Real estate photography leads are harder to generate now than ever. Why? Because many photographers are now pursuing real estate photography as a lucrative field. It is especially in today’s fast-paced and competitive real estate industry that the crucial and difficult task has different approaches.
You can find clients from private sellers to real estate agents. This will allow you to grow your business and increase your client base one job at a time.
However, several lead generation strategies need to be implemented to ensure you are able to get the most out of your efforts. This means that contacts or relationships with companies and professionals aren’t enough.
There are many ways to increase your clientele in the real estate photography industry, including offline and online methods.
To ensure you’re going in the right way or give you a helping hand to stay competitive, let’s take a look at industry tips and best practices for real estate photographers. By the end, you should be able to have a solid lead generation plan.
Start A Blog on Your Website + SEO
A website can be a powerful tool for promotion, regardless of how many social media platforms are available. But in addition to it, creating a blog to promote your business is a great way of generating sales qualified leads and growing your brand.
However, to make the blog work, you need to focus on its optimization just with other aspects of the website itself.
Use keywords to increase your visibility in search engines. Every blog post must contain keywords related to real estate photography but don’t reach the point of stuffing them.
This increases the likelihood of it being found when a realtor searches for real estate photos.
Also, it helps you identify your real estate specialty, lock in your customers, and increase your website’s SEO efforts.
Besides investing effort and time in your blog, make sure your website is relevant to your niche in real estate photography.
Although SEO strategies won’t instantly move your site to the top spot on Google’s search engine, they will increase your online visibility.
Find Potential Clients with Low-Quality Photos
No, we are not trying to tell you to sell low-quality photos or use them to attract clients. Instead, think about this: If you browse through photos of properties on real estate websites that have low-quality, aren’t you bound to find prospects?
After all, they don’t have the best photos either because they didn’t have the best camera to take them, don’t know how to, or couldn’t find the right professional.
Thus, take this as an opportunity. Do your research.
Next, contact each agent by phone or email to pitch your services. To sweeten the deal, offer a post-processing option. If you are a photographer looking to expand, make sure you carefully select each agent that you work with.
Any real estate agent knows that potential buyers are more likely to find their local real estate listings if they go online quickly.
Professional real estate photographers are under pressure because the presence of a property can make or break a listing.
Contact Real Estate Agents Directly
Although cold calling a realtor may seem intimidating, it can lead to potential future employment.
Be selective in whom you contact when you call real estate agents. But do it.
Look through the local realty listings to see if there are any agents with more than a dozen listings over the past few years. This means that they will have enough work to hire a professional photographer.
Keep your introduction short and friendly when calling a realtor. You should mention that the property listing has been up for some time and that you are a local photographer that can provide professional photography to help them sell the listing.
You should be persuasive but not pushy. The realtor might be relieved that someone reached out to you since it saves them the time of searching for a great photographer.
Create an Impressive Portfolio
A portfolio website is a great way to get your next client. Your best real estate photos should be included on it, of course.
They should show different properties, interiors, and exteriors. In addition, your portfolio should look its best on mobile and desktop.
A page could be added to your website that lists your key services and pricing. This could include a package for photographing a high-end home or an option for pricing photos of apartments or homes.
You may also include an ‘About Me’ page that includes contact information and social media profiles. This will allow visitors to get in touch with you about possible jobs.
A website builder makes it easy for you to maintain your portfolio and add pages as necessary. This will allow your website to grow with your career as an estate photographer.
Make sure you choose the right template to build your portfolio and show off your work.
Send Email Newsletters
Email newsletters are a great way to reach your audience and keep in touch with your clients. Because people sign up for your newsletter voluntarily, they are more likely to be engaged with your messages.
The best email newsletters are friendly and welcoming, with subscribers addressed in a personal, professional manner.
Your email newsletter should contain valuable information and updates. It is sent twice per month, or occasionally once per week, depending on your subscribers’ engagement.
Perhaps you share some of your expertise in real estate photography with your subscribers, or you compile a list of the top listings for the month. Your newsletters should be current and interesting.
If not, the strategy won’t work at all.
Social Media Posts for Your Profile
Social media marketing is best done on one or two platforms. Focus your efforts on building an audience. Perhaps you decide that Instagram and Facebook will be the best platforms to reach customers and get the most views.
Perhaps you see the highest engagement on YouTube and decide to build a YouTube channel for more people.
Then, you should put your effort into creating engaging content on these social media platforms so that your followers are reminded about your work and your business profile.
To keep your content fresh and relevant, upload a property photo to your Instagram account or informative videos to your YouTube account at least once per week.
Follow similar accounts on social media to encourage them to follow you. To increase your visibility and keep in touch with the online community, comment on other photographers’ posts. Social media can be used to promote your work and increase your clientele if you are active on it.
Optimize Your Website to Gain Traffic
Remember what we said about a blog and optimization? We will dive deeper into that here.
The topic of real estate photography business SEO is vast. It deserves at most a lengthy article or even a course.
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. This is how we rank high on Google and other search engines.
It is so important that it can be a single source for leads. However, it can be difficult to master. It can take months or even years to create a website that ranks for competitive keywords.
SEO for your niche is the same as other businesses. It basically involves two steps:
- Optimize your website.
- Create backlinks.
Link-building can take a while, but optimizing is possible in a matter of days or weeks. You don’t need spammy links from shady websites to rank well. Links from trusted sites are required, as well as excellent content.
Here are some quick ways to get started and build backlinks.
- You can add a lot of local citations. To find local sites, you can use brightlocal.com. Sites such as Yelp and Google My Business, Houzz, and many more.
- You can track how others use your photos with Pixsy.com and ask them for credit.
Link building is an art. Delegate your budget to professionals if you don’t have the funds. Avoid cheap packages, or they will be recognized by Google and could lead to a penalty.
Check Local Directories
You will need many local citations, and for it, there are many other things you can do. One of them is the fact that you should look into local directories and consider joining them.
A great directory is client-oriented. Potential customers will go there to search for a real estate photographer. Houzz.com is a good example as it has subsites around the globe.
Learn about your competitors, their ranking rules, and then try to climb to the top.
You can try a paid membership for a few months to see if it suits you. A single client will cover your membership fees for at most 3-5 months.
Each directory has its own ranking system. To be successful, you will need to adjust your profile.
Some sites prefer a large portfolio, while others prefer reviews. Some sites pay close attention to what you have left out of your profile.
Start by reading their Terms and FAQs. Contact support to ask questions. After all, business is business.
Build Your Brand
You might not think of yourself as a business, but you could be a freelance real estate photographer, or maybe you did start a business in the niche.
To make your business legitimate, you must first create a brand. It is no surprise that the top brands invest millions in market research and branding. You don’t have to invest all your budget, but destinate some of it to building this aspect.
Start by learning how to “sell” yourself.
Your brand identity is an important way to build a reputation for your business. If you do it well, you will grow beyond being a simple photographer for other people.
There are many benefits, but these are the most important:
- Personalize your services.
- Differentiates your business from others.
- Your business or image will look much more professional.
Before you start any marketing ventures, identify your core purpose. This step can be solved by asking the simple question, “How can I help people?”
When you have set all the essentials of the brand in terms of mission and how you see it, start working in its appearance. For instance, look deeper into your values to create a color scheme.
Set the elements you would like, think about the aesthetics, and more.
Lead Magnets Are a Must
A lead magnet is an element in your website or online platforms that entices a lead to enter their email address in order to receive something from your website.
Usually, the exchange involves their contact information and valuable downloadable content from your part.
These are examples of content you can create as a real estate photographer to offer your customers:
- Tips for taking pictures of their homes or commercial properties.
- How to use your cellphone to take professional photographs of properties.
- How to hire a professional and why it is so important for the sale of the property in question.
Any topic that has value and is related to your profession can be useful.
Just make sure to compile more than what people can generally find on the internet or add, at least, a bit more value.
Keep Track of Your Conversions
Tracking your conversions is an important part of any lead generation strategy.
It’s thrilling to explore new methods or strategies for the lead generation process. But you should not overlook what’s already working.
You can track conversions by looking at website bookings or phone appointments.
Conversion tracking is a great way to determine the best areas for your lead generation efforts and what you might need to change, improve, or maintain.
We are sure you’ll fall into the category of people who think that generating qualified leads is one of the most difficult tasks. This can be overcome by monitoring conversions and capitalizing on what works.
Consider both your free and paid strategies when analyzing conversions.
It is possible to see who is clicking on social media, email campaigns, and sponsored content. It is important to evaluate whether these clicks result in appointments being booked or any photograph services requested.
Double your efforts whenever you see it necessary.
Question Those Who Have Been Influenced
This doesn’t necessarily have to be about new people you’ve got to meet. This influence can be extended to friends, family members, teachers, coworkers, and anyone you have particular contact with. You can make enough contacts with anyone you know.
Asking your friends and family to recommend you to others about your services as a photographer in real estate or your business can result in a significant increase in your efforts.
To gain leads, you should keep in touch with them. You can reach them by sending a message, personal email, or text.
Your friends may know you are in this field or niche, but that doesn’t mean they will remember to call you when they need to sell their house or have someone that needs some good photos for it.
However, when asking for leads, don’t be too assertive. You shouldn’t be timid. You should let people know that you’re always available to answer any questions and that you are not trying to push them too much.
It is possible to make them feel comfortable by showing them that you are available for any questions. Connect with people by getting to know them.
Even though you might not see immediate results, don’t give up. This type of connection is one of the most influential in the long run for your real estate photography leads.
Use Facebook to Get More Leads
Facebook is so great for lead generation that everyone wants to use it. But you’re sure to waste your time if it isn’t used properly.
First, you can use Facebook advertising to attract new clients. It is more targeted and allows you to show what prospects might be interested in.
If you want to make your lead generation process smooth, consider adding these options to your Facebook strategy and work around the right process:
- Create a marketing strategy.
Real estate marketing campaigns start with a plan and a budget. Think about why you want to market your services and how you can make them more efficient on the platform.
Are you looking to increase your customer base? Are you looking to retain loyal customers? Are you able to promote a request?
Facebook makes it possible for you to create an advertising campaign that is relevant to your marketing goals. Start small to discover the promotions that work for you.
Facebook offers customizable pricing and easy-to-find stats on your page.
- You can upgrade your Facebook page or create one.
Before you can take advantage of Facebook’s rapid-growing marketing strategy, you must create a page for your company. Make sure it is attractive before you launch your paid advertisement campaign.
- Understand your target audience.
To maximize your Facebook marketing strategy, it is important to understand your target audience. Is there a typical age for your customers? Are they an old couple trying to sell their homes and need photos for them?
Target advertising and Facebook marketing can be based on demographics. They will make sure that your ads reach the right people.
Your input will make sure that your payment promotion is a success as well and the money used isn’t wasted.
- When to promote.
Time is an important consideration in your Facebook marketing strategy. Your ads should be promoted online when your target audience has internet access or is spending their time on the platform.
Seasonality can also affect when you promote. Facebook’s “Insights” will track user activity and show you when your followers are online but also looking a bit more into photography for real estate.
- Analysis after promotion.
Facebook marketing and the platform itself allow you to analyze your stats to compare the results of each ad campaign.
- Engage your audience.
Facebook can be used for marketing your real state photography services as well as paid advertising.
People who like your page already want to learn more. Tell them what to do.
Blogs can be used to discuss new trends, share before-and-after photographs, and offer some tips about how to prepare properties for photography or anything else. Your potential customers will be more reachable if you engage them and encourage feedback.
Why You Aren’t Generating Leads
There are many problems to solve, just as there are strategies to be implemented.
It’s okay if your lead generation, sales, or anything related to photography leads is difficult. However, this is a big reason to invest more time. We recommend that you spend your time solving the problems before you add more strategies.
We thought it was pertinent to share some reasons why it is so difficult to generate a qualified sales lead for you, so in this way, you can focus on what you’re doing wrong or maybe not doing at all:
- You’re not working for the right prospects.
Your business may seem capable of serving all customers in the niche, but that’s not quite accurate.
It is important to know whom you want to work for so that you can determine their needs. If they don’t want to be involved, you won’t attract their attention.
Once you clearly understand whom you are supposed to serve, you can look at the most recent opportunities.
You may find why your leads aren’t requesting your services if there is a significant difference in how you present your business online to what your ideal client would prefer.
Also, you should take a look at your online presence. Is it helping you attract your ideal customer? Does your website address a need that your ideal client has? Are you able to connect with your ideal client through social media?
Sometimes it can be difficult to see our businesses clearly.
Ask a friend to help you identify your ideal client using the information from your online presence. There may be opportunities that you are missing if you don’t connect with the right people.
Also, you should take the time to look at your competitors’ social media profiles and websites.
Based on their content, can you predict who their ideal client might be? What words, images, and topics do they use in order to attract this type of client?
- No lead pipeline.
Larger companies may break down their sales pipeline or funnel into various stages and lead qualification phases. Even though you don’t need to go as far, it can be helpful to understand the stages and how they might appear in your business.
Real estate photographers tend to focus only on two stages in their process: when someone becomes an opportunity and when they book customers.
If you have not completed any qualification processes, this opportunity might not be the right fit for your company.
You can eliminate potential candidates who are not a good fit for your business by creating a pipeline. You can also nurture the right people for your business and generate leads for your services that will be managed by yourself or maybe a sales team.
The Local Lead Generation Process for Your Real Estate Photography Business
All right! So, everything is about building properties and generating leads. But how does the process actually take place? Are there other steps I need to know?
The steps I mention below are what students from our local lead generation program follow to generate leads for businesses like yourself. So I’ll help you see what we do. And how if you join our program, you can simply generate leads for your own business (unless you want to start a side hustle and build a laptop lifestyle business).
Essentially, our lead generation can be divided into four steps:
The first is prospecting. You need to take the time to do market research on a niche (industry) and determine how many phone-driven businesses are there.
Keep in mind that this is local research as you need to know how many companies need leads. For example, you may search for “plumbing services Youngstown OH.”
You will find dozens or even hundreds of businesses trying to get themselves in front of the customers by ranking on Map Listings, organic results, and even Ad.
The second step, building. When you find a niche (plumbing, tree services, a software company, real estate…), you will need to start building your digital properties. You don’t need to be an expert in HTML or coding. It can be easy with the right tools.
The third step is now taking time to rank your lead gen website. With the site done, you need to work on SEO strategies and start dominating those Google search results. If you’re new to SEO, it stands for Search Engine Optimization.
To keep it simple, it consists of the entire process of growing a company’s visibility on search engines like Google and generating organic traffic. And remember this, local lead generation is part of the strategies.
Moving on to step four, once you rank the site, you will start getting your ROI and profits. You only need to rent it out to a local business interested in the leads the site generates. You can offer a couple of free leads to their move on with the actual pay per lead.
To review steps 1-4 above, I described it to a normal student who is building a lead gen business to help local service providers generate more calls. But replace the student with you as the business owner. And replace sending the leads to a business to simply siphoning the leads to your personal business.
By the way, fun fact, about 20% of our students in our local lead gen program are actually business owners who went through the program. And they use the skillsets we teach to generate leads for their own business.
An Example of Lead Generation: Home Advisor
You must be thinking, “if lead generation sounds so good so far, how come I haven’t seen any company?” That’s the thing; there are many out there. You just don’t know they are dedicated to it.
HomeAdvisor is one of the best examples you can find on the Internet as it is a top lead generation company that has spent millions building its brand but also earned even more zeros for this same reason.
They started small as everyone else but invested in building their brand awareness to make people who are looking for home services go to their website and find what they need. They are over 75% of people’s first choice when they need those services.
If you don’t get HomeAdvisor that much or need a refresh, users need to submit their information to request a service and get a professional or expert who can provide it.
HomeAdvisor’s job is to share your information, which makes you a lead, with local companies so they can contact you and offer the service you’re requesting. For sharing this lead information, HomeAdvisor gets paid by the companies. This happens for every single lead they send to multiple businesses.
Business owners who don’t have marketing skills or don’t even know how to have any online presence will always rely on those pages to list their services. They will save time and effort, but companies like HomeAdvisor can make them spend lots of money as leads aren’t exclusive (one lead is sent to multiple companies after all).
Using Facebook Ads aka Paid Ad Platforms: Do They Generate Leads?
They DO generate leads. If not, no one would use them.
However, you need to remember two facts:
- Paid ads or platforms can be expensive.
- They don’t generate “natural” leads.
Whenever someone sees or clicks in one of those ads, over 80% of them did it by accident or are trying to close/report it.
Why? Because they aren’t looking for those services. At least not at the moment.
What those ads do instead is interrupt their time on the platforms. Users aren’t there to find companies or businesses unless they are searching for a specific company’s user, and for that, there’s a search bar. This is why it is hard to convert them to actual customers who will show interest in the companies’ services. Also, you’re limited by a budget.
When using lead generation, everything is organic. You aren’t forcing others to pay attention to your business but rather being there when they need you. This is why Google’s organic traffic will always beat paid ads, and the reason companies continue investing in it, which is a lot cheaper as well.
What Is Local SEO?
Don’t worry… I didn’t get it at first either. Following the short explanation, local SEO focuses on scaling businesses’ visibility on search engines. However, this is only for those who serve their communities face-to-face.
What does this mean?
Experts and professionals like painters, plumbers, and dentists (but not only them) offer their services to their local customers. Why? Because they can’t deliver them unless they are located in the same area of their customers.
To make sure those businesses get more leads, you need to rank them locally by claiming the business listing on Google to place them on Map Listings. Local SEO also involves online reviews, citation management, and how you manage your entire online presence in the local area.
If you are going to bet on lead gen, you need to adapt yourself to today’s world: The Internet.
Keep in mind that although traditional channels and methods like billboards, warm calls, and pamphlets still work, they aren’t part of your tools. Whenever someone needs a service, they go to Google and search for it.
“Dentist in Miami” or “plumbing services in Orlando,” etc. And you can keep coming up with services or professionals people need and look for. Thus, you need to make sure you’re using Google to get the companies in front of their clients.
Users will always click on the first search results (those near the top), and many of them will be either Ad links (people paid to place their websites there), Map Listing, and then you get websites. Almost all of them are your goal and where you should always aim to place yourself.
Can My Real Estate Photography Business Utilize a Local Lead Generation Strategy?
If you want customers, you better know you need it. Following the previous explanation, lead gen is all about placing businesses in front of their customers, choosing them over their competitors.
Put it simply – it’s all about closing deals and having clients for those companies to make money. The main difference with the usual methods companies use for this is how lead generation approaches different channels to get them in the right place of the market to get customers.
Those channels are all focused on the Internet as most people are searching for products but also services across the net. The issue is that the Internet is way too broad, and businesses don’t know how to place themselves. They usually try, but they get one common result: losing money and time.
How Powerful Are Organic Real Estate Photography Leads from Google?
For companies looking for customers, it’s everything. For you? Pretty much the same. When you build a business with digital properties, you get to make thousands of dollars a month.
This isn’t a “get started today and get rich tomorrow” thing, but it is HIGHLY scalable, and ROI + positive results are guaranteed. Learning a fairly decent and very needed set of skills to create your digital properties and start ranking them on Google is required.
I have invested in several online businesses over the years, and if there’s something uncertain, whether you will get your ROI or not, even more than the actual profit.
However, this business moved my earnings from five figures a year to a month in ONLY passive income while sitting comfortably at home.
On my laptop. Anywhere. Anytime.
You can look at one of the first sites I built back in 2016, and it continues making me over $1.000+ every month. The best part is that I don’t need to touch it or the rest I’ve built over the years, just like this digital property.
What Makes Lead Generation SO Alluring?
Here it goes: you can work from home.
The main issue with regular business opportunities is how much you need to invest in staff, equipment, or rent to have a place to sell your products or offer your services.
We all know the hassles of traditional businesses that involve regular expenses, which are extremely high. Can you afford it? I don’t think so, and even if you can, is it worth it? Now, it isn’t only about the money. You also need to put in a lot of work, and it isn’t only during the first couple of months or years. Usually, it is as long as you continue running it.
You can save yourself those headaches and bone-breaking tasks and expenses with lead gen since it is more about generating leads with digital channels—mainly websites.
Websites can be VERY cheap to build, and with many tools online, you get to do it in a couple of hours instead of days. Any virtual or digital business is scalable and won’t need constant maintenance.
So, let’s summarize this:
- You save money in regular expenses with traditional and most online businesses as what you need is yourself and digital properties (websites).
- You can bet on passive income.
- There’s no need to hire more people to get started.
- You can generate leads in multiple industries, which allows you to work on any niche you want.
How Can I Get Started in the Local Lead Generation Program?
Anyone can start and learn. That’s the beauty of this business model. I knew nothing about SEO, Map Listing, and everything I’ve mentioned so far. It is all about learning the skills, gaining experience, and deciding to take the step.
Remember that this business model will never get old as business owners are always looking for leads. They need to do business and scale their companies. Why not do the same while helping others and still making money?
You can start with this local lead generation course highly recommended for anyone wanting to grow in the business. It is a close training that will take you through each step and make sure you are able to get your ROI, profits and take control of your life.
You will be added to an incredible lead generation family ready to help you 24/7 when asking questions on the group. Anyone is welcome who’s willing to put in the work. Click here to watch the lead gen webinar.