Real estate drone photography

Real Estate Drone Photography – Guide for Real Estate Photographers

1 – Real Estate Photography – What Exactly is this?

Hey fellow readers! Here’s a note for caution: do not confuse real estate drone photography with the everyday photography that children would take a fancy to. Not everyone can do it! It, as a matter of fact, is one of the most complex tasks in the competitive world of business out there. It has become a way to market and sell lifestyle propositions to your prospective customers.

Real estate agents need to create a direct connection with potential buyers in this modern day and age where each and every passing second can bring upheavals so drastic that even empires would not be able to withstand them. So, when it comes to real estate photography, you are virtually making an attempt to convert a building made of brick and mortar into someone’s home. A home is a place where your memories reside and this is exactly the sort of power that real estate imagery holds.

You will come across hundreds of thousands of locations, buildings and venues listed for sale or rental on a daily basis. Hence, it is crucial that the images present an outlook of a place where people could dream of having a home or office of their own.

The quality of this sort of photography captured with the help of a drone is next to none. Your viewers and potential buyers would feel as if they are actually there in that place when viewing photographs and videos captured with a drone.

2 – Aerial Photography and Videography using Drones

Ever since the introduction of camera drones, the real estate industry has seen an incredible change in the way its business is being conducted. There are experts who are of the opinion that drones are the most disrupting invention that has brought a revolution in real estate marketing since the invention of internet.

One can think of the rapid changes that have been introduced in drones which gives them the ability to capture omnidirectional video footage of a place and gives you an impression as if you are virtually present there.

3 – Advantages of Using Drones for Real Estate Marketing

These days, the real estate agents are of the opinion that drones play a significant role for marketing and advertisement purposes; far more than common cameras. Some of the main uses of drones equipped with high quality cameras are mentioned below:

1 – Persuasive Images

Since most of the modern day drones are equipped with the autonomous flight features, one can capture stunning video footages using the Ready to Takeoff models. These drones include an integrated Global Positioning System (GPS) that lets them lock onto the satellites and capture photographs and videos midflight.

2 – Virtual Tours Revolutionized

A drone equipped with a camera can cross a house’s threshold and make its way portraying every nook and corner of the building through video footages. This way, real estate agents can create engaging virtual tours for their potential customers and hence increase their conversion rates.

3 – Underscore More Property Characteristics

When it comes to selling properties, features such as front yards, backyards, surroundings, location, sidewalks, swimming pools etc. are of great importance to both the sellers and purchasers. Similarly, the neighborhoods around buildings listed for sale are of utmost significance. Hence, video footages and photographs captured with the help of drones can certainly highlight more property features than ever imagined before.

4 – Gives Your Business the Cutting Edge

When you place videos and photographs captured using camera drones in property listings, the prospective buyers get a detailed view of each and every aspect of the house. This enhances the probability of the property being sold and hence tends to boost your real estate business; thereby paving way for more and more customers.

5 – Save Some Bucks

Just compare a video footage captured with the help of a camera drone and that recorded from atop a helicopter. The equipment and paraphernalia required to shoot videos and capture images from a helicopter is certainly going to be extremely expensive. On the other hand, you can always save some money up your sleeves using low cost camera drones to record videos and take photographs of real estate properties. Don’t forget to read our recent article on 20 Ways to Make Money with Camera Drones.

4 – Photography and Various Sectors of Real Estate Business

From marketing luxury homes to buildings located in commercial areas, technology has brought about an unfathomable revolution in every sector of the real estate business.

Commercial Real Estate

Camera drones have a significance of their in marketing commercial real estate properties. Professional grade photographers are using drones equipped with cameras to capture video footages and images highlighting different property features.

Here’s a fun fact: out of the 1,000 exemptions that were granted by FAA to commercial drone operators, more than 350 exemptions were levied on real estate marketing.

With the help of a top quality camera, you can capture scintillating images and videos that in addition to adding more spice to your property listings, will also go a long way in promoting your business.

Luxury Home Marketing

The success of internet can be gauged from the fact that even people with traditional thinking are looking to purchase a property without having to go through excruciating details. Those who are looking to buy expensive million dollar homes and properties are scouring the internet to get a view of them online. As a matter of fact, they are always expecting to be entertained with top quality video footages and photographs highlighting different features of the property for sale or else they do not even care to give it a view.

The high cost bungalows, penthouse apartments, detached and semi-detached houses for sale are posted online along with attractive videos. Most of the videos and images highlighting different features of the properties are being shot generally by real estate agents using drones equipped with cameras.

The aerial photography and videography have seen an unprecedented elevation owing to camera drones and the real estate industry has benefited immensely in turn.

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5 – Handy tips on using a drone for real estate advertisement

It is always judicious to learn from the experiences of others who have used drones to capture videos and images portraying the various features of properties for sale. Even if you are looking to do this yourself or hire the services of some third party videographers, it is important that you know what you are dealing with. These tips will certainly help you out when you set out to shoot your first drone video for real estate marketing.

1 – Outsource to a local drone professional

You will come across numerous reasons that will hamper you from shooting a video footage with a drone yourself. You will need to indulge yourself in hours and hours of strenuous practice sessions to learn how to fly a drone and then start capturing flawless videos with it.

If you want to fly a drone for real estate marketing, you will need to get the approval of FAA (sec. 333 exemption) and pilot’s license (COA).

You may Do it Yourself nevertheless. You can learn how to fly a drone and capture images and videos with it by talking, discussing and seeking advice from an experienced dronie.

Hence, if you are really serious about buying a camera drone and using it for real estate marketing, your business is likely to click. So, better get ready and go for it!

2 – Be realistic

Aerial video footages and photographs tend to be more expensive than the work produced by normal land-based photographers. Moreover, capturing aerial footages and images is far more time consuming than the photographs or videos recorded from the ground. You will have to reserve far more time for your photography and videos when using drone for the first time.

3 – Capture long, stable shots

Your video footage should be long enough to let you cut it short during the editing phase. For a one-minute fly around, it is always prudent to shoot 90-seconds long video footages consecutively.

4 – Go for a 3-axis gimbal

It is always advisable to opt for a 3-axis gimbal of high quality which is integrated on a drone’s camera in a mount that is balanced with the help of a gyroscope. It ensures that the camera remains stable even when the drone is in the midst of a flight. With the help of electrical motors, the camera’s orientation is also adjusted during flight.

The 3-axis gimbal dampens up all the unnecessary vibrations and paves the way for stable and seamless shots of high quality. This is exactly how the most sensational videos you see online are captured with the help of camera drones.

5 – Glidecam/Steadicam video footage can create a superb video

A glidecam or steadicam is the handheld variation of the 3-axis gimbal that is used by the modern day drones to capture super-steady video footages and photographs from the air.

The DSLR or HD camera is mounted onto the glidecam or steadicam and is managed by the photographer to control the orientation of the shot. The camera moves without any hindrance in the mount and remains insulated from any undue vibrations or jerks.

The glidecams and steadicams are used in real estate advertisement to cover addictive, flawless and ground-based video tours, particularly when shooting walk-ins, walk-throughs and walk-outs.

6 – Important video footage should be captured multiple times

Lighting, weather and oscillation conditions can always be chosen randomly for capturing images and videos from a drone during each flight.

Remember that these variations cannot be caught on the camera screen when viewing the live video feed on the radio controller’s LCD screen. It is always prudent to capture important videos multiple times for safety purposes.

7 – Fly your drone in the direction of wind

Most of the drones that are used for drone photography and videography are quadcopters. Quadcopters are hampered in the flight when the wind conditions are gusty and of the order of 20 to 25 knots. Strong winds are likely to disrupt the video quality since the wind will produce jerks and undesired vibrations. So, it is always better to fly your drone on a day when the weather conditions are favorable.

8 – Safety First

Dronies should be careful when flying drones around people, foliage and cables. You are suggested to go through a professional drone training before you embark on your journey to capturing videos and images for real estate marketing. You should go for a local Drone Safety course to ensure the safety of your device and people in the surroundings.

6 – Popular drones used for real estate photography and videography

There are a number of drones available on the market featuring either add-on cameras or integrated ones such as Canon. But if you plan to purchase one to capture aerial videos and images for your real estate marketing business, then you should consider the following models:

DJI Phantom FC-40

  • One of the lowest priced drones produced by DJI
  • Integrated camera
  • Video recording at 720p
  • Compatible with Android and iOS powered machines

Blade 350 QX2 AP

  • Inbuilt safety mechanisms
  • Steady flight
  • Integrated camera
  • Superb camera and high quality performance

Parrot AR Drone 2

  • Low priced
  • A couple of integrated cameras
  • Compatible with Android and iOS
  • Director’s mode allows for steadier flight
  • Pre and post video production features

Hubsan H107D FPV X4 Mini

  • Compact sized
  • Flight affected by gusty conditions
  • Supports indoor flight
  • Short flight duration

DJI Phantom 2 Vision+

  • 3-axis stabilization gimbal
  • HD video footages
  • Flight duration of 25 minutes
  • Does not offer attractive warranty policies

DJI Phantom 3 Pro

  • Offers exceptionally stable flight
  • Images are captured in 4K Ultra High Definition (UHD)
  • Videos are recorded in 1080p resolution
  • Realistically priced and ideal drone for real estate photography

7 – Real estate drone images and videos

Here are the videos and images of different properties captured with the help of a drone camera just to give you a feel how they look like.

8 – Rules and regulations for safety

A drone heavier in weight that 0.5 pounds needs to be registered with the FAA. The registration process is a simple one which can be carried out on the FAA website for just $5 for as many drones as possible. If you fail to get your drone registered with authority, you will be liable to a fine of $25000 per aircraft.

FAA Flight Limitations

The FAA has come up with a number of rules and regulations to ensure the safety of drone professionals along with those in their surroundings.

  • Limitation on air-spaces: you are not allowed to fly any drone within five mile radius of an airport terminal
  • Flight altitude: you cannot fly a commercial drone at a height more than 400 feet
  • Line of sight rule: dronies are to maintain eye contact with their device during flight at all times

Drone Pilot License

If you are someone who owns a drone and want to use it for some commercial purpose, then you need to have this certification. Even if you are looking to employ your drone to carry out some unpaid job, you need to get your hands on this license.

It is essential that you as a responsible citizen abide by the rules and regulations formulated by FAA for drone operators. Please do not allow anyone to take aerial photographs who is not in possession of the drone pilot’s license and a 333 exemption.

So, you better be careful when hiring drone pilots for aerial videography and photography. You should take a look at their licenses and certifications before you hire them.

Drone Insurance

The risk of damage to your drone or injury due to it might not be that high but nobody knows when an adverse situation might hit you in the head. In order to be ready for the hard days, when you hire a drone operator, you should ask them to provide commercial drone insurance with at least $1 million limit of liability.

And even if you are flying your commercial drone yourself, you should ask your commercial insurance agent to check if the drone flying is covered by your current business liability policy.

9 – Final verdict

Real estate marketing has seen a massive revolution owing to the boom in videos and images captured with the help of camera drones. In addition to real estate marketing, drones are being employed in a number of different sectors across the globe. Hence, if you are planning to try your luck out in this field, you are likely to reap rich dividends.

Be on your toes since real estate drone photography is on the rise. This is the perfect place where you can find the ideal drones for sale that can be used in real estate marketing. We hope you have come to know a lot of things about real estate photography and videography through this article.

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