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New HomeJab study shows impact of COVID-19 on real estate agent marketing spending trends

March 17 2022

Study reveals stark geographic differences for real estate photography orders

Cherry Hill, NJ - March 17, 2022 -- A new study of real estate photography data from HomeJab finds a significant geographic difference in the amount of marketing dollars agents spent before the pandemic for listings and the amount they spent coming out of the height of the COVID-19 outbreak.

HomeJab, which provides real estate agents on-demand professional real estate photography, 3D virtual tours, aerial, and other visual production services in every major US market and all 50 states, studied more than 43,000 real estate photography assignments from 2017 to 2021 in five regions: Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and West.

The new HomeJab research found:

  • Real estate agents in the West, Northeast, and Midwest are spending more for real estate listing photography services coming out of the pandemic than before the start of the pandemic:
    • West: Up nearly 9 percent (8.7%)
    • Northeast: +7.5%
    • Midwest: +5.6%
  • Real estate agents in the Southwest and Southeast either spent more or modestly less for real estate listing photography services since the pandemic began:
    • Southwest: -0.6%
    • Southeast: +2.8%
  • Nationwide, the average real estate listing photography services order was up 5.9% from post-pandemic orders, and now average $229 per order.
  • Real estate agents in the West spend the most for real estate listing photography services, averaging $279 per order.
  • Midwest real estate agents spend the least, averaging $200 per order, or nearly 40% less than real estate agents in the West.
  • Northeast real estate agents spend the second least amount, averaging $225 an order.
  • Southeast and Southwest real estate agents' average spend for real estate listing photography services average $229 and $235, respectively.

"Professional real estate listing photography orders by real estate agents clearly remained a vital marketing investment in many of the hottest markets during the COVID-19 outbreak," said Joe Jesuele, founder and CEO of HomeJab. "Our research shows that during a time when homes were flying off the shelves, and multiple offers hit a new high, agents still understood the power of visual images for their real estate marketing," Jesuele added.

The HomeJab study also examined trends in all 50 states and found:

  • Prominent "Blue states"* show significant increases in marketing spend for real estate listing photography services since the pandemic began, including:
    • New York: +27.9%
    • Massachusetts: +18.5%
    • California: +9.7%
    • Illinois: +7.7%
  • Prominent "Red states"* show either decreases or modest increases in marketing spend for real estate listing photography services since the pandemic began, including:
    • South Carolina: -23.4%
    • North Carolina: -16.5%
    • Texas: -0.1%
    • Florida: +6.3%

For Jesuele, the fact that prominent Red states spent less was not surprising. "The banning of Open Houses happened faster and lasted longer in Blue states," he observed. "Red states were not as dependent on 3D tours and other photography services that helped remote buyers make home purchases. Buyers and sellers in Blue states it appears needed these services," he added.

Another recent HomeJab study revealed that COVID-19 dramatically impacted the popularity of video/3D shoots for new property listings.

A free copy of the new HomeJab study is available here.

homejab Price per state infographic

*Note: State classification is based on the last US Senate election in 2021 and includes only states where HomeJab had at least 400 comparison orders from 2017-2021.

About the Study

HomeJab, which has professional photographers available in all 50 states, studied over 43,000 real estate photography assignments placed by real estate agents between 2017 and 2021.

About HomeJab

HomeJab is America's most popular and reliable on-demand professional real estate photography and video service for real estate pros. Lightning-fast high-end visual production offerings also include immersive 3D interactive tours, floor plan creation, affordable virtual staging, and turnkey aerial services. A one-stop-shop for real estate listings, HomeJab.com features affordable and customizable shoots that create the most engaging visual content for faster home sales and enrich the listing agent's personal brand. HomeJab is available in every major US market in all 50 states and Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and Toronto. Learn more at HomeJab.com.