Nowadays it has become more common for buyers to search for properties online, it can be difficult to stand out or make a good first impression with a professional real estate photo. But thanks to advances in imaging technology, real estate photographers can now capture homes from a unique perspective.
In this article, we will discuss how real estate photography with drones has shaped and benefited real estate marketing, and recommend some of the best drones for real estate photography today.
Popularity of Photo Drones in Real Estate
Before the birth of the drones, aerial images were captured using expensive methods. You had to rent a helicopter to fly and use expensive photographic equipment to get good shots. Only high-end properties were marketed using aerial real estate images.
But now that drones have become portable, affordable and customizable, it has become a fashionable tool in real estate marketing. Today, it is possible for anyone to get fantastic bird’s eye views of their property, that is, after the drone has been registered and the drone operator has acquired permission for professional use of small drone systems.
Today drones and the Internet are considered two of the most technologically important innovations to enter real estate marketing. Real estate photography of drones has not only made the listings stand out from the rest, but also helps secure sales.
Benefits of Photo Drones in Real Estate
There are several ways that real estate photography with drones is benefiting real estate agents and buyers around the world:
Eye-catching, real-world images
Perhaps the best reason why someone would want to see aerial photos is that it generates interest among its viewers. Drones make it very easy to create dramatic shots using built-in features like automatic point of interest camera orientation, which makes professional real estate photos more attractive to buyers.
Property features are better appreciated
With the drones, you can easily take pictures of backyards, walking trails, pools, the landscape and other features of the property that are important to many buyers and usually require several photos to cover.
Although real estate photography is becoming more popular, there are still many listings that settle for terrestrial images. Adding great looking drone shots to your set will make yours more informative, which will help your listing stand out from the competition.
Attract more customers
When you show the real estate market that you can produce fantastic aerial images and effectively represent a property, there’s a good chance you’ll end up impressing more homeowners and real estate agents using drones because they may end up connecting with you for more business opportunities.
Gone are the days where real estate brokers used to load up high-end homes and take aerial pictures of helicopters and extremely long zoom lenses for the chance. Now, even regular owners can afford drone shots to help sell their properties, and at an affordable price.
Real Estate Drone jobs
One of the most common real estate drone video and photography work scenarios is when a real estate agent hires an independent drone pilot to take aerial photographs and/or videos of a property. These aerial shots can help make a property more attractive to potential buyers, especially if it is a larger house or land.
Real estate drone photography creates compelling images. But be sure to take lots of pictures at different angles to get the perfect shot.
Prospective tenants and buyers look for attractive locations near homes. For example, nearby parks or cafes add to the appeal of a property. If there is a swimming pool or a beautiful garden, take lots of angled photos so that you can get a clearer picture of the property and its features.
In addition to aerial photography and video, work on drone photos real estate can include capturing enough visual data to create a 3D or ortho-mosaic map of a property. Potential buyers can use these maps to familiarize themselves with them as they consider making a purchase.
These are some of the most common types of properties that drone pilots are hired to photograph: residential real estate (homes, developments, and communities); commercial real estate (malls, shopping malls, shopping complexes, golf courses, hotels, and hotel facilities); and large tracts of land (large properties, golf courses, ranches, and farms).
The Best Drones for Real Estate Photography
When it comes to real estate photos with drones, there are several good choices of prosumer drones, most from around $500 to around $2,000.
Before you dive into our list of drones for real estate drone video and photography, here are some things to consider when buying a camera drone for use in real estate work:
Camera quality: you will want a professional quality camera with high enough quality to allow you to take professional photos.
Battery life: for an average residential shoot, you may need about an hour of flying time, and for a commercial shoot you will need even more, so be sure to take this into consideration when choosing your drone. The last thing you want is to run out of batteries in the middle of a job.
Flight modes: some drones come with special pre-programmed flight modes, such as DJI’s intelligent flight modes, which allow you to get special shots automatically. Whether you are a new or experienced professional, these modes can be useful for capturing dynamic shots for your real estate clients.
Payload options: as you become more experienced, you may want to connect a different camera to your drone, which means you need to think about whether your drone allows custom payloads.
Now that we’ve covered the things you should look for in your drone, let’s dive into our list of recommended camera drones for real estate drone photography.
Recommended Drones for Real Estate Photography
If you are looking for a drone that can take excellent photos and videos for real estate listings, consider these popular flight platforms used by many of today’s drone photographers.
DJI Phantom 4 Pro + V2.0
Following the significant success of the Phantom 4 Pro, the 4 Pro + V2.0 has become a new favorite among real estate drone photographers. It has the same internal mechanism and sleek construction, but is now 60% quieter and uses OcuSync technology to deliver high-resolution, low-latency video. It was one of the best drones for real estate 2019.
Users of the Phantom 4 Pro + V2.0 can also enjoy the same 4K/60fps camera, 24mm aerial lens with a sophisticated lens assembly that eliminates optical and spherical aberrations, a quick mechanical shutter that can shoot up to 1/2000s, and FlightAutonomy DJI system for easier flying.
Best of all, its forward, reverse and downward viewing systems offer up to five directions of obstacle detection so you can shoot conveniently indoors and outdoors.
- 8.8 mm / 24 mm wide angle lens (35 mm equivalent) f / 2.8
- 20MP (3: 2) still pictures / 4K videos
- Up to 30 minutes of flight time
- Maximum speed of 45 mph (sport mode)
- 5-way obstacle detection
DJI Mavic Pro
In aerial real estate photography, we recommend that you use different types of drones, that is, one that can take high quality images outdoors and a much smaller and lighter one for indoor shots. The Mavic Pro can be both, thanks to its small size and its excellent camera.
As one of the most popular DJI drones, it has many of the brand’s key features, including SkyAutonomy technology, which allows the drone to detect obstacles up to 49 feet away and avoid or brake on them to avoid collisions. In fact, it’s one of the best real estate drones for those who can settle for UHD 4K (3840 × 2160) video at 30 fps and a slightly narrower field of view at 28 mm, which still works for indoor shots.
- 28 mm wide angle lens (equivalent to 35 mm) f / 2.2
- 12MP still images / 4K UHD movies at 30 fps
- Up to 27 minutes of flight time
- Maximum speed of 40 mph (sport mode)
- SkyAutonomy obstacle detection technology
Yuneec Typhoon H
The Yuneec Typhoon H is one of the main competitors of the Phantom 4 Pro and is compared to the Mavic Pro. It has six blades and is quite large. It is also foldable for easy travel and storage. Although its obstacle detection system is similar to that of the Phantom 4 Pro, the additional blades ensure more stable flights.
Another thing you love about the Typhoon H is its camera, which can record 4K video at 30 fps, has a wider field of view (115 degrees) and can rotate 360 degrees. The drone can also be controlled by a second controller, so one operator can concentrate on flying the drone while the other can direct the camera shots.
- 12MP stills / 4K UHD videos at 30 fps
- 14 mm wide angle lens (equivalent to 35 mm) f / 2.8
- Up to 22 minutes of flight time
- Maximum speed of 43.5 mph (Follow Me mode)
- RealSense® obstacle detection technology
DJI Inspire 2 with Zenmuse X5S
If you want a flying movie camera, the Inspire 2 is for you. This DJI drone package from Adorama includes the Zenmuse X5S camera, which allows the use of a variety of lenses to provide film-quality drone services and the production of high-resolution 5.2K videos.
Like the Typhoon H, the Inspire 2 can be controlled by a second driver, with clear, consistent and distortion-free views on both drivers. It also has detection sensors on all sides, making collisions highly unlikely.
In terms of meeting the demands of real estate marketing, you can do it only with the Phantom 4 Pro + V2.0 if you stick to drone photography, but the Inspire 2 is worth the investment if you intend to record top quality aerial videos.
- 20MP stills / 5.2K videos
- Zenmuse X5S 3-Axis Stabilized Cardan
- Up to 27 minutes of flight time (with Zenmuse X4S)
- Maximum flight speed of 67 mph
- FlightAutonomy with obstacle avoidance
Real Estate Drone Photography Pricing
The answer is, it depends. Some drone pilots earn $25 per hour, while others may charge $200 or even more per hour.
Like any professional skill, the amount you can pay doing real estate photography with drones depends on your level of experience and the depth of your body of work. The amount will also be linked to where you live. Here are some things to keep in mind when being priced for real estate photography drone work.
How Much Do Realtors Pay for Drone Footage Per Year?
When considering prices, it is important to consider the money you are willing to pay for the service. After establishing your minimum annual cost and your ideal annual salary, add those numbers up. Then divide that amount by the total number of hours you can bill in a given year. The resulting number is how much you will have to spend per hour of service to get what you want to earn per year and cover your expenses. At the end of the day, whoever sells the house best, will convince the buyer and will get the commission. So it’s an inversion willing to be taken.
Real Estate Drone Photography License
You don’t want to be known as the realtor fined for drones, so make sure you get a real estate drone license to take real estate photos with drones.
If you are doing any type of work with a drone, such as photographing real estate drones, federal law requires the FAA to certify you as a commercial drone pilot.
Regardless of the drone or service you choose, a good real estate marketing strategy will make you stand out even more as a real estate agent. With the help of the real estate software Aidy, you can put together a plan that includes the photographs you have taken, along with an impressive description, and send automated emails to your leads to get their attention.