How Much Does Real Estate Photography Cost in Salt Lake City?

October 09, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

How much does real estate photography cost in Salt Lake City?

 

 

Professional real estate photography is an increasingly popular offering for many brokerages around the world.  Agents are more easily able to attract new clients when they include a marketing plan that has beautiful images of their client's homes.  Sellers want to know that their next agent is someone who is going to represent them and their most expensive assets in the best way possible.

Additionally, discount brokerages have been including professional photography as part of their marketing in order to attract more clients.  Many for-sale-by-owner sellers will hire out a professional to photograph their home in order to get the most views and attract the most attention online.

The price of real estate photography

The good news is that real estate photography won't cost you an arm and a leg, but it's not free either.  Generally speaking, real estate photography in the Salt Lake City market will range somewhere between $100 and $300 for an average home (5 bed, 3 bath, 2 car garage, you get the picture).  Different photographers will choose different pricing models, some will charge per image; others will charge by square footage; and others will offer package deals.  Having gone through multiple pricing models, we have found that the simplest pricing structure is by square foot.  Bigger houses usually require more effort to create beautiful images so they cost more.  And if you're paying the same for 1,500 sq/ft of house as you are for 4,500 sq/ft of house, it could mean that the quality of photos suffers in those larger homes.

There is a word of caution before you jump on the cheapest real estate photographer you can find.  All real estate photos are not the same and all real estate photographers are not the same.  Just like you could get a quote to replace a water heater for $1000 and $5000, much depends on the expertise, experience, and knowledge of the person doing the work.  There are also many different ways to shoot real estate that produce different results.

Many of the big real estate photography companies are engaged in the quantity business, meaning they are trying to photograph as many houses in one day as possible.  They keep their prices low in order to attract the most clients.  Because prices are low and timetables are kept to a strict "no frills" policy, their quality usually isn't as good as some of the independent real estate photographers.  Now, that isn't to say they produce bad photos.  This is just a plain and simple examination of their business process.  Low prices + lower quality + high turnover = profit.

Speaking in regards to independent real estate photographers, their goal is to produce the best images money can buy.  They are in the quality business.  Most of the independent companies (like us at Agynt Studio), are engaged in the new developments in techniques, processing, lighting, and equipment in order to bring our A game to every client's listing.  We typically spend more time on site and our images look more "handcrafted" than mass produced.  Our prices tend to be a bit higher because our aim is to deliver quality over quantity.  Higher prices + higher quality + low turnover = profit.

Things to consider before hiring a real estate photographer

One of the reasons many agents prefer to work with an independent photographer is because they have a specific feel or look they want to be known for.   They want each of their listings to be presented in a similar way so that when people see them they automatically think, "This must be one of Jessica's listings."  When working with the same photographer again and again, an agent will be able to develop a relationship with him or her and build trust and understanding so she doesn't have to repeat herself on every new listing or with every new photographer.  With many of the national companies, you can't choose your photographer and you could get someone different each time.  

Another reason to consider is how much experience the photographer has shooting real estate, architecture, and interiors.  Experience can mean the difference between a "blah" photo and an amazing photo.  Almost all of the big companies hire independent contractors and require little relevant experience to begin working.  Your $2M listing could be photographed by someone who just bought a camera at Costco 2 weeks ago and took a few photos of his mom's house.  On the flip side, independent photographers typically have years of experience shooting all levels of listings, from $100,000 to well over $10M.  They will be better versed in how to craft a beautiful image instead of just standing in a corner and pressing the shutter button.

An agent that hired us for a $5M listing last year said she had actually hired one of the national companies to come in and take pictures.  She was unimpressed with what she got back because she felt the house had so much character that just didn't appear in their photos.  She called us to photograph the house because she loved the emotion in our images and wanted that for her beautiful listing.

 

Here is an example of about how much real estate photography costs in Salt Lake City:

Photos: $120 - $250 for an average home (depending on size of home or number of photos)
Twilight profile: $125 - $175 (an evening/sunset profile photo of the home)
Drone/Aerial photos: $99 - $120 additional cost

 

When it comes down to it, you are responsible for choosing the best marketing that fits the home you are representing.  Whether it be a $250,000 townhome or a $5M ski lodge, remember that it is your duty to protect and promote the interests of your clients (Article 1, NAR Code of Ethics).  If you consistently go above and beyond for them, I believe you will have the result of overwhelming business growth.  Good luck with the marketing on your next listing!

 

 


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