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You want to know exactly how much you should spend on photography, right? A percentage. A number. Some digits. 

But you’re not going to like what I have to say. Which is that it costs what it costs, and you have to make the investment if you want to grow your real estate business. 

Photography. Is. Everything. 


Every sale is a branding moment.

This is really about branding. Because every piece of your marketing is about building your brand. And when you’re in the business of selling real estate, it’s the superstar visuals that will set you and your listing apart from the rest.

You should think of each listing (and each aspect of the listing) as a direct reflection of you and your brand. 

This is not the time or place to DIY. 

Is your brand laidback and lackadaisical? Then a few quick snapshots (unedited) from your iPhone, and slapped up on all the listing platforms without a caption should do the trick. Enjoy your phone ringing exactly zero times.

Is your brand savvy and polished? Then shell out the extra dollars to get some photos that look as put together, if not moreso, as you. Prepare for the calls and negotiations.

Don’t be pennywise and pound foolish.

Ok, I won’t be entirely coy with the digits. Here are some numbers. 

In general, in New York City, the total cost of photographing a listing can range from anywhere between $300-$1,200. However, I’ve spent up to $5,000 on a listing before. Know why? Because sometimes it’s 100% worth it. Your listing is worth it. Your brand is worth it. *You* are worth it. 

That’s not to say that spending more money always equals a better result. But to get the right photos for the job, and find the right photographer — one you’ll hopefully work with again and again — you may have to spend more than you want or anticipate. It’s important for your deal and it’s important for your future business. 

5 Ways Photography Affects All of Your Marketing

Not only is each listing a mini-commercial for your brand, but all of your listings are like a portfolio of your work that exists online in perpetuity. That single piece of advertising will trickle down to affect *all* of your marketing endeavors. Here’s how:

1. A picture is worth…

When it comes to real estate marketing, visuals are king. The photos in your listing are likely the first thing a potential client will see. Entice them to pick up that phone to schedule an in-person showing. 

2. Oh! The places your photos will go

Those photos will be posted on various social media channels and should be up to par for each and every venue they are posted on. Not only will you be sharing those photos on all the social media platforms, but they will be seen across multiple websites that draw back to your original listing. More eyes on those photos = more eyes on your brand.

3. You can double-dip

While you’re there with the photographer, you can go ahead and get some photos of yourself in a wonderful home. And, if you’re in a building you might sell another property in, you can re-use the photos of the amenities, like the lobby or the roof deck. 

4. For-eh-ver

Remember that what goes up on the internet stays up on the internet. Possibly for an eternity. These photos will be forever attached to your name and, yep, you guessed it — your brand. 

5. Milk your investment

Those scintillating photos you spent a lot of your hard earned cash on can serve you beyond the original listing they were intended for. Get the most out of your investment and use them in your general marketing as well to show who you are and what you do. 

Ultimately, how you do anything is how you’ll do everything. 

Plus, I get a lot of questions about staging homes, and this is yet another reason why excellent photos are so important. You can read more about staging here. 

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