If you opened your presents on Christmas morning to discover a brand new drone, you aren’t alone — especially as a real estate professional. While there are plenty of fun uses for your new drone, one of the most practical is to further your real estate career. In fact, that might be the reason it was given to you in the first place. Aerial views of beautiful homes and properties are all the rage these days, and for good reason. These tips will help you navigate the world of drone photography for real estate agents in an ever-evolving field.
The Benefits of Drones in the Real Estate Industry
Drones offer the most accessible manner of taking aerial photos of homes and properties. Real estate agents can easily take amazing, professional-level photos with these unmanned devices, providing impressive and expansive views. Of course, the more creative you get with the drone, the more intriguing your listings will be. These days, customers come to expect these fantastic views, so you need to make sure that yours look even more special.
With real estate drones, you have the power to offer a new perspective. How can you influence your potential buyers to make a decision to come see the property in person? What unique views of a home would you want to see as a potential owner?
The Legalities of Real Estate Drone Photography
Drone photography exists in a gray area. The laws are constantly changing for use of drones to take photo and video in a commercial capacity. In fact, the FAA recently changed its laws for drone use within the last year. While commercial permits were once required, they are no longer necessary. Still, you need to take proper steps to ensure that you do not cause injury or damage to person or property. Pay close attention so that you do not accidentally find yourself in an area where drones are not allowed.
Additionally, keep in mind that simply because something is legal does not mean that it is a wise decision. The ethics of drone photography are also still in a gray area, and it may take some time for real estate agents to find the right fit without annoying or disrupting nearby homeowners and residents.
Tips for Excellent Drone Photography
First, understand what buyers want to see. They are not interested in simply catching a glimpse of the roof. Drone photographers and experts call this the roof inspection shot. Buyers want to see what surrounds the environment. How far will their children walk to school? Where are the nearby bus stops? How close is the highway? This is all important information for somebody who is thinking about buying a home.
Next, think about the types of shots you want to capture. You will have better results with long, steady shots. Avoid those that move too quickly — you don’t want to give your buyers motion sickness! Plus, slow shots provide more time to take in all the surroundings. Don’t rush it! Give the viewer time to savor the surroundings.
It is also important to remember that you need to shoot photos and video several times — not just once. Errors find their way into videos all the time. When you are shooting with a drone, there are quite a few things that can go wrong, like bad lighting or an embarrassing shot of you standing on the ground you’d rather not include.
Next, make sure that you look beyond the basics. You can do more than take photographs with a drone and camera. You can also take video or provide your buyer with a tour of the home’s interior or exterior features. You also have the unique ability to provide context for the photos you provide.
Don’t forget to build a solid understanding of your equipment before you head out to use it. You need to practice for a few hours before you actually try to fly the drone up over head. After all, accidents do happen. In addition to causing damage to your own devices, you could also damage property.
It is always a good idea to ask permission first, especially if you will be flying over somebody else’s property in your mission. Additionally, you should never encourage the use of drones as a toy for animals or children. You should also never fly your device over large groups.
Understand the Limitations of Drone Photography in Real Estate
Of course, drone photography cannot solve every problem with real estate listings. There are some cases in which using a drone is simply not the best solution. For instance, you may find that a small apartment is not the best place to provide a tour via drone. This also applies to the exterior of properties covered in trees where visibility is poor or where you are not able to take photos that would be otherwise unexpected for a listing. The key to using drones strategically is to figure out their best uses.
In order to stay relevant and to remain competitive with others in the real estate industry, you need to continue learning new skills. Drone photography is just one of many ways to stay up to date. Continuing education courses are the key to doing this.
Contact us for more information about courses in everything from technology to real estate laws and ethics.