Limit the use of drone videos to specific properties that will benefit from this type of footage (like elaborate properties or large lots), use drones to highlight a property’s amenities, and help clients envision the property.
To help get you started, here are the top real estate drone photography tips from the pros:
1. Choose the Best Properties for Drone Photography
Courtney Poulos, Broker/Owner, Acme Real Estate
Courtney Poulos – real estate drone photographyDrone footage works best whenever there are really beautiful exteriors—when homes have pools, circular driveways, or the house is located in a recognizable neighborhood, for example. In Los Angeles, for instance, if we had a listing up Beachwood Canyon, we would fly the drone over the iconic Hollywood sign to get to the house.
With the use of drone videos, there really should be a “hero” shot as well as a great closing and/or landing shot in a way that makes the interior footage work with the exterior shots. For interiors, we use standard photography instead of the immersive drone interior shots because hyper-realistic photography may deter people from coming to a property.
2. Take Advantage of the Novelty Factor
Brian Dougherty, Co-Owner, Robert Paul Properties
Robert Paul Properties – real estate drone photographyRecently, a cash buyer from overseas purchased one of my properties sight unseen after watching a video shot partially with drones. Drone video footage adds an exciting dimension and a unique perspective that standard marketing photos can’t convey. Drone photos and videos also help us secure listings, and prospective sellers realize that we are offering a tool and resource that not all of our competitors do.
Here’s a sample of the real estate drone videos that Robert Paul Properties uses to market their listings:
3. Highlight Local Amenities
Lisa Godwin, Agent, Gibson Sotheby’s International Realty
Lisa Godwin, Sotheby’sLocation has long been a pillar of selling a home. The drone photography I used for my listing at 164 Newton Street in Brookline’s picturesque Chestnut Hill neighborhood raised the eyes of prospective buyers to the sky and helped them visualize their lives in a peaceful suburban community with close proximity to the city. The film captured stunning bird’s-eye views of nearby schools and The Country Club, a well-known golf destination and the oldest country club in the United States, as well as Boston’s shimmering skyline in the distance.
4. Use Drone Video as a Prospecting Tool
Chris Linsell, Writer, The Close
Chris Linsell – real estate drone photographyMost people only see real estate drone photography as a way to market their listings, but you can use drone real estate video to gain new listings.
In addition to coming to a listing appointment with an informative comparative market analysis, coming armed with fantastic drone footage of the neighborhood and surrounding area, as well as a plan to share with the perspective seller on how you are going to use it, makes you look like you are not just ready to list, but ready to sell.
5. Highlight Impressive Home Features Using Angled Shots
Brandon Hindle, Sales Representative, RE/MAX Chay BWG Realty, Brokerage
Brandon Hindle – real estate drone photographyI find drone footage is best used for big community shots to show the neighborhood and features of the property, like a large yard, pool, and so on. They can also take some pretty cool angle shots like straight down from above and wide angle shots of the part of town your property is in. The drone video clips also work well for intros and add-ons to property videos.
However, I would offer one warning: In all of my research as well as my own tests with Facebook ads, drone photos don’t perform as well as a standard shot in front of the house. In some instances it works, but nothing quite beats the walkway and front of house/front door shot.
6. Show Off Waterfront Views
Evan Roberts, Agent/Founder, Dependable Homebuyers
Evan Roberts – real estate drone photography
Drone photography is particularly well suited for waterfront homes. While traditional photography can show specific views from the home, it doesn’t accurately show how the home is situated in relation to the water. Not only is drone photography eye-catching, it serves the practical purpose of showing the buyer how the home is positioned to take advantage of the views.
7. Hire an Operator with Real Estate Experience
Russ Moroz, First Vice President, Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services
Russ Moroz – real estate drone photographyWork with someone who understands real estate and what we’re trying to accentuate and emphasize with every property. Too many agents (residential and commercial) hire random individuals who have a drone, but don’t understand how to take real estate photos emphasizing the unique strengths of the property. For example, an inexperienced drone photographer may not notice power lines that are visible directly behind the property, whereas an experienced real estate drone photographer will make sure that the angle at which the photo is taken will avoid these types of photos.
8. Give a Tour of Unique & Wooded Properties
Diana Bourgeois, Real Estate Writer, Fit Small Business
Diana Bourgeois – real estate drone photographyMany home buyers struggle with visualizing space during open houses and showings. Most listing images do little to help because of the large size or unique features of the property. For example, if you have a listing with a huge, three-acre backyard, but 75% of it is obscured by trees, the photo on your listing will make the yard look tiny. However, with a drone shot, you can capture the entire yard in one picture to show them just how big a space it really is.
Plus, while real estate drone photography is great for marketing houses, the real benefit is in land sales. Instead of a blurry Google map or illustration, you can show clients what the property looks like today and highlight areas not easily accessible. For an example of how well drones can show off large or unusually shaped properties, check out the video below by Open Homes Photography.
9. Help Clients Envision Their Investment
Nick Pennebaker, Digital Marketing Manager, Northstar Commercial Partners
Nick Pennebaker – real estate drone photographyA lot of times when investors look to invest in a project, they don’t really see where their money is going. It’s a bit hidden, whereas we want to be as transparent as possible. Because of that, we’ve started using both construction cameras on site as well as giving investors drone footage to view. Many times it will show the progress we’ve made on current projects. We think it’s incredibly important to show investors where their money is going, as well as what progress has been made. Here’s a link to one of our projects featuring drone information (that also has our CEO speak a bit):
Originally published by By Kiah Treece on February 28, 2019 for Fits Small Business. Reshared on Agent Aerials.