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4 freelance photography mistakes (and how to avoid them)
When people are scrolling through property listings, the homes with professional photography leave the strongest emotional impression. Survey after survey tells us that quality photography has an immediate impact on viewings, price, and time on market. As a property photographer, your shots of a home's best features are directly responsible for getting potential buyers through the door. But your role doesn't end there.
Producing beautiful, intriguing photography will always be one of the most important parts of your job, but FocalPros have another priority: acting as an extension of the estate agent’s brand.
The estate agents who choose to work with you through FocalAgent will, first and foremost, love your work. But it's a photographer's reliability, communication and professionalism that helps them sell or rent the property at hand, and leads to a strong, lasting relationship.
But to get to that point, you'll need to avoid these four mistakes.
Mistake 1: Acting unprofessionally
When you accept a job via the FocalAgent app (available for Android and iPhone), it'll let you know which estate agent is your client for the job. You'll be in contact with the keyholder this could be the estate agent or the home owner - professionalism in both cases are essential.
Photographers who offer different treatment for estate agents and home owners run the risk of letting both relationships suffer. Luckily, there are only a few things to remember in order to avoid this.
You can avoid acting unprofessionally by:
- Coming equipped with the right lenses, tripod and anything else you need to capture the best side of the property
- Dressing smartly
- Treating every home owner as if they’re your only customer of the day, with a consistent sense of care and attention to detail
Mistake 2: Communicating inconsistently
Clear, professional conversation with both the estate agent and the home owner is essential to providing excellent customer service. Communicate in a calm and friendly way, asking questions along the way and listening carefully to any specific requests. Without knowing what questions to ask and when, new property photographers can't do their talents justice.
You can avoid communicating inconsistently by:
- Taking the time to understand your estate agent’s specific objectives by defining their requests, tasks, process and deadlines before you arrive at the property
- Staying in contact with the estate agent throughout the process - and if they're not available, your FocalAgent Business Angel will be able to help
- Keeping a friendly tone, even when the clock is ticking or you're facing an obstacle
Mistake 3: Being unreliable
Making sure an estate agent feels they can turn to you and trust you, even in a difficult situation, is gold dust for your working partnership. Once you've reached this stage, you'll find flexibility and security are a natural part of the relationship.
But it takes time to get there. If a photographer isn't 100% reliable on day one, they often find their reputation damaged and the repeat business goes to the equally talented, but more reliable, photographers in the region.
You can avoid being unreliable by:
- Showing up on time (and communicating clearly if there are any hold ups)
- Producing excellent photography
- Ensuring you always complete your work within the agreed deadline
- Delivering on your promises
Mistake 4: Compromising on quality
When a photographer signs up with FocalAgent, there's a mutual understanding that we'll bring the business and take care of the admin if they produce excellent, enticing property photography. Our photographers' technical abilities are outstanding and the work is consistently excellent.
But sometimes, it's not just about technical ability. If you miss out on a property's unique or most becoming assets, for instance, you won't be producing your best work.
You can avoid compromising on quality by:
- Kitting yourself out with the right equipment (check out the ultimate FocalAgent kitlist here)
- Learning more about what makes a great property photograph (like these ones)
- Treating every property like a high-end home - this attitude will help you get the best out of each subject
From first impressions to the end product, the best property photographers aim to win over the home owner, enhance the estate agent’s brand and stand out in a very competitive market. And that's how to make it as a freelance property photographer.