The early, slightly illegal real estate agencies primarily used drones to show off luxury mansions or giant parcels. But as the rules relaxed and prices of drones began to drop, agents selling lower-priced homes began to use them in inventive ways.
Drones open up an agent’s visual toolbox. Instead of limiting their focus to the property and its most immediate surroundings, now agents can provide a fly-over view of the general neighborhood and topographical elements. These strategies can help even modest homes gain a more opulent feel. California aerial photographer John Hayes told the San Francisco Chronicle, “The regular photos on the ground are not very impressive, but you get in the air and it looks like you are in the Florida Keys or something.”
The dramatic price cut in drones, and their more simplified controls, now make it much easier and cost-effective for agents to prepare high-quality visual presentations. Gone are the needs for a licensed pilot, a certified aircraft and FAA clearance. Tech writer David Young explained, “If you wanted an aerial image, you either had to hire a professional helicopter pilot or had to know how to assemble electrical components and solder wires, set up a flight computer and integrate a camera. Today, with a few clicks on Amazon, you can have a flying professional camera and supercomputer on your doorsteps within 48 hours.”
The ways in which real estate agents can employ drones are varied:
“Glamor” shots. As Hayes said, a moving, high-definition tracking shot can give more basic-looking homes a sense of grandeur. An overhead view of surrounding landscaping, laws and structural features can be more striking when viewed from a wider angle.
Revealing hard-to-spot features. An aerial shot can help evaluate a house’s roof, obscured landscaping features, property boundary lines and other surfaces that aren’t typically viewable from the ground. Getting a sense of the roof’s condition and need for repairs is a particularly helpful aspect that a remote viewer can only really get from a drone shot.
Tracking to schools and amenities. One “killer” function that drones can provide is showing the exact routes the homebuyer might take in driving or walking to school, work, shopping, services, parks and recreation facilities. This provides a depth of information that a mere mention on the property page can’t, and is especially beneficial for properties in more humble settings.
Fly-through home tours. A very, very small aerial drone—or a Glidecam, its ground-based, wheeled equivalent—can be used to make a video walkthrough of the house or property from an eye-level perspective.
You can read the entire article I wrote here.