In real estate listings, first impressions matter.
And in today’s hyper-internet world, you need breathtaking photos for people to notice your listing.
Stunning photos can stop even a casual searcher in their tracks.
And striking photos can help you sell a property.
You don’t want a potential buyer to scroll past your listing. So if you are serious about selling a property fast, you must hire the best real estate photographer in your neighborhood. But that’s easier said than done.
Nobody wants their property listing to look gloomy and not draw any responses.
Do you want to capture the best property listing photos you possibly can?
Is that making you wonder how can I find the top real estate photographer near me fast?
Don’t worry. The 7 secrets discussed here will simplify this daunting task.
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1: Define the Type of Real Estate Photographer You Need
This is the first step.
Do you want to photograph a residential property or a commercial property?
Both residential and commercial/architectural real estate photographers specialize in capturing high-quality images of properties. However, there are 5 key differences between them:
- Property Types: Residential photographers capture images of single-family homes, condominiums, apartments, townhouses, ranch-style homes, and other residential properties. Commercial photographers capture images of office buildings, retail spaces, industrial properties, hotels, and other commercial properties.
2. Photography Styles: Residential photographers capture warm and inviting images. Their images highlight the livability and comfort of a property. Commercial photographers capture more formal and detailed images. Their images highlight a property’s architectural features and design elements.
3. Photography Approach: Residential photographers focus on the lifestyle aspect of the property. Their primary concern is how it would be used by a family. Commercial photographers highlight how a property’s layout and design can be used by businesses or organizations.
4. Photography Equipment: Residential photographers usually use a limited set of equipment. They might have a DSLR camera, a few lenses, and low-cost lighting solutions. Commercial photographers are different. They use more specialized equipment, such as tilt-shift lenses and advanced lighting techniques. They also strive to achieve the best possible results.
5. Post-process Editing: Residential photographers rely on quick image editing techniques, such as color correction and cropping. Commercial photographers use advanced editing techniques, such as perspective correction and photo compositing. The result is a polished final image.
Hire a residential real estate photo editing service if you want to take pictures of a residential property that will be sold by a realtor and listed on the MLS.
The following are the other factors you need to consider: Do you need aerial photos? Do you need to furnish empty spaces?
Aerial photos or drone photography is an add-on service that most photographers offer. Check whether the photographer you intend to hire offers this service.
Likewise, furnishing empty spaces is also an add-on service. It’s popularly known as Virtual Staging, and most photographers offer this service, as well.
Let’s move to the second step.
2: Prepare a List of Highly Targeted Keywords and Start Your Search
Now that you have a good understanding of the photography services you need, it’s time to head to your search engine with a list of highly targeted keywords. The more specific you are with your keywords, the better your chances of getting a professional photographer who can do exactly what you need.
Identify the main theme of your search. When defining the keywords for your search, make sure to be specific on the exact type of photography service you need coupled with the exact city where you need the service. This will get you the most relevant search results.
Keywords That Can Help You Find the Best Real Estate Photographers in Your City
Let’s say you live in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota. And let’s assume you want to hire a commercial/architectural real estate photographer. The following is the list of keywords you could use:
- commercial real estate photographer in Minneapolis
- architectural real estate photographer in Minneapolis
- commercial/architectural real estate photographer in Minneapolis
- commercial real estate photography service in Minneapolis
- architectural real estate photography service in Minneapolis
- commercial/architectural real estate photography service in Minneapolis
- professional real estate photographer in Minneapolis
Similarly, to hire a residential real estate photographer, you could use the following three keywords:
- residential real estate photographer in Minneapolis
- residential real estate photography service in Minneapolis
- professional photographer in Minneapolis
Use the following keywords if you also want specific add-on services:
- commercial real estate photographer and drone photography in Minneapolis
- commercial real estate photographer and aerial photos in Minneapolis
- residential real estate photographer and aerial photos in Minneapolis
- residential real estate photographer and drone photography in Minneapolis
- commercial real estate photographer and virtual staging in Minneapolis
- commercial real estate photography and virtual staging in Minneapolis
- residential real estate photographer and virtual staging in Minneapolis
- residential real estate photography and virtual staging in Minneapolis
The long-tail keywords listed above are more specific and targeted. The main advantage of using them is they will help you find the top photographer near you in your specific niche quickly.
Replace Minneapolis with the name of your city. All the other words will remain the same. Even keying in the keyword real estate photographer near me in your browser will display the top photographers in your immediate neighborhood.
3: Understand the Different Types of Results on the Google SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
When you use the Google search engine, it’s important to understand the different types of results that show up on the SERP. The three primary types of results are:
- Sponsored Ads
- Google My Business Listings
- Organic Listings
Sponsored ads, also known as paid ads or PPC (Pay per click) ads, occupy prime real estate in the SERP. A typical searcher sees up to 4 paid ads on page 1 of search results.
Over the years, more and more space on the SERP is occupied by sponsored ads. For businesses, paid ads are highly effective because keywords that have a high commercial intent outperform organic clicks by almost a 2:1 margin.
The truth is a business that offers the photography services you are looking for might have paid a hefty price to win that spot.
Still wondering how to find the top real estate photographer near me?
Simply click on a paid ad, and check out if you can find the top real estate photographer who can deliver the results you want.
Google My Business Listings
The highly visual results immediately after paid ads are known as the Local 3 Pack. A map frequently accompanies the Google My Business Listings.
In the image above, you can see that you are presented with the top 3 businesses that Google considers to be the most convenient to your location. Also, the three Google My Business Listings are the most relevant to your queried keyword real estate photographer near me, and they are the highest quality businesses in the eyes of Google search engine spiders.
Organic listings, also known as natural listings, refer to unpaid search results. As you can see in the image below, they appear below the Local 3 Pack businesses.
Organic listings are not influenced by paid advertising. Conversely, these listings are based on the relevance of your search query and several other SEO factors.
Check out the organic listings for your search query. Since these results are not influenced by advertisers, the chances of finding the real estate photography pricing you are looking for in these natural results are high.
4: Review the Top Google My Business Listings in Your Location
Google My Business listings is a free service that Google provides. In the image below, you can see that this service also provides reviews and images.
Start by reviewing the top Google My Business listing in the area where you need the photography performed. When reviewing Google My Business listings, there are three critical elements to focus on (in order of priority):
You will know right away if there’s a match by the photos. Don’t waste your time reading the reviews and the services offered if you’re not happy with the quality of the photos in the portfolio.
Reviews are a reliable element of social proof. Google’s combined star rating is credible and trustworthy.
Google presents customers with adequate space for detailed reviews. They can share as much or as little information as they desire about their experience with the business.
For each listing, you can see multiple reviews from real customers. Check out these reviews and determine whether the business would fulfill your real estate photography needs.
If you are also looking for add-on photography services, take a closer look at the reviews of customers who opted for these services. Since these services tend to be expensive, choose a real estate photographer only if you are satisfied with the services they have provided to their previous clients.
A few bad reviews need not be deal-breakers. In fact, a fine blend of a few negative reviews and a large number of positive reviews is much better than only glowing, positive reviews. However, you need to steer clear of a business that has a string of bad reviews.
Once the photos and reviews pass your initial test, dig deeper into the details of the services offered.
Under Business Profile, check the services that the business offers. Look closely at the service descriptions and prices to see if they match your quality expectations and are in line with your budget.
If you are using a mobile device for your search, you can find all the services that the business offers under Services.
5: Facebook Groups
Facebook seems more like a place that allows you to get distracted from work.
But thousands of professional photographers use the photography groups on this platform to make connections and find clients. Creative professionals look for community on these free, fully-moderated spaces.
On these Facebook groups, prospective clients can network with real estate photographers in their location.
Go to your Facebook account and search for groups. Use one or both of the proven tactics explained below:
Search for “City Name - Service Type Photographers”
Just as Google has specific keywords and search tricks, the Facebook Search tool can also find the Facebook groups you want to join. You only need to use the “filters” and “keywords” on Facebook correctly.
Use Facebook Search and find real estate photography groups by location. Join a few groups that see almost constant activity. Check out the discussion and read the comment threads. You’ll find that most threads are positive, supportive, and downright enjoyable.
Get acquainted with people who have already worked with a real estate photographer. Ask them if they are satisfied with their experience and if they would recommend hiring the photographer.
Create a Post with a Very Specific Job Description
Include as many details as possible in your post. If you are looking for any particular add-on service, include the details of this, as well.
Sit back and wait for photographers in your area to approach you. The key is to know exactly what you need so that it’s easier to screen the people who approach you.
Search for Groups for the Type of Professional You are
For example, if you are a real estate agent, then look for “Minneapolis Realtors.” Create a post in that group requesting recommendations for a competent real estate photographer.
The “friends of friends” option is a surefire method to find the photographer you want to hire. The following are some of the top search phrases:
- Groups joined by
- From my school
- From my city
- From my current workplace.
6: Your Competitor’s Websites or MLS Listings
If you’re a real estate business owner and you want to find out who did the photography for some of your competitors, just go to their business website or MLS listings.
Download some of the best-looking images you see on their sites or listings. You can find out who did the photography by opening the downloaded image in any program that allows you to see the metadata added to a file.
Most professional photographers add their names and copyright information to their images. A copyright notice gives photographers additional legal protection. When this notice is removed, it results in willful copyright infringement, attracting a higher penalty (up to $150,000 in statutory damages under US law).
Remember, a photographer who captures an image always retains the copyright to their work. Some professional photographers also sign their photos on the top of the image itself so that people know who captured the photo. It not only deters casual image theft but also serves as an advertisement for their service.
Next, click on Upload an Image. Choose the image file you want to reverse search. Google search spiders will search the web for this image. If a similar or matched image is found, Google will provide the list of websites on which the image appears.
7: Attend Photography Networking Events in Your City or Search Professional Photographers Association Websites
Attending networking events helps in cultivating long-term relationships. The advantage of meeting a person face-to-face is you leave a lasting impression. This is exactly what happens when you attend networking events, such as a Chamber of Commerce meeting or a Professional Photography Guild meeting.
Arrive early before the event gets crowded. Aim to connect with only a few people. Set a goal to meet two or three new people. There’s no point in making a superficial connection with dozens of people. Even a few quality connections can help you find the top real estate photographer you want to hire.
Remember, every person has their own network. So, after the event, don’t fail to follow up with the new people you met. Ask them the question, “Where can I find the top real estate photographer near me?”
Another quick way to find a professional real estate photographer is to head to the PPA (Professional Photographers of America) website. You can use the Find a Photographer Near You feature to search through thousands of photographers who follow PPA’s code of ethics and stick to PPA’s benchmarks of excellence in photography.
You can search by photographic specialty—real estate—and by location—town or zip code. You can also set the filter to Certified Drone Photographers or Certified Professional Photographers (CPP).
Finding the top real estate photographer near you isn’t so difficult if you follow the guidelines detailed here.
A professional real estate photographer can get the right angles and show off the best features of the property. So you really need to hire a person who is up to the task, as striking photos are vital to selling a property fast.