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Local Real Estate Photography vs. Large Chains – Shop Local

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Local Real Estate Photography vs. Large Chains – Shop Local


When you shop local you support your local real estate photography company instead of larger corporate chains. Real estate photographs are the most important marketing tool that realtors have in their toolbox. Most potential buyers look online for homes before they ever contact a real estate agent. Statistics show that excellent photography is the key to getting your listing sold quickly and for the most amount of money. 

Determining who to hire as a real estate photographer can sometimes be overwhelming. You’ve likely got a few options ranging from small, local photography businesses to national corporate chains. Which way should you go to make the best investment for your real estate business?

Let’s look at the differences between a local real estate photographer and a corporate chain and what each can offer you. 

The Personal Touch

When you shop local, you will get much more personalized attention. Many local photographers will approach your business needs as a part of your team–they take ownership of the outcome of their work and want you to have a quick sale for the most money. They will stick around to ensure that this happens and will often do whatever needs to be done to rectify any problems that may arise or any areas where you may feel dissatisfied. A local photography company will be a true business partner.

A corporate chain will be very attentive early in the hiring process; however, they will probably not be as attentive once you’ve signed the contract. They recognize how important it is to have the client satisfied with the early initial photo shoots and will make sure those potential clients (you) see only the best they have to offer. Corporate chains heavily promote their connection of photographers and third-party vendors all over the United States that can help build your business if you sign with them. 

Initially, their fees will appear to be lower than a small, local photography firm. They will send one of their best photographers out on your first listing shoot to ensure that you get VIP treatment. With all that they provide and offer you at your first session, you will feel like there’s no way you can go wrong going with this big national chain. But after you sign a contract, things change with the big corporations.

How the Big Companies Work

Most contracts with large photography chains are for a year. After you’ve had your first shoot, the company will then send out some of their less experienced photographers. The goal for these photographers is to get in and out as quickly as possible and photograph as many properties as they can in one day. It’s an emphasis of quantity over quality. This means that if you have a home that has rooms that need extra attention because of lighting issues or that may not photograph well, you will probably not get a photographer that will take the time to do problem-solving to bring you the best photographs possible. With a good photographer, any room can be photographed and look like it should be in a magazine spread. Good photographers know how to use lenses, different angles and lighting to make a room look spectacular.

These chain photographers may also know how to do this, but most times they just cannot take the time to give your listing the attention it may need. Additionally, they cannot spend the time on editing the photos that a small photography company can. Large chain photographers will do the best job they can in the shortest amount of time, even if corners need to be cut and quality sacrificed. This means you are not getting the best images for your investment. 

Sometimes, these photography chains will assign you to an account manager so you have someone to connect with when you have questions or concerns, however this is not always the case. They may even send out some of their top photographers to appease you if you’ve made complaints about the quality of their less experienced photographers. However, this is almost always a temporary fix that will not continue.

What You Get With a Smaller Company

In working with a large chain for your real estate photography you lose the personal ownership and commitment that a small, local real estate photographer has when working with you. Small companies, like Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography, consider our clients our business partners. We work to make sure that every aspect of your marketing is bringing you the results you need and will troubleshoot with you until we find a resolution. 

Smaller companies can also provide many other benefits that may be missing in large chains. They have connections in the community and can help to promote your business organically through their own business connections. They can help you network with other businesses in the area and develop collaborative projects that benefit the community at large. 

Since small companies are immersed in the local community, they can also help you tailor your marketing to enhance and highlight those things about your area that make it unique and appealing – things that an outsider to the area may not know. These local business owners also know who your competitors are and how they market, helping to enable you to do something that stands out from your competition. 

Why Work with Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography

When you shop local with Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography, know that we consider ourselves a vital part of your team. We will look at your marketing from a big picture angle and determine how the photographs fit into the larger marketing plan so you can help your client’s sell their home easily and quickly and for the most amount of money. We learn what your goals are, how you like to market, and what you are looking for from us. Finally, we guarantee that you are 100% satisfied with our work. We go over and above to ensure your satisfaction.

So while the bigger companies may seem to have all the bells and whistles that the smaller guys appear to be missing, look a little closer and do your own comparison shopping. We know that  when you shop local you’ll find, in the long run, you’re actually better off using a small, local, and highly experienced real estate photographer for the most success in your real estate business. 

Call Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography today to learn more about us and find out how we can partner with you to support and grow your business. 


757.348.3402     571.377.8681


NoVa Real Estate Photo

Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography