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MarketingQuestion of the DayVideo

Question of the Day: 'Phones Will Destroy Many Real Estate Photographers'?13658

WGAN Forum
Founder &
WGAN-TV Podcast
Atlanta, Georgia
DanSmigrod private msg quote post Address this user
Video: Phones Will Destroy Many Real Estate Photographers | Video courtesy of PECE Photo YouTube Channel | 30 November 2020

Hi All,

The WGAN Forum Question of the Day for Monday, 30 November 2020:

"Phones Will Destroy Many Real Estate Photographers"?

Your thoughts?


P.S. This WGAN Question of the Day is inspired by this video (above).
Post 1 IP   flag post
PickChuck private msg quote post Address this user
Phones will do not destroy Real Estate Photographers business any more than skill saws and tools destroy good carpenters and builders. Or any other trade.

Consider this, tools do not make the project. If you sell your photography based on your gear then as that gear changes your perceived value can possibly be lower.

If you sell your services (no matter what they are) based on your abilities, your eye, your personal service then the march of technology will have little impact on you.

I will agree that just like in the construction world there will be "do it themself's people, broke people and people that don't value their time". You don't want those people anyway. They are the ones that will take 80% of your time and return 20% money.

This opinion is worth exactly what you paid for it.

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving,

Post 2 IP   flag post
ron0987 private msg quote post Address this user
I only think it will cause an issue is when market is hot and quality or skill is not needed. Short of that like @PickChuck says it should not cause to big an issue for agents willing to provide quality listings.
Post 3 IP   flag post
dndavis private msg quote post Address this user
I think we've heard this since the innovation of the Box Brownie. Maybe even before. I confess, I bailed on the video about halfway through what promised to be little more than a bunch of the author's repetitive chuckling over his own, repetitive remarks.

I remember several years back, when Marissa Meyer, then CEO of Yahoo (which at the time owned Flickr) proclaimed that there was, "no such thing as professional photography anymore." She back-pedaled rather vigorously when people asked the obvious question about the photography at her recent, lavish wedding.

Remember Ansel Adams: "Cameras take pictures. Photographers make photographs." It's always been true and always will be true. DIY-ers? More power to them, I say. Either they're getting results good enough for their purposes or they're learning why I get to charge for my services. Sure, the phone manufacturers are going to post their hero photos and videos, but they're not going to talk about the staging, lighting, directing, outtakes, post-processing, etc., that go into those brochures and websites, are they?

As @PickChuck noted, if they're too broke to pay you, you probably--emphasis on "probably"--don't want them anyway. But I do see opportunities if, as seems likely, the CCP virus shutdowns lead to a real estate market collapse.
Post 4 IP   flag post
bryanhscott private msg quote post Address this user
Based on the NAR demographics info below, as technology makes photography and virtual tours more simple with good to great quality, most agents probably will become DIY'ers. Why, because they have the time. As the average agent only does 12 sides per year, that leaves a ton of time to spend on their craft, which could include their own media shoots.

The other stark reality is the average age of these agents. At 55+, most fall into the category of, "I've always done it this way," and are therefore not up for changes unless they have a really good reason (no question that Covid-19 and 24/7 open houses are good reasons).

Notwithstanding the above, I do believe that busy teams and individual agents who do many more sides per year, will remain excellent targets for your advertising. The problem is that their numbers are much, much smaller than the population of licensed agents.

This from NAR on Nov 11, 2020:

REALTOR® Demographics
65% percent of REALTORS® are licensed as sales agents, 22% hold broker licenses, and 15% hold broker associate licenses.
The typical REALTOR® is a 55-year-old white female who attended college and is a homeowner.
64% of all REALTORS® are female, and the median age of all REALTORS® is 55.
Real-estate experience of all REALTORS® (median): 9 years
Median tenure at present firm (all REALTORS®): 4 years
Most REALTORS® worked 36 hours per week in 2019.
The median gross income of REALTORS® was $49,700 in 2019, an increase from $41,800 in 2018.
Median number of transaction sides in 2019:
Residential sides for all REALTORS®: 12
Residential sides for residential specialists only: 12
Residential sides for commercial specialists only: 3
Commercial sides for commercial specialists only: 6
Formal education of REALTORS®:
Some college: 28%
Bachelor's degree: 32%
Graduate degree and above: 13%
Associate degree: 13%
Some graduate school: 6%
High-school graduate: 7%
REALTOR® affiliation with firms:
Independent contractor: 87%
Employee: 5%
Other: 8%
Source: 2020 National Association of REALTORS® Member Profile
Post 5 IP   flag post
Expertise private msg quote post Address this user
Hmmmm. Interesting.

I think that the improving quality of cell photography will put some pressure on R/E photographers.
But- homeowners are the ones who Ultimately decide if "good enough" is good enough.

God help the agent who shoots 123 Apple St with their cell phone, when the next door neighbor hires a real pro for 125 Apple St.

It's not the camera that makes the big difference, it's the camera operator. On top of that, it is the processing that makes an equally large difference.
Post 6 IP   flag post
Club Member
Queensland, Australia
Wingman private msg quote post Address this user
I think DIY is usually based on
a) desire to make something with your own hands and the way you want it
b) professional quotes are quite high and me as a customer can see I can DIY much cheaper.

Considering some lower rates for RE photography and still a decent quality for these rates, why would any agent bother to DIY? Especially when an agent usually pays from their vendor pocket.
Post 7 IP   flag post
ron0987 private msg quote post Address this user
This is the question I pose to several agents and have never received a good response. It always goes back to cost. Even when I point out their time could be spent cultivating new deals.
Post 8 IP   flag post
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