Drones can take real estate photography to the next level. In this article, we’ll cover how to shoot real estate drone photography.
What Is Real Estate Drone Photography?
Real estate photography is the photography of properties that are up for sale or rent.
The goal of real estate photography is to create content that can be printed on advertising material or go up on websites.
Real estate drone photography makes use of a drone to take striking shots of properties from the air.
Why Shoot Real Estate Drone Photography?
Taking photos from high up gives a viewer a good look at a house and surrounding environment.
Quality real estate drone photography can enhance the chance of a sale. By using a drone in real estate photography, people can get a clearer idea of a property.
Who Shoots Drone Photography?
With improved drone technology, plenty of people take advantage of drones for creative photography.
There are two ways to achieve real estate photography with the help of a drone.
One way is to do your own flying. The other way is to hire a professional drone pilot.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Drone Pilot?
Prices vary, but $150 appears to be the standard starting price for hiring a drone pilot.
A drone pilot will supply all the required equipment for a session. They will also know the rules and regulations for safe drone usage in the field. They may or may not include image editing in their price, so always ask.
Before hiring a drone pilot, review their previous work and customer reviews.
It’s also important to ask for evidence that a pilot has the appropriate licencing and insurance.
Doing It Yourself
The second way to shoot real estate drone photography is to do it yourself.
Be aware that flying a drone takes practice to get right.
There are also rules for when and where a drone can be flown. Breaking these rules can result in a dangerous situation and heavy penalties.
Make sure you know the drone usage laws in the immediate area before taking off.
What Equipment Do You Need For Real Estate Drone Photography?
The key ingredient for drone photography is a camera-equipped drone.
Doing real estate drone photography yourself used to be very expensive. But as drone photography becomes more popular, it has become more accessible too.
What Should I Look For in a Drone?
There are a few aspects to look out for when selecting a drone:
- Good camera quality
- Flight stability
- Flight duration
A drone with a high-resolution camera is a must (think around 20 megapixels and up).
For the best video drones, 4K video with a good frame rate (8 frames per second+) is important.
Many drones come with a gyroscope or built-in gimbal. This helps maintain flight stability for sharp images.
Range dictates how far a drone can travel from your controls. A short-range can be a hassle, aim for a range of at least a mile to be on the safe side.
The flight time of the average professional drone is around 30 minutes. While some professional drones operate on 20 minutes, any extra time you can afford is a plus.
What Drone Should I Buy For Real Estate Photography?
Drones like the DJI Phantom 4 Pro are good for professional real estate photography.
The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is considered one of the best video drones available. The DJI Inspire 2 is also a good option.
For a more extensive list of different drones, check out our article here.
How Much Does a Drone cost?
Entry-level camera drones can be quite cheap.
But the old adage you get what you pay for is as true as ever in drone photography.
Can I Use My Drone For Real Estate?
If you already have a camera-equipped drone, you might be able to use it instead of shelling out for a new model.
If it is in good condition with a decent camera, you can use the drone you have already for real estate photography.
How to Get Started in Real Estate Drone Photography
OK, so you’ve got your drone and you’re ready to start practising. Here are a few things you need to know to get off the ground.
Know the Law
There are several golden rules to flying a drone;
- Never operate near airports, airfields or aircraft.
- Keep drones 150ft away from people and property
- And stay below 400ft
In addition, there are drone operation rules that vary from country to country and even state to state.
It’s vital that you familiarize yourself with the processes and the laws of the intended flying location.
Consult your countries’ civil aviation authority’s website for more info.
Piloting a drone can be a steep learning curve.
If you need guidance, there are many courses available to teach you the ins and outs of drone flight.
If you want to learn on your own, there is a wealth of information on the internet about operating drones.
Do a bit of research before you head out in the field. Practice climbing, hovering and landing while keeping the drone close to the ground.
Once you build up confidence, start operating higher up. You can then start using the camera to take photos in-flight.
Drone flying is a mix of coordination and spatial awareness. Take it slow and you’ll be a much more competent pilot.
Get a License
Once you’ve got the hang of drone photography, you can get into photographing real estate.
Often, this requires obtaining licenses and permissions to operate a drone business.
Regulations for real estate drone photography vary from country to country too.
Do some research into your country’s rules and regulations for operating a drone for business purposes.
Once you have a license, try and tee up with a real estate agent. Or photograph properties you or friends and family own.
You want to build up a solid body of work to present to future clients.
How Much Can You Charge For Drone Photography?
Once you have a quality portfolio, you might want to start charging people for your services.
Real estate drone photography prices seem to start at about $150. For exact numbers, research services providing drone photography in your area.
How to Make Great Real Estate Drone Photography
Here are some tips for creating practical and eye-catching real estate drone photography.
Pick Nice Weather
Real estate images look better in nice weather. Plus, calm clear days are less of a hazard for operating drones.
If you can, have a look at the weather forecast and plan your shoot accordingly.
Potential renters and buyers look for facilities as well as houses. For example, nearby parks or cafes add to the appeal of a property.
Try including facilities in your real estate drone photography.
Feature the Surrounding Neighborhood
Buyers and renters want to know what kind of neighborhood they might be moving into.
Take advantage of the altitude of the drone to include appealing aspects of a location.
If the property is near the bush, make sure you capture images that convey that environment.
If the property is suburban, take plenty of photos of the neighborhood layout from above.
Focus on The Strengths of The Property
The high vantage point of the drone is great for squeezing the details of a property into a single image.
If there is a pool or a nice garden, take plenty of angled shots to depict them and the house together.
Document the Beauty of Progress
Many homes sell off the plan. Drones can document the evolution of a site from above, demonstrating progress to potential buyers.
Don’t Forget Composition
Although drone photography is a new and exciting field, the basic tenants of photography still stand.
Take Lots of Photos
Real estate drone photography creates compelling imagery.
But make sure you take plenty of photographs at different angles to ensure you get that perfect shot.
Combined with real estate photography, the use of drones lends a unique perspective to a property.
By hiring a drone pilot or doing the flying yourself, the reach of real estate photography is expanded to the skies!
Check out our post on choosing the best lens for real estate photography next!