Pricing & Negotiating: Marketing Materials for a Real Estate Company

Craig Oppenheimer, Wonderful Machine

Concept: Cityscape images capturing the vibe of a neighborhood as well as portraits of the residents and business owners

Licensing: Unlimited use of 20 images in perpetuity

Photographer: Portrait and landscape specialist

Agency: Design firm in California

Client: Real estate and property management company

Here is the estimate:

image of redacted photographic bid for a case study in pricing and negotiating by Wonderful Machine Executive Producer Craig Oppenheimer

Creative/Licensing: The design firm was establishing the branding for their client’s new real estate development and intended to use a variety of landscape images of the neighborhood and portraits of people within the community in their marketing materials. They anticipated a need for 10 neighborhood shots and 10 environmental portraits and had originally requested b-roll video content to be captured as well. The design firm hoped to capture everything in 1-2 days, and while they would provide the talent without any need for styling, we recommended a 3-day shoot considering the logistics and timing needed to capture everything, and presented a comprehensive estimate.

While the requested licensing was for unlimited use of 20 images in perpetuity, the intended use was limited to their website and various collateral purposes. Considering the limited intended use and my experience estimating projects for similar clients, I based the licensing fee on $500/image, plus $3000 for the video, and separately broke out the photographer’s creative fee for each of the three shoot days. The photographer also planned to scout the area beforehand and handle some basic prep, so we included a fee for a pre-production day as well.

Assistants and Digital Tech: I included a first assistant and a second assistant on each of the three days who would lend a hand with grip/lighting and help keep the pace as the shoot moved from spot to spot within the neighborhood. I also included a digital tech for each of the shoot days, and in addition to a $500 fee for each day, I added another $500 per day for their laptop workstation.

Producer: The producer would be responsible for booking the crew, collaborating to develop a schedule, acquiring permits, and figuring out the best plan for meals, and we felt that 2 days would be sufficient to help line everything up. In an attempt to keep the crew lean and mean on set, we did not include them on the actual shoot days. While they would have been helpful on-site during the shoot, we were asked to keep the team as small as possible, and the photographer felt that he could do without them once the details were all lined up.

Permits: We included $500 to help cover fees charged by the local film office to issue a shooting permit.

Equipment: The photographer primarily relied on natural light along with a minimal lighting system for the portraits, and we included $500/day to cover his own gear. It was a bit on the low end, but we anticipated their budget would be tight, and the photographer was comfortable charging a nominal fee in order to keep the bottom line modest.

DP/Videographer and Video Equipment: We included a DP at $1,500/day to capture the b-roll content, and a similar equipment budget as we anticipate for the photography. The exact parameters for the video were still in the works, but based on the conversations up until this point and their minimal needs, we did not anticipate that an audio tech or any extra sets of hands would be necessary for the video.

Parking, Meals, Misc.: I included $100/day for a light lunch plus $50/day for parking and miscellaneous expenses for each of the three days.

Post Processing: $500 would be dedicated to the photographer’s initial import, edit, and presentation of the images to the client. Once the design firm made their selects, we included $100/image for basic color correction and processing for each of the 20 final images.

Video Editing: Since the scope of their video needs was still developing, the agency wasn’t able to articulate the total run time or style of an edit they might want, so we marked the editing as TBD.

Feedback: In an effort to be more budget conscious, the design firm asked what we might be able to do in order to keep production to two days. We felt that if we were to streamline the schedule and remove the video component of the project we could squeeze the shoot into two days by capturing five portraits per day and shooting as many cityscape images as possible while in transition from one location to another. We submitted a revised estimate that reduced the days for the crew (except the producer prep days) and adjusted appropriately for equipment and expenses. The licensing fees also came down a bit and the DP was removed since the video was stripped away, and all of these changes brought the bottom line down to a place we felt would be more palatable for the client.

Here is the revised estimate:

image of redacted photographic bid for a case study in pricing and negotiating by Wonderful Machine Executive Producer Craig Oppenheimer

Results: The photographer was awarded the project. Since the request for video wasn’t fully fleshed out, the client didn’t seem to mind us removing that element, especially since it allowed the project to be executed within two days, and ultimately help reduce the bottom line.

If you have any questions, or if you need help estimating or producing a project, please give us a call at 610.260.0200 or reach out. We’re available to help with any and all pricing and negotiating needs—from small stock sales to large ad campaigns.

Wonderful Machine

There Are 1 Comment On This Article.

  1. Terry Thomas Photos

    I about fell off my chair when I saw the original estimate and the final one.

    In my experience and that of many other real estate photographers, Realtors have a well-earned reputation for being NOTORIOUSLY cheap!

    Congratulations to all concerned with this project.

    Amazing…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *