We have an ongoing series here highlighting quality real estate photographers and today while narrowing down our next featured photographer, I came across a number who were also (if you read the fine print) licensed Realtors.
We’ve long advocated for the use of professional photographers for real estate listings given that .000001% of Realtors (my estimate, nothing official) believe themselves to be skilled at photography but take pictures that look like this:
Granted, there are a number of real estate professionals, some that I know personally, that are really excellent photographers that do all of their own work. Sometimes they are so good that other agents say, “hey, for $200, can you go over to my listing and do some of those shots like you did on your listing?” and a business is born. Several agents have become Realtors slash real estate photographer and good for them, this is a capitalist society.
But I’m wondering if I’m a Realtor I care that my real estate photographer is a licensed agent. Maybe it’s good because they know what consumers are looking for over someone who is less educated on the topic, but maybe it’s bad because that emphasis can target areas that are less aesthetically pleasing that perhaps a trained photographer would have captured?
If my photographer is a Realtor, is that a conflict of interest if they’re directly competitive to me? Maybe I’m a dumb Realtor and don’t know that I’m being served poorer photographs to stunt my listing.
But maybe if my photographer is a Realtor, they know best the destination of all images- web, print, syndication, etc? Maybe that leads to better composition?
It takes a lot of work narrowing down thousands of terrible so-called real estate photographers to the few we’re willing to feature here and perhaps wearing too many hats is one of the culprits? I’m torn here- do you think it is an advantage or a disadvantage for your real estate photographer to be a licensed agent?