How To Make Money From Your Home: On Location

09/11/2010 16:52 | Updated 22 May 2015

Calling all homeowners looking to generate extra income. If you could do with a cash injection but don't particularly relish the thought of having to rent out your spare room, we could have the answer. Magazines, tv and film production companies are always on the lookout for houses to use as locations for film and photo shoots, so why couldn't it be yours?

locations 1st option photo shoots A fashion shoot at a 1st Option location in West London. Pic: Courtesy of 1st Option

We asked Annabel Francois, head of photographic locations at 1st Option how it all works:

Does your home have to be perfect to stand a chance of being chosen as a location?

It depends on the agency. At 1st Option we specialise in lifestyle locations, which means that our clients are looking for large, either period or modern, properties with spacious rooms. Space is key. For us, the finishing of a house is also extremely important, as is a consistent style within the house. Empty houses are in high demand – often, say for a decorating shoot, all our client is really looking for is the shell of a house, which they can then paint and dress as required.

Do clients only want houses in London?

We tend to operate within the M25, but recently have been getting requests from clients for locations in Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol, so if any of your readers have properties in those cities...

Do homeowners have to pay anything upfront to be taken on by an agency?

We have a one-off registration fee of £175, which is deducted from the fee the homeowner receives from their first booking. At 1st Option, because we deal with high-end properties, we need to invest in amazing photographs to show the properties off to their best potential, so we use award-winning photographer Marcus Peel to do this. There is a charge for the photography, but even with this and the registration fee, the home-owner will still be in profit after only one job.

Before taking on a property, we always ask that the owner sends in a few photographs and we'll then be very honest with them about its potential. We would never take on a property that we didn't believe could make money for its owner.

How much can a homeowner expect to make from a shoot?

Our rates start at £400 a day for a magazine shoot – that would be for the use of a house between 9am and 6 pm. Depending on the location, editorial shoots can earn up to £600 a day. For advertising shoots the rate is usually £800 - £1,000 a day and for filming it would be around £1,500 - £2,000. As well as the money, we find the whole process is often really fun for the owner too, as they tend to have a real interest in design and are inspired and excited by the different looks created in their home for a shoot.

If you think your home might have what it takes, want to check out the competition or just want to be inspired by some truly stunning homes, visit 1st Option.


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