, and that you are operating in their area can lead to new jobs down the line.
Pay Attention to Your Competition
As you dive into the real estate industry and begin to make a name for yourself, don't forget to also look at what your competitors are doing. Notice how they get clients and raise their profile in real estate, from marketing themselves online to networking with agents.
To get a better sense of your competition, join local real estate directories and look at different listings in your area. Check the listing photos and the realtors, look at the top ranked listings, and see what works as well as what doesn't quite hit the mark. Studying your competition on real estate sites can help you better understand the industry, and how you can climb to the top as a real estate photographer.
How Do You Market Yourself as a Real Estate Photographer?
Your marketing efforts as a real estate photographer need to be thoughtful and detailed to appeal to potential customers. Here are several key marketing tips to ensure your real estate photography business thrives, including:
Create Branded Business Cards and Flyers
One of the most valuable marketing tips for real estate photography is having marketing collateral like business cards and flyers at the ready. Create business cards and flyers that include your portfolio website and your social media platforms so potential customers can see your real estate photography in action. Make sure you also include contact information like your name and your email address so clients can reach out to you easily.
To stand out from the crowd, you could also display a stunning real estate photo from your portfolio on the front of the business card or flyer to catch the eye of your next real estate client. The photo should be high-quality and highlight your strengths as a real estate photographer.
Do Targeted Marketing Ads
Paying for ads for your real estate business can be a great way to drive traffic to your portfolio website and bring in more clients. However, make sure you make any marketing campaigns targeted towards a specific audience. Identify your target audience and appeal to them with ads on social media, using a photo and text that will speak to their interests.
For example, if you were targeting high-value clients, you may use a stunning large format photo, such as an expensive property shot at twilight, to attract their attention on Instagram. Many customers also respond to social media ads that show beautiful drone photography or an engaging behind the scenes video. You could also do a before and after photo series of listed properties that have been renovated to advertise to potential clientele.
Network at Open Houses
An open house is a great way for you to meet the real estate agent in person and land new clients. Browse local listings and choose four to five open houses to check out. Dress professionally and bring your camera to let the agent know you are a photographer available for work.
Make sure you also bring marketing collateral like your business cards and flyers with you to the open house so you can give them to the realtor when you network. You could also set up business meetings with agents or potential customers at open houses, putting a human face on your work.
Create Email Newsletters
Email newsletters have become one of the best ways to market to your target audience and stay connected to your client list. They often work better than personalized emails because people subscribe voluntarily to your newsletter and will likely be more engaged with your messages. That said, the best email newsletters balance the personal with the professional, addressing subscribers in a friendly, welcoming manner.
Your email newsletter, which is usually sent out twice a month or sometimes once a week, depending on the engagement of your subscriber list, should provide valuable information and updates. Maybe you share a bit of your real estate photography expertise with subscribers, or perhaps you do a round-up of your top listings for the month. Keep the content of your newsletters fresh, current, and engaging for people, as that is how you grow your subscriber list and reach more clients.
Use Social Media Posts to Boost Your Profile
When it comes to social media marketing, your best option is to choose one or two platforms and focus primarily on cultivating an audience on them. Maybe you decide Instagram and Facebook are where you'll get the most views and can connect with customers. Or perhaps you notice the most engagement on YouTube and decide to focus on building a YouTube channel to reach more people.
You should then put your energy into posting engaging content on these platforms regularly so followers are reminded of your work and your business profile. Upload a great property image on your Instagram or informative videos on your Youtube account once a week to keep your content current and interesting for people.
Search for similar accounts on social media and follow them so they are encouraged to follow you back. Comment on posts by other photographers to build your profile and stay connected to the online community. The more you engage with social media, the more you can use it as a tool to market your work and expand your clientele.
Optimize Your Portfolio Website to Increase Traffic
Your professional website can be a valuable marketing tool, acting as your resume and an advertisement for your services all in one. Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important component of your website, as it can drive traffic to your site and bump you up higher in the results of a search engine like Google. You can include SEO in your website copy as well as in a professional blog hosted on your site.
SEO works best if you create high-quality content on your website regularly, which is why having a professional blog can be a great way to use this tool. Many website builders will have an SEO tool as part of their services that you can use to optimize your portfolio website and ensure you are boosting your content properly to reach as many people online as possible.
Ready to Create a Real Estate Photography Portfolio?
Now that you have a better idea of how to find real estate photography clients, you might feel ready to start booking clients and setting up your next photoshoot. Make sure you support your marketing efforts with a stunning online portfolio that showcases your work and helps to sell you as a photographer.
Choose a website building that offers stunning website templates, features a built-in blog and online store. More importantly, a provider that offers client proofing, so you can easily share your photography with them.
With your own real estate photography portfolio, you can direct potential real estate clients to your online portfolio through marketing and boost your business profile online.
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