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Floor Plans and Room Dimensions for Real Estate Listings

Published: 10/04/2015

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Photographers offering floor plans and room dimensions for real estate listings are becoming a hot trend. You may sometimes wonder whether there is anyone else who can offer these services, how they charge for it and whether they succeed with specific floor plan creation apps or software. 

Floor Plans and Room Dimensions for Real Estate Listings

Offering floorplans gives you an advantage over your competitors and can actually improve the photography business. When determining room dimensions, you can use a $25 CAD add-on where you will measure all the rooms with a laser measuring device.  Note that the $25 add-on is just room dimensions, not a full floor plan. 

Most photographers charge $125 to $175 CAD for a full floor plan because it takes much more time to create. The following are different ways in which other photographers create and price floor plans and room dimensions

Real estate agent using a digital floor plan
  • RoomSketcher App: You can use a RoomSketcher App for your room floor plans. It is an expensive service, but it's the best 2D/3D-provider for floor plans.  You can deliver the room plans as an integrated part of the package/price when delivered together with real estate pictures. If there is more than just 1 room plan, the price is different. If delivered separately with no pictures, the price is $ 70 per floor plan.
  • Measure and Sketch a House on a Graph Pad: All you need is a Leica Disto V2, graph pad, pencil and Sweet Home 3D. All it takes is 15-30 minutes to measure and sketch. As for pricing, you can charge your clients a flat rate up to 35 squares and then a set $ per square. 
  • SoftPlan Software: SoftPlan is a straightforward application as you can click and drag a wall with predefined thickness that auto blends with adjoining walls, or select then click to drop a door or window in that can be fully adjustable and is easy to learn and does a beautiful job. However, at $2,500 is a bit pricey.

Depending on your level of designing skills, you can also use the following more professional and advanced free and paid designing applications for floor plans and room dimensions for property listings.

Subspace App

Subspace App is not a FULL floor-plan app but a free app that you can use on your iPhone to get the room measurements when you want to create a floor plan. It will even give a 3-D moveable rendering, which you may be able to somehow work into a floor plan, depending on how elaborate you want to go. 

It is easy to use as you just touch the first wall, and it'll beep. Go touch the other walls until you finish with where you started. The app even gives ceiling height without having to touch the ceiling. Does odd-shaped rooms and has door/window options.

FloorPlanner Software 

The FloorPlanner is a floor planning software that allows you to accurately create 2D and 3D drawings at the right scale. It is ideal for design enthusiasts, real estate professionals, users that lack CAD knowledge, and homeowners.

It features a symbol library that contains more than 150000 3D items to assist you in coming up with a perfect-looking plan. With cloud sync, this software allows you to access your plan from anywhere. Additionally, it allows you to create 2D and 3D photos and send them through the mail.

It is compatible with a wide range of laser tools such as MAC PD-I, Leica Disto, Hilti PD, and Hersch Lem. It makes it straightforward to make measurements, create walls of the right size, and place doors and windows. It has a free trial version and a basic account that allows you to freely create projects at level one.


AutoCAD architecture is a floor plan software that helps you in creating architectural designs more quickly and precisely. It features more than 8500 styles and objects, enabling you to easily scale and draw a quick floor plan. However, it takes time to load some of the options, which reduces its productivity.

How Important Are Floor Plans for Real Estate Listings?

A floor plan is essential for potential buyers who miss the inspection process and those that are not close to the property. A good floor plan can help you generate inquiries and provide you with sufficient information you may need to make a good decision. 

Samples of real estate floor plans and room dimensions

The following are some of the benefits of a floor plan that will make your listing unique and maintain the buyer's attention.

Makes Your Listing Stand Out

Most potential buyers will probably enquire whether a property has a professional floor plan. As a result, a professional and detailed floor plan can make a listing stand out among its competitors. A good floor plan should display every floor of a multi-story property and every room in the house.

A well-designed floor plan comprises a compass indicating north, measurements, and a scale. Also, it can show exterior features such as yard, pool, balcony, and shed and interior features of a property like cabinets and in-built appliances.

Although 2D floor plans make seeing the different rooms and the relationship between them easy, a 3D floor plan makes a property shine more. This is because it displays details such as the color of the paint on the wall, the potential location of your furniture, and the size of the windows.

Reminds Potential Buyers of the House Arrangement

In most cases, buyers will view a house and forget its layout and other crucial features some minutes after leaving the property. By just looking at the photos, you may not be able to answer some questions, such as where the bathrooms are or whether the bedrooms are situated close to each other.

Floor plans offer a lot of helpful information about a certain property and enhance the visualization and imagination process for potential buyers. Essentially, it helps buyers remember the details of your listings and further encourages an emotional attachment to the property.

Maintains the Attention of the Buyer

A house hunter may view different properties on the same day and might get mixed up by the different photos. Even though a photo alone may help capture the attention of the buyer, a picture of a floor plan may help retain the attention for a longer period. 

If you provide your prospective buyers with more visuals, you increase the chances of them spending more time looking at the listing. A good floor plan sends an implication to your buyers that you are professional and that the listed property is really meant for sale.

Helps Your Property Sell Fast

Considering that not all real estate agents offer their buyers a floor plan, creating one may help your listing stand out among competitors and sell fast. A clear and well-designed floor plan puts your listing at the top of the pile, giving you a market advantage.

Gets Buyers to Move In Mentally

After seeing the floor plan, the visualization process establishes an emotional connection between the potential buyer and the property. This makes them think of the listing as their home. 

Floor plans that contain window placement, room measurements, and door placements enable prospective buyers to imagine the wall décor, how they would use the available space, how they would change the paint color to suit their needs, and where they will put their furniture. 

Man creating a floor plan for a house

If buyers start making this kind of calculation, they can develop an emotional connection before even visiting the listing. Typically, this is a big advantage over properties without a floor plan.

Helps Show Unique Features of Your Listing

If an outdoor entertainment area is a big feature that may make your listing sell fast, then it is advisable to include it in your floor plan. Whether it is an additional parking area, a shed, a backyard garden, or a pool, including them in your floor plan may make your listing exceptional, attracting many prospective buyers.

Saves on Time

Looking for a nice home that suits your needs can be a time-consuming task. If you have an interest in purchasing a property, you may often spend too much time researching the available listings, going for viewings, and searching the prices.

For instance, if you are looking for a spacious living room and a balcony facing south, a floor plan relieves you of the hassle of spending your precious time looking for a property that suits your needs. It also helps you sort out the targeted group from the unqualified buyers.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Ideal Size of a Floor Plan?

The two most common drawing sizes of floor plans are 24 X 36 inches and 18 x 24 inches. However, you can find them in 30 x 42 and 36 x 48 inches. A larger size might be the best option if planning for bigger and more expensive listings.

What Do You Draw First When Creating a Floor Plan?

Begin by naming all the floors, such as the first floor, ground floor, and basement. In the middle of every room, write down the name of the room. For bedrooms, you should identify them by numbers like bedroom 1 and bedroom 2. If you realize that your plan is spread over several pages, make sure you number them.

Final Thoughts

Floor plans and room dimensions for real estate listings give real estate managers, and agents increased chances of selling their property by making their listing unique and attractive. A well-designed floor plan helps provide prospective buyers with the information they require to make informed decisions.

Larry Lohrman

17 comments on “Floor Plans and Room Dimensions for Real Estate Listings”

  1. I've let my clients know that I can provide floor plans, but no takers to date. When I get done moving and getting some other pressing business done, I plan to start pursuing the commercial real estate market more where floor plans can be instrumental in both sales and leasing.

    I have heard that in some countries, floor plans are required and have to be pretty accurate. In the US it seems like since it's not required, nobody is very interested for residences.

  2. Oh, I'll add that I haven't figured out what I will need to charge as I don't have any hard data on the time it will take. I think the first few jobs I get will be for a very nominal price. I'll invest in the laser measurer and software when the time comes.

  3. I use for my room floor plans which I deliver in 3D fully furnitured. It is an expensive service, but it's the best 2D/3D-provider of floor plans I have found so far. The realtors has to provide blueprints for me. I deliver the room plans as an integrated part of the package/price when delivered together with real estate pictures. If more than just 1 room plan, the price is different. If delivered separately with no pictures, the price I charge is ca. US$ 70 per floor plan.

    It would be nice to have a list of different services providing floor plans (2D/3D) available here at PFRE. In that case I have one more provider to add to that list that I used before turning to Roomsketcher:

  4. This will be a long reply and I will try and keep it short!

    First, I use Sensopia (Magicplan) for my IPAD and I swear by this software. Aside from the occasional crash (no lost data) and that it can't handle "rounded" corners, I swear by this product. $10 a month and unlimited exports with many customizable features that include - but not limited to - your own watermark and disclaimer imprints. So, if you already have an IPAD, you are only out $10 a month for this service. And even better, if you have an iphone, you can still use this software. Though I prefer the screen size of the IPAD vs. that of an iphone. Bottom line, cheap, cheap up-front cost to do this.

    Next, no matter how many floor plans I create, it simply takes time to measure and input values with the software. I've even tried to draw the rooms on a blank sheet of paper and then input values at home just to get in and out of a house, but it still takes time to measure a house (room dimensions). For example, I live in New England so most of the houses are "colonial" style homes and therefore the interiors are usually square or rectangular, but it still takes about 3 to 4 hours to create a floor plan for 3k square foot house. I input all the doors and determine which way they swing, windows and placement windows, plumbing (placement of toilet, shower, sinks and some appliances in the kitchen (some times I even measure a window size and exact placement for my more fickled clients). At least to my knowledge, I don't know how to speed things along. This process is just time consuming. FWIW, you might want to consider farming out this work to someone else and maybe they can do it faster. For example, Home Depot (HD) offers this service of measuring rooms, but I have been told that they take twice as long. Again, I don't know if this is really true, but HD does offer this service in the event you choose not to pursue this aspect yourself and deal with the headaches of measuring rooms. On the flip side, I've picked up a fair amount of business because I do offer this service. I'd do it all over again.

    As for pricing, I tried to price myself at HD prices or just above their price point. I also have three price points to keep it simple for my clients. Houses that are 3k square feet or less is a flat fee of $149. For homes that are between 3-5k square feet, I charge $185. Homes greater than 5k square feet I charge $60 per 1,000. I also have some language on my website that addresses home that are a bit more complex or non-squared rooms. I charge $25 to $50 extra for contemporary or non-trad style homes. I'm not so rigid with my price points that I don't budge - especially for my high volume clients. So, if one of my high volume clients gets a condo of about 1,100 square feet, I might knock off $30 or something. I can do this house in about an hour - soup to nuts. My agents appreciate the price break and I develop more of a personal relationship with my clients so that I keep them. Some folks charge by the foot....I think it just gets complicated when you do this, but it probably is more fair than my 3 price point schedule. Why should an 800 square foot condo be assessed the same fee as that of a 2,800 SFH? So, you can see how can loose business too. I think that by charging by the foot, the math gets tricky. Anyway, I won't go there about my flat fee vs. charging by the foot. You can decide what is best for your area and your clients. Mind you, this is simply floor plan only...not a package deal if they order photos and floor plan. But I won't go can figure your price structure for package deals.

    Finally, I'd be very, very careful how you present this information to your RE clients. Room dimension floor plans are what you offer and NOT SQUARE FOOTAGE!!!Man, I can't tell you how many times agents ask me this question!! First, I'm a photographer and not an architect! Next, at least here in New England, square footage is determined by the foundation exterior foot print. I don't do this nor am I qualified. Some agents say they like to add up my numbers for each room and then they get square footage! Frankly, I don't care what they do but you better make darn sure you CYA and have an iron-clad disclaimer on your final product. I carry insurance, but I don't want some loose canon chasing me down with a law suit because I presented something different than what was on a field card!

    In a nut shell, I really like doing floor plans. They take up my time, but my price schedule is set up to reflect my time. Plus, I am getting slightly more efficient in creating floor plans and therefore, increasing my hourly rate (I'm a one-person operator - I wear all the hats). I would do it all over again in a heart beat. Not too many photographers in my area offer floor plans and most agents don't know about HD offering this service. So. I've got my own niche. Plus, service, service, service. I'll give away a floor plan or two for a new client while at a photo shoot.....they may have heard about my photo chops and are trying me out for the first non-high-end listing, but when I throw in a floor plan for them at no charge, I've hooked the agent. So, this is a great strategic way to increase your client count base while also increasing your paycheck.

    My vote is to jump in at the deep end of the pool. Cheap money to get in. Market niche if no one else is doing it. I present everything (I market my product as interactive floor plans) on tourbuzz.

  5. your this blog post is really beneficial before making a full floor plan i appreciate your suggestions thanks and keep posting like that.

  6. Offering floorplans gives you an advantage over your competitors and can actually increase photography business. If you're already at the house, why not? All you need is a Leica Disto V2, graph pad, pencil and Sweethome 3D. All it takes is 15-30 minutes to measure and sketch. Then I simply scan it and my partner does the artwork in Sweethome 3D and Keyshot. Admittedly, it took quite a while to become so streamlined but I've now measured 1000's of homes and added lots of profit to my business by not doing very much at all.

    I think just about anyone can measure and sketch a house on a graph pad. The more of them you do, the faster you get. The problem is getting it to the next stage. To be honest there's no magic software solution. The cheap apps are rubbish and the expensive ones are really difficult to learn. If anyone would like help with this feel free to contact me. We are willing to take on a few photographers genuinely interested in offering quality 3D floorplans to their clients (hope this is OK Larry - edit if required).

    As for pricing, we charge our clients a flat rate up to 35 squares then a set $ per square on top of that. A 35 square home in our area is borderline medium/large. Multi-storey homes require a bit more work so we add an extra fee there. We try to keep the pricing as simple as possible. Photo/floorplan packages work very well.

  7. I offer floor plans to my clients, but farm most of the CAD-type work out to the folks at (floor plans for real estate). I use the Bosch laser measurer to get the dimensions on site, send them a very ugly, rough sketch on graph paper and in the morning I have a pretty floor plan image delivered to my inbox. Their fees seem fair and cost me a heck of a lot less than the time it took when I used to draft the plans myself. I've been using this company for awhile and we have tweaked the process a bit and now have a very smooth operation. Once I get their sketch back, I import it into a template I have in my page layout program (Pages/Mac) and put some custom touches on it. Here is a sample of the finished product I deliver to my clients: I also provide an unbranded version that is MLS compliant which I upload to MLS for them.

    This plan cost me 37 AUD (28 USD). I spent about an hour measuring the house onsite (it's big! 5,500 SF) and maybe another hour and a half sketching it, importing and customizing it into my template. 2.5 hours total on my end. I charged $250 for this floor plan (slight discount for a package deal), less the $28 I paid to, that's $222 for 2.5 hours of my time. Works for me as an add-on. Clients also seem to like having a "one stop shop" and not having to deal with multiple vendors.

    I price by square footage. Under 2,800 SF for $150, 2,800-3,800 SF for $200 and 3,800-5,000 SF for $250. Over 5,000 SF is +$50 for each additional 1,000 SF ( I am admittedly a little pricier than some of my competitors that just do floor plans. Floor plans aren't my main business and I definitely am not competing on price for this service. I offer them as a convenience to clients so they don't have to hire multiple vendors. Most are happy to pay a premium to just deal with one person. Others hire a separate floor plan person. That's fine too.

    I agree with Robert about being careful how you present these plans to your clients. I emphasize these are "for marketing purposes only, not drawn to scale and approximate measurements".

    If you want to start offering floor plans to your clients, but don't want to be bogged down with a ton of drafting work, definitely check out They work great for me!

  8. I think Justin Green might be on to something and getting in and out of a house. I am curious though...I still think total time from start to finish for a 3k house hovers around 3 hours. So, even if Justin is in and out of a house in 15-30 minutes - forging photo shoot time - I still think sit-down computer time is going to hover around the 2 hour mark. So, Justin's time is nearly the time it would take me to do a 3k square foot house. Justin, if I'm off here on my observation, then I'm going with your program.

    I have also contacted several architects and though they do things differently, I have been told by them that there is no magic wand or easy way to getting around the measuring in any quick fashion - it's simply old school measuring. I do agree with Justin - disto measure or even my bosch - one room wall to wall measure takes 3 minutes at best....probably 1 minute to even 30 seconds. It's the loading of doors, closets, bathrooms, and in my case adding features like toilets, tubshowers, some appliances, windows is time consuming. I've also done very raw sketches with my software and have been in and out of house for measuring in record time, but only to go back home and finish things off - another hour or two. I often have to refer to my photos for placement of windows, doors, closets, what type of doors (double swing, patio, French, one way swing, bi-fold, etc). Bottom line, it is a different animal, but very good in uping your client base and recruiting new clients.

    I would say this one last thing: Call Home Depot. Have them come to your house. Pay the fee to have them measure your house, condo or whatever. If you don't live in a SFH, then have a friend or relative who does live in a SFH open their doors and have HD come and measure the house. Obviously, you need to be there to bird-dog the HD people. Find out how long they take to measure a house. My money is that they will take about the same time I do. However, if there are two or three guys doing the measuring, then all bets are off. Everyone knows that more hands make quick work. Not to mention that the HD guys might be getting paid $10 to $15 an hour vs. my targeted hourly rate. HD prices might be cheaper, but so is the labor.

    I'm am curious about Justin's method....I'll do my own homework on his program.

    I still say jump into the deep end of the pool. Practice with your own apt. or someone's small house using magic plan (Sensopia). There are other features on MagicPlan that could speed things along, but I've tried them and they really don't. You tube magic plan and see for yourself. There is one other product out there that is junk - you use your smart phone. It is an app for $4.99. I just don't remember the name right now....avoid it. Worst case is you loose $4.99. No biggie.

  9. My vote would go to PlanUp for the following reasons:

    - quick, easy to use and rock-solid
    - you can sketch then create later on your PC
    - or, you can fully complete the plan at the home, using their iPad app
    - buying credits works out around £2 per plan and there is a free upgrade to 3D

    I would agree that floor-plans are becoming more popular with agents in my area. I have fielded a couple of calls from agencies specifically looking for a photo/floor-plan package. I created 155 plans last year, I have just hit 90 this year and we are in week 15.

  10. It's not a FULL floor-plan app, but a FREE* app that I use on my iPhone to get the ROOM measurements is "Subspace". It will even give a 3-D moveable rendering, which you may be able to somehow work into a floor-plan, depending on how elaborate you want to go. I use the simple measurements on room lists in my brochures. Will try to add the 3-D view as well on the one I'm doing now. Should be able to get screen capture & download it to PC.
    Easy - just touch to 1st wall, it'll beep, go touch each wall and end up where you started. Even gives ceiling height.....without having to touch the ceiling. Does odd-shaped rooms. Has door/window options, but I haven't tried that yet.
    As I mentioned, limited, but FREE and can be used to get started or maybe as a quick double-check or back-up. May even help Robert (response #3) with some of his work...???
    I've just started using it, so don't know all the pro's & con's, but for us "Dumm-Real-a-taters", it's a neat tool on something we already carry!
    (* to clarify - I think it's free, don't remember when I downloaded it
    several months ago but just started tinkering with it. If not free, then cheap - I'm one'a those tightwad Realtors)

  11. Hi Everyone, I use to do my floor plans. But like speaking with Larry I mostly just offer room measurements for MLS. Doesn't take a lot of time but the agents feel the $25 is worth it.

  12. At , we've been doing floor plans and photos along with our Interactive Floor Plan Tours since 2007 in the US. . Photos are one thing and the floor plan are another. Combine them together and you get a great spacial reference of the home and where the photos were taken. Add to that a comprehensive agent home marketing system with branded and unbranded tours, lead capture, printable and customizable brochures and mobile compatibility and that is a lot of value to agents and home browsers.

    If you are looking for someplace to showcase your photography and floor plans, give us a look. We have a Reseller Program where we can white label these tours for you and your agents.

    You also don't need to purchase any software and or go through the learning curve of sketching the floor plan on a tablet or computer. We can take a hand drawn sketch and make them look professional for you.

  13. As a former general contractor of 20years, I caution you on providing floor plans and room dimensions without very specific disclaimers. An incorrectly dimensioned drawing can cost you your business! Also, anticipate about 10-15 minutes per room or space that includes hallways, windows, door openings, light fixture locations, and electrical outlets and switches, garages, appliance closets, basements, etc. Also be careful with wall thickness as actual stud sizes vary. Many Bathrooms will have double walls or 2x6 studding to accommodate plumbing vents and piping. Exterior walls vary on thickness depending on the finishes on the inside and outside as well as stud size. Depending on the size of the house you can use 1/4"/1' or 1/8"/1' scaling that can fit on an 8-1/2" x 11" sheet if you think ahead and don't have an odd shaped house. They sell 1/4" ruled pads at Office Max and Office Depot or Staples. If you are very careful and use a ruler the blue lines do not copy on the standard copy machine or scanner. However, using a CAD program is much better. I started using AutoCad (AutoDesk) but switched over to TurboCad as it was cheaper at just over $100 and still gave me what I needed. It was used extensively for working detail drawings where you have to get down to the nitty gritty dimensions for the guys doing the building. These are true drafting programs. I also used SoftPlan for about 90% of the new construction and remodel design work I did. It is fast being click and drag a wall with predefined thickness that auto blends with adjoining walls, or select then click to drop a door or window in that can be fully adjustable and is easy to learn and does a beautiful job. But...Pricey at $2,500. While at your office supply check out some of the software there, only be careful with the really cheap stuff as it is crap and has limited capabilities even when it comes to doing just a simple floor plan. Stick to the $100-200 dollar range and read the specs carefully. Will the store take back the open box software. No...then buy some 1"or 1-1/4" round clear sticky labels and be very careful when opening the box and contents, just in case you decide to return the program as unopened. If its entirely shrink wrapped your screwed. Is this dishonest? Not if the program is crap, and how are you to know unless you try it? Ask the store if they have a demo or go on line and see if they have a Free 10-30 day trial download where you can test how the program and you get along before you buy and try to return the program to the store.
    Now that you have your hand drawn sketches you will need to transfer them to your CAD drawing. Figure anywhere from 30 minutes to 1-1/2 hours and possibly more, including dimensioning. Don't be surprised when things don't fit, as it means you screwed up with your measurements and may mean a costly return visit and maybe some embarrassment to figure out what happened and why. Are all windows placed along the wall correctly, are the doors and openings the right size and what about sinks, tubs and other fixtures? Are stairs dimensions and risers correct, be sure the number of steps is correct. How are you dimensioning and labeling rooms and other things. Does the software have drop in doors and windows of multiple sizes and styles and can they be adjusted? Will the dimensioning automatically adjust as you stretch a counter top or wall? For example, does the program come with an extensive library such as exterior solid french doors or interior french doors with multiple lites. How about plain old 3-0 entry doors with and without a side-lite? Horizontal sliding aluminum or wood sash windows? What about kitchen cabinets uppers and lowers, they can be tricky. Stoves, refrigerators, sink styles, bath fixtures, toilets, bidets, showers, tubs, jet tubs of different shapes and sizes, single or double sinks and can you stretch the counter tops and don't forget wall cabinets, mirrors and light fixtures. How are you going to show lighting fixtures, switches and wall outlets? In rooms are you going to specify ceiling heights? What about soffits, and pitched ceilings, dormers, beamed, cathedral and tray ceilings, etc? DISCLAIMERS! DISCLAIMERS!
    Now, let's see... Basic 12 rooms including closets, 1 hallway, and an overall exterior and garage, single story. That's 15 areas at 12 minutes each is 180minutes (if your are GOOD and FAST). CAD drawing, 1hour at minimum. Total time 4 hours if you have no problems or screw-ups. What is your hourly rate? Oh...when do you intend on doing your photo editing and processing??

    Now, Equipment you may want to consider:
    1) I used a "Leica" laser, it's a bit pricey but accurate to 1/8" in 50'. I tried the cheap ones but they are not reliable and three shots can give you three different readings.
    2) 25' wide blade metal retractable measuring Tape. Get the widest blade you can find so when extending 5-6' it stands firm and it won't go limp on you.
    3) 50' metal or cloth tape measure with crank handle. I prefer metal as they last longer. Most homes don't have any interior or exterior wall lengths greater than 50'
    4) Aluminum clip board with flip lid and storage compartment, are sold at office supply stores.
    5) Pads of 1/4" ruled paper and a 12" 3 sided "architects" drafting scaled ruler.
    6) Mechanical lead pencil, and lead refills.
    7) Pencil style stick with soft eraser. About 4" long with a pusher to extend or retract the eraser. 1 spare eraser insert you may have to buy a box if so just buy a second complete eraser. They are handy even around the office.
    8) Tool belt with one or two large pockets to carry your tools. Home Depot or Lowe's.
    9) 1-1/2" finishing nails and small hammer. When working alone a finish nail will hold the dummy end of your tape measure. A bit of tooth paste or puddy will hide the small hole nicely.You may have to drill a small hole at the end of the tape for the nail to pass thru.
    10) If you would like to just use your CAD software on-site then you will need a cheap laptop computer. Cheap because if you drop or knock it over you won't be out a lot of money...I've done it and it cost me nearly $100 for a new screen. Also use a Logitech ball mouse to avoid having to move the mouse around in a very small area.
    11) portable table to hold computer at a nice working height. I made one from 1x2 and a small white board. Make it so by removing two wing nutted bolts from the 1x2 frame below the white board it will collapse flat for carrying. The legs are X framed with threaded rod at the X from side to side for added stability. Position the X very slightly higher than midway so the feet are just slightly wider front to back than the table. This will make the table less tipsy. Horizontal 1x2's above and below the X front and rear will add lateral rigidity. Works great, and easy to move from room to room. How high? Stand straight, bend your arms as if typing on the computer and measure to the floor as a good starting point. Note that your white board may have a small chalk rail. Good to stop pencils or the computer from sliding off table if you design the table leg lengths so the table can have a nice working 15-30 degree adjustable slope to it like a drafting table. Also consider Velcro strips on the bottom of the computer to hold the computer in place. Nothing like bumping the table and having the computer slide off and crash to the floor. Stain and varnish all the wood prior to assembly makes a good looking table.
    12) 25' power cord or spare computer battery. You may even want to have a shop type clamp light in the car in case you work after dark in homes with no light bulbs or ceiling fixtures or you just want to light up an area.
    13) Small LED type flash light for dark closets and unlighted areas. Those that are about 6" long use AA batteries and where you twist the head to adjust the beam are nice.
    I highly recommend that you do a couple practice houses before you add this to your work offerings. Measure your own house and use a stop watch to accurately measure how long Each area takes you. Record the time for EACH area whether bathroom, closet, door, window or living room. Be accurate! Work at a normal to slightly conservative pace. Remember it doesn't matter to a tape measure if its 5' or 50' its how many pulls you have to make or simply how many areas or lengths you need to measure. Once you have 3-4 houses done you will start to have some average times for a simple bedroom, a closet, whether walk-in or bypass door type, windows, doors or a standard bathroom or a bathroom with many amenities etc. Create a time reference table by area or item type such as spas or swimming pools, lot size etc. Next, go into another house and count the areas you need to measure. Use your averages and your hourly rate to calculate a price. Now measure it. What was the total time and how accurate were you? Continue recording measuring times on all your sketched areas and after a few dozen houses you will have it down to a science and not cost yourself money with bogus time.
    After you have done a few trial homes, you may find it too much trouble, to much time, and too little money to get involved. After all, you are a Photographer, NOT a draftsman. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't touch the job I outlined above for less than $160 - $200. If you can't get a minimum of $40-$50/hour you are wasting your time and don't give me this lost leader BS that is promoting your business. If you do, try charging for it when doing it for the same realtor later. If you have done your calculations for the cost of doing business and the cost to show up you may find that this is even too low a price. You MUST charge enough to cover your costs and a minimum profit or you will go out of business because each photo job plus floor plan of this type is now costing your 4 more hours labor.

    Good luck, but I think you will find most realtors are going to be too cheap to pay you what you need. Also, make sure this work is covered in your insurance policy and include that in your pricing as part of your overhead along with all your tools and their replacement costs prorated over the number of jobs you intend to do over the coming year.

  14. Good points above RFranko and others!!

    We use a disclaimer on all our tours that reads " This floor plan illustration is an approximation of existing structures and features and is provided for convenience only with the permission of the seller. All measurements are approximate and not guaranteed to be exact or to scale. Buyer should confirm measurements using their own source "

    As far as drawing a floor plan for the purposes of marketing, it does not have to be exact but should be a fair representation of the home so people viewing it can understand how the home flows. It should be drawn to scale and as far as room dimensions, we recommend using feet only, not inches and rounding down to the nearest foot. Dimensions for small rooms and hallways are not needed.

    Piecing together a floor plan by measuring and drawing the inside of the home is a fairly difficult task because of hallways, closets , inside walls etc. Once you put all these rooms together, unless you really know what you are doing, the outside walls never line up. For this reason we recommend starting on the outside perimeter of the home and once you have the outside walls drawn, you then go inside and sketch the rooms within the perimeter sketch.

    As far as window locations, cabinets, door swings, appliances, permanent fixtures etc, we can and will pick them up from the sketch if they are provided but they are not necessary. Once again, this is not as exact as you what you are describing. Our purpose is to give people a simple floor plan so people can get the feel for the layout of the home and a general idea of the size of the rooms.

    In addition to taking hand drawn sketches (it does not get any simpler then that) and cleaning them up to make them look professional, we can also work with architectural plans eliminating things like mechanicals that are not needed for a marketing level plan.

    As you mentioned above, practice is key. The more you do the easier and less time consuming the floor plan part becomes. We have people who do this for a living and on average they can be in and out of a 2500 square foot home with pictures and floor plans in an hour to and hour and a half.

    Lastly, cost is an issue here so lets not overlook that. People who sketch the floor plans have a unique skill and need to be fairly compensated for their work so agents should expect to pay a fair and reasonable price, based on the size of the home. Some agents get that and others don't, or should I say refuse to 🙂

    Bottom line is providing this service costs money. Further, homeowners are getting more and more savvy and are expecting something in return for the commissions being paid. They want the best opportunity to sell their homes and are going to choose an agent who can convince them they are worth their x%. Most of the agents using our service, use it to differentiate themselves and give the homeowners a tangible value if they choose to do business with them. Often times its the difference between an agent getting a listing or not.

    When an agent complains about the price of the service, the conversation goes something like this:
    - Would you spend $300 to get a listing? ($300 being the price of our service)
    - Do you think a homeowner is going to see value if you offer them our service and will it help you get the listing?
    - Then go out on your next listing appointment and tell the seller this is what your going give them if they list with you.

    Thanks for listening to my rant. I'm truly enjoying this dialog but time for me to push away from my computer, get outside and enjoy this beautiful Spring Saturday.

    Happy floor planning everyone !!


  15. Hi All

    Floor plan tours are sky high in popularity for my area (DC).
    YES, do have a VERY clearly visible disclaimer, dislcosure, TOS etc.
    Even better to have them sign a copy of these the first time they use you.

    I can do all of the following in under 2 hours.

    1) Draw a 3,000 sq foot floor plan at the home in jpeg output.
    (you need a jpeg if you want to do any imagemapping)
    2) Take photos of every room (I am more of a run and gun operator). Not every listing is a Bentley and not every
    agent will pay for Bentley quality.
    3) Upload images and floor plans to tour creator
    4) Embed photos via imagemapping code
    5) Email the following to the client
    a) Branded tour and unbranded tour
    b) Download link to print quality photos
    c) Download link to floor plans (these can also be emailed to the client while still at the home if needed)
    d) Google analytics for the tour if agent has provided me with their account (still working on this but close to complete)
    6) Figure out the bill according to square footage while at the home
    7) Take payment before leaving the property. No payment, no tour.

    Charging by the square feet is very doable if you have the right software (apexwin). I recommend the v6 version which came
    out not too long ago.

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