Scores of vertical UAV markets are now taking off and selling real estate is at the top. Drone-based aerial photography for real estate brokers and agents is not only booming, but is becoming nearly mandatory for properties over 25 acres. Potential buyers from another city, state or even a distant country can take an aerial tour of the rolling hills and see the picturesque rural layout of the house, barn, ponds and external fencing with just a click of the mouse.
Granted, Google Earth can provide a year-old satellite static view of the land in pseudo 3D at no cost, but a drone video is on a completely higher level. Drone videos give the realtor a production quality movie comprised of the most positive aspects of the country estate. Potential buyers see the property in the best light with inspiring music playing in the background. The UAV market for real estate is one of the original commercial industries conceived and is now in full implementation. The question is, “How are you going to get those aerial contracts?” You could have the top UAVs in your hanger, all the FAA credentials necessary and live in hot rural property markets. Yet without a solid marketing strategy and the entrepreneurial spirit to vigorously pursue that goal, your drone services will simply become the best kept aerial secret.
COVER THE BASICS
Let’s cover some basic prerequisites first to verify you are on the correct path for real estate aerial showcasing. It is absolutely critical to have your FAA 333 exemption and to be a private/sport pilot or at least have one on contract. The vast majority of realtors will run from any outlaw commercial drone pilots that could get them into trouble with their state regulators.
The minimum UAS platform should be at least a DJI Phantom 3 Professional with six to eight batteries coupled with a dedicated iPad or Android tablet. Invest in a solid travel case which can serve as both a secure storage for all the remote flight project components and a takeoff platform to get above the tall pasture grass on a million dollar ranch.
At the office you will need a strong computer with video editing software to produce smooth, professional, flowing aerial commercials. Most of your final productions for 2016 will still be in HD 2K since most real estate buyer prospects will be viewing your product on YouTube or Vimeo. As 4K computer monitors and TV’s start becoming more mainstream, 4K resolution recording and delivery will be required.
GATHERING AERIAL MARKETING MATERIAL
So now that you have the ground level experience with the UAS and post production capabilities, it is time to get the sales leads and close some business deals. Your main target audience will be real estate agents and brokers. However, before you approach them, you have to have a sample deliverable you can demo during those initial sales calls.
Your first real estate aerials may be probono flights for buddies with rural property just so you have something to show you can actually do this. One way to profitably perform these early flights is to direct market at a heavy discount to friends, associates or acquaintances who own farms and ranches. This process gives you experience and some compensation as you try to establish yourself in this competitive UAS marketplace. With just a few flown and edited sites, you can put together a montage of aerial showcasing video supported by energetic music to use in your sales calls. Direct sales to private individuals are critical to gather this initial video portfolio, but those deals are hard to sell and are not repeatable. I would much rather make a sales pitch to a realtor that could develop into numerous flights than expend the same amount of sales effort on a ranch owner for one aerial of his estate.
MARKETING MATERIALS DEVELOPMENT
Innovative business cards and trifold brochures are a must for your first aerial marketing campaign. I recommend VistaPrint.com since you can easily design both online. For the business card you need basic contact information with your cell phone number and email address highlighted. Spend a little extra on a glossy finish and a heavy weight card to make that solid first impression. VistaPrint’s brochure editing tools are awesome. Simply upload your initial aerial pictures and sales text in bullet point format to create professional, glossy, trifold brochures. Use an aerial for the background of your card and list all your credentials such as the 333 Exemption number and any other qualifications.
This article was originally published by http://www.thedronesmag.com