New real estate agents usually don’t have the budget established agents have when it comes to marketing homes. The ability to take photos versus hiring a professional real estate photographer is often a point of contention.

So, when should you hire and when should you self-shoot your real estate photos? Here are three tips.

1. Think about the ‘why’ when it comes to your photos

Know that the biggest difference between hiring a professional photographer and taking the pictures yourself is the fact that the professional knows how to make something ordinary look spectacular.

They understand how the angle of the photo can make a space appear bigger than it really is.

These professionals also have all of the equipment needed to create stunning, high-definition images. Photographers also understand how to make things look better than they appear.

They understand how the sizes and colors of objects impact a photograph. Photographers have spent thousands of hours learning how to take the best possible pictures, while real estate agents likely have not done so.

2. Contemplate your time and if you can shoot homes on your own time

One of the concerns of hiring a professional photographer is the fee that is involved. Some professional home photographers will actually do the work for you without any upfront fees. They will work on commission just like you do.

Once the house sells, part of the commission that you earn will be paid to the photographer. If this option is not available, you may be able to work out other terms with your photographer.

There are a lot of freelancers available these days, too. You can look at local colleges if you want to pay someone the minimum right out of school rather than asking someone to wait on a payday when a house sells.

3. Consider the medium

Marketing a house isn’t the same as marketing yourself on social media. People are looking at homes and basing their opinions on the things that you write and the pictures they see.

The pictures really do so much to make buyers want to see the property, so the best real estate agents hire professional photographers to take these pictures for the website and other forms of marketing.

Don’t waste money when you are looking for a photographer. Know the value in why you need one and if you need one. Know your value and what your time is worth when thinking about doing something yourself.

Finally, think about the use. Social media usually doesn’t require a photo shoot for posts, but home domains and personalized websites for major properties will. Invest in yourself and your properties but always ask yourself “why” when doing so.

Sam Benson, SRES, is a real estate broker in the greater Walnut Creek, California, area. You can follow him on Instagram and Facebook.

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