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How to Choose a Great Real Estate Photo Editor

How to Choose a Real Estate Photo Editor

There are a number of different things to consider when choosing a real estate photo editor. You’ll need to have a solid understanding of their editing style and how it matches up with your photography style before anything else.

After that, you’ll want to think about things like consistency, turn-around time, and availability. Finding a real estate photo editor that checks all the boxes can be hard, but if you take your time and consider all the specifics listed below, you’ll be able to find one that works great for you.

Table of Contents

Real Estate Photo Editor

Overall Quality

The first thing you need to consider is pretty simple. Can they deliver quality images? Nothing more than an eye test is needed for this part and you should be able to move on to the next step pretty quickly.

A good editor will likely have a portfolio of before and after images. You’ll want to check these out first so you don’t end up delivering any of the nightmare-type, horrible photos we’ve all seen on Zillow where the walls are the wrong color and the windows are blown out way too much.

If the editor doesn’t have an easily accessible portfolio of great looking images, move on.

Editing Style Compatibility

Seemingly obvious, but you need to make sure that your real estate photo editor can edit in the style that you shoot. There are so many different types of shooting styles, especially for real estate photography. You’ll need to make sure the editor is experienced editing your type of style.

For example, if you shoot using a flash, you’ll need to be sure that the real estate photo editor you’re considering hiring is capable of editing together flash exposures. If they only edit HDR style real estate photos, it might be best to just move on and find a different editor.

There are so many different individual editors and editing agencies that, given enough time searching for the right one, you’ll be able to find the perfect editing compatibility.


By consistency I mean consistency in both quality and timing. This is probably going to be the hardest thing to find in your search for a real estate photo editor for several reasons.

If you choose to work with just one individual photo editor, it’s likely that they will produce very consistent quality since they’ll be using the same editing techniques for every job. However, if they take on too much work one week, they may not be able to deliver the images as quickly as normal.

The opposite can be true for working with an agency. Having many editors means that there will always be someone to edit and deliver your photos quickly, but it many not be the same quality every time.

The best thing you can do is set a standard for both the quality you expect and the delivery time you need. If you have a feeling that the real estate photo editor you’re considering won’t be consistent on both, then it’s best to look elsewhere.

Again, you are not lacking in options. Take your time finding the perfect one.

Turn-Around Time

Once you tell your clients that you will have the photos to them in 24 hours, you better have the photos to them in 24 hours. This is one of the scariest parts about using a real estate photo editor; not being in full control.

Usually, editors are good about letting you know how soon you can expect the edited images. The issues come up when they deliver subpar quality images and you need them to reedit some photos. This adds to the turn-around time and can be quite stressful.

The best thing you can do is have a firm deadline for the editor right out of the gate. If you tell your clients you’ll have the photos to them in 24 hours, maybe tell your real estate photo editor that you need the finished images in 12 hours. This leave you a little wiggle room for any reedits needed.


You’ll definitely want to make sure that the editor you choose has enough availability to handle the amount of work you’re going to be sending them. This isn’t as big of a problem with editing agencies as it is with individuals.

If you want to go the route of using an individual photo editor, you’ll want to be sure that they have some sort of cap on the amount of clients they are willing to accept. If they keep accepting more and more clients, it only makes sense that they will have less and less availability.

The last thing you want to happen is to be told your editor won’t be able to get the photos back to you by the deadline, or worse they won’t be able to take on the job at all, because they overloaded themselves.

This can be easy to tell during your search process. If a prospective editor is communicating well and quick to respond, that’s clearly a much better sign than if they are taking over a day to respond to your messages.

Individual Editor vs Editing Agency

Both individual editors and editing agencies have their pros and cons. Individuals can offer more consistency in the quality of the final images while editing agencies will insure that there is always someone available to edit your photos. You’ll need to figure out what your business needs.

Are you a volume shooter that makes money by photographing as many homes as possible? Then you’ll need a real estate photo editor that’s capable of keeping up with your large volume. That probably means using an editing agency so you can guarantee turn around time.

If you charge a premium for a smaller number of jobs, but deliver a very high quality product, then you might want to find an individual editor. You’ll have the peace of mind that the quality will always be delivered since it’s the same person editing your images every time.

Once you figure out how you want to balance the quality over quantity issue, you’ll have a better idea on whether and individual or agency will be better for you.


Recommendations on Choosing a Real Estate Photo Editor

When choosing a real estate photo editor, you want to do your best to find one that checks off all of the factors listed above. Realistically, checking off every box is going to be quite hard. But figuring out what is most important to you and your business is more than achievable.

The most important thing is that you approve of how they edit the photos and that they deliver the photos to you consistently in both quality and timing. If you can find a real estate photo editor that does that, whether it’s an individual or agency, it will likely work out.

Additional Resources

If you’re just getting started in real estate photography, check out our Beginners Guide. It’s full of helpful articles and tips that will guide you in the right direction as you begin your real estate photography journey.

You can check out our Gear section as well to see reviews and recommendations on the latest real estate photography gear.

If you’re more interested in other resources that can help your real estate photography business, check out our Business Resources page.

Frequently Asked Questions

How much should I pay someone to edit my photos?

It depends on what you want done and the editing style, but generally around $1-$2 per image is the average rate.

Can you Photoshop real estate photos?

Yes, absolutely! In fact, most professional real estate photographers do use Photoshop to edit real estate photos. The key is not to use photoshop to lie about the property.

Do realtors edit photos?

Generally, no. Realtors themselves don’t edit photos. They pay a professional photographer to both photograph and edit the images.

Real Estate Photo Editor
109 posts

About author
Matthew Digati is a professional Real Estate and Architectural Photographer. Matthew has worked as a Real Estate and Architectural Photographer since 2015 and has photographed properties and projects all over the United States.
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