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New HomeJab Real Estate Photo Study: NFTs, Unprepared Sellers, Drones and Automation

January 10 2022

2021 HomeJab Survey 2 Report CoverMore than 300 professional real estate photographers were asked, "How often are homeowners prepared for a shoot?" Surprisingly, more than half of the photographers polled said that most of the time -- half to more than half -- homeowners are unprepared.

The likely disconnect is that agents may be assuming their sellers know what they need to do to have their homes ready for a listing shoot. The data says otherwise.

That's just one of the fascinating facts emerging from our latest HomeJab Real Estate Photography Study, available for free to download.

Another highlight from the study came when we turned the table on agents and asked real estate photographers, "How professional is the typical real estate agent who hires you?"

Overall, photographers gave agents an average rating of 7.6 on a scale of 1-10, 10 being highly professional. Those are solid marks endorsing that most agents who hire real estate photographers are also "professional."

This HomeJab Professional Real Estate Photographer Survey collected responses from 310 professional real estate photographers nationwide. These are primarily seasoned professionals.

Fifty percent of the photographers surveyed shoot more than 100 property listings annually. Nearly one-in-three photographers surveyed shoot more than 200 property listings annually, with 40% of the participants being professional photographers for at least six years.

Future Tech: NFTs

We also asked professional real estate photographers to select two business-related technologies that they are "most excited about."

Drones topped the list, with most photographers – 68% – selecting a tech tool that can deliver 4K high-resolution aerial video and images. 360° cameras took the second spot with 54%, and automated editing technology was third, with 35% of photographers saying they are most excited about this new tech.

Two more surprises emerged in future tech as well. First, we have heard a ton of praise for the new iPhone camera technology, but only 18% of photographers surveyed say they are excited about new mobile phone cameras.

Second, the biggest surprise, at least for me, was with NFTs: nearly one-in-five photographers picked NFTs (blockchain) as the No. 5 top future tech about which they are most excited for.

Just five years ago, NFTs didn't even exist. Now it's landing for many as a top 5 future tech pick.

What are NFTs, and why is there a growing interest among real estate photographers?

NFT means non-fungible token. When something is non-fungible, it can't be replaced with something. There is only one, like a one-of-a-kind trading card. This makes NFTs different than cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, which are fungible as they can be traded one for another.

And NFTs are anything that's digital – drawings, music, a ticket that gives you access to an event (virtual and/or physical), or other digital collectives.

Today, the biggest excitement is around using the tech to sell digital art. NFTs may offer real estate photographers a new way to monetize their creative talent. Time will tell, but NFTs are clearly an emerging hot topic for real estate insiders today.

Drones dominate

But right now, drones are dominating the future tech discussion about the most exciting new tech among real estate photographers. It makes sense because of the "wow" factor that aerial footage can add to just about any real estate listing.

Aerial footage also gives home shoppers something hard to get without visiting the property in person: location perspective. Where does the property sit in relation to other properties and local amenities? How far away are local parks, schools, or retail? What is the property's proximity to local waterways: lakes, rivers, or the ocean?

And there is a potential downside to drones. In fact, because of the explosion in the popularity of using aerial photography to market homes over the last few years, we asked professional real estate photographers if they have been harassed by someone when flying a drone to shoot aerial footage of a listing.

Our HomeJab survey found that one-in-three photographers experienced harassment when flying a drone. One more interesting fact: 85% of all professional photographers use a drone. Just 15% of photographers surveyed said they had never flown a drone.

Again, you can download a free copy of this new report, as well as our first HomeJab Survey we released in the fall, on our website here.

Joe Jesuele is the founder and CEO of HomeJab, America's most popular and reliable on-demand professional real estate photography and video marketplace for real estate pros, delivering over 4,000,000 images to help agents sell and rent more than $35 billion in listings.