Join Scott Hargis for an in-depth discussion in this video Real estate agent interview: Part 2, part of Real Estate Photography: Marketing Pricing and Client Relations.
- How do you feel about photographer contracts? We've been talking about them. Mine is pretty straightforward, just kind of lays out the who, what, where, why, when things. Any input onto that? Are you leery of them? Does everybody do it? Does everybody you work with do a contract of any kind? - I think most... If you're choosing a photographer that's from the roster in your brokerage, your PR person, or the advertising person, is going to have already signed that contract, and the agent really doesn't have any idea.
It's never discussed as to how to use those photos. So that's something that's done between the photographer and the brokerage. But like everything, real estate is all about contracts, so of course you should have a contract, and it should be signed. - So you wouldn't consider that to be off putting? - No, I think a contract is a fine thing to sign. - Yeah. - Yeah. No, it's not a problem. - This is a slight sidebar, but what about all the other vendors that you work with? Like in prepping a house, there's what? There's the landscaper, and the cleaners, and the stagers, and like all these different vendors, the handyman that comes and fixes the stairs, like all of these different things.
Can you talk a little bit about how the photographer fits within that constellation in terms of fees or ranking and importance? Is there any thoughts on that? Where do we fit in in the whole world? - In the whole world of real estate? I think there are two big players I think that it pays. Typically the photography is paid for by the realtor. So in those other vendors that you discussed, they are most likely or could potentially depending, everything is a negotiation in real estate, but could possibly be paid for by the seller, so they are kind of a different piece.
- But you would probably recommend that, right? Don't you say, "Well, I got a handyman "that will do this for you, "and I've got the--" At times. Every deal is unique I would have to say. Some people have their own people to do as far as handyman and gardeners. It's always best to keep people with their current folks. It's people they know and trust already, so you're not introducing new people. But, the piece that really has to be recommended I think is that that backend is the marketing end, which begins with the staging, and then it follows all the way through through still photography, through video photography, through making the website, social media, all those pieces on the backend are the realtor's responsibility, and the sellers aren't going to have any input on any of that.
They're really going to require us to help them. - So part of the contract, just to jump back to contracts, involves the usage of the photos, like what you can and can't do with them. I think mine is pretty clear, and then I usually follow up with a conversation, which I think goes further. It's just saying, "Hey Claudia, here's the deal." Can you speak about any experiences with that in terms of does it make sense to you, and when this first came up for you, how did it come up? - Yeah, I think even I had an instant once where my brokerage was recommending that I advertise in a regional magazine.
It did have a national presence, but they only were encouraging me to advertise in the local market of this magazine. It was a glossy magazine. It was very pretty. It needed a beautiful photo. My brokerage, they assumed because in their contracts with their standard people that they could use that photo for this magazine, and then I spoke to you and you had a different idea of how those were going to happen.
So that was a little moment where we had to come to some kind of a resolution. So I think for a lot of agents they don't realize that that's something that they should concern themselves with, so I think it would always be a good idea when you're first beginning with a new realtor client as a photographer to bring up the fact that these photographs are for the marketing of the property and for the agent to market that property.
- Right. - And not to promote the brokerage as a whole or to-- - Yeah, like there's all these outside things that can come up, like the magazine wants to run it, or the stagers a lot of times. - Or the stagers. - Will want the photographs. - Or the architects would like the photos. So generally, I always just direct them back to the photographer. I don't give away photos. I can't stop people from screen capturing and steeling, but-- - But when you get a phone call saying, "Oh hey, those pictures you're listing on Main Street--" - "I would love to have those.
"Can you give them to me?" And I've been asked that. - Just, "Can you give them to me?" - Yeah. - Yeah. - I mean architects just ask me and said, "Can I have 'em-- - Well, if you don't ask, you don't get it. - "For my," yeah-- - You can't blame 'em for that. - "For my website. "I'm working on my portfolio. "Can you give those photos to me?" Or even the seller. They're like, "Oh, well that was one of our projects, "'cause I work with investors." So cataloging their portfolio, and they're like, "Oh yeah, my architect, he wanted the pictures," and he's kind of giving them away, too. People don't think about it, and don't realize-- - It's so hard to control it once it's out in the wild.
- Once it's out in the wild, yeah. Unless it's going to be a beautiful magazine where clearly you have to have the high res original photo. - [Claudia] Otherwise it just doesn't work. - And most of the magazines know that they're supposed to have some kind of permission before they can do it, but there's still all these other places where they can just end up. So you're saying that your first thing would be to just say, "Call the photographer." - Call the photographer. - [Scott] Which is the right answer-- - If you want those photos, call the photographer. Yeah, he's got them. - Just as a for instance, like what if you hired me to photograph your listing, didn't sell, and now Jane Doe over here gets the listing and wants to use the pictures and goes through the proper channels, like gives me a call...
Probably would go to you first actually, and you'd say, "You got to call Scott," and I'd say, "Yeah, sure. "Here's what it costs and here's the pictures." What are you doing at that moment? Are you kind of steamed, or are you just-- - How would I feel about that? Yeah no, I mean they would have to pay for them, because they're going to have to pay for the photos, and they're also going to have to pay for the staging and the marketing, because all of that costs money, so they want to just use all of that.
So that would be a conversation that if... And you know it's never happened to me, so I don't really understand completely how the pieces... It would really depend on the scenario. - Right, it could become a real point of contention between clients, real estate agents and their photographers. - If my seller-- - People feeling kind of ripped off. - It would depend, yeah, on what's happening with the owner of the property. At the end of the day, I'm always working for the property and for that seller, and if that seller was saying, "This is the most important thing "and this is what needs to happen." For some reason we're no longer in a relationship, than that would be a conversation I would have with them.
- Yeah. - What I've seen, and you have different experience, but generally when I... I can think of a house right now that's on the market that went and had one agent, she marketed the whole property, they made a movie, they did everything, and now-- - Oh gees, I hadn't thought about the video aspect of it. - Yeah, the whole thing. And when they switch gears to a different agent, they typically want to change the tone and how it's being marketed, as well, so that involves new photos, because you can't...
You have to go back, there maybe the staging has shifted, the whole focus of the movie and of the photos on the second time around shifted to a different point of perspective and point of view. - That's pretty sophisticated marketing though when they're really like targeting and having a theme and a story. - Yeah. - 'Cause of course a lot of houses don't get marketed that way. - No, no, yeah. - 15 pictures and you're done. - And you're done, yeah, yeah. No, this is like high production poll marketing. - Sounds like the resolution of these things is, and I've been harping on this, it just comes down to communication, just transparency and being, "Claudia, this is what's up, "and can we talk it through? "Here's what I'm doing.
"What do you think about it?" And you're like, "Well, here's what I think about it." I'm like, "Well, that's not in my interest, "but can we do this?" And just working it out and not hiding, and not trying... Like don't put this behind your back. - Yeah, it's a dangerous thing I think to do something with... You want to be upfront with all of your clients. - Yeah, just get in front of it. - Yeah, I think that's the best advice always to go by. - Okay, I agree completely, and it sounds like you're on board with that, as well.