Real estate photography is an investment

When professional real estate photography is of a high standard then it ceases to be an expense. It’s no longer just money going out, never to be seen again, but instead it’s an investment that is almost guaranteed to see a return in terms of a higher sale price for the home.

Why do I say that?

It’s because marketing is an investment.

Well, I should correct that by saying that good marketing is an investment, because bad marketing can be a waste of time that doesn’t work. Unfortunately poor quality real estate photography can develop that reputation, because the quality of the photography isn’t good enough. However, really good real estate photography will always put you in front financially.

Here’s what I mean …

According to the experts, every marketing initiative should be assessed for its potential to provide a return on investment of money and perhaps time. Whether it be a television commercial, a newspaper advertisement, or junk mail, if it is not likely to bring in more than is going out, then it’s not a smart move.

So what do we mean by ROI when it comes to the photography and marketing of a home for sale? Basically, homes that are marketed with top quality photos will sell for a higher price than if they had used poor quality photos.

Here’s a little video I found that helps to explain marketing ROI:

So as you can see, we calculate the ROI with the following sum:

ROI = Profit – marketing cost / marketing cost

… and then multiply that figure by 100 to see it as a percentage value.

Therefore, if the profit on the sale of a home as a result of using high quality professional real estate photography (so the higher cost that was achieved above and beyond what would have been possible without those photos) is $3,000, and the cost of photography is $300, then

ROI = 3000 – 300 / 300

Therefore ROI = 9 

Convert to a percentage = 9 x 100

= 900%

Here’s another example:

A Case Study: An Investment In Real Estate Photography

There was a rental property that was rather messy, and the photos used initially were rather poor. The first agent had the property listed for almost four months, but received just one offer for $326,000.

Real estate photography is an investmentThe owner wasn’t happy with what was delivered and the way the home was marketed, so they gave the listing to another real estate agent to sell. The new agent arranged for a top quality real estate photographer to re-shoot the home.

Now remember that the first agent had the property on the market for four months.

With the new photos, the new agent received an offer of $346,750 – an increase of over $20,000 – within three days!!

And given the cost of the photo shoot, that meant a return on investment of 3544%.

What made the difference? The new photos made the home look like it was worth more because the home looked cleaner, brighter, and more like something you might see in a home magazine. That meant that the buyers think that if they don’t act fast then they’re going to miss out, and they’re probably right!

Do you think you could go to a bank or financial planner, and ask them, “I’d like to invest my money, and I’d like the interest rate to be 3544%.” They’d laugh at you in your face, and suggest you go elsewhere. Yet this is what can be achieved when you use top class real estate photography.

What can you expect to pay for high quality real estate photos?

It’s going to vary a lot depending on the area you are in, but you would expect a range of somewhere between $150 to $500 for good quality real estate photography. Considering the value of most homes these days, and the return on investment that is possible, it’s a very small sum to pay. And if the quality is there, it’s impossible to lose money when investing in real estate photography.