DFW REI Club

 Dallas/Fort Worth Real Estate Investor Club

Any interest in photography?

  • 21 Jan 2009 11:01 AM
    Message # 86209
    On the "Who Are We?" page I noted the mention of many trades in addition to investors, agents, and brokers, and it prompted me to ask whether any of you as investors (or any investors you know) ever hire the services of a photographer in the process of marketing your properties.  I have some experience with real estate photography, having once contracted for A Digital U in Fort Worth.  (Examples of my work: 1 2 3)

    The company charged $100 for a basic package of 4 virtual tours and up to 10 stills, which they made available via their site as well as in a Zip file of images clients could display from their own pages.  For those of you who might be interested, I recommend their work highly, even though I am considering competing with them to a point.

    I possess some pretty decent digital photography equipment (Nikon DSLR, great lenses, pro flash, tripod, etc.) and am considering offering my service to investors, but I'm not certain what the market would be.  I would be doing stills only (at first), and would include 12 low-res (1280x1024) JPG or PNG images for Internet use as well as 5 high-res (up to 6MP) PNG images for use on printed materials.  Clients would receive unlimited use rights to all images, and I would host the low-res images for clients to link for up to 1 year at no additional charge. 

    I'm thinking of charging $70 for the package in Tarrant County, with a $15 travel surcharge for Denton, Dallas, Ellis, Johnson, Hood, Parker, and Wise.  (I would, of course, reserve the right to refuse work in, as Greg so aptly puts it, "war zones".)  All images exposed would be made available to the client (and notification sent) within 24 hours.

    So, what are your thoughts? 
    • Is professional photography for investors overkill?  (You won't hurt my feelings, if you think so, and you might actually help prevent me from wasting my time.) 
    • If it's a viable service, would quality stills suffice, or would 360-degree virtual tours be better suited?
    (Might have more questions later.)

    Thanks, everyone!
    -Shawn


  • 22 Jan 2009 1:19 AM
    Reply # 86492 on 86209
    Cindy Carriger (Administrator)
    Vicki and Shawn Stone wrote:On the "Who Are We?" page I noted the mention of many trades in addition to investors, agents, and brokers, and it prompted me to ask whether any of you as investors (or any investors you know) ever hire the services of a photographer in the process of marketing your properties.  I have some experience with real estate photography, having once contracted for A Digital U in Fort Worth.  (Examples of my work: 1 2 3)

    The company charged $100 for a basic package of 4 virtual tours and up to 10 stills, which they made available via their site as well as in a Zip file of images clients could display from their own pages.  For those of you who might be interested, I recommend their work highly, even though I am considering competing with them to a point.

    I possess some pretty decent digital photography equipment (Nikon DSLR, great lenses, pro flash, tripod, etc.) and am considering offering my service to investors, but I'm not certain what the market would be.  I would be doing stills only (at first), and would include 12 low-res (1280x1024) JPG or PNG images for Internet use as well as 5 high-res (up to 6MP) PNG images for use on printed materials.  Clients would receive unlimited use rights to all images, and I would host the low-res images for clients to link for up to 1 year at no additional charge. 

    I'm thinking of charging $70 for the package in Tarrant County, with a $15 travel surcharge for Denton, Dallas, Ellis, Johnson, Hood, Parker, and Wise.  (I would, of course, reserve the right to refuse work in, as Greg so aptly puts it, "war zones".)  All images exposed would be made available to the client (and notification sent) within 24 hours.

    So, what are your thoughts? 
    • Is professional photography for investors overkill?  (You won't hurt my feelings, if you think so, and you might actually help prevent me from wasting my time.) 
    • If it's a viable service, would quality stills suffice, or would 360-degree virtual tours be better suited?
    (Might have more questions later.)

    Thanks, everyone!
    -Shawn



    I personally think investors may need assistance in this area, although i don't have proof- it is just a suspicion, going by the pics I see on the MLS - many of which are sub standard, and I would just assume that investors might not be any better.  For the investor who is selling his house to a retail buyer, marketing is KING.  Albeit, many just sell it via roadside signs, I believe.  But for those who use the internet, QUALITY pics are essential.  I do the best I can with my automatic Olympus, and these are def. better.  However, I am fortunate that my son recently purchased a Nikkon D-40 (still inferior, but better), so we have used that.  But, the downsides are, we are not too experienced using it- and the time it takes us to shoot and re-shoot to get the right shots/lighting etc. is way too long, and $70 would be a bargain if I could just sit back and wait for them to appear!

    I hope other's will also give thier view on this-so you will have a better idea if there really is a market for it.  If not now, perhaps when things upturn a bit!  (However, investors still need to sell properties to keep in business, so now may be just as good!)

    I say, if it is a low start up, give it a try- put yourself out there.  Why not!?  (Are you continuing to do it for Realtors etc.?) 

  • 23 Jan 2009 8:26 AM
    Reply # 86968 on 86492
    Cindy Carriger wrote:


    I personally think investors may need assistance in this area, although i don't have proof- it is just a suspicion, going by the pics I see on the MLS - many of which are sub standard, and I would just assume that investors might not be any better.  For the investor who is selling his house to a retail buyer, marketing is KING.  Albeit, many just sell it via roadside signs, I believe.  But for those who use the internet, QUALITY pics are essential.  I do the best I can with my automatic Olympus, and these are def. better.  However, I am fortunate that my son recently purchased a Nikkon D-40 (still inferior, but better), so we have used that.  But, the downsides are, we are not too experienced using it- and the time it takes us to shoot and re-shoot to get the right shots/lighting etc. is way too long, and $70 would be a bargain if I could just sit back and wait for them to appear!

    I hope other's will also give thier view on this-so you will have a better idea if there really is a market for it.  If not now, perhaps when things upturn a bit!  (However, investors still need to sell properties to keep in business, so now may be just as good!)

    I say, if it is a low start up, give it a try- put yourself out there.  Why not!?  (Are you continuing to do it for Realtors etc.?) 


    Cindy, thanks for responding.  Sadly, no, I am no longer shooting tours.  While I enjoyed the work (or most of it) tremendously, doing it for A Digital U was not a very profitable proposition.  I was only paid a very small portion of the $100 they charged clients, and I was usually sent to the eastern-most outskirts of the Metroplex (Rockwall, Terrell, etc.), since the owner covered Tarrant County.  No expenses were paid, either.  Since I was very frequently only booked for 1 job on a given day, that meant 4 hours' work (including 2 hours of driving, one hour of shooting, and another of editing and uploading tours for stitching).  Subtract what mileage was costing me, even in my subcompact, and I ended up earning less than minimum wage.

    All that to say that I am no longer doing that type of work for Realtors, but I'm thinking of getting back into shooting just the stills in order to earn some extra cash.  I now own much better equipment than I was forced to use back then, so the shoots should go much more smoothly, and the stills should be very good quality.  (I shoot only in RAW mode, have a pretty decent grasp of composition, contrast, tone, depth of field, color temp, sharpness, and vertical alignment.  I also know my way around photo editing software like Photoshop, GIMP, and even Apple's iPhoto.)

    Thanks again for the encouragement, and thanks so much for letting Vicki do some ride-alongs recently.  You're making us believe we might actually be able to do this REI thing!


  • 29 Jan 2009 10:35 AM
    Reply # 89592 on 86209

    I've thought about the same thing myself. I have done some photography in the past and actually went to school for it (Photojournalism). In the grand scheme of things, as you've mentioned, it's not the most profitable thing. With the saturation of consumer grade digital cameras in the market, I don't think there's a great demand for it. I know personally, if I didn't have any photo skills, I would just wing it with some little point and shoot camera. I've looked at some websites and the photos taken by the investor. Of course the photo composition is not great, but I don't think the average person cares that much. As long as they get some kind of idea of what the inside of the house looks like.

  • 04 Feb 2009 8:13 AM
    Reply # 92448 on 86209

    I think this would be a great idea if you also had a website.  Investors could have you shoot their property and you could create still-slideshows, and virtual tours at some point in the future, on the website.  Potential buyers/tenants could review the properties on your site and make contact with the investor.  My view, as a newbie investor, is that there is a high demand for people who can facilitate transactions for investors, i.e. if you build it, they will come.


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