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How to Close More Deals with Drones

22 Dec 2016

Real Estate Drone Photography – How to Close More Deals with Drones

For most of the last two years, real estate drone photography has been the darling of industry bloggers and marketers. There were countless articles and blog posts about how this technology would change our industry, but very little came of it because the FAA made operating a drone for commercial purposes virtually impossible.

As of August 2016, the FAA relaxed drone operator restrictions making it far easier to use drones for real estate. This means two things:

Those bloggers and marketers are about to release a flurry of drone-related articles; and 

Your homeowners are going to read them and want to use drone photography for their listing.

To teach more realtors how drone photography can help them earn more listings and make more money, we wrote this how-to guide. In this article, you’ll learn the following:

  • The potential ROI for landing and marketing listings?
  • How to hire a good real estate drone photographer?
  • How much you should pay?
  • How to get started in DIY drone photography?

Potential ROI: Landing and Marketing Listings

Since there is so much buzz (no pun intended) around drones these days and the FAA just relaxed their strict rules, your clients WILL probably at least ask about using a drone for your listing. We’ll go over which types of listings benefit most from real estate drone photography and which don’t next, but for now, we’re going to focus on the potential value add for marketing.

Here’s what drone photography can add to your marketing efforts:

1. Novelty (For Now)

Like most real estate journalists I would bet my life savings that this is about to change dramatically, but for now, drones are hot. There are going to be articles in newspapers, fluff pieces on the evening news, and a ton of coverage on blogs. This intends that drone photos and videos are a novelty. There is still a “wow” factor to drone videos, and I don’t think that’s going away anytime soon. Since home buying is a primarily emotional decision, novelty sells.

Brian Dougherty ($23 million sales volume in 2015), co-owner of Boston and Cambridge-based real estate firm Robert Paul Properties leveraged the novelty factor of drone video to sell a property sight-unseen:

“Recently, a cash buyer from overseas purchased one of my properties sight unseen after watching a video shot partially with drones.  Drone video footage adds an exciting dimension and a unique perspective that standard marketing photos can’t convey. 

Drone photos and videos also help us secure listings and prospective sellers realize that we are offering a tool and resource that not all of our competitors do.”




2. You Can Show the Entire Property

If there is one universal truth about home buyers, it’s that they are terrible at visualizing space. Most listing photography does little to help. For example, say your listing has a huge 3 acre backyard, but 75% of it is obscured by trees. The photo on your listing makes it look tiny. With a drone shot, you could capture the entire yard in one picture to show them just how big a space it really is.

3. Potentially Viral (People WILL Share Drone Videos)

Home hunters share listing photos with friends and family all the time. They may tell you they’re asking for a second opinion, but a lot of the time they’re just sharing something pretty.  My cousin, a successful attorney from Atlanta, posted dozens of listing pictures on her facebook feed when she was hunting for a house. If any of those listings had well-shot drone videos I guarantee she would have posted every single one of them.

4. Use It As a Prospecting Tool 

Most people only see real estate drone photography as a way to market their listings, but you can use them for a lot more. Can you imagine pitching a FSBO or expired listing by offering to show them the gorgeous aerial footage of their house and neighborhood you shot last weekend? Can you imagine showing up to your pitch with a picture like this?

5. You Can Capture the Entire Neighborhood

Instead of just shooting houses, you can create drone videos of the local neighborhood. These videos can make amazing “stock” footage to use on your website and general videos about your services. 

6. You Can Show Distances to Amenities

Is there a beautiful little park or nice beach close to your listing? Again, most home buyers are terrible about estimating space or distances. How long does it take to walk 1000 feet? With drone photography instead of telling them, you can show them. You would need to shoot ten standard pictures to get the same effect.

7. Roof Access

Did your seller just spend $20,000 on a new roof? With aerial photography, you can show off that expensive work and put potential buyers at ease.

8. It Helps You Sell Land

While real estate drone photography is indeed perfect for marketing houses, the real benefit is in land sales. Instead of a blurry google map or illustration, you can show clients what the property looks like today.

How Much Should You Pay for Real Estate Drone Photography?

Like most creative services, pricing for drone photography can vary wildly. Your location, the skill and reputation of the photographer, the amount of editing needed, and the difficulty of what you want to shoot all effect price.  

As a general rule of thumb, though, you should expect to pay around $150-$300 for 1-10 aerial still photos, and around $300-$1000 for a 1-5 minute video. Editing and revisions may or may not be included in the price so always ask before hiring someone.

Contact Air Dronez 4 Hire today for pricing on your upcoming project and to get a free estimate! (916) 473-3892 or send us an email: 

The Wine List Rule

Since pricing can differ so wildly, you should think of hiring a drone photographer like ordering wine in a restaurant. You should probably steer clear of the cheapest on the list, and once you get past the mid-range, there is generally diminishing returns in quality and you should only order it if you really, really need to impress. If you do come across a company that charges much less or much more than the average in your area, put in a little extra time to vet them thoroughly.

How to Hire a Drone Photographer: Why You Should Hire a Pro

Trevor Hanes, CEO of Folsom, CA drone company Air Dronez 4 Hire , recently had a meeting with the CEO of a major Sacramento developer. According to Trevor, the CEO asked him why he should hire Air Dronez 4 Hire, when his nephew just bought a drone that could seemingly do the job just as well. Trevor pointed out that CEO nephew probably had an iPhone as well but he should still hired professional photographers for his buildings.


“A good drone operator will be able to show the listing in the best literal and figurative light.”

-Trevor Hanes CEO of Air Dronez 4 Hire, Folsom's Number One drone service provider.  



Where to Find a Good Drone Photographer

Here, of course, Contact Air Dronez 4 Hire today to talk about your aerial video & photographer project and to get a free estimate! (916) 473-3892 or send us an email: 

Learn the FAA Guidelines for Real Estate Drone Photography

In order to use a drone for commercial purposes, you need to understand and follow the new FAA guidelines. Read about them here before purchasing a drone.

The Bottom Line

With the new FAA regulations in place, you should expect to see real estate drone photography popping up in more and more real estate marketing. In order to stay ahead of the competition, you should take the time to learn how to integrate drones into your current marketing efforts.


Last Modified: Thursday 22 December 2016 11:11
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Real Estate Drone Photography Close More Deals

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