Both the photography and real estate industry tend to be heavily trend driven. In the photography world, there have been numerous significant advances over the years. From black and white to color, to different size formats, and, of course, with the advent of digital photography, and the availability of new affordable technology to the masses, the photography industry has become vastly different than it was even ten years ago. Nowhere is this more evident than with drone photography. Prior to this new technology, the only way to get high quality, proper aerial photography was to rent out a helicopter or small plane for the day, which pushed the concept of aerial photography beyond the plane of reason for many applications. This was both costly and time-consuming routine, which was used only in necessary applications. Aerial Photography for Real Estate, simply put, was just way too costly, and burdensome, to be widely used in many applications.
Enter the drone.
In many respects, the Real Estate and Photography industry are incredibly similar. Agents and brokers are constantly selling themselves and their services, constantly looking for new clients, constantly looking for ways to set themselves apart from the competition, much the way photographers are constantly searching out new clients, putting together new marketing projects, and constantly selling their services. One of the most distinct ways for a Real Estate Broker or Agent to do just that is to introduce high-quality photography, with the addition of drone photography, into their listings and/or reports. In the commercial real estate market, drone photography has become a simple and affordable way to capture images of a large property or track of land. Drones are now heavily used by developers and land owners during planning stages, prior to entering a sales period. Drones have been found to be useful with land surveyors and inspectors as well, in reaching heavily wooded or hard to reach areas.
In the residential Real Estate market, the drone has become a simple and effective way to easily capture images that set an agent’s listing apart from their competition. Most Multiple Listing Service organizations (MLS) have a requirement that the first image on a listing be of the front of the house/property, and a drone photograph that captures the front of the property from overhead fulfills this requirement in almost all cases. This is especially important, because an overhead photograph, shot by a drone, that fulfills the MLS requirement, is oftentimes the most important aspect to an Agent’s listing. It is the easiest way to set a listing apart from all other listings and usually captures the most attention by prospective buyers. The drone image has become almost essential in today’s luxury Real Estate market, as it is again a very effective way to capture an overhead image of a large piece of property, showcasing the grounds, and giving a clear image of the roof, a part of the property which normally was ever clearly seen by inspectors.
There are very clear benefits to using drones for Real Estate, but, the biggest one is this: homes photographed with drones sell 60% faster than homes photographed only with traditional methods. This is because simply put, there is no easier way to clearly capture the property while providing an opportunity to showcase a specific lifestyle with luxury properties. Drone operators are even using videos to create scenic films from overhead to capture not just the property, but also entire neighborhoods, that in turn help drive traffic through social media platforms.
Although the FAA has introduced several regulations on the drone industry and introduced licensing requirements, there seems to be no slowing of the drone industry in the Real Estate world. Drones have cemented their place in the Real Estate world.
Drone operators flying for business(photography) purposes instead of just recreation should have proper licensing and insurance, and while for use on private property, there should be no major issue, many cities and towns across America have passed different laws and regulations, governing, and in some instances, restricting the use of drones in certain areas. It would be important to become familiar with those regulations prior to operating a drone. The FAA has also passed legislation requiring certain drones to be registered. Drones weighing more than 0.55 pounds are required to be registered, and the weight limit for commercial drone flying is 55 pounds. Operators should also take note that the FAA is very stringent on flying near airports, and should map out a flight plan to make sure to avoid such potential hazards.