What can be harder than pricing anything in real estate media? Should you charge by number of images, the square footage of the home, the listing price? How can you price your work to make it appealing to a great number of agents while still providing for your needs? As a business, we have definite answers to how we have priced our real estate video. You may not agree, but I would love to share with you our thought process and hopefully help you out.
Pricing Video Work – Walk Through Videos
*Let me start with a little back story. I started in real estate working for a single agent. I created and managed all of his social media and marketing. I quickly saw a cool opportunity for video. It’s captivating! As I grew in that role, I was able to partner with a long time friend who owned a corporate video business in a neighboring city. Our views of video merged and we created, what I feel is, a compelling model for real estate video.
Traditional video is expensive! Rightfully so. It takes a lot of talent, creativity, equipment, and time. The advantage of real estate video is that the typical home walk through is well defined in scope. Turn around has to be fast and often there is no time for revisions. A good real estate video will still be very polished, show off the home, and provide the agent with a powerful tool to market their listing.
To meet those needs, we worked to create a system and pricing that would allow us to sell a lot of video tours and have good margins to help our business grow. Again, our model might not work for you, but coming from outside of a traditional video model, nothing was off limit. I know other video companies wouldn’t leave the office for less than $1000-3000. In our market, that would never fly for real estate video. So I started pricing video with a starting forward approach.
Time and Hourly Rate
I believe a very healthy place to start any pricing conversation is to consider your TIME for each job. Carefully track how long it truly takes you to complete a job. For a typical home in our area (2000-3000 sqft), we can shoot the home with drone footage in about an hour. Our travel times range from on average from 10-25 minutes. When we get to editing, we can move through the edit in about 45 minutes to a little over an hour. Finally render, compose an email, and we are set 🙂
Total Time: 2 – 2.5 hours
Now for the fun part, math! What would you like your hourly rate to be? You can look online to find ranges for video work, but we landed initially at $50/hr. We have raised rates and for most video work outside of RE, we quote at $75 per man hour. So with one shooter…
2.5 hrs x $75/hr = $187.5
That would cover our time driving, shooting, and editing. We actually charge $200 for that job ($150 for the ground level and a $50 drone add on), but you can see how we got there. Inevitably not every job goes smoothly, so those margins come into play and we view this as a long running average. The homeowner slows things down, the edit gets interrupted, or we just have an off day. Working in some margin can help smooth those dips and allow you to maintain a good model for pricing.
Perhaps you take more time at each home. Maybe you price your time higher. Maybe you outsource your video editing and need to cover that cost. Take your time and expenses and run your numbers.
Here is a quick Google Doc to help play with your numbers: CLICK HERE
Stripped Processes and Expectations
Two big parts of the equation have been left off of our pricing – Pre Production and Revisions.On larger video projects, the starting point is to quantify your pre-production and to place a value on that. With our model, we stripped off Pre Production. Most homes are very similar in scope. We show up, turn on lights, hide trash cans, and shoot. No pre production is needed.
We also don’t include revisions in our pricing. In the case of an error that we make, we of course fix that. For extended revisions, we charge an hourly rate to get back into the project, edit, and render. This is rarely an issue with the pace of RE in our market. Agents want their videos yesterday and know our style and quality.
Real Estate Video Add On – Added Value
Depending on the job, we have found it very helpful to have a set of Add On Options to offer to agents. Each impact of the scope of the job and therefore have a value. Here is a quick list and explanation of our Video Add Ons.
Drone Footage – $50
If we are on site, we will bring a drone and add video drone footage. We have 3 licensed pilots and Phantom 4 Pros. It’s a great add on for homes with a view or an interesting lot.
Agent Branding – $25
Our “agent branding” puts the agent on camera for a brief intro and call to action. We record audio with a lapel or shotgun mic. It’s a fantastic way to allow agents to brand themselves and really showcase what they do for their listings.
Lot Lines – $100
Using After Effects we will motion track and draw lot lines on drone footage to show the perimeter of a property or many lots in a development. More time in post, but a very cool add on. (*Doing this in PS for still photos is a great add on as well.)
Extended Branding Video Work
Our video work doesn’t stop at home walk through videos, we also do corporate style videos for agent branding. About Me videos, Meet the Team, client testimonials, content pieces, and more all fall into this category. As our relationships with local agents have grown, many have become aware that our video capabilities are well beyond a home tour. All of these videos get quoted individually based on the scope of the project and have ranged from $1000 to $3000.
Know your worth, plan to be profitable.
In the end, it comes down to the fact that we are all running our own businesses. What works for us, may not work for you but always know your worth and price yourself to be profitable. It is a slow process to increase your prices, so don’t start too low. Be honest with the time you are spending and make sure that you are building your pricing model accordingly.
Here’s to new listings and happy shooting!