It’s often hard to find a good real estate photographer. Not to mention the fact that it’s expensive and time-consuming if you pick the wrong one. Luckily, we’re in the digital age and Stilio makes this problem a thing of the past.
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What is Stilio?
Stilio is an online marketplace where real estate professionals connect with local independent real estate photographers. The service charges agents a fee. In return, Stilio ensures photographers are skilled and equipped to provide great looking photos.
Stilio is build to help real estate agents who need photography for listings but don’t know of any suitable photographers. It’s especially useful for Realtors working in smaller markets where there are few real estate photography companies.
The company says its network has photographers in nearly every state. If agents can’t find photographers in a given market, the company attempts to recruit them.
Why Use Stilio
Stilio offers a great product at a reasonable price. The service is geared toward agents without a network of photographers. After all, it’s terribly frustrating calling photographers who quote shoots costing hundreds of dollars with a 7 day turnaround.
Fortunately, Stilio does away with this problem. We’ve highlighted some of our favorite features and what’s good about each. Read on to learn more.
One of Stilio’s selling points is affordability. The service promises to connect agents with professional photographers who won’t overcharge for their services.
Agents can sign up to use Stilio, search for photographers in their market, and review photographers portfolios, all for free. Agents can also compare pricing and user ratings.
However, when they sign up, agents have to provide a credit card. Then if they hire one of the Stilio photographers, Stilio will charge their cards $5 for each completed order in addition to the photographer fees.
Stilio ensures that photographers can do quality work by reviewing their portfolios and giving them a quiz. It also provides them with an instructional guide to real estate photography as well as editing services photographers can use to enhance images.
Stilio’s standard of service is for photographers to respond to photo orders from agents within 12 hours. Photographers who don’t meet this requirement may have their account suspended.
Edited photos are typically delivered to the ordering agent within 24 hours. This assumes photographers deliver photos to Stilio for editing the same day as the shoot.
Fees to photographers aren’t released until the order is completed. Agents can request changes within 48 hours of receiving photos that were ordered. Ordering and managing orders is handled through the Stilio platform. So are photo delivery and secure payment.
- Standard Photography — For this service, the photographer takes a single shot of the property. Then the Stilio editing team enhances the photo.
- Advanced Photography — Instead of a standard photo, the photographer uses HDR – a technique that snaps multiple images — to improve the ratio of light to dark in a photo. Stilio editors combine the multiple exposures into one photograph.
- Prestige Photography — This service aims to produce photos of quality high enough to be published in a magazine, using advanced equipment, enhanced editing and large file formats.
- Photographer Editing — With this service, the photographer takes and edits the images in his or her own personal style. Photographer profiles provide details about their approach to custom-edited photography.
In addition to these basic services, Stilio offers four add-on services:
- Virtual staging — This service lets you digitally add furniture to the photos of a vacant listing. Stilio has a library of virtual furniture you can select from for your listing.
- Virtual twilight — This service digitally edits a daytime photo to transform it so it looks as though it were taken around sunset.
- Listing teaser — This is a 30-second teaser used to generate interest in a listing on social media.
- Drone — Using a camera-equipped drone, the photographer captures shots of the listing from above. This can help highlight listings with attractive landscaping and outdoor features.
Along with still photography, Stilio offers several video products.
- Short Walkthrough — This video gives viewers an inside look at a listing with a brief full-motion video tour. It uses limited edits and cuts to simulate a walk through the home.
- Traditional — This video starts with a full-motion video tour and adds a list of key features.
- Drone Video — This uses an aerial drone to provide a full-motion video of the listing viewed from above.
- Drone plus Traditional — This shows the property from all angles by combining the traditional video with aerial drone video.
Agents can also have Stilio produce floorplans of listings. These will show the layout, room measurements, and fixtures such as fireplaces and staircases. They are not intended for figuring total square footage, however.
To produce floorplans, the photographer measures the listing and enters the figures on a sketch. Then Stilio digitizes the sketch into a floorplan, either two-dimensional or three-dimensional, that is colored and accurate to scale.
Another option is a Matterport floorplan. The Matterport service lets photographers using 3D cameras create interactive 3D models of listings. If you’ve never seen one of these listings, you need to Google it now.
The first time I saw a 3D listing from this company, my jaw hit the floor. They are incredible. And while they are not cost effective on starter homes, they are great for high-end listings.
I’d avoid Matterport tours on starter homes because there is enough demand (at least in a hot market) that they pretty much sell themselves. So it’s wasted money for a home that’ll sell quickly anyway.
Stilio collects $5 from agents for each confirmed order for photography made through its site. The individual photographers set their own fees for their services. Stilio collects these fees from the agents and then pays the photographers.
Real estate photography fees vary depending on various factors. These include the photographer, the geographical market, and any special services.
However, according to Stilio, agents can expect to encounter two different pricing schemes: Pricing based on number of delivered images and pricing based on the size of the home.
Photographers who price based on number of delivered images typically deliver approximately 20 images. They’ll charge a base price plus a price per photo. Total fees range from $75 for a 10-photo package to $300 for a 10-photo package.
The higher prices are charged by more established real estate photographers. Photographers who charge based on the square footage of the home tend to charge more, according to Stilio.
I searched for photographers in my hometown of Omaha, Nebraska and found 4 photographers with prices ranging from $60 to $100. This is withing Stilio’s price estimates, and I think it’s a decent price for the service.
Per-square foot prices can vary widely. However, Stilio says in one market – Maine – prices are about 10 cents per square foot. Video pricing is a separate matter. Most cameras allow video as well as still shots, so most real estate photographers provide video as well.
Video recordings take more time and more editing. A two- to five-minute video will run $250 to $400, Stilio estimates. Drone services are another pricing level. A drone shoot can start at $175 for five still photos. A drone video could be $350 or more.
Other factors such as the day the shoot is requested and the time of day can also affect pricing. For instance, photographers may charge extra for weekend work. For shoots outside a photographer’s normal service area, agents may be asked to pay travel costs.
Stilio was founded in 2017. The co-founders are former executives of Imoto, another real estate photography service.
The difference between the two network platforms is that Imoto uses its own photographers. Stilio connects independent photographers with real estate clients.
Here’s contact info for Stilio:
6173 Canal Blvd.
New Orleans, LA 70124
Stilio lets real estate professionals connect with local real estate photographers to illustrate listings. The service vets photographers to make sure they have the training and equipment to do the work.
For a $5 fee per order, Stilio connects agents with photographers who set their own prices for their services. Stilio also provides editing tools to adjust and improve photos for maximum effect.
Agents having trouble finding real estate photographers can do a free search for local service providers. Since photographs are known significantly help market listings, Stilio is worth a look for agents seeking to connect with skilled local photographers.