How much should you charge for real estate listing videos?

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    • #91474
      AvatarIAN4000
      Member

      I’m considering starting up real estate video production in San Diego, CA, where the listings are generally several million dollars, at least. I don’t have any idea what I should charge for my services. I’m planning to create videos approximating the production value and quality of videos like these: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPgJ6lekEutiDFIOpyhSwbw

      About what would you guys charge for something like that? I know they’ve got a team of about 15 people, including color graders, drone pilots, etc., but I know I can do something similar working solo. I’ve heard figures for video prices anywhere from $500 for a full package, to $1 for every $1000 of the listing price ($10,000 for a $10 mil home). The homes in San Diego are fairly expensive, most of them around the $1 million range, many of them can reach up to near $6 million. The homes in Rancho Santa Fe, which is nearby, go even higher and $10 million for a listing is not out of the question.

      I’ve got nearly $10,000 in gear picked out, including a Rhino slider, Manfrotto fluid head, a Blackmagic Ursa Mini 4.6k, a follow focus, and some Rokinon Cine lenses. I also own an Inspire 1 Pro drone, which I use for photography but can also take great 4K video with (not raw). I’m waiting to pull the trigger on the equipment until I can understand what the market will bear. There’s no point in buying equipment like that if nobody is willing to pay for the level of quality I can put out with it.

      So how much would you guys charge for a 6-minute video, shot in raw, graded in Davinci Resolve, complete with drone video, voice acting, and music for a $5 million house, granted that the quality is about as good as the 360 Home Tours production company I linked?

    • #214682
      AvatarJackWolcott
      Participant

      This is a question that comes up here on the forum almost monthly, and the answers are almost always the same.

      Lets begin by disavowing the notion that your charges should be related somehow to the value of the real estate which you’re shooting. Followed to its logical (illogical?) conclusion, this would suggest that you should bill more for an hour of shooting the Hope diamond than for an hour of shooting cheap costume jewelry.

      And this brings us to the crux of billing: what are your costs involved in the shoot and what is your time worth? You say you have nearly $10,000 in gear. If that money were invested at 5% interest it would be earning $500 the first year, $525 the second and so on. So you know you must charge enough on each shoot over the year to account for the $500 lost in interest. You surely have expenses for your office, insurance, utilities, etc. Your shoots for the year must generate enough income to cover all these expenses. Then you have transportation expenses — car insurance, gas, depreciation of your vehicle, etc., etc.

      Finally, you must consider what your time and expertise is worth; how much are you prepared to work for by the hour?

      Add this together and you’ve arrived at covering your costs. To this total you must add what you expect to earn as profit, for it is this that will allow your company to grow. We usually add 25 to 40% to the job.

      With all of this in mind, you can calculate what it will cost per hour to cover your costs, based on the number of hours per year you estimate you will work.

      I strongly encourage you to work by the hour, rather than by the job. Bill for the shoot and separately for the edit and deliverables. By doing this you avoid any unpleasantness with your client, who may want your to shoot a quick walk through or may want a detailed architectural record of each room in the home. Our company has a minimum of 4 hours, regardless of how short a stay we have on site, with an hourly charge after four hours.

      The main thing is to be sure your charges cover your costs — daily and annually — your salary, and a profit for the business.

    • #214690
      AvatarKevin Mc
      Member

      ^^ Yup. What Jack said. I’ve been rolling past this thread for a few days, because I didn’t feel like typing out the long explanation of how to arrive at YOUR cost. Everything Jack said is spot on – especially the section about not basing your fees on the value of the property.

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