Marketing your real estate photography services is an investment, and it’s one that doesn’t always yield immediate payoffs. This makes it easy to neglect, especially for aspiring real estate photographers just getting started. But, there are a number of reasons to invest in marketing, from increasing your number of new clients to building a sustainable business that lasts.
5 reasons real estate photographers should invest in marketing their services
1. Builds a strong brand
First and foremost, investing in marketing is ultimately setting you up to have a strong brand.
When you market yourself properly, you build recognition with your audience (the real estate industry as a whole). Over time, this brand building can translate to trust, especially when you deliver quality work. With 46% of people willing to pay more for services from brands they trust, trust is always a great investment.
2. Generates leads and clients
From social media posts to paid ads to business cards, real estate photography marketing efforts ultimately serve to generate new leads and clients. While the direct marketing efforts just mentioned help generate clients, there’s another real estate marketing tool that helps you take your business to the next level: referrals.
As you establish your brand and launch your marketing, referrals are a great way to get an initial boost to your business. Referrals also come more easily as your brand and marketing mature, as there’s the previously mentioned element of trust.
Lastly, marketing will naturally lead to word-of-mouth traffic over time as people have positive experiences with your brand.
3. Expands your professional network
Marketing isn’t only great for landing photography clients, but also effective when it comes to networking in the real estate industry.
For example, as you promote your business via social media marketing, other real estate agents and professional photographers will come across your brand. This can result in inbound requests from real estate agents, invitations from other real estate photographers to attend conventions, and more.
Running paid ads on real estate sites is an especially effective way to build your professional network, as your ads will reach your target audience and those working in the industry.
4. Showcases your expertise
Real estate photography marketing is more than business cards and ads posted everywhere. Proper marketing gives you the chance to showcase your expertise and truly establish yourself as someone trustworthy in the space.
For example, in parallel with running social media ads, you can build a following by sharing insightful content and tips on various social media platforms. Not only is this kind of social media marketing effective at driving new business, but it’s also effective at establishing yourself as a credible partner to realtors and home sellers.
5. Offers a competitive edge
Marketing, when done well, gives you a competitive edge over others in the real estate photography space. This is especially true when you’re leveraging your marketing as a way to differentiate yourself.
Your competitors can claim they’re the best in real estate photography, but you can use your online presence as a place to show off your best photography, customer testimonials, expertise, and more. This allows you to differentiate yourself from the competition, and gain a significant edge over those not engaging in modern real estate photography marketing.
How to build a sustainable client base for your photography business
There are a number of marketing strategies you can use to attract clients and grow your photography business. Keep in mind many of the following strategies, while effective, can take time to reach maximum effectiveness. So, don’t lose hope if things aren’t delivering results right away.
1. Network with real estate professionals
Just as word of mouth is a great way to generate buzz around your business, networking with real estate professionals is also a powerful marketing tool. By networking with as many real estate professionals as possible, you’re putting your business top of mind for many realtors and increasing your potential client base.
There are several ways you can start building your real estate network ASAP:
Join real estate communities on social media
Go to local and regional real estate and real estate photography events (bring business cards)
Attend open houses and introduce yourself to the real estate agent
Participate in any groups associated with a hobby you enjoy and network
Keep in mind that word-of-mouth referrals will also help build out your network over time as well. Also, if you’re interested in working directly with owners looking to sell their homes, many of the above marketing tips still apply. Simply swap “real estate events” and communities with more local, general events and community groups.
2. Create an attractive online portfolio
An attractive online portfolio is a must when you’re trying to build your client base and establish trust. When you have a high-quality portfolio, brimming with professional photos of your work, you’re essentially “walking the walk.”
There are countless online portfolio platforms, so find one with templates you like and a budget you can work with. Once you have an online portfolio picked out, you can get started on setting yourself apart.
Showcase only your best real estate photos and try to demonstrate a variety of work.
Use the best photo software and right cameras to ensure your portfolio contains the best. For example, Matterport’s Pro2 or Pro3 professional cameras allow you to create an accurate, photorealistic digital twin of any space and provide realtors with stunning virtual tours of homes.
Cite customer reviews that highlight the experience of working with your business. Call out specific projects where your visual assets had an impact on attracting a prospective buyer or even closing a sale.
3. Build a strong online presence
A strong online presence is a gift that keeps on giving when it comes to real estate photography marketing. But, building an online presence takes time and a smart approach.
Connect with local real estate groups on social media
Create social media pages for your business on all major platforms
Post helpful, insightful content frequently
Engage with relevant content via comments in a genuine way
Use your website as more than a portfolio and share original content
Your online self isn’t just a powerful way to build your business, but it’s also a way to show off your personality. Use your site and social media pages to offer free real estate photographer tips to aspiring photographers, celebrate those becoming new homeowners, and more.
4. Use targeted advertising
There are few better ways to grow your business, than meeting your audience where they are. In this case, that means using targeted ads to reach your customers on social media.
If you have existing data, see what kind of content has resonated with your audience
Look at competitors and see what kinds of language they’re using in ads and marketing
Draft up multiple social media ads and run A/B tests to see which performs better
Set a daily spending limit that prevents you from burning too much capital in the beginning
Evaluate which ads performed the best and put your budget behind those
Consistently monitor performance, tweaking ads and A/B testing as needed
Targeted advertising is more costly than maintaining your free social media pages and online presence, but it can bolster your business and help you build brand recognition, too. With people spending upwards of two hours on social media every day, you can’t afford to ignore this space.
5. Build an email list and send out a targeted newsletter
Staying competitive on search engines is easier said than done. Your website and social media efforts can help with search engine optimization (SEO) over time, but it never hurts to bolster your growth efforts with a good old-fashioned email newsletter.
While a newsletter won’t help with SEO in a direct way, it will help grow your brand, further establish you as an authority on real estate photography, and give you a cost-efficient way to tap into your audience.
Promote your newsletter on your site, giving visitors a field to enter their email address
Don’t overdo it on your email forms, but try getting the recipient’s name and job title at least
Plan your content ahead of time and figure out a sending cadence that’s realistic (Ex. Sending weekly isn’t always feasible, so maybe your newsletter is monthly)
Make your newsletter helpful, including photography-related listing tips for realtors
Consider shining the spotlight on successful real estate listings you helped with
With consistent, helpful newsletter sends, your email list should grow. As your list grows, send more targeted emails to realtors in the area with upcoming listings, giving you a chance to showcase your services and make your name the first one they think of.
6. Showcase happy client testimonials
You work hard to delight your clients. You should showcase these successes on your site, as they can have a big impact on your business. In fact, reviews on your website can boost conversions by up to 270%.
Ask your clients for reviews after working together. Even a simple Google Review of your business can help. If you have a particularly great experience, ask the client if they’re comfortable providing a testimonial—written or filmed.
Once you have a testimonial, showcase it on the front page of your site/portfolio for everyone to see.
7. Set yourself apart as a real estate marketing partner
Set yourself apart by showing how your services can help a property stand out from others on the market. You can do this by going the extra mile and offering a suite of different visual assets for property marketing.
Matterport’s Digital Pro package does exactly this by including:
HDR photos that highlight features of a property
3D tours that enable potential buyers to experience the space
Floor plans that provide context on dimensions and measurements of each room
Video content that piques the curiosity of buyers and can be used across multiple listing platforms
With these additional visual assets and digital twins, you can make every day an open house for realtors by delivering virtual tours, varied virtual staging, and more. Including this new level of access by enabling immersive and photorealistic experiences of properties will surely set your real estate photography business apart.
Real estate photography success that lasts
Real estate photography marketing efforts take time, regardless of which tactic you’re running with at first. While you may see quick gains with some marketing efforts, the true return on investment takes patience.
But the real estate industry is competitive, and rest assured your marketing efforts will help you stand out, giving your photography a chance to shine.
If you want to truly shine, give yourself an edge with Matterport’s digital twin platform. Sign up for a free account and see for yourself what virtual tours and digital twin technology can do for your photography business.