Real estate photographers: In this video I share a plan that you could use to increase your revenue from, say, $2000 per month to $9000 per month in just one year. This is a month by month plan that details the exact number of jobs you need, when to initiate a price rise, and how many hours to commit to marketing each month.
I’ve made some assumptions in terms of revenue and pricing, so it's likely that your numbers are quite different to this, but you can use the same principles to build your photography business regardless of your price point. What's important is what you do with each hour you have in your day, and what changes you make to your pricing to make each photo shoot as profitable as it can be.
Video sponsor: Urbanimmersive
They provide business solutions for real estate photographers around the world, including scheduling, payment, photo delivery and single property websites. For more details visit their website: www.urbanimmersive.com
I see a lot of real estate photographers really struggling financially, so here’s a month by month plan to help you grow from $2000 per month to $9000 per month in one year. Let’s take a look!
Now before we get started I would like to thank our sponsor for this episode, Urbanimmersive.com, and they provide scheduling, payment and photo delivery tools for real estate photographers, so take a look at Urbanimmersive if that’s something you’re looking for.
So today we’re talking about how you can grow your revenue from $2000 per month to $9000 per month in just one year.
Let’s start by looking at some numbers and we’ll make a few assumptions, and you can totally tweak this to suit your business, but let’s say you’re charging $130 per photo shoot, and you’re doing 15 shoots per month for a total of $1950 per month.
If each photo shoot takes 3 hours, then you’re spending 45 hours per month working. And if you’re working 9 to 5 each day for 5 days a week, then you’ve got about 168 hours each month, so that’s potentially a spare 123 hours that you can put into marketing and building new connections with prospects.
So the big question then is -
What are you going to do with 123 hours?
In our growth plan you want to get more clients booking shoots next month, so you’re going to use that 123 hours this month to start connecting with more clients. To do that you’re going to use some of the ideas I shared in my last two videos that covered marketing online and offline.
So you’re going to be on social media sharing content because there are a lot of ways to connect with your dream clients online, but you’ll also be visiting offices of businesses, you’ll be talking with your current client list to see if they can recommend you to anyone, you’re going to be cold calling agents on the phone to introduce yourself, and you’re going to be doing all of those things for 123 hours per month, working like crazy to get 5 more jobs next month.
So that’s not just 4 or 5 phone calls, and it’s not just visiting 1 or 2 offices or sharing something on Facebook a few times a week – to fill 123 hours you’re going to be ramping up all of those activities to absolute capacity.
You’re going to fill every single spare minute of every day doing something productive to connect with more of your ideal prospects. You’re not aiming small anymore – it’s time to go big.
Month 2: 5 more photo shoots.
Alright, so what are we aiming for in month 2?
Well, in month 2 we want to do 20 photo shoots, and if we do the numbers then 20 photo shoots will take 60 hours to complete, leaving you with 108 hours in the month to focus on marketing your business.
You want to keep on building those same connections that you did last month, keep on engaging with people and making calls and visiting people and doing all of that for 5 hours per day every day this month.
Month 3: Start upselling 4 new add-on services.
In month 3 you want to keep building new connections and you’re going to do that by continuing to do all those things you were doing in month 1, right, but you’re also going to start upselling your clients to a new service, whether it’s videos or floorplans or some 360 offer.
If you can upsell just 1 shoot a week to a new $100 service then you’ve got another $400 in revenue for this month and your target is reached.
So, what are your options for this add-on service?
Well, ideally you want to do something that has a low cost of entry, because you don’t want to spend a fortune on new gear so put some thought into that.
One option could be 3D immersive ‘Pocket websites’ from Urbanimmersive that they’ll be launching this month.
This is a lot like a Matterport tour for a home, but you shoot it with your DSLR attached to a panning head, and then after taking the photos you upload them to Urbanimmersive and their software algorithm will stitch the images together, and create a tour with hotspot navigation.
And you don’t even need to shoot every corner of the home – you just do a set of images for any space you want to show, so it’s a lot quicker than some other options.
Just to give you an idea, the cost to create a tour will be about $15, and you could sell one of these for maybe $60 to $100 or more, depending on your market.
Month 4: 3 more photo shoots + 1 more add-on service.
Alright, let’s move on to month 4, and this month you’re aiming to get 3 more shoots above last month, and you’re going for 5 upsell services instead of the 4 that you did last month.
In terms of marketing you’ve got 94 hours available for that, so maybe you’re going back to those prospects you called a couple of months back to check in with them again if they haven’t booked anything yet, and see if they are ready to book a shoot with you.
Month 5: 4 more photo shoots
We’re now up to month 5, and if this is how you’re tracking with your business development then let’s celebrate that you’ve doubled your revenue in just 5 months! That’s fantastic! Absolutely brilliant!
However, to reach this goal you’ll want to get an extra 4 photo shoots for the month, for a total of 27, and you want 5 upsell jobs to your video or 360 tour or floorplan service or whatever you do for $100 each.
If you can do that then that’s 86 hours in total, leaving you with 82 hours for the month to work on marketing.
So have a think about that - How many calls or office visits or emails could you do in 82 hours that would help you get 4 more photo shoots than you got last month? 4 more – what would that take?
No job is easy to get but if you have a 5 percent success rate then you need to touch base with around 90 to 100 agents this month – do you think you could do that with 82 hours available to you across the month? Absolutely!
Month 6: Price rise for real estate shoots
Right, we’re up to month 6 and now it’s time for a price rise. You’re going to jump up from $130 to $160, and let’s say that as a result of that price rise you lose a couple of clients. So you drop from 27 down to 25 photo shoots this month, but because of your price rise you’re actually doing more revenue!
See, that’s the great thing about a price rise – photographers worry that they’ll lose people, but you can afford to lose a few when your price goes up, and you can still increase your revenue.
In terms of marketing, you need to continue building those same connections, and making the most of the 88 hours you have this month to keep on introducing yourself to new prospects, and maintain connections with the ones you’ve been speaking with for the past 6 months. There’s a lot of work to do, but the results will be starting to show.
Month 7: Add 1 commercial shoot
Alright, in month 7 you’re aiming to do the exact same number of real estate jobs, and the same number of upsells, but this month you want to get 1 commercial job, and for that you might charge $500.
What do you need to do to get 1 paying job from a commercial client? Well, hopefully over the past few months you’ve been preparing some marketing material and building some connections with people involved in other industries outside real estate, and this is the month you want them to start coming home to roost.
You’re going to push hard and make the most of the 80 hours you have this month to connect once again with all those dream commercial clients, and you want to get 1 job from them at a low price of just $500.
Can you do that? Absolutely, provided you’ve got solid connections with a high number of people. It’s all about the numbers – the more people you connect with, the more opportunities you have.
Month 8: 2 more shoots + 2 more add-on services
So what are we aiming for in month 8? This month you want to get another commercial job, but you also want to get 2 more real estate shoots, as well as 2 more add-on services, so that’s going to take more marketing and connections and referrals and a lot of work.
And if you’re already been doing that connecting with prospects then getting a couple more jobs from those agents that you’ve been speaking with for the past 6 or 8 months should be achievable. You should be able to do that if you’ve got that foundation of work already.
Month 9: Price rise for commercial shoots + 1 more real estate shoot
It’s now month 9, so you might want to slightly increase your commercial fee. Now you’ve already got those 2 previous commercial shoots, so you’ve got some nice portfolio shots and hopefully you’ve got some great feedback from those 2 previous clients so you can share that with your list of dream clients to help you get that slightly higher fee.
You also want to jump up from 27 real estate shoots to 28 real estate shoots – and that’s going to come through reconnecting with old prospects, and building fresh connections with new prospects.
For this number of photos shoots it might take up 100 hours in your month, leaving you with 56 hours in the month to do marketing, and of course this assumes you only do this from 9 to 5 each day. If you were to put in some late nights then you could get another 30 to 40 hours in a month, which would give you over 100 hours to spend connecting with potential clients.
Month 10: Price rise for add-on service + 1 more commercial shoot + 1 more real estate shoot
We’re up to month 10, and this month you’ll increase the fee of your extra service from $100 to $120. Doing that will add an extra $160 to your monthly revenue, but you also want to get 2 commercial jobs this month instead of just 1 commercial job.
In addition to that, you want to get 1 more real estate job this month above what you did last month. You can do that if you work hard, if you use all of those 57 hours available for marketing, and if you present your business really well.
Alright, what are we aiming for next month?
Month 11: 5 more real estate shoots + 2 more add-on services
In month 11 we really start to build upon all of that good work you’ve been doing for the past 10 months, because this month you want to get an extra 5 real estate shoots above what you did last month, as well as an extra 2 upsell services.
If you can do all that, as well as get those 2 commercial jobs again, then you’ll do $8000 this month. Wouldn’t that be fantastic?!!
But you’ve got to be using every hour to be marketing to new prospects, current clients, and old prospects. It takes work – you can’t sit back and expect it to come in, but at the same time you’re on a roll now and that momentum is going to help those jobs come in, and you’re absolutely going to have businesses and agents that you haven’t heard of start coming your way through all of that positive word of mouth that’s out there, provided you’ve been shooting well and delivering great service.
Month 12: Price rise for real estate shoots + price rise for commercial shoots
Now, what are we going for in month 12?
It’s time for another price rise. You’re going to bump up your real estate price by another $20 – which if you’ve been doing good work then that shouldn’t be a problem for you as it’s a pretty small rise.
However, you’re also going for a big rise in your commercial shoot, because you want to get that up to where it should be. So instead of charging $700, you’re going to charge $1500. How will you do that?
Well, you’ve got those past shoots to build upon, and those experiences and happy clients. You should be able to use the testimonials and the images from those 7 commercial shoots you’ve done over the past few months, and you should be able to present a really good case for charging $1500 to a client for high-quality work.
Now if you don’t think you can do that then that’s OK - you could look to increase your fee from $700 to $750, and aim for 2 jobs in a month – but it would be great if you could jump your fee up to $1500, because that’s the kind of fee you should be aiming for when charging a builder or a hotel or something.
In terms of the numbers for this month, the time spent shooting is 127 hours, which works out at about 6 hours a day, starting your first shoot at 10 am, and finish up at 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Or if you wanted to take 1 day off each week to focus fully on marketing and building connections, then you could work 4 x 8 hour days each week and fit it all in, which I think would be great and put you in a really strong position to further increase your fees in the months and years ahead.
How many photo shoots would be needed with a lower fee?
Just as a comparison, let’s compare these numbers with what you would need to do if you were only charging $130 for your real estate shoots:
To reach $9000 you would need to do 70 shoots per month, which is 3.3 shoots per day. To do that will take about 10 hours per day Monday to Friday.
That means you start your first photo shoot at 8am, and you won’t finish until 6pm. You’re working flat out every day, and there’s no room for any quiet days, no room for rescheduling, and no room for marketing or business development or anything like that.
So you could do it that way, or you choose to do things differently by pricing yourself higher and doing fewer jobs.
What’s important is that you recognise that you have a choice when it comes to pricing your photography, and you have a choice when it comes to what you do with your time when you’re not shooting.
That time could be spent going hard on the marketing, building connections, making phone calls, sending marketing material, doing everything you can to move each of those dream clients from people who don’t know you, to clients who love working with you!
It’s a lot of work, it’s a lot of hours, but the results you’ll get from committing to this will have a massive impact on your business.
You really could follow this template to take your business from $2000 per month to $9000 per month, and if you were to reach that $9000 in a month mark then you’re on track to do over $100,000 in sales in a single year.
Need some help?
Now if that sounds great but you’re not exactly sure what to do, then I’d like to provide you with access to my pre-written marketing tools and my 1-to-1 support. If you’re interested then go to my website and have a look at my coaching program.
That’s it for today, so I hope that’s given you a whole lot of ideas for how you can get more clients for your business.
My name’s Darryl Stringer, and if you liked this video make sure you leave a comment and subscribe or Like this Page, and I’ll see you next time. Bye for now!