Real Estate Drones 101

Benefits of Drones in Real Estate

Better Marketing

Homes with real estate drone photography sell faster

Whether we're in a buyers or a seller’s market, you’ll still want to market your home as best you can to get the highest possible offers. According to MLS data, homes that incorporated aerial photos in a real estate listing sold at a 68% faster rate. Homes with normal photographs sold at a 32% higher rate than one's with no pictures. With this in mind, hiring a professional drone photographer to take aerial photos of your home will likely attract the attention of more buyers, increase your chance of selling your home faster and get you asking price or more.

Real estate drone photography provides a comprehensive look at the build

One of the best things about drone photography is the chance to show off the love you put into your home’s build. Maybe you’ve invested in imported tile on the roof, have solar panels installed, or had custom backing added. Real estate drone photography not only highlights these intricate features, but also provides greater justification if you are listing at a higher price point.

Aerial photography can highlight an amazing view

If your home is located near the water, mountains or valleys, capturing the view with real estate drone photography will help make your listing stand out. For example, if you own a home with a view of the Cascade mountains or backs up to BLM land, you can include a photo of those in the background. Having a listing that feature views can show potential buyers what makes the home so special.

Special Features

If your home is located near the water, mountains or valleys, capturing the view with real estate drone photography will help make your real estate listing stand out. For example, if you own a home with a view of the Cascade mountains, you can include a photo of the mountains in the background of your house on a clear day. Having a listing that features views can show potential buyers what makes the home so special.

Video Tours of the Property

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), real estate videos result in more property inquiries:

  • Property listings with videos get 403% more inquiries than those without them.
  • Beyond real estate photographers and Realtors, consumers know that video is an effective marketing tool too. Home sellers prefer to list with agents who will use video to sell their homes.
  • 73% of homeowners say they are more likely to list with an agent who uses video than one who doesn't.

  • Real estate drone photography is overall better marketing

    While you can choose to go with a professional real estate photographer on the ground, real estate drone photography may take your listing to the next level. By incorporating drone photography, you are able to position your listing in a way that’s unique to its competitors, potentially close at a faster rate, and showcase what makes your home perfect for buyers – overall taking your real estate listing from ordinary to extraordinary.

    Real Estate

    Photo provided by Seattle Home Photography


    Arguably, one of the most critical steps in selling a home is taking pictures. These shots are traditionally taken from the perspective of a person standing in a driveway, garden, back yard, etc. When combined with some textual descriptions, these photos can give potential home buyers a basic idea of what the property looks like and how it is laid out, but still leaving some of these relationships to the imagination. Using drones for aerial photography in real estate can show the buyers a much more accurate, and way cooler, depiction of what the property is actually like.


    Better storytelling is the key to winning more listings and selling more homes. Buyers want to know what they are getting into and sellers want to list their property with winning agents who have all of the latest tools of the trade. The most widely known database of properties for sale is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) which references several details about using aerial shots as the, “Featured” photo. From a professional standpoint, organizations like the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) indicate that using drones for real estate is quickly becoming the industry’s new normal and innovative companies are using drones for real estate to attract savvy clientele. If you haven’t considered using drones for real estate yet, achieve the competitive advantage now by hiring a professional.

    Real Estate Drone Photography Best Practices

    How do real estate agents ensure their venture into aerial photography and drone video are successful? While drones and professional photography are a strong natural match, there are a few items to check off when first embracing drone use to ensure everything proceeds smoothly:

  • Find a pilot with the right drone hardware: Modern photography drones are capable of capturing high-quality photo and video content — real estate agents should make sure their chosen drone pilots are equipped with these advanced UAVs. Indeed listings for real estate drone photography jobs show the types of standards companies are looking for (RAW photos and video up to 4K resolution and 60fps).

  • The drone I use is the Autel Robotics Evo II Pro 6k. It has a 1" CMOS camera and is capable of taking 20MP images at an 82° angle. I typically record video at 4k (UHD), even though it might only be shown in 1080p or 720p (HD). Although I do not fly it in the rain, it does very well in lower light cloudy conditions.

  • Always use a licensed pilot: As with any kind of commercial drone operation, drone pilots have to be licensed under the Federal Aviation Administration's regulations to get paid for drone photography services. The primary certification test is called Part 107, which requires specific flying knowledge. You could be putting yourself or your business at risk when using a non-licensed, uninsured drone pilot.

  • Follow applicable airspace rules: Simply being licensed isn't always enough to receive flight approval for selected airspace. There are restrictions around some kinds of airspace, such as the areas around airports. Furthermore, drone operators always have to be able to see their drones, and aren't allowed to work from moving vehicles or other aircraft. There are FAA waivers that allow pilots to receive exceptions to some of these rules.

  • The crux of good drone photography in real estate is the combination of high-quality technology with personnel who have taken the time to become skilled with their equipment and certified by the FAA. Considering the legally binding nature of FAA rules, there's really no way to cut corners in drone photography.

    Be aware that it is illegal for a non-licensed drone pilot to sell images or video to a Real Estate Broker or Agent.

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