How To Get Real Estate Photography Clients
The real estate photography business is very lucrative. There are multiple houses going on and off the market from around the world, and as long as you consistently work at building your portfolio and are determined to stay in the game, it is very possible to have a long and steady career as a real estate photographer.
Nevertheless, it can still be a challenge to find a real estate photography client from time to time, especially when the industry is as fast paced and competitive as it is today. From finding the right set of real estate agents and private sellers, to successfully promoting yourself through marketing efforts, we break down a quick and easy guide on how to get real estate photography clients below.
Network To Build Valuable Relationships
Not a lot of people enjoy networking but if you are new to the game and are looking to build some connections, it is just something you have to do. A bulk of seasoned business owners who are looking to get clients still network to this day because they know just how important it is to keep the business alive.
The best places to do this for real estate photographers are at real estate related events such as conventions, public meetups, and open houses.
In these spaces, you will find multiple people trying to grow their businesses as well, such as a real estate agent, architect, interior designer, and the like. This is the perfect chance to strike up a conversation and see how you two can support each other. More often than not, they are open-minded when there is a clear-cut benefit for them. Just ensure that you are not coming on too strong when forming a bond.
You can find open houses easily by browsing through your local listings. It is important that you bring your business card and a marketing collateral showcasing your work so you can leave it with them to look over in their free time.
Invest In Printed Marketing Materials
A quick and easy way to introduce yourself offline without the need for a full blown monologue, is through flyers and/ or brochures. You can either find a free online template and put your information there and easily print at your local shop, or hire a designer to take care of all that for you.
Once you have the marketing collaterals ready, here are a few ideas on how to distribute them:
- Ask friends and family to hand them at the office bulletin board
- Put it in the post box. After all, you can random flyers in yours all the time, too
- Distribute them to real estate agents and homeowners at open houses.
Being Present On Social Media
There are multiple social media platforms wherein you can easily post about your services and have people share it around to their own circles. However, it is important to note that you do not have to be on every single one of them! Just the ones absolutely relevant to your business such as:
Facebook. Facebook is a mainstay in social media. It is the perfect platform to share photos, videos, long-form text content, events, and to interact with all your potential clients. You can further maximize this by creating targeted ad campaigns, which we will discuss more of below.
Twitter. Twitter is a great platform for formulating personal relationships with your customers, and giving them another platform to directly reach out to you.
Instagram. Instagram is all about sharing photographs, videos, reels, and stories. It is much more visually centered compared to Facebook and most especially when compared to Twitter. Do not forget to add in your keywords as hashtags to ensure you can reach more with every post.
Pinterest. Pinterest, similar to Instagram, is also a visually centered platform. This is where people go when they need inspiration in renovating their rooms, houses, and other projects. You can create a Pinterest board using your real estate photos and link those back to your website.
Create Targeted Campaigns to Attract Audiences
Apart from human interaction when you network at events, online interactions are just as important as well. Most businesses are now online, and that’s where the clients are searching for you, too.
Social media is a great way to get potential clients to reach out and strike up a conversation. However, the social media algorithm would require you to create targeted campaigns in order to reach more of your target audience. Especially in such a competitive industry, you will need to pay to be seen a little more than your competition.
Setting up Facebook or Instagram ads is not as simple as putting money into your post and letting it fly hoping just anyone could see it. That is a surefire way to drain your marketing budget with little to now results.
An important step when advertising online is first knowing exactly who you are talking to. By targeting your campaigns to relevant audiences, you can reach people who are interested in your services and are most likely to interact with your ad. Otherwise, targeting just anyone will not lead you to getting an ROI anytime soon.
When choosing which media to promote, think about what your audience would want to see and what would most likely garner the most attention. Perhaps a simple daylight photo of a house won’t do the trick, but a stunning shot of a porch at twilight while the stars shine brightly could get a second look Furthermore, aerial drone footage and action-packed videos give the audience a good feel of the listing while keeping them on the edge of their seats.
Other types of posts that would work well for social media pages are before and after photos, behind the scenes looks at how the house was made, and similar concepts.
Optimize Your Website to Gain Traffic
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a very broad topic that covers a whole lot of details. In fact, many people sign up for short courses just to learn how to efficiently manage their SEO. However, for this article, we’ll try to keep it short and while still covering all the basics.
SEO is how businesses try to rank their websites higher in Google and other search engines. It is an impeccably important source of leads and the better you are at it, the easier it will be to garner clients regularly.
The downside to SEO is that it can take a few months to build a website that can be regarded authoritative enough to rank that high for your chosen keywords Some of the ways you can start to optimize your SEO are:
- Publish long-form content that is informative, relevant, and authoritative.
- Use the keywords or keyword phrases you are trying to rank for in all your content
- Update your content regularly by always publishing new blog posts
- Include Title Metadata, Description Metadata, and Keyword Metadata in all your website pages.
- Use image alt text
- Be active on social media and connect it to your website
- Optimize your website for mobile (IMPORTANT)
- Ensure your page speeds are fast enough and load quickly
- Gather backlinks from high-quality, reputable sites
Ways to gather backlinks
- Add multiple local citations. You can utilize brightlocal.com to come across sites to add to your local listing such as Yelp, Google Business, Houzz, and the like.
- Send your content to public sites such as BoredPanda.com to strengthen its chances at getting shared throughout the Internet.
- Track how people use your photos using Pixsy.com and kindly ask them to credit you if they haven’t.
Create a Property Listing on Your Site for More Traffic
By showcasing property listings on your website, you invite much more foot traffic compared to simply publishing your photos to a gallery.
Take the time to create a quick slideshow or video of your photos, add your preferred agent’s profile, and a map to the property. This not only piques your viewer’s interests and have them browse through listings on your website, but it also greatly helps in bringing you backlinks.
Furthermore, those that come across your website of listings can also be potential future clients. Just remember to archive the listing once it is sold.
Ask For Referrals To Boost Your Business
One of the best forms of marketing is still word of mouth. No matter how advanced the world of advertising and promotions gets, nothing beats the personal touch of having someone you know in real life recommend a product or service. This instantly builds trust and a positive outlook even before they even get to contact you.
Many photography businesses exist based on word of mouth, and it usually starts with friends and family. They can simply refer you to real estate agents, building owners, or homeowners that they know are thinking of selling. They can also post your flyers on their office bulletin boards and the like.
However, word of mouth should still be complemented with the above tactics. Once your friends and family do their part in letting others know about you, it is up to your marketing efforts to back up that information with an active social presence and a professional website that they can easily find. Your website should consist of all your contact information, portfolio, and other details they will need to feel comfortable enough to reach out.
Send Personalized Emails To Get Noticed
Another way to get real estate clients is by sending personalized emails through a well-targeted email marketing campaign.
You can start off by collecting emails found in real estate websites, and craft personalized content specifically for them – not just a general message that could just have easily gone to Spam.
Use the real estate agent’s name, mention a listing they have that you may offer better photos for, and speak to them in an inviting tone. To have them feel like there is added value to your email, you may also offer them a free shoot in exchange for building up your portfolio. If you already have a solid portfolio set, you may offer a discounted first session, or another tactic you feel would have them respond back.
Make Cold Calls Casual for a Better Response
Let’s face it, no one really likes cold calls. When we hear a telemarketer on the other end of the line starting their spiel, most of us automatically try to think of what to respond so we can just end the conversation already.
However, what if we changed the perception of cold calls and made them into casual, less aggressive check-ins? If done right, you have true potential to prevent the spammer vibe from taking over your conversation. Try these tips when making calls:
Choose Your Audience Well
First off, ensure that the person you are talking to will be interested in what you have to say. Go to your local real estate listings and find agents that have a handful of listings per year. Aim for those with at least half a dozen listings annually. Also look for those that are clearly in need of a better photographer.
Next, find agents who have their current listing posted for at least a month already. You can try and convince them that perhaps a fresh look for their property will help speed along the sales.
Making Your Call
Once you have the audience you wan to target, think of what you want to say. Keep it very casual, and try not to talk too fast. If you sound too official and by the script, it can come off aggressive and unappealing for most.
Perhaps you can say something along the lines of:
“Hey (name)! This is (name), a local real estate photographer. I saw your listing has been online for a little over a month now. I was thinking maybe you could consider getting in a few professional photos to refresh your property’s page and see if it works better for the house? If you’re open to it, it could help strike up a deal and get you that sale.”
By sounding casual yet supportive of their needs, you have better chances of getting them to react positively to your cold call.
Check Websites That Post About Real Estate Photography Jobs
There are numerous freelance job websites that post about real estate photography job openings. Some of the well-known sites you can try are:
Upwork. Upwork has been around since 2013 and is regarded as one of the top freelance websites today. It helps you match your skill set with jobs listed and also offers a secure process throughout the entire project.
Craigslist. Craigslist has sections for a broad range of available jobs. It also categorizes the job listings to assist job seekers in finding the right kind of work based on location, rate, and job requirements.
LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a professional platform that lets employers and companies publish job openings. From the platform, they can directly communicate with prospective employees who also have a LinkedIn account. In your profile, you can announce if you are currently available for accepting work.
Freelancer. Freelancer is a platform that allows people to publish their portfolios, projects, and actively search for jobs
Invest In Yourself And Dedicate Time For Learning
The stronger your skill set and experience is, the easier it will be for you to get clients in the long run. It will also give you ample excuse to higher your rate as you go along.
One way to boost your chances of landing more clients is by gaining proper knowledge of all that real estate photography has to offer. By attending classes, accepting low paying (or even free) gigs, and signing up for courses, you are investing in yourself and your business.
Your clients will see that you have a handful of certificates and recognitions to secure your authority in the industry and help them feel more secure by choosing you instead of the competition.
There are also low-cost or free ways to go about this such as studying online videos, free online courses, attending free workshops, and more.
Share Success Stories and Client Testimonials
It is always great to see real and authentic feedback from those that have worked with you in the past. Make sure to include a section in your website and also a few posts on your social media platforms quoting your past clients for your job well done.
This helps your potential clients gain more trust and a better understanding as to how you handle your business. If you have yet to get your first client, then perhaps try asking a friend or colleague to get you for a project or two in exchange for a review. This helps get the ball rolling and also provides you better insight as to how to cater to clients.
It is also helpful to share third-party reports on the advantages of professional real estate photography and keep industry updates readily available on your website.