Fair price to charge real estate

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DrewFlies

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I know many people who are making decent or great money doing aerial photography and videography.

My questions are you one of those people. How much do you charge? How do you charge? What are some factors you base your prices on?

Do you charge per hour? If so how much
Do you charge per shoot? If so how do you come up with a fair and reasonable price.
Do you do the editing or just get the shots?

I assume if you help realtors sell houses. You must get nice shots inside the property as well.
What camera do you like using for inside property.
I have a friend who is doing very well as a realtor. He actually does all the shots inside the home and he does all the editing. In this case, he is asking for my help with aerial as he pays someone else to do it. He rather go to me for easier convience and possible friend discount.
This is why I'm asking because I don't want to feel like I'm ripping my friend off and also want to be paid appropriately.
I dont mind doing it cheaper than what his other client charges. But, also dont want to get taken advantage of because lets face it. These batteries do cost $150 a pop and could have issues at any given time as well as a crashed $1,300 quad copter. I dont want to settle for less.
Let me know your opinions and advice if you have any.
Also I film and edit videos professionally. I'm licensed and do it legally. I do plan on taking all the proper legal steps to have my quadcopter genrate some income for me as well and understand its a headache to wait for your license to do so, so I don't need you bashing and spamming my post that its illegal.
 
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With my P2 last summer, I was asked to do a few houses for realtors.. I am not in photography but viewed these as a way to put some bucks towards my hobby.. I did about 7-10 houses and the prices realtors are willing to pay depend greatly on the listing. Its usually out of their pocket. My experience is that the price can't be a significant chunk of a listing agents' commission, so for smaller $200-350K houses I was throwing out a number of $100 for 5-7 photos.. Quick edits nothing special. I did one $2.2mm home out in the country, about 5 photos with quick edits.. and they game me $200. Never used more than one phantom battery's time shooting and the sellers were always surprised by the amazing angles/quality of the pictures.

I can imagine this is far less than pros will say they charge, but there is a tremendous market of <$500K houses that have no idea they can afford aerial photos these days that are largely untapped. A few agents told me commercial drone companies were asking for $500 and up for the pricey listings with videos, etc. Not including inside photos.
 
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I shoot real estate photos professionally. Interiors and exteriors. I find that pricing varies by locale. Some photographers charge $150-200 for a whole set of listing photos, and others will charge $2,000 and up. Where I am located, I get $500-750 (per size of house, not listing price) for a set of listing photos that include "interiors and exteriors...aerials, if possible, are provided at no cost." I decline most requests for aerials only, since they're often looking to pay in the $100-150 range for a few such photos. And, while it is quick and easy to get a battery's worth of photos that do not require much processing, I find that for the hour (total) you spend doing it, the worry and liability that comes with flying in residential areas and wondering about FAA regs, and the cost of the equipment and potential replacement, it is just not worth it. I would rather get $600 for 6 hour's work than $125 for one hour's work while watching over my shoulder to see if there is an angry neighbor with a shotgun.
 
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If they are a friend, they are probably not looking to really save money, but looking for someone they feel like they can communicate with and work more closely with. If they are already taking all of their own interior photos, they may want to do the editing themselves.

Think about your time commitment under a few options. Assume you are shooting J+R, no video:

1. Drive to the location, wait until they are ready to give you some ideas, fly one battery with them watching the screen and providing some suggestions. At the end you land and hand them the mSD card they gave you at the beginning and head home. Maybe ask if you can do a flight on your own to experiment and get ideas.

2. Drive to the location, setup, and fly a battery taking photos of what you think is interesting. Fly a second battery with them as a director asking you for specific shots and you making some suggestions based on your first flight. Hand them the mSD, or copy onto a thumb for them and keep a set for your own experience.

3. Same as two except you go home afterwards do the basic editing and send them back a set of JPG of everything that worked so they can pick out the 2 or 6 they will use.

4. Take full creative control. Take a wide variety of pictures including wide range exposure bracketing. Get home and spend a few hours in lightroom getting the photos just right including using the wide bracketed shots to build some HDR that allow you to capture the sky while eliminating the shadows and bringing out the details. Send them your 10 best for them to choose from.

Think about the time involved and pick a value for your time, probably in the $100-200/hour range.

If this was me and my realtor friend I would do #2 while I gained experience and then go home and do some heavy post processing on my own time and send them my two best (probably HDR) with a mention of "Hey I spent some time playing around afterwards and these are some ideas of what I can do in post."

The idea is getting paid for #2 while building your skills and giving them the option to choose #4 in the future. This is obviously dependent on how much time you are desiring to put into the "hobby", and if you are just hoping to offset your costs for the hobby.

The last thing to be concerned about is taxes. If they are writing you a check and deducting the expense, they will have to file a 1099 with the IRS if they pay you more than $400/year (IANAL, this is what I recall and may have changed). If you want to keep this as a hobby, you might offer to just do #1 for a Benjamin under the table and off the books (This is obviously a violation of tax law, proceed at your own risk!) but that may be what they are really looking for if they are already a competent photographer and editor.

You can't know unless you ask.
 
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The last thing to be concerned about is taxes. If they are writing you a check and deducting the expense, they will have to file a 1099 with the IRS if they pay you more than $400/year (IANAL, this is what I recall and may have changed). If you want to keep this as a hobby, you might offer to just do #1 for a Benjamin under the table and off the books (This is obviously a violation of tax law, proceed at your own risk!) but that may be what they are really looking for if they are already a competent photographer and editor.
.
$600. 1099-MISC
 
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$50/hr of whatever video or photos they want

but then again I'm a college kid with no job, so my time isn't as valuable as some of yours.

One of my parent's friends is a realtor, so he covers all the inside pictures and just brings me in for the aerials.
 
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Buy a commercial UAV for these purposes. The P3P does well but there are FAR better products out there if your looking to make money and for a commercial operation. It's only a 1K UAV
 
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I contacted a local "high end" realtor because I know them personally. I believe that I can save them a boat load of money that used to be spent on fixed wing and rotors and I can establish credibility in the process. I met with one of the principles, showed him some pics of their properties I took, and said that I would take pics for them for free while I learn the business and what their needs are. He told me to take some shots and see what I come up with. Did that, delivered them on CD, and they are VERY interested in what I can do. They were amazed at the P3P's image quality. Apparently, they paid through the nose for what I was able to give them on short notice. They want me to work with them and are NOW interested in my pricing structure. For 8 shots per property, I am proposing $150. Not bad for an hour's work and they are mostly commercial. I'm not looking to make a killing, but if it can be a win/win and we're both happy, then it works. These are honest people and would not take advantage of me. If they think I am not charging enough, they will tell me.

Why would someone want to use a Drone for interior shots? Just use a handheld gimbal with a GoPro 4 Black. No muss, no fuss. Heck, just hold the P3 and walk around and you still get stable footage. I don't think it's worth the risk shooting indoors unless there is plenty of space, IMHO.
 
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$50/hr of whatever video or photos they want

but then again I'm a college kid with no job, so my time isn't as valuable as some of yours.

One of my parent's friends is a realtor, so he covers all the inside pictures and just brings me in for the aerials.
You need to raise your prices. You're killing the economy and setting the wrong precedence.
Ask yourself this; if you were doing it full time and had to pay taxes, license fees, equipment, vehicle loans, payroll, etc., how many jobs could you do with travel time, 60% booking rate, post processing time, etc. Now figure what it would take to take home $60-80K

If you charge less because you suck (and I'm not saying you do), then get better before you start again.
But when you set a ridiculous rate like this, no professional can compete with you (because of above overhead). When you go away, people looking for your type of service will have a mindset that this is a $50 service and be upset with pros for charging more.

Just because you're a kid, does not mean that you should work for free, and BTW, charging $50 for whatever, is working for free.
Figuring 10min for calls/scheduling, 30min drive each way, 30min-1hr on site, any basic post processing/emailing, gas and insurance, price of the equipment (quad, barretries, tablet, etc,) amortized between x # of jobs... well, like I said, you're working for free.
 
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I contacted a local "high end" realtor because I know them personally. I believe that I can save them a boat load of money that used to be spent on fixed wing and rotors and I can establish credibility in the process. I met with one of the principles, showed him some pics of their properties I took, and said that I would take pics for them for free while I learn the business and what their needs are. He told me to take some shots and see what I come up with. Did that, delivered them on CD, and they are VERY interested in what I can do. They were amazed at the P3P's image quality. Apparently, they paid through the nose for what I was able to give them on short notice. They want me to work with them and are NOW interested in my pricing structure. For 8 shots per property, I am proposing $150. Not bad for an hour's work and they are mostly commercial. I'm not looking to make a killing, but if it can be a win/win and we're both happy, then it works. These are honest people and would not take advantage of me. If they think I am not charging enough, they will tell me.

Why would someone want to use a Drone for interior shots? Just use a handheld gimbal with a GoPro 4 Black. No muss, no fuss. Heck, just hold the P3 and walk around and you still get stable footage. I don't think it's worth the risk shooting indoors unless there is plenty of space, IMHO.
Well said.
The free thing is a good hook, as long as you agree ahead of time that it's only for the fist x # of jobs and in the first x # of weeks.
$150 is low, but if it's small town where travel time isn't a factor, and you're only doing few stills (no video) and aren't doing much post processing, you might be OK.

I also agree that doing quad pictures inside is idiotic.
 
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I contacted a local "high end" realtor because I know them personally. I believe that I can save them a boat load of money that used to be spent on fixed wing and rotors and I can establish credibility in the process. I met with one of the principles, showed him some pics of their properties I took, and said that I would take pics for them for free while I learn the business and what their needs are. He told me to take some shots and see what I come up with. Did that, delivered them on CD, and they are VERY interested in what I can do. They were amazed at the P3P's image quality. Apparently, they paid through the nose for what I was able to give them on short notice. They want me to work with them and are NOW interested in my pricing structure. For 8 shots per property, I am proposing $150. Not bad for an hour's work and they are mostly commercial. I'm not looking to make a killing, but if it can be a win/win and we're both happy, then it works. These are honest people and would not take advantage of me. If they think I am not charging enough, they will tell me.

Why would someone want to use a Drone for interior shots? Just use a handheld gimbal with a GoPro 4 Black. No muss, no fuss. Heck, just hold the P3 and walk around and you still get stable footage. I don't think it's worth the risk shooting indoors unless there is plenty of space, IMHO.
I've been doing some indoor shots as well with the P3. I bought an Elephantom to hold the P3 with while walking around with it inside. Here are my latest 2 videos. The one with inside shots (the first video) took quite a while to shoot and a lot longer to edit. What would you guys charge for something like that?

The second video didn't take nearly as long to shoot or edit, but there wasn't as much subject matter either. Any thoughts on pricing or improvement in quality would be most appreciated.


 
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DrewFlies

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Great advice and good points of interest from everybody. The problem with charging $300+ is like YolevonALLin said professional drone companies charge $500 and I'm sure they have plenty of portfolio and insurance as well as a professional image when they advertise their company. This is something I can definitely look forward to. But, as you can tell I'm just getting my hands wet. For me to charge the same amount these professionals with experience would probably resort to the client going with the professionals instead. I definitely dont want to undersell my work and definitely don't want to work for free. Gas prices arent cheap so just the drive there and back to some of these places could be $20+. You guys definitely gave me some good ideas to approach this and I live in South Florida so plenty of market out there. The problem is I think you can get away with charging $300+ per job back 2-3 years ago. But, too many people own quads now and more to come obviously. My friend says he pays the guy $50 just to get some shots, no edits. Keep the ideas and advice coming.
 
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You need to raise your prices. You're killing the economy and setting the wrong precedence.
Ask yourself this; if you were doing it full time and had to pay taxes, license fees, equipment, vehicle loans, payroll, etc., how many jobs could you do with travel time, 60% booking rate, post processing time, etc. Now figure what it would take to take home $60-80K

If you charge less because you suck (and I'm not saying you do), then get better before you start again.
But when you set a ridiculous rate like this, no professional can compete with you (because of above overhead). When you go away, people looking for your type of service will have a mindset that this is a $50 service and be upset with pros for charging more.

Just because you're a kid, does not mean that you should work for free, and BTW, charging $50 for whatever, is working for free.
Figuring 10min for calls/scheduling, 30min drive each way, 30min-1hr on site, any basic post processing/emailing, gas and insurance, price of the equipment (quad, barretries, tablet, etc,) amortized between x # of jobs... well, like I said, you're working for free.
You did notice he said $50/hr, not $50 right?
 
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You need to raise your prices. You're killing the economy and setting the wrong precedence.
Ask yourself this; if you were doing it full time and had to pay taxes, license fees, equipment, vehicle loans, payroll, etc., how many jobs could you do with travel time, 60% booking rate, post processing time, etc. Now figure what it would take to take home $60-80K

If you charge less because you suck (and I'm not saying you do), then get better before you start again.
But when you set a ridiculous rate like this, no professional can compete with you (because of above overhead). When you go away, people looking for your type of service will have a mindset that this is a $50 service and be upset with pros for charging more.

Just because you're a kid, does not mean that you should work for free, and BTW, charging $50 for whatever, is working for free.
Figuring 10min for calls/scheduling, 30min drive each way, 30min-1hr on site, any basic post processing/emailing, gas and insurance, price of the equipment (quad, barretries, tablet, etc,) amortized between x # of jobs... well, like I said, you're working for free.
I don't pay gas, don't have insurance, and my time is worthless.

This is essentially a more expensive version of a kid with a lemonade stand.
 
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You did notice he said $50/hr, not $50 right?
You know what? I did not.
Sorry, it's been rough day.

Lost a job to a trunkslammer that doesn't play by same rules as the rest of us.
His total bid came in at just over materials cost, so it's been that kind of a day.
 
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Some of you won't like to hear this... but I do some of this for free. It's fun to do and I'm too worried about $ changing hands. The minute even one penny changes hands.. the rules change and it's not a hobby anymore and there are other things to consider I would imagine legally speaking.
 
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Some of you won't like to hear this... but I do some of this for free. It's fun to do and I'm too worried about $ changing hands. The minute even one penny changes hands.. the rules change and it's not a hobby anymore and there are other things to consider I would imagine legally speaking.
I rather see you doing it for free then charging too little.
No one is going to call me and demand I do it for free when you decide to move on or get too busy but people would sure demand $99 or whatever service and be upset when I tell them I charge x more.
 
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One other question for you guys. I wanted to see if you agree with my strategy. I plan to seek out new business for aerial drone footage on my own, rather than make a website . . . so as to try to stay off the radar a little more.

You guys that are doing realty stuff, do you promote yourself with a website, or no?
 
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DrewFlies

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One other question for you guys. I wanted to see if you agree with my strategy. I plan to seek out new business for aerial drone footage on my own, rather than make a website . . . so as to try to stay off the radar a little more.

You guys that are doing realty stuff, do you promote yourself with a website, or no?
I thought of the same thing.
I'm planning on making a website to collage all my work. That way if people come to my site and like my work and they can request my services. I won't be advertising that I charge or my rates. It will look more like a hobby with the possibility for people to fund me to receive my services.
 
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RyanK

I like the videos but think they are a little too fast and choppy..........slow down
 

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