As a real estate agent, you’ve likely built your business from the ground up. Connecting with clients, referrals, word-of-mouth, and all those listing presentations have paid off to net your present success. But even if you’re a successful real estate agent and have a vendor for everything, you may be leaving money on the table.
Why? According to NAR’s recent study, over 41% of all buyers’ first step in the home buying process was looking online for properties, and 84% of all buyers using the internet found photos to be the most useful website feature. If you aren’t using high-quality photos for your marketing materials and listings, you could be losing potential buyers before you even have a chance to connect!
As a professional real estate photography company, Virtuance knows how important visual marketing is. Studies have shown that agents who use professional photography solutions sell their listings faster and for more money. Keep reading to learn how your marketing and real estate business can improve by using a professional company over a freelance photographer.
Benefits of using a professional photography company
A professional photography company can offer consistency, experience, and availability that other photography solutions may lack. Additionally, you may miss out on marketing opportunities by working with a freelance photographer. Professional companies typically have marketing solutions built in, allowing you to quickly market your listings without adding another vendor to your process.
While working with a freelance photographer may generally suit your needs, it often isn’t a long-term solution if you want to grow and expand your business.
Professional photography companies have a department for every step of the process, creating a level of consistency you may not see with freelance photographers.
For one, you’ll likely see variances in your photos if you're consistently using different freelancers. Images can differ stylistically between photographers based on how they are shot and edited.
You may also find variances between property shoots if you work with a freelancer who outsources their editing. Initially, stylistic or editing differences may not seem like an issue. But as you begin to scale your business and create marketing materials, the lack of consistency can be off-putting to potential clients. You want to show leads you produce high-quality results for every client and listing!
With a professional company, you won’t have to worry about stylistic details or quality varying between shoots. Their photographers and editors follow the same guidelines.
For example, Virtuance has created HDReal® to set a new standard in image quality and consistency. Every photo shot by a Virtuance-certified photographer goes through a set of machine-learning algorithms. Then, in-house visual marketing experts review every image before the photos are delivered. Even if you have 50 listings a year, Virtuance can guarantee each will be marketing material worthy with consistent quality.
It’s common for freelance photographers to specialize in several areas rather than focus their talent on only one. As a result, they may lack the training to shoot a property to sell. Real estate photography is more than photographing each room of a home—angles, lighting, feature highlighting, and staging all matter and vary depending on the property.
As professional photography companies have multiple departments, there’s no guesswork involved at a property shoot. Each photographer knows what’s needed to highlight and make a property shine. And since the photography team at Virtuance spends most of their time shooting properties, they are considered experts in the real estate space.
Real estate professionals know owning a business can be difficult, especially if you’re a one-person show.
Similarly, freelancer photographers often have to balance all aspects of their workflow. Whether it’s customer service, shooting, editing, or scheduling, their day is likely jam-packed. Because of this, it may be challenging to connect with your photographer. High-quality freelance photographers are likely in high demand during your busiest season (and every other real estate professional’s), with the potential for shoot or editing delays.
While it’s common for professional photography companies’ services to be in high demand, there are solutions for availability issues. If you need assistance with something, there’s a customer service department. There’s also likely an easy way to schedule your shoots.
The solution for availability at Virtuance is 24/7 online ordering and scheduling. Although Virtuance has a dedicated customer service team, you can schedule your shoot anytime that works for you. Further, all shoots are delivered by 5pm the next day—meaning your listing is up and ready to sell faster!
The bottom line
Every agent is different, and depending on your personal preferences, where you live, and the number of listings you handle, you may prefer working with a freelance photographer instead of a professional company.
That said, it’s important to recognize that Virtuance found over 95% of real estate professionals utilize real estate photography in their listings. To remain competitive, having high-quality photography in your marketing materials is essential!
Apart from enhancing your listings and marketing materials, a professional photography solution can offer consistency, more experience, and open availability.
At the end of the day, time is money, and building your real estate brand requires consistent, high-quality, and dependable results, whether in your marketing materials or how you interact with leads and clients. Using a professional photography solution can simplify your processes. You’ll have more time to focus on your business, knowing you have an all-in-one visual solution at your fingertips.
Based in Denver, Virtuance was founded in 2010 and is one of the world's fastest-growing real estate photography companies. Virtuance is the creator of HDReal®, an award-winning proprietary imaging system designed to market real estate. HDReal® combines the art of photography with artificial intelligence and the science of visual marketing. The result is consistently stunning images proven to sell real estate faster and for more money.
Emily Maracle is the Content Managing Editor at Virtuance. When she's not writing about all things real estate, you'll find her out and about with her two pups.