8 Things You Need to Know About Using Drone Photography in Your Real Estate Marketing

Posted by Heather Larson on January 12, 2017

This post is a follow-up to “3 Technologies That Will Change the Way You Buy and Sell Real Estate”

Unmanned aircraft systems (UAS)—better known as drones—may be the next innovation in buying and selling properties. According to Zillow, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued 5,300 permits for commercial drone photography as of June 2016. Close to 40 percent, or 2,100 of those, went to companies in the real estate sector.

Drone photography has a multitude of uses for real estate investors, from inspecting roofs without climbing a ladder to showing prospective online buyers what the neighborhood looks like. Before jumping on this bandwagon, however, you should familiarize yourself with how best to use UAS. Here are eight ways to take your video marketing to a new level—literally:

1 – Realize the Drone’s Capabilities

Drone photography can include aerial views of property and land. You can easily show would-be buyers what the commute or walk to school looks like, as well as the home’s proximity to desired amenities.

2 – Develop a Strategy

Choose properties that are best suited for aerial photography, like those with lots of land or panoramic views. A view from above also makes the property layout and property lines clearer for potential buyers.

3 – Learn the Regulations

You should know the basic FAA regulations concerning drones. Because this is a fairly new technology and not everyone is on board with it, the laws may change at any time. You’ll need a basic knowledge of what you can and can’t do so you know what to ask when interviewing drone photography companies.

4 – Educate Yourself About Costs

According to Josh Rogers, co-owner of Atmosphere Aerial, a drone photography company based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, most companies charge a base rate between $200-$500 per location depending on the size of the property. Additional factors that affect pricing: whether the application is commercial or residential and the number of properties slated to be filmed over the course of one day.

5 – Ask the Right Questions

When you’re in the market to hire a drone photography business, check that they have a professional-looking website, for starters. Find out about past work they’ve done, and talk to past clients. A reputable company will have the proper insurance, so make sure you are working with a firm that can show evidence of insurance. As far as permits, drone photography businesses should either have a Section 333 exemption or a Part 107 Remote Airman Certification. It’s jargon to you, but Rogers says a reputable company will know what you’re talking about.

6 – Negotiate a Bundle Deal

To make it cost effective and worthy of everyone’s time, engage a drone photography company to shoot several properties at once. Go in with other REIs for a further cost savings.

7 – Do Some of the Work Yourself

If you learn to use video editing software, you can request raw, unedited video cuts and make the edits yourself to save on fees.

8 – Agree Upfront on the End Product

Nail down how many still images and aerial videos will be in your final package. Clarify whether you want them captioned and edited, or whether you want the videos set to music.

To better understand what a drone can do, take a look at a few aerial videos online. You’ll soon see how a bird’s-eye view can increase a property’s appeal, so give this technology a try for your next sale.

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