Ready to take your real estate marketing toolbox to new “heights?”

Our recent articles showed you the power of webinars and client video testimonials. This week, we’re completing the video trifecta with drone photography.

For as little as $200 (the average cost of a drone photography starter package) you could potentially attract more clients, and according to MLS statistics, sell properties 68% faster.

Aerial shots from drone photography are more popular and more affordable than ever. Read the top 6 reasons high-volume agents are turning to drone photography and how to know when to turn the video off in favor of traditional static images.

Tip: Don’t miss some striking video examples at the end of this article!

The pros of using drones

• Attract more clients: Not only are drones’ sweeping aerial shots eye-catching, but 83% of sellers prefer to list with real estate agents who use drone photography.

• Sell properties faster: According to MLS statistics, listings that use aerial photography sell 68% faster than listings without drone footage.

Sell at a higher volume: A study by Soldbyair.com showed that high-volume agents use drones 3.5x more often than low-volume agents. Whether high volume agents simply have more cash flow to hire drone photographers, or whether the use of aerial footage itself leads to more sales, the message is clear: high volume sales and drone usage go hand-in-hand.

Appeal to luxury buyers: Eye-catching perspective photography of luxury homes or estates captures the scope and details that ground photos just can’t provide.

This photo by Dallas Air Photos shows the striking difference between an aerial view and a regular street-level shot of the same property. Image: blog.rismedia.com

Expand the reach of your client base: Long-distance home buyers are less available to “pop in” to the next open house. Providing footage of the property’s exterior and interior (with a drone-shot walkthrough) lets them linger in the cozy living room, marvel at the smart layout, and virtually “lounge” on the deck or poolside, giving them the sense that they’ve experienced what the home has to offer up close and in person.

Up your game: Using drones boosts your industry knowledge and your reputation as a tech-savvy pro who is willing to go the extra mile to take prospective clients on a meaningful journey.

Other ways drones are used in real estate

Apart from using exterior and interior drone video and photos to sell homes, there are some other smart uses of drones in real estate and related industries, like roof and home inspections, land surveys, property appraisals, erosion assessment, and documenting of natural disaster damage.

In an article in Working RE Magazine, appraiser Lamar Ellis offers this insight: “There are many advantages to using a drone for appraisal practice. The main one is the ability to access hard-to-reach places. Areas considered previously unobservable such as rooflines, air conditioning units, gutters, and more, can now be seen using the correct equipment.”

In his article on drones for appraisal use, he offered two examples where the use of aerial video altered the outcome of a property valuation.

In the first example, Ellis noted that all the homes on a residential street appeared to be in fair condition and were valued about the same. “The Tax Assessor, Google, and Bing Maps all showed the properties to be structurally sound. However, the drone spotted that one of the houses’ rear roof had collapsed. This had a major impact on the valuation of this home and warranted additional inspection.”

In another example, a tree limb was lying on the roof of an industrial warehouse. He was unable to get a good visual from the ground, but using a drone, he was able to inspect the roof and get a clear view of the limb. “Ironically, the tree limb was not a problem, but the roof had numerous areas of pooling water which could be harmful to the structure. This was a great example of how the drone was able to identify a problem before it developed into something much worse.”

Hire it out or DIY?

You’re probably thinking you’re going to hire out your drone photography needs — a smart and cost-effective strategy. Starting at around $200, you can obtain single shots or 1 to 5 minutes of aerial footage, depending on the vendor. In an article on real estate drone photography for FitSmallBusiness.com, Kiah Treece offers this advice: “When vetting an aerial photographer, make sure they either specialize in or have extensive experience with real estate marketing. A company that primarily shoots for insurance companies will probably not have the skills you need to show your listing in its best light.”

But if you like the idea of being more hands-on, you can purchase your own drone starting at around $900. If you’re flying drones for commercial purposes, you do need to become an FAA-certified pilot of remote/unmanned aircraft, but it’s relatively inexpensive ($150 for the certification) and requires passing an aeronautical knowledge test. If this option appeals to you, you might even consider running your own operation! Check out faa.gov for more info on what it takes to get certified.

Not every situation calls for a flying camera

Not all properties are drone-worthy. BestDroneForTheJob.com reminds us that there are certain times when a flying camera isn’t the best idea. For example:

• Shots designed to avoid an unpleasant feature or to help a room or yard appear larger than they are
• The interiors of smaller spaces, such as condos or apartments
• Homes shrouded by trees or other buildings
• Standard street-level shots that all buyers have come to expect in a listing

Options for interior video

If hiring a drone photographer or doing it yourself isn’t an option (or if your property doesn’t lend itself well to aerial/drone photography), you can still capture professional-looking interior and/or exterior video with these alternatives:

Glidecam or DJI Osmo — hand-held or body-mounted camera stabilizers designed to be used with most cameras. These and other camera stabilizers give you a professional look when you don’t have a lot of square footage to work with or if a drone isn’t your best option. Check out the Glidecam in action!

Matterport: The Matterport 3D camera is a formidable investment, but you can use it for any property, regardless of size. By placing the Matterport in strategic areas throughout the living space, you’ll create seamless eye-level walkthroughs and interactive 3D models. Link, embed, or publish it to Google Street View or MLS listings or share it via social media. Watch this video to see how Matterport scans and collects data to achieve its seamless look.

Ready to take your real estate marketing toolbox to new “heights?”

Our recent articles showed you the power of webinars and client video testimonials. This week, we’re completing the video trifecta with drone photography.

For as little as $200 (the average cost of a drone photography starter package) you could potentially attract more clients, and according to MLS statistics, sell properties 68% faster.

Aerial shots from drone photography are more popular and more affordable than ever. Read the top 6 reasons high-volume agents are turning to drone photography and how to know when to turn the video off in favor of traditional static images.

Tip: Don’t miss some striking video examples at the end of this article!

The pros of using drones

• Attract more clients: Not only are drones’ sweeping aerial shots eye-catching, but 83% of sellers prefer to list with real estate agents who use drone photography.

• Sell properties faster: According to MLS statistics, listings that use aerial photography sell 68% faster than listings without drone footage.

Sell at a higher volume: A study by Soldbyair.com showed that high-volume agents use drones 3.5x more often than low-volume agents. Whether high volume agents simply have more cash flow to hire drone photographers, or whether the use of aerial footage itself leads to more sales, the message is clear: high volume sales and drone usage go hand-in-hand.

Appeal to luxury buyers: Eye-catching perspective photography of luxury homes or estates captures the scope and details that ground photos just can’t provide.

This photo by Dallas Air Photos shows the striking difference between an aerial view and a regular street-level shot of the same property. Image: blog.rismedia.com

Expand the reach of your client base: Long-distance home buyers are less available to “pop in” to the next open house. Providing footage of the property’s exterior and interior (with a drone-shot walkthrough) lets them linger in the cozy living room, marvel at the smart layout, and virtually “lounge” on the deck or poolside, giving them the sense that they’ve experienced what the home has to offer up close and in person.

Up your game: Using drones boosts your industry knowledge and your reputation as a tech-savvy pro who is willing to go the extra mile to take prospective clients on a meaningful journey.

Other ways drones are used in real estate

Apart from using exterior and interior drone video and photos to sell homes, there are some other smart uses of drones in real estate and related industries, like roof and home inspections, land surveys, property appraisals, erosion assessment, and documenting of natural disaster damage.

In an article in Working RE Magazine, appraiser Lamar Ellis offers this insight: “There are many advantages to using a drone for appraisal practice. The main one is the ability to access hard-to-reach places. Areas considered previously unobservable such as rooflines, air conditioning units, gutters, and more, can now be seen using the correct equipment.”

In his article on drones for appraisal use, he offered two examples where the use of aerial video altered the outcome of a property valuation.

In the first example, Ellis noted that all the homes on a residential street appeared to be in fair condition and were valued about the same. “The Tax Assessor, Google, and Bing Maps all showed the properties to be structurally sound. However, the drone spotted that one of the houses’ rear roof had collapsed. This had a major impact on the valuation of this home and warranted additional inspection.”

In another example, a tree limb was lying on the roof of an industrial warehouse. He was unable to get a good visual from the ground, but using a drone, he was able to inspect the roof and get a clear view of the limb. “Ironically, the tree limb was not a problem, but the roof had numerous areas of pooling water which could be harmful to the structure. This was a great example of how the drone was able to identify a problem before it developed into something much worse.”

Hire it out or DIY?

You’re probably thinking you’re going to hire out your drone photography needs — a smart and cost-effective strategy. Starting at around $200, you can obtain single shots or 1 to 5 minutes of aerial footage, depending on the vendor. In an article on real estate drone photography for FitSmallBusiness.com, Kiah Treece offers this advice: “When vetting an aerial photographer, make sure they either specialize in or have extensive experience with real estate marketing. A company that primarily shoots for insurance companies will probably not have the skills you need to show your listing in its best light.”

But if you like the idea of being more hands-on, you can purchase your own drone starting at around $900. If you’re flying drones for commercial purposes, you do need to become an FAA-certified pilot of remote/unmanned aircraft, but it’s relatively inexpensive ($150 for the certification) and requires passing an aeronautical knowledge test. If this option appeals to you, you might even consider running your own operation! Check out faa.gov for more info on what it takes to get certified.

Not every situation calls for a flying camera

Not all properties are drone-worthy. BestDroneForTheJob.com reminds us that there are certain times when a flying camera isn’t the best idea. For example:

• Shots designed to avoid an unpleasant feature or to help a room or yard appear larger than they are
• The interiors of smaller spaces, such as condos or apartments
• Homes shrouded by trees or other buildings
• Standard street-level shots that all buyers have come to expect in a listing

Options for interior video

If hiring a drone photographer or doing it yourself isn’t an option (or if your property doesn’t lend itself well to aerial/drone photography), you can still capture professional-looking interior and/or exterior video with these alternatives:

Glidecam or DJI Osmo — hand-held or body-mounted camera stabilizers designed to be used with most cameras. These and other camera stabilizers give you a professional look when you don’t have a lot of square footage to work with or if a drone isn’t your best option. Check out the Glidecam in action!

Matterport: The Matterport 3D camera is a formidable investment, but you can use it for any property, regardless of size. By placing the Matterport in strategic areas throughout the living space, you’ll create seamless eye-level walkthroughs and interactive 3D models. Link, embed, or publish it to Google Street View or MLS listings or share it via social media. Watch this video to see how Matterport scans and collects data to achieve its seamless look.

Video Examples of Drone Footage in Real Estate

Example #1:  When still or ground-based photography doesn’t do the acreage justice. It would be nearly impossible to capture the expanse of this home’s gorgeous backyard and waterfront view with still photos alone. This aerial video features sweeping exterior shots of the property and surrounding areas in Charlestown, Maryland. Shot by SoldbyAir.

Example #2: If your luxury property deserves more than a walkthrough video. This video features an exciting mix of dynamic exterior and interior shots taken from a drone “quadcopter” and the DJI Osmo hand-held stabilizer. Look for the switch to interior footage at around 01:30. Shot by Aerial Agents of Northeast Ohio.

Example #3: The top 5 aerial shots for real estate (for the DIYers). Pilot Brad Simon shares the 5 must-have shots for your teaser real estate drone video, plus a bonus tip for getting the best shots. Even if you’re not doing it yourself, this video shows you what to look for in your hired drone pilot’s footage.

Video Examples of Drone Footage in Real Estate

Example #1: When still or ground-based photography doesn’t do the acreage justice. It would be nearly impossible to capture the expanse of this home’s gorgeous backyard and waterfront view with still photos alone. This aerial video features sweeping exterior shots of the property and surrounding areas in Charlestown, Maryland. Shot by SoldbyAir.

Example #2: If your luxury property deserves more than a walkthrough video. This video features an exciting mix of dynamic exterior and interior shots taken from a drone “quadcopter” and the DJI Osmo hand-held stabilizer. Look for the switch to interior footage at around 01:30. Shot by Aerial Agents of Northeast Ohio.

Example #3: The top 5 aerial shots for real estate (for the DIYers). Pilot Brad Simon shares the 5 must-have shots for your teaser real estate drone video, plus a bonus tip for getting the best shots. Even if you’re not doing it yourself, this video shows you what to look for in your hired drone pilot’s footage.

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