Drones are revolutionizing the world of real estate marketing. Property listings with high-quality photography and videos are crucial assets to any agent. Some agents even claim that the use of drones has been the most important technology to enter the industry since the internet.
Grabbing footage of exteriors and interiors with seamless fly-around scenes have been a game-changer when it comes to marketing the beauty of homes. This not only captures details of the building, but the entire property and its’ surroundings.
In this article, we are going to talk about all the benefits of using drones for real estate marketing. Plus, some expert tips and advice. You are missing out if you’re not utilizing them to elevate your business and rise above the competition.
Benefits of Using Drones for Real Estate Marketing
Aerial photography is huge when it comes to marketing and is a very profitable expertise to get into. Because of its’ unique view, it is impossible to replicate from the ground. Honestly, you would have the climb the highest tree around; but even then, the shot could not be captured nearly as beautifully as if it was done with a drone. A drone is able to capture a house’s most stunning angles and gives you an ideal view of the entire lot in one photo. You are also able to see the surrounding neighborhood which is a big concern with new homeowners. They want to make sure their location is just as great as their new property.
For smaller homes with two bedrooms, maybe capturing these views aren’t so difficult, but how about those larger homes? You know, the mansion types with five bedrooms and many more rooms. It is not easy capturing the entire house and the land it sits on using just yourself and a camera.
Because of how high drones can fly, they are instead able to provide you with a much greater variety of photos and videos to share on a listing. It allows you to show buyers exactly everything that they are looking for.
Drones are Easily Accessible
Over the past years, the ability to capture an aerial view of a property was definitely an expense for most. Essentially, a real estate agent would have to hire a helicopter to be able to catch the view and height you needed. In addition, they would also have to hire a photographer who was specially trained to be able to capture these shots from above. The costs of these two were simply out of reach for most.
But now, drones have easily replaced what was an impossible feat for those who could not afford hiring a helicopter for every property they gain control of. Investing in a drone is now the much more affordable solution and you are able to take charge of your own photography. You will probably need to learn a few tips and tricks about drone photography, but all it takes is some practice to master it.
Aerial Videos Go Viral
When it comes to digital marketing, videos shared on social media perform much better than any other media. To speak even more specifically, aerial scenes shot by drones gain the most interest. The fact that platforms almost always autoplay videos will draw your audience in. You do not have to be a marketing genius or even have the most expensive drone to create stunning videos; you can utilize the best drone within your budget to accomplish this.
Implementing more video footage in your real estate marketing also keeps you relevant. Searches actually favor videos these days. And frankly, photos taken from the corners of rooms are just not enough for potential buyers. They want to feel like they are walking in the house when they see photos and videos of the property. Using a drone offers 360-degree views as if it was from an actual persons’ perspective. This itself creates an unparalleled experience for the buyer.
Drones Show Better Location Details
Using a drone for real estate marketing can help you narrow in on your target audience by providing much more details than agents were able to show before. Aerial views over the neighborhood show people exactly where it is located and what is nearby. People are able to see how close the next door neighbors are and other surrounding details. You can showcase if a nearby park is truly in their backyard or down the street. Is there a school down the street that children can walk to easily? A drone is able to capture it all for you.
Real estate listings often provide a map of the area for people to easily see what is around, but using actual footage instead is what people can make use of without even visiting the property. They can really get a feel for their potential new home without wasting an agents’ time just to browse.
Drones are Wanted in Real Estate Industry
Did you know that 83% of home-sellers actually want to work with real estate agents who use drones? According to this study by Sold By Air, agents who use aerial photography more often are also the same agents who receive a high volume of clients.
Tips for Using Drones in Real Estate
Take a Class
Learning new filming techniques and editing effects for your drone videos can improve your real estate marketing drastically. Whether it’s watching a few YouTube videos, reading up on what’s trending, or trying out new ideas yourself; it all helps your content stand out better and get recognized. Having high-quality and entertaining footage can also help your videos go viral.
Prepare a Flight Plan in Advance
When you are working with a time limit it is best to have a plan of action. Maybe it’s easier for you to shoot an overall drone video first, then move onto taking photos. Capturing all that you can while you are in a certain area will help you move through efficiently and quickly. If you are outside, go ahead and capture the front yard, back yard, and garage features. Then move through the first floor before heading upstairs or downstairs.
Be Mindful of the Weather
The weather is also a factor to consider before using your drone for real estate. The primary goal is create stunning media of the property. You can’t do that if storm clouds are rolling in. If you sense bad weather coming, you should stop flying immediately and wait for it all to pass over.
You should also take caution when there are strong winds. The best advice is to fly with the wind, never against it. This not only helps with keeping the video footage as smooth as possible, but also prevents your battery from dying quicker than normal. This is because your drone has to work twice as hard to be able to reach certain speeds against the wind.
Avoid Long Videos
People don’t want to watch long videos of a property. Their attention span will not last long enough to make it through a 4 minute video or longer. Instead, aim for a length of 90 seconds or 3 minutes at the most. If you have a lot of clips that you want to include, try to cut out moments that are repetitive or speed them up. The best advice we can give would be to take small clips, about 10 seconds each, and then put them together in a video editing program.
Take Advantage of the Golden Hour
Photographers love to shoot during the golden hour. This time is known as an hour before the sunset or an hour after the sun rises. Since the sun is low, it gives your photos and videos soft lighting. This reduces any harsh contrast that you typically find when you shoot during mid-day with the sun right above you.
Since the golden hour timeframe is very limited, make sure you arrive with a plan.
Adjust Your Drone Settings
Much like paying attention to the surrounding objects, make sure you also pay attention to your drone’s settings. Adjusting photo settings is crucial before beginning any shoot. You should always shoot your photos in the RAW setting. RAW gives you the most flexibility and control when it comes to editing. They are larger files, but very much worth it.
If you can also select the aspect ratio to shoot in, 3:2 is recommended as that is the maximum resolution. If that option isn’t available, the next best is 4:3. Also, don’t forget to enable autofocus. Manual focus is a nice control for photographers who are holding cameras, but while drone flying, it can be a complicated task.
Experiment with Different Flight Modes
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different flight modes. DJI allows a tripod mode which can be very useful when using a drone for real estate. This mode slows down the highest speed on your drone which helps to line up shots. You want to take your time while photographing, especially if you want the highest quality images.
Clear Any Distractions the Drone May Capture
Regardless of what type of property is being filmed or photographed, be aware of any objects that may be distracting. This can be tree branches, children’s toys, out of place cushions for outdoor furniture, or even an unkept room. This is to make sure that when the photographs and videos are done that the property is the main focus. It’s better to correct these little things before you edit footage to save you time.
Keep Your Drone Low
Something to pay attention to while flying your drone is how far you are from the property. If you fly too high, then you may only capture the roof of the real estate, rather than the actual building. Instead, try to keep your drone lower to ground.
Fly Your Drone with Caution
One important thing you should always keep in mind during any drone flight is safety; safety of the property and your drone. First and foremost, make sure that you are following drone regulations set by the federal and state governments. Always keep your eyes on your drone while flying it and watch it carefully. Be aware if there is property nearby that you shouldn’t be filming and know where to draw the line.
Learn to Edit Your Drone Photos and Videos
There are many tools for editing your drone photos on a computer. Popular favorites are Photoshop and Lightroom. These require a monthly subscription in order to use them. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly route, GIMP and Pixlr are also available without any fees.
For editing videos, there are also a couple options. Adobe Premiere, much like Photoshop and Lightroom, is a popular go-to. Again, this is a paid subscription. Other alternatives you can use include programs that may be already installed on your computer. Apple has iMovie and Windows has Microsoft Photos.
These programs may be intimidating to learn, but you will thank yourself once you see the difference in quality you can have after editing.
Property Shoot Preparation Checklists
When preparing for a photoshoot of a property, it can be easy to forget an extra battery or what flight mode your drone should be set on. Creating a checklist that’s suited to your needs is the best way to avoid any mistakes. You can then keep the list in your camera bag, so that it can always be easily referenced.
When Scheduling the Real Estate Photoshoot
It’s important that you research the drone laws for the city and area you will be photographing. Make sure you are aware of any airports that could be nearby. Prepare an ideal day with weather suitable to fly your drone in. You should also contact the current homeowner or property owner and discuss how they should prepare their home to help create the best photoshoot.
In addition, figure out what time of day would be the best to shoot in. If you want to aim for golden hour, clear your schedule of any conflicts since this timeframe is quite limited.
Night Before the Photoshoot
To avoid any malfunctions, make sure you charge everything. This includes your phone, drone, camera, extra batteries, gimbal, and remotes. Verify that you have what you need to access the property, such as keys or a code to unlock doors. Double check the weather and make sure everything is according to plan. Free up space on your SD cards and put them in an easy to grab spot, along with your actual drone, propeller blades, gimbal, remote, and other necessary attachments.
Items to Bring
In addition to the SD cards, your drone, and attachments, make sure you also bring extra batteries. You also will need your pilots license, proper weather attire (winter clothing, jackets, gloves, etc.), and your business cards.
Do a complete walkthrough of the property. This includes all around outside and inside to check for any obstacles that could be distracting. Check your drones propellers for any damage and verify all your settings. This includes the “return to home” height, GPS functionality, and your camera settings. Take into consider completing a calibration and make sure the SD card is in the drone.
During the Photoshoot
Stay slow and steady throughout it all. It’s easy to speed up frames, but not the opposite. Keep the sun out of the frame. Always take photos directly above the property and a front view of the property. Don’t forget any additional features such as patios, balconies, decks, pools, and if there’s landscape details. When taking video, make sure you always start from the actual takeoff and stay filming all the way until landing.
For other important outside video footage, get a scene flying over the property, away from the property, and scanning left to right of the front. When you’re inside, make sure you get any walkways and transition areas.
The Future is Drones
As mentioned already, drones are changing the world of real estate. Outside of capturing incredible footage of beautiful homes, drones also aid in other tasks that must be completed by agents.
If only buying a house was as easy as viewing a property and handing over the cash… oh, there is so much more that needs to be done on top of that. Drones can assist in property appraisals, home inspections, documenting damage from fires, hurricanes and other disasters. Don’t forget monitoring any land erosion, documenting property lines, and even planning by helping execute a vision.
Drones are not a phase, they are here to stay. To some drones are simply used as a hobby and for casual fun. For others, drones are a part of their job. Real estate marketing has changed drastically since drones were introduced to the industry and it’s easy to see why. With technology that cannot be replaced by any ordinary camera, a simple photo just isn’t enough.
Aerial views are not only pleasing to watch, due to their cinematic effects, they are also informational. Using a drone will help your real estate marketing stand out above the competition. But also, give potential buyers exactly what they are looking for.