How Drones Have Changed Real Estate Marketing


How Drones Have Changed Real Estate Marketing

Marketing a real estate property is one of the most difficult things to do in business today.

The competition is brutal, partly because online listings generate most of the leads. Almost every property buyer today begins her search online.

So, it can be really hard to stand out from the pack.

Real estate promotional drone photo.

Real estate promotional drone photo.

That’s why differentiating property listings through high-quality photography and video pays huge dividends.

Today, the latest marketing weapon in real estate is the use of dramatic camera drone photography & video tours in online listings.

Some agents claim that drones are the most important new technology to enter real estate marketing since the internet.

It’s easy to see why.

Using flying cameras, real estate photographers are producing dramatic, sweeping shots of landscapes, ocean and mountain vistas and seamless fly-arounds of gorgeous home exteriors…

They are also taking shots of homes never before imagined,

Like… flying down onto a property from 200 feet in the air; highlighting the details of a large, expensive property in dramatic form; then, flying fast 2 feet above a driveway right up to the front door…

Camera drones and their ground-based cousins, Glidecams, are also being used to tour the inside of a home, creating flowing, whole-house motion tours in ultra HD that can rival a Hollywood movie…

Limitations of Drones In Real Estate Photography

That said, a drone will never be able to shoot ALL of the photography & video needed to market a listing. There are still certain kinds of photos and videos that a flying camera is not well suited for, including:

  • Carefully-focused, fixed position photography. For example, shots designed to avoid an unpleasant feature or to help a room or yard appear larger.

  • 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.

So don’t fire your favorite photographer yet. Instead, ask her when she’ll be getting a drone.

3 Popular Drones Used In Real Estate Today

If you are considering purchasing a drone to record video and photos for real estate listings, then consider these three popular choices used by many real estate drone photographers today. (Note: the Phantom 4 is the latest in a long line of Phantoms, by far the most popular flying platform used by real estate photographers).

All three choices are ready-to-fly flying cameras that come complete with a 4K camera, 3-axis gimbal, flying platform, live video, advanced flight control software and a flight controller that are work together as a single product. Each one also carries at least a 1-year warranty.

Typhoon H - Phantom 4 PRO - DJI Inspire 1 v2.0

6 Benefits of Using Drones to Market Real Estate

So how do real estate agents and brokers benefit from using camera drones in their marketing, in the real world?

1. Create more dramatic, compelling images.

Using a modern ready-to-fly camera drone like the Phantom 4, you can create dramatic shots very easily(almost on auto-pilot) by combining GPS-programmed flight paths with automatic point-of-interest camera targeting.

Well-designed drone camera shots not only look incredibly professional, they can generate a sense of aweand interest that you simply can’t get from ground-based photography.

2. Create more interesting virtual tours.

A camera drone can literally fly into a home through the front door, and travel throughout every room, creating a far more natural virtual tour than station-based photography can.

Combined with a professional voice-over sound track, virtual tours can become beautiful visual stories, rich with information and history.

3. Highlight more property features.

Landscaping, pools, walking paths and back yards are important to many buyers. So are nearby parks and schools.

Aerial photos & video bring these advantages to life.

4. Generate new business.

Using drone videos and photos to market your properties shows prospective sellers that you take advantage of every opportunity to make their property look awesome – and to stand out.

5. Out-market the competition.

It’s a well-known fact that listings that look better and provide more information, sell better.

6. Save money.

Compared to shooting aerial photos from a helicopter or a fixed wing aircraft, drone videography is far cheaper – and easier to arrange.

Drones in Luxury Home Marketing

The visual advantages of camera drones have most impacted the way that expensive luxury homes are presented on the MLS and on agent’s websites.

Buyers of multi-million dollar homes often shop online first, so they expect high-quality photography and video in the online listing or they won’t bite.

It’s hard to argue that in the luxury property market, drone photography has upped the real estate marketing game in a big way.

Whether it’s to highlight the waterfront view, a gorgeous garden, or a really cool swimming pool, aerial drone photography captures the beauty and the utility of a home far better than ground-based photography or video can.

Luxury property markets across America, Canada and Europe are incorporating drone photography into their marketing, very quickly.

According to Joe Houlihan, managing partner of Houlihan & O’Malley Real Estate Services in Bronxville, NY, drones were used to photograph about 20 percent of their higher-end Westchester, NY, properties in 2015. In 2016, Mr. Houlihan expects to increase that to 35 percent. “It’s an additional cost that’s pretty reasonable,” he says.

In the ultra-luxe Silicon Valley market, drone photography has entered the real estate world in a major way.

All across the San Francisco Bay area, “drone videographers” exist that specialize in producing dramatic aerial videos and movie-studio quality property walkthroughs, using a combination of camera drones and hand-held gimbals.

2015 was the year of high-end marketing experiments; today, every level of the market is using drone-based video and photography.

antoine le padan