For background – I owned a real estate photography business that also provided aerial pictures and video. I sold custom packages depending on what the client needs.
Tired of only making $300,400, or even $500 per gig? I was too. Read on to learn how I made 2x as much money per real estate photography gig.
When I first started, I lived in a college town with a ton of apartment complexes near me. I started meeting with all the managers and began getting my first few gigs under my belt. Each gig paid around $200-400. Although it seemed like good money at the time, once I factored in transportation, risking the drone, editing, retakes, and overall time spent, I realized that I was barely making $20 an hour. (Not acceptable!)
Apartment Complex Photos:
After some contemplation, I realized that these apartment complexes were typically on tight budgets and did not have a lot of extra money to be spending on photography. I spoke with my Dad (Commercial Real Estate agent) about this and he gave me the simplest piece of advice.
He told me to target the big fish. Only target properties that were worth $1,000,000 or more. To understand, we need to briefly think like a real estate agent.
You have listed a commercial property worth $1,700,000 for sale. If you successfully sell this property, you will make a commission of around 2% or $34,000. Would you be willing to pay a little more for nice photos in order to make your $34k? I know I would.
Alternatively, think about a real estate investor. They own a commercial property worth $1,700,000 and stand to make almost $500,000 in profit from the sale of their property. Do you think THEY would be willing to pay for some nice drone photos?? Of course they would.
Commercial Real Estate Photos:
Once I followed his advice, I began closing deals that paid double to triple the amount I previously made.
So get out there, find the most expensive properties that are for sale around you, and start calling. Don’t be surprised if you can suddenly afford a new drone!