Just one last tid-bit.
For ALL owner occupied properties, Never go out to shoot a property without the agent or homeowner present! The first time I go out to a house I insist the agent is with me and introduces me to the homeowner. On subsequent visits I only go to the home with the agent or if the homeowner is at home and consents to my visit. NEVER ALONE and NEVER to an unoccupied house where I have to use a lockbox key. This does not apply to empty, vacant houses where no one is living. However, It is better to not have a lockbox key and insist the agent lets you into the house so they can see any condition that may exist...such as a break-in and vandalism etc.
Once in and walked through they don't need to stay. Just be super sure you lock all doors and check all windows before leaving. I have know cases where "buyers" will visit the house and unlock a window or patio door so that they can come back at night or a day later get in and steal appliances or fixtures. Be super careful not to get into a trap where you could be suspect.
I did the Cost to Show Up calculations and cross referenced it with the ASMP Cost of Doing Business and determining an hourly rate. My showup cost is $245.00 Adding a 10% profit - $245/0.90 = $275.00. This is a minimum charge for my use only. Also, knowing my hourly rate, I can go out to a house and ESTIMATE the actual TIME it will take to shoot the job based on client/realtor requirement, views, details, staging and anything else like twlight shots. Then I use the hourly rate and come up with a price to Quote to the realtor. When or if the realtor objects it's not a case of lowering my price but it's what do we CUT out of the shoot! Fewer rooms or views, no twlight? You cut what you provide not what you charge. Make that a super delux pizza with everything on it! Oh...how much again? Ahhhhh. Make that just a plain pizza with cheese.
When a realtor says, "I want you to shoot a property, what is the price?" DON'T just throw out a price like, "I charge $150.00."
Because this is like someone saying, "I want you to build me a house...what is the price?" I think you get the idea!
Pricing on the basis of "Other" prices is absolutely ridiculus! Prices based on SF is nuts; based on the cost of what a furnace repair cost is really stupid; based on a percentage of list price or commission to the realtor is also stupid! Your cost is dependent on what it cost YOU to do the job and NOT someone elses cost or what they get paid for doing something totally unrelated..
What you need to do like it or not:
1. Calculate the cost to show up or go to ASMP and calculate the Cost of Doing Business using their guide. Either one will take about 1-2 hours if you really are honest with yourself. Once you have your COST then you need to add your profit. If you want 10%net profit then divide your: CODB/0.9
2. Calculate your day and hourly rate from the CODB.
3. When requested to shoot a property don't flip out a price! Get the address, visit the property and ESTIMATE how long it will take you to shoot it based on the clients wants and needs. Don't say bigger houses take longer to shoot...they don't. Houses with MORE rooms and views take longer to shoot. Determining HOW LONG it will take to shoot is the reason for you to visit the property WITH the realtor and get all the requirements of the shoot and also make suggestions like using a professional stager, who is going to clean up the mess before I shoot this trash dump. You will also have the opportunity to turn down the job because you won't be able to shoot the property at your high standards...meaning real professional, well staged, well lit properties.
4. Talk to other Real Estate Photographers and get them to stop whoring the market and get them to quote professional prices.
5. Talk to Realtors about your cost of doing business in a professional manner (not being a cry baby about Joe/jane Donkey low balling prices) and that you are here to stay with professional work at fair prices.
6. DO NOT set your prices based on the competition, someone will always do it cheaper. Do Not sell on price.. Set your prices where you should to make a profit and stay in business.
7. Be Professional and LOOK the part! Don't visit your realtor in shorts, cut off jeans, tee-shirt and two days of beard, spiked hairdo, rings through your nose. DRESS FOR SUCCESS! If You want the Top Dollars Dress for it and in a BUSINESS Professional manner. When arriving on the Job if you showed up in a sports coat, tie and dress shoes there is nothing wrong when you start to work to remove your coat, and tie, roll up your sleeves or even take a minute to change into a work jump suite (in your favorite color except plumbers light blue ) with your advertising on the back. Bright Hot Color will make you a walking billboard for the neighbors to see. When done working wash your hands, comb your hair, change back to your dress clothes and thank the homeowner and realtor and leave several business cards with the homeowner. What they will remember is that you were PROFESSIONAL and not some gangbanger who came in to their house to take pictures and eyeball what they could come back later break-in an steal!
8. Since you are in the neighborhood, after the realtor leaves, grab a bunch of fliers and go door to door and leave one at every house along the street. The Flier should state, "We just shot the Jones'.....house for XYZ realty and Bill Smith agent 555-555-1212. You can see the photographs at www.myphotography.com. Can we photography your house? In addition to Real Estate Photography we also do...portraits, seniors, products etc... Call us at 555-555-1212
I qualify my vote at $100 - $200 because my main customer has really helped me and is one of my best friends. He gets a deal and I get a ton of advice. My regular rates start at $200.00
This is a very Interesting poll and also helpfull. I am in the Houston area and trying to get a better idea as of what to charge. I can really say that I am not charging enough.