Now that more and more real estate agents have access to aerial photos and videos through drones, homebuyers and sellers are changing the way they expect to interact with real estate listings.Think matterport and virtual walkthroughs. Still images are not enough to capture your audience now. With this major leap forward in technology comes a change in the way people are marketing and selling products and services in all types of industries, but one of the most prominent is real estate.
According to MLS statistics, homes with aerial images sold 68 percent faster than homes with standard images. Video tours that incorporate drone footage are also a great way to make your property stand out and to attract new listings. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), 73 percent of homeowners say that they are more likely to list with a real estate agent who uses video to market their home; however, only 9 percent of agents create listing videos. An Australian real estate group reported seeing a 403 percent increase in traffic for listings that included video as compared to listings without.
Are Drones Really Worth It?
If you are thinking, “Is it really worth it for me to pay someone to take aerial photos and video of my listing?” Let’s look at some numbers.
Let’s keep things simple and assume the price of the average home you sell is $350,000 (the approximate average as of October 2016), the total commission is 6 percent, your brokerage gets 3 percent, and you end up with 1.5 percent (half of the 3 percent). That’s $5,250 for you per transaction. Let’s also assume you close 11 transactions per year (NAR average for 2015). That’s an annual salary of $57,750.
Now let’s say you begin to incorporate aerial photos and videos into your marketing plan for your listings. If we go off of the statistic that homes sell 68 percent faster when using aerial imagery and that 73 percent of homeowners prefer to list with an agent who uses video, we can be conservative and say that you could attract 50 percent more listings and close 50 percent more deals—pushing the 11 transactions to approximately 17, which would result in an annual income of $89,250 in our scenario, an increase of $31,500.
The average cost of hiring a drone pilot to shoot and edit varies by the size of the property and the area you are in, but the average is about $500. If you use a drone pilot for each of the 17 listings, it will cost you approximately $8,500. That is a net increase of $23,000 per year ($31,500 minus $8,500) from deciding to incorporate drones, a return on investment of 270 percent.
Are you ready to book your flight and capture the impossible?