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When it comes to selling real estate, there are many marketing challenges that professional agents and homeowners must face. One of the more difficult challenges is obtaining high quality photography and video.

Luckily, the advancement of consumer Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), commonly called drones, and the approval of new FAA regulations makes collecting great aerial footage extremely easy.

Today’s drones offer a unique perspective that can drastically improve marketing efforts and increase the visibility of real estate plots.

The easiest way to accomplish any drone project is by hiring a professional pilot or company to shoot the footage for you. However, it is important to know prior to signing the contract what sort of projects will benefit your property the most.

With that in mind, we have put together a list of tips and advice for those looking to leverage drones to enhance their real estate endeavors.

Drone Image 2Source: Sky Cam USA

1)  Photography

One of the largest challenges associated with marketing homes is photographing the listed property. Up until a few years ago, many properties, especially those that were either commercial or undeveloped, were hard to convey through photographs. Getting a great aerial shot of the plots required hiring an expensive team to fly helicopters overhead and extensive logistical planning.

Today, drones can capture beautiful aerial photos of properties and vast expanses of land. These pictures allow the expression of new perspectives and can paint the layout of different neighborhoods in a new light. To potential buyers, it can mean the difference between a firm offer and a “Meh, I will think about it.”

Pro Tip: Photos from a bird’s eye view are a great addition to any listing. However, when leveraging a drone to collect footage, don’t forget to take photos of the property from various low heights. Lower shots not only provide a unique perspective but can highlight important aspects of the property, such as roofing or higher walls, that would otherwise be left out of a listing.

2)  Videos

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video is worth a million. In fact, Kissmetrics has found that adding videos to your homepage or product page can increase sales anywhere from 64-85%. While real estate videos are nothing new, adding video footage shot from a drone drastically changes the look and feel of an advertisement or walkthrough sequence.

Consider this: A company highlighted in the aforementioned Kissmetrics article called StacksAndStacks.com reported that visitors were 144% more likely to make a purchase after watching a video that highlighted their products.

Check out this great example of leveraging drone videos to highlight real estate:

Pro Tip: Don’t just get footage of the home itself. Take the drone for a spin around the perimeter of the property and the neighborhood. Showing buyers the true size and scope of the property and neighborhood can help them get a feel for the lay of the land as well as the plot’s proximity to neighbors and other places of interest.

3)  Open Houses

Holding an open house is an age-old sales tactic. Why not add drones to the mix? There are several ways that real estate teams can use drones to spice things up at an open house.

Showcase the Roof and Higher Exterior Regions

It’s an excellent idea to take the drone up to the roof to showcase the beautiful quality of the roofing, admire the high antique walls from a new perspective, or draw attention to the hard-to-get places of the house.

In addition to outdoor drones, consider implementing indoor drones to explore the home. While they might primarily be used to entertain the guests, indoor drones also have practical value. For example, a small camera drone can give visitors a firsthand view of the attic without ever having to step foot on those rickety drop-down steps!

Take a Spin around the Neighborhood

Neighborhoods are often a major selling point. Why not provide potential buyers with a chance to explore their new neighborhood from the perspective of a drone? You can also capitalize on the flight by pointing out neighborhood amenities that increase home value.

Most companies offering drone services will have a live camera view for your guests to enjoy. However, don’t be afraid to learn to pilot a drone yourself to keep that marketing budget down.

Raise Your Colors

If you have the resources for a drone with payload capabilities like the DJI s900 or s1000, feel free to attach a real estate banner to fly around your neighborhood. This will help with foot traffic on the day of the open house and will certainly wow your guests and the seller.

Out of the Box

If you have a team of engineers at your disposal, you can always create a more personal experience—such as a drone that carries around food for your guests. While unconventional and not yet commercially viable, this snacking drone has really captured our attention.

4)  Property Management

With today’s drones, real estate agents and landlords can check homes for damage at an extremely low cost. Inspecting the outside of buildings was once a tall task, with men dangling off ladders and climbing over steep roofs. The modernization of drones has allowed for real time footage of the flight in order to more safely and efficiently inspect the outside of buildings and properties in both residential and remote areas.

Drones can also save time. Consider a real estate agent with ten properties in one neighborhood; routine property check-ups can be accomplished via drone in a fraction of the time they would otherwise take.

This is not only a good thing for real estate agents but owners as well. Landlords and property managers can easily check homes for cracks and damage on the exterior of their properties. Sending these photos to the property maintenance team will also allow for more efficient scheduling of repairs because companies will be prepared for the project before visiting the site.

Final Thoughts

While we always suggest hiring an experienced pilot, sometimes it is more fun to become a pilot yourself. When using your own drone, be sure to first read up on the FAA’s newest regulations concerning the use and flight guidelines for piloting your own drone. Inman has a fantastic article on the newest FAA regulations and how it impacts real estate companies.

Furthermore, if you want to experiment and purchase your own drone, make sure to obtain the right insurance. Drones are fragile and even experienced pilots damage equipment from time to time. Companies like AIG offer packages for both professional and private UAS pilots.

Above all, have fun and never stop pushing the boundaries of what is possible.