Real estate agents know that to generate seller leads they must show the clearest and most flattering pictures of homes they can. Most real estate agents take photos with their smartphones. They then upload those photos to their websites. Potential home sellers see the photos, are impressed, and ask for a listing presentation.
The process works. But if everyone does the same thing, how can real estate agents stand out from the crowd?
Agents shouldn’t change a process that works. What should they do? Improve it by taking drone photographs and aerial photography. This will not only help you improve your real estate lead generation efforts, it will also help you to offer a unique selling point.
Generating leads isn’t the only reason to use drone video and aerial photography. Homes with aerial photography sell faster. Here are some statistics regarding drone video and aerial photography:
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- Homes with aerial images sold 68% faster than homes with standard images
- 73% of homeowners say they want to work with a real estate agent that uses video to market homes
- 83% of home sellers prefer to work with an agent that uses drones
- High-volume real estate agents use drones 3.5 times more than low-volume real estate agents
- Drones speed up the sales process for commercial and residential properties
Drone video and aerial photography can help real estate agents sell more homes and create more seller listings. In the following post we will discuss Drone video and aerial photography’s benefits, pros and cons, and costs.
Benefits of Drone Videos & Aerial Real Estate Photography
Per Forbes, the rate of “household formation” for millennials is “finally rising with the rate of population growth”. This means that millennials are starting families. Like most families starting out, millennials want to purchase a home.
That’s great news for real estate agents. It also partly explains why aerial photography is so important for real estate agents. No other generation in U.S. history is as visual as millennials. Social media has a lot to do with this. So does the multiple ways they have to access media.
Visual customers like millennials require sellers like real estate agents to use the medium that gets their attention. That’s drone videos and aerial photography.
But millennials buying homes isn’t the lone benefit. See below for other reasons. They prove the true benefits of aerial photography for real estate agents.
- Follows the trend – We went over this, but it bears repeating. If millennials are determining the housing markets’ future, real estate agents must live up to millennials’ expectations.
- Best way to show property with scenic value – It’s hard to get an idea of how beautiful the surrounding forest is without an aerial view
- Showcases an entire neighborhood – Even if you’re not selling a mansion, buyers might want to see the entire neighborhood. Restaurants, stores, schools, if they’re within walking distance, drone video and aerial photography can show that. You can also hire a company to provide aerial map photography for you.
- Perspective is everything – If you wish to convey a specific, unique, perspective, still frame photographs from your iPhone won’t pull it off.
- Better brand marketing leads to more lead generation – This is a huge reason to use drone photos. You must market your real estate agent brand with everything you do.
- Aerial photographs are Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest ready – Classic photos are overshared. That’s why unique things like aerial photography and drone videos have become the most shared on social media sites.
The cumulative effect? Real estate agents that use drone videos and photos sell homes quicker and generate more leads. Also, by using aerial photography and videos, real estate agents use the most effective marketing technique to the fastest growing home buyer demographic, millennials.
Cons of Aerial & Drone Real Estate Photography
All technology has its pros and cons. Using aerial and drone real estate photography is no different. We went over the pros, the benefits of real estate agents using drone technology. The main benefit is one that’s top of mind for every real estate agent, making more money.
We want to keep it positive. But we can’t just talk about the pros. We must discuss the main drawbacks associated with incorporating aerial photography.
Two potential issues exist for real estate agents hoping to use drones to take birds-eye-view photos and video. The first is cost. The second is risk. We provide an entire section on cost. So, we won’t discuss that at length here. We will discuss the risk associated with using drones.
The main risk? You must register your drone. You can do this on the Federal Aviation Administration site. Real estate agents must head to the FAA Drone Zone. There, they will see a couple of different ways to register.
- Part 107 or as a Public Aircraft
- Under the Exception for Recreational Flyers
Make sure that you register under Part 107. This makes it legal for you to operate your drone for commercial use. If you hire someone to operate your drone, that person must be licensed to do so.
New drone laws have taken effect. It’s important to understand Part 107. A great reference site is Dart Drones. Not only will real estate agents find everything they must about the new FAA rules, but they can also become part of a drone flying community.
Real estate agents use their drones to increase home sales and to generate leads. Another way to put it? Real estate agents use drones to make money. It’s for their businesses. Not for recreational use. Get legal before firing up your drone.
How much do Aerial and Drone Real Estate Photography Cost?
What’s the cost to create beautiful aerial real estate photographs and drone videos? It depends. Seeing a new customer base, drone companies have popped up in every city in the U.S.
If you decide to go with a drone company, expect it to cost you more. You can lower the long-term cost for aerial photography by buying a drone, registering it under Part 107, and learning how to fly it yourself. Let’s dig deeper into both cost categories.
Hire a Drone Flying Company
Drone real estate footage goes up if you hire a professional aerial photography service. See below for the costs.
- Single still drone photo – A single still drone photograph costs you $150 to $300. Quick math tells us 10 drone photographs can cost you $3,000
- 5 minute drone video cost – A 5-minute drone video will cost you from $300 up to $1,000. If you want to 2 videos, you could pay $2,000. 5 videos will cost you $10,000
Is cost a drawback? Absolutely. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider using a professional drone video service. No matter how much faith you have in your photography skills, professional services guarantee their work. Not only that, but they also are experts at flying drones and taking aerial photographs.
If you insist on trying your hand at drone flying and aerial photography, read the next section to discover your possible costs.
Go Old School: DIY Drone Flying and Aerial Photography
Do-it-yourself drone flying can set some of us up for failure. But, if you have a desire to learn on your own, you could save money in the long run. There are two ways to the DIY method:
- Purchase professional aerial photography drone with camera – You can’t take the very best aerial photography unless you’ve got a professional aerial photography drone. Professional drones can cost anywhere from less than $2,000 to over $11,000.
- Cheaper end drones with cameras – You can also purchase a cheaper end drone with a camera. Amazon offers plenty of options if you want to save bucks. Notice, though, that the drones listed via this Amazon link are under the Toys & Games category.
The key? Do your research. If you wish to become an expert at taking aerial photography, you should make it a passion. The costs incurred can set you back. So, make sure you love to do it. Also, using a drone is great, but be aware of why you want to use a drone.
If you generated a $5 million mansion lead, it makes sense to hire a drone photography company for the listing presentation. If you’re looking to generate residential home leads, maybe the Amazon Toys & Categories drone will work for you.
Then again, if drone aerial photography does become a passion, why not purchase something like the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom? You can use it outside of work. Like when you’re on vacation with your spouse and the kids.
Real Estate Aerial Photography Tips
The do-it-yourself method is more rewarding than going with a professional aerial photography company. To help real estate agents on their path to taking great drone photographs, we’ve come up with a few tips:
- Prepare the scene – Just like a director or professional photographer, you must prepare the scene before flying your drone. Make sure no distracting things are around the home like newspapers or lawn gnomes. Make sure the lawn is green and the bushes are pruned.
- Know your drone settings – You should experiment with the settings on your drone before using it in the field. Make sure you get the picture you want. Make sure the camera settings are correct. Become an expert about your drone.
- Flight modes are your friends – Most professional drones offer intelligent flight modes. Get to know those modes. Use those modes.
- Stay low to generate leads and sales – Aerial map photography can lead to home sales. They’re best as part of listing presentations, though. Aerial maps provide too much information for sellers or buyers. To generate leads, you want to stay low so you can get an idea of the property and surrounding land.
- Made a mistake? Fix it in the editing room – By becoming an expert editor, you can turn anything you shoot, video or photos, into pristine works of art. Editing is as important as the actual shoot for professional photographers.
Editing is so important that Home Value Leads feels that if you purchase a drone, you should also purchase photography editing software. Check out the 2020 list from PC Mag.
Real Estate Agents Must Incorporate Drone Videos & Real Estate Photography
Numbers don’t lie. Today’s home sellers want to work with real estate agents that use both drone aerial photography and videos to market their homes. The real estate agent that generates the most listings sells the most homes.
All real estate agents should take aerial photographs to both sell the home and generate leads. They should then use Home Value Leads Facebook marketing platform to increase lead generation. Real estate agents that integrate awesome aerial photographs into their HVL Facebook marketing are bound to see lead generation explode.