Do you want to start a photography company and need to write a plan? If YES, here is a sample real estate photography business plan template & feasibility report. The photography industry is very vast and there are loads of niche ideas opening up in the industry. The truth is that there are several photography business opportunities a photographer can start and one of such opportunities is a real estate photography business.

Real estate photography business involves taking photos of the exterior and interior of buildings with the sole aim of helping in selling or renting out the properties. The photography should show space, features, lighting, layout and follow specific rules; it must capture wide and detail shots that will help buyers make their decision without necessarily inspecting the property.

A Sample Real Estate Photography Business Plan Template

1. Industry Overview

Real estate photography business is niche business idea under the photography industry and this industry is made up of companies and individuals that offer a range of photographic services, including still photography and videography for private events and businesses. Commercial and portrait photography studios are also included in this industry.

The Photography industry will continue to experience growth in all parts of the world. Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 199,500 licensed and registered photography companies (strictly real estate photography companies), and they are responsible for employing about 239,526 employees.

The industry rakes in a whooping sum of $10 billion annually with an annual growth rate projected at 0.3 percent within 2015 and 2022. Please note that aside from Shutterfly Inc., the Photography industry has no other company with major market shares in the United States of America.

A recent research conducted by IBISWorld shows that growing per capita disposable income and corporate profit have driven growth for the Photography industry over the five years to 2019, as both commercial photographers and portrait photographers have benefited from increased demand for their services.

Over the past decade, improvements in digital technology and its increasing affordability made it possible for individuals to start their own photography businesses. Meanwhile, the decline in newspaper and magazine publishing has driven a decline in employing photography enterprises.

Over the next five years, slower corporate profit growth is expected to make the industry more vulnerable to external competition, while consumer demand for professional photography services is anticipated to increase alongside growing per capita disposable income, driving marginal growth in revenue.

If an aspiring entrepreneur who intends starting his or her own real estate photography business has the right skills, connections, networks, managerial skills, and takes delight in working in the real estate industry for clients, then he or she is going to find real estate photography business very rewarding and lucrative.

2. Executive Summary

Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. is a real estate photography company that will operate in all the West Coast of the United States of America but will be headquartered in San Diego – California.

We intend to become specialists in real estate photography and offering our services to those who are involved in managing, selling and renting/leasing disposing student accommodation, residential apartments, office apartments and hall facilities et al.

Part of our goal as a real estate photography company is to grow to become one of the top 5 largest real estate photography companies in the whole of the West Coast and to take photo of properties across major cities in this region.

Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. will be committed when it comes to taking photographs of diverse portfolio of high quality apartment, office structures and hall facilities. We will also focus on providing a dynamic, proactive and vibrant work environment for all our employees.

As part of our plans to make our customers our number one priority and to become one of the leading real estate photography companies in The United States of America, we have perfected plans to adopt international best practices that can favorably compete with the best in the industry. Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. have overtime perfected plans that will help us to become a specialist and a leader in our area of business.

Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a firm, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.

Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. is founded by John Johnson, Carson Reeves and Lance Taylor. John Johnson is the company’s president and CEO. John Johnson has over 15 years’ photography and real estate experience including, significant senior management positions in the areas of sales, marketing, new technologies, and franchise management for top real estate and photography companies in the United States of America.

3. Our Product and Services Offerings

Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. is going to offer varieties of services within the scope of the Photography industry in The United States of America. Our intention of starting our real estate photography company is to favorably compete with leading players in the Photography industry both in The United States of America.

We are well prepared to make profits from the industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in The United States of America to achieve our business goals, aim and ambition. Our business offerings are listed below;

  • Taking photos of exterior and interior of buildings with the sole aim of helping in selling or renting out the property
  • Help homeowners stage their homes to achieve the best visual results
  • Real estate photography consultancy and advisory services

4. Our Mission & Vision Statement

  • Our vision is to become one of the top 5 real estate photography companies in the West Coast of the United States of America within the first 10 years of starting Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc.
  • Our mission of starting a real estate photography business is to grow the business beyond the city where we are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand by opening offices all across key cities in West Coast of the United States of America and franchising.

Our Business Structure

Our company’s structure is not entirely different from what is obtainable in the Photography industry. We have decided to create a structure that will allow for easy growth for all our employees and also, we have created platforms that will enable us attract some of the best hands in the industry.

We are quite aware that the success of any business lies in the foundation on which the business is built on, which is why we have decided to build our real estate photography company on the right business foundation. We will ensure that we only hire people that are qualified, honest, hardworking, customer centric and are ready to work to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all the stake holders (the owners, workforce, and customers).

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more depending how fast we meet our set target.

Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. is fully aware of the modus operandi in the Photography industry, hence adequate provision and competitive packages has been prepared for independent real estate agents.  Our marketing department will be responsible for managing this aspect of our business structure. Below is the business structure we will build Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. on;

  • Chief Executive Officer
  • Company’s Lawyer / Secretary
  • Admin and HR Manager
  • Real Estate Photographers
  • Business Developer / Sales and Marketing
  • Accountant
  • Customer Service Executive/Front Desk Officer

5. Job Roles and Responsibilities

Chief Executive Officer – CEO (President):

  • Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results
  • Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
  • Accountable for fixing prices and signing business deals
  • Responsible for providing direction for the business
  • Accountable for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
  • Evaluates the success of the organization
  • Reports to the board

Company’s Lawyer/Secretary/Legal Counsel

  • Responsible for drawing up contracts and other legal documents for the company
  • Consults and handle all corporate legal processes (e.g. intellectual property, mergers & acquisitions, financial / securities offerings, compliance issues, transactions, agreements, lawsuits and patents et al)
  • Develops company policy and position on legal issues
  • Researches, anticipates and guards company against legal risks
  • Represents company in legal proceedings (administrative boards, court trials et al)
  • Plays a part in business deals negotiation and take minutes of meetings
  • Responsible for analyzing legal documents on behalf of the company
  • Prepares annual reports for the company

Admin and HR Manager

  • Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
  • Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders to review the effectiveness of HR Policies, Procedures and Processes
  • Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
  • Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
  • Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
  • Carries out induction for new team members
  • Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
  • Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
  • Oversees the smooth running of the daily office activities.

Real Estate Photographers

  • Photograph homes listed for sale to meet the online marketing and print needs of Realtors and their Brokerage firm
  • Meet brokers/clients on site and perform photo session
  • Label and upload images to our in-house studio, the same day of the shoot
  • Take photo shoots of interior space of residences – common room, living room, bedrooms, bathrooms, kitchen, etc., and show the flow of the space
  • Ensure good photo composition, angles and positioning of the space taken
  • Editing and manipulating photos for lighting, contrast, and watermarks
  • Video real estate properties
  • Edit videos for web content with navigation structures and text/graphic overlays
  • Help homeowners stage their homes to achieve the best visual results

Marketing and Sales Executive/Business Developer

  • Identifies, prioritized, and reach out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
  • Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of real estate photography projects.
  • Responsible for supervising implementation, advocate for the customer’s needs, and communicate with clients
  • Documents all customer contact and information
  • Represents the company in strategic meetings
  • Helps to increase sales and growth for the company

Accountant

  • Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
  • Provides managers with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
  • Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
  • Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
  • Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
  • Responsible for administering payrolls
  • Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
  • Handles all financial transactions for the company
  • Serves as internal auditor for the company

Front Desk/Customer’s Service Officer

  • Receives Visitors/clients on behalf of the organization
  • Receives parcels/documents for the company
  • Handles enquiries via e-mail and phone calls for the organization
  • Distributes mails in the organization
  • Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
  • Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
  • Manages administrative duties assigned by the line manager in an effective and timely manner

6. SWOT Analysis

The fact that real estate photography business is a very rewarding business does not mean that there are no challenges in the industry.

Starting a real estate photography business in the United States of America comes with its own fair share of challenges, you would have to abide by the law and also compete with loads of other photographers and entrepreneurs in the real estate business value chain who also are interested in making a living and building a business in San Diego, California.

In order to compete favorably in the real estate photography line of business we have been able to hire the services of tested and trusted business and HR consultants to help us conduct critical SWOT analysis for us. We intend maximizing our strengths, explore all opportunities we will come across, properly manage our weakness and confront our threats.

Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc.

  • Strength:

Some of our strength that we will be bringing to the table in the Photography industry is our robust relations with real estate companies and properties investment moguls in the whole of the West Coast of the United States of America. We have a team of experts who have cut their teeth in the Photography industry.

  • Weakness:

As a newbie in the Photography industry, we might have some challenges competing with big time real estate photography companies that have been in the industry for many years; that perhaps is part of our weakness.

  • Opportunities:

As the economy of the United States of America began to grow and demand for rental apartments rose, industry revenue grew at a rapid pace hence opening vast opportunities for real estate photography companies. We are well-positioned and ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.

  • Threat:

Some of the threats that we are likely going to face as a real estate photography company in the United States of America are unfavorable government policies, global economic downturn and unreasonable real estate companies who may not want to play by the rules.

7. MARKET ANALYSIS

  • Market Trends

A close watch of happenings in the Photography industry shows that vacancy rates indicate the relationship between industry supply and demand. High rates represent an oversupply of residential rental property relative to demand. These rates are also a good indicator of trends in industry revenue and profitability. Profit margins tend to shrink as vacancy rates grow because residential rentals are being underused.

As a matter of international best practices, the national unemployment rate is a benchmark for determining the overall health of the US economy and has had mixed effects on industry demand. As the unemployment rate falls, individuals tend to have more money to spend on living expenses and can afford higher rent prices.

Simultaneously, with more money to spend, individuals may choose to purchase a home rather than rent, which can influence industry demand.

Another obvious trends that are common with real estate photography companies in the United States of America is that most of them are improvising on more means of making money in the industry and they are also acting as property developers and home staging agents amongst many other functions.

One thing is certain for every real estate photography company; if they are hardworking, creative and proactive, they will always generate enough income to meet all their overhead and operational cost, keep their business going without struggle and make reasonable profits from all business deals that they are involved in.

8. Our Target Market

Our target market as a real estate photography company cuts across different players in the real estate industry. We are coming into the industry with a business concept that will enable us work with a wide range of clients. In other words, our target market is the whole of the United States of America and below is a list of the people and organizations that we have plans to do business with;

  • House Flippers
  • Real Estate Wholesaling companies
  • Property Developers
  • Real Estate Agencies
  • Land Owners and landlords who are interested in renting / leasing out their properties
  • Corporate organizations (real estate agencies, property development companies et al) who are interested in renting / leasing out their properties
  • Foreign investors who are interested in owning properties or leasing properties in the United States of America
  • Managers of public facilities

Our competitive advantage

The availability of competent and reliable real estate photographers under our payroll, our business process, the location of the company, high-quality cameras and lenses and of course our pricing model are part of our competitive advantage.

Another possible competitive strategy for winning our competitors in this particular industry is to build a robust clientele base, ensure that our pictures are top notch. Our organization is well positioned, key members of our team are highly reliable and competent and can favorably compete with the some of the best in the Photography industry.

Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and objectives. We will also engage freelance marketing agents on a commission level to help us market our services.

9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY

We are quite mindful of the fact that there are stiff competitions in the photography cum real estate photography market in The United States of America, hence we have been able to hire some of the best business developers to handle our sales and marketing.

Our sales and marketing team will be recruited based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis so as to be well equipped to meet their targets and the overall goal of the organization. The training is not restricted to only our full-time employees but to also our freelance staff.

Our goal is to become one of the leading real estate photography companies in the West Coast in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategies that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force in the industry.

Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies;

  • Introduce our real estate photography company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to real estate agencies, real estate wholesaling companies and other key stake holders throughout the city where our company is located.
  • Print out fliers and business cards and strategically drop them in offices, car parks, libraries, public facilities and train stations et al.
  • Use friends and family to spread word about our business
  • Post information about our company and the services we offer on bulletin boards in places like car parks, schools, libraries, and local coffee shops et al
  • Place a small or classified advertisement in the newspaper, or local publication about our company and the services we offer
  • Leverage on referral networks such as agencies that will attract clients (real estate companies) who would need our services
  • Advertise our real estate photography company in relevant real estate magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations.
  • Attend relevant real estate expos, seminars, and business fairs et al to market our services
  • Engage in direct marketing approach
  • Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients
  • Join local chambers of commerce and industry to market our product and services.

Sources of Income

Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the Photography industry. We have successfully built a vibrant real estate network that covers the whole of the West Coast in the United States of America so as to help us build a profitable business.

Below are the sources we intend exploring to generate income for Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc.;

  • Taking photos of exteriors and interiors of building with the sole aim of helping in selling or renting out the property
  • Help homeowners stage their homes to achieve the best visual results
  • Real estate photography consultancy and advisory services

10. Sales Forecast

It is a known fact that as long as there are real estate agencies, real estate wholesaling companies and property developers in the United States of America, there will always be need to for them to hire the services of real estate photography companies from time to time to help them take photos of the properties they have for sale, rent or lease.

We are well positioned to take on the challenges that are synonymous with real estate photography businesses in the United States of America, and we are quite optimistic that we will meet out set target of generating enough income / profits from the first month of operations and grow the business beyond San Diego, California to other Provinces in the United States of America within record time.

We have been able to examine the real estate photography line of business and we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast. Below are the sales projections for Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. it is based on the location of our business and the related services within the Photography industry that we will be offering;

  • First Fiscal Year (FY1): $175,000
  • Second Fiscal Year (FY2): $250,000
  • Third Fiscal Year (FY3): $300,000

N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown and the arrival of a competitor in same location as ours within the period stated above. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.

11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy

We have been able to work with our consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to take the Photography industry by storm which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our company.

Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise our real estate photography business;

  • Place adverts on both print and electronic media platforms
  • Sponsor relevant TV shows so as to be able to communicate our brand and what we do
  • Maximize our company’s website to promote our business
  • Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other platforms (real estate online forums) to promote our business
  • Install our Bill Boards on strategic locations
  • Distribute our fliers and handbills in targeted areas from time to time
  • Attend landlord association meetings with the aim of networking and introducing our business.
  • Ensure that all our workers wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are well branded with our company’s logo et al.

12. Our Pricing Strategy

Part of business strategy is to ensure that we work within the budget of our clients to deliver excellent photos to them. The real estate industry is based on commissions and properties are valued by professionals based on the area the facility is located, the type of facility and other factors.

Since we are not directly in control of the pricing system in the real estate industry, we can only abide by what is obtainable when it comes to pricing structure.

Part of what we intend doing that will help us cut cost is to reduce to the barest minimum all maintenance costs by hiring some freelance real estate photographers to help us take photos of properties in some locations, especially locations that are far from our operational base.

  • Payment Options

At Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. our payment policy is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different people prefer different payment options as it suits them. Here are the payment options that Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. will make available to her clients;

  • Payment by via bank transfer
  • Payment via online bank transfer
  • Payment via check
  • Payment via bank draft

In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will help us achieve our plans without any hitches and we will also pay our freelance real estate photographers with same platforms. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials to clients who may want to deposit cash or make online transfer for our services.

13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)

From our market survey and feasibility studies, we have been able to come up with a detailed budget on achieving our aim of establishing a standard and highly competitive real estate photography company in San Diego, California and here are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital;

  • The total fee for registering the business in the United States of America – $750.
  • Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,500.
  • Marketing promotion expenses and printing of (8,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of – $3,580.
  • The total cost for hiring Business Consultant (business plan inclusive) – $2,000.
  • The amount needed for the purchase of insurance policy covers (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $30,800.
  • The total cost for the purchase of photography editing software, accounting software, CRM software and Payroll Software – $3,000
  • The total cost for leasing office /studio facility for the business – $60,000.
  • The total cost for facility remodeling – $20,000
  • Other start-up expenses including stationery – $1000
  • Phone and utility deposits – $3,500
  • Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
  • The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Cameras and Camera Accessories, Computers, Laptops, Printers, Telephone, TVs, , Office Tables and Chairs et al) – $20,000.
  • The cost of launching a Website – $600
  • Miscellaneous – $5,000

Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need about two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) U.S. dollars to successfully set up a medium scale but standard real estate photography business in the United States of America.

Generating Funds/Startup Capital for Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc.

Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. will be owned and managed by John Johnson, Carson Reeves and Lance Taylor. They are the financier of the business which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.

  • Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings and sale of stocks
  • Generate part of the startup capital from friends and other extended family members
  • Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility).

N.B: We have been able to generate about $100,000 (Personal savings $80,000 and soft loan from family members $20,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $150,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.

14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy

Part of the plans we have in place to sustain Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. is to ensure that we continue to produce detailed and professional photos of properties, deliver quality services, improvise on how to do things faster and cheaper. We are not going to relent in providing conducive environment for our workers and also the required trainings that will help them deliver excellent services at all times.

We are quite aware that our customers are key component to the growth and survival of our business hence we are going to continuously engage them to give us ideas on how to serve them better and the products they want to see in our store. We will not waste time in adopting new technology, best practices and diversifying our services.

Jerry Smith® Real Estate Photography, Inc. will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and re-training of our workforce is at the top burner.

As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.

Check List/Milestone

  • Business Name Availability Check: Completed
  • Business Registration: Completed
  • Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts: Completed
  • Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
  • Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
  • Application for business license and permit: Completed
  • Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
  • Renting of Office Facility and remodeling the facility in San Diego, California – The United States of America: Completed
  • Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
  • Generating capital from the CEO / President and Business Partners: Completed
  • Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
  • Writing of Business Plan: Completed
  • Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
  • Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
  • Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
  • Graphic Designs and Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
  • Recruitment of employees: In Progress
  • Purchase of the needed cameras, lenses and other camera accessories, furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
  • Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
  • Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
  • Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
  • Establishing business relationship with key players in the industry (networking with real estate companies and membership of relevant real estate bodies): In Progress