I believe that every real estate agent has a threshold price point in mind: anything over that number and they’ll use a professional photographer; anything under it and they’re using their cell phone.

For some the number is $0 — I’ve got any number of clients who call me whether it’s an $800,000, 5br, 4ba home on 5 acres or whether it’s an 800 sq.ft. 1-bedroom condo.

In my mind these $0-threshold agents are the ones who “get it” — professional photos market both the property and themselves well no matter what kind of property.  And the fact that they often call me 20-30 times a year to do photography tells me their strategy is working and they’re getting more listings.

I’ve had agents tell me to my face that their number is $350,000.  And they call me for more expensive listings but not when they’re marketing and selling a $200,000 condo.  Oddly enough, they don’t get very many listings that, in their mind, deserve professional photography…perhaps because sellers look at their listings and don’t want their home to get cell phone camera treatment.

And then there are some agents for whom the number is $1,000,000,000 — they’re never going to call a professional photographer no matter what.  They don’t see the need.

I often hear other photographers bemoaning the fact that someone isn’t using a professional on a high-end listing.  Or an above-average listing even.  Those agents are in that Billion-Dollar-Threshold category and nothing will convince them.  You can show them data and articles all you want but it won’t make a bit of difference.

The ranks of the $0-threshold agents are growing, and the latter are fading away as they get fewer and fewer deals.  I think there will always be some of the middle group, but I think their price-threshold is getting lower and lower if they want to succeed.