It’s no secret that one of the more popular uses for drones is in the area of real estate – shooting aerial photos and videos of properties.
But should you be using one?
Many realtors, when asked, say they would only consider using drones (or UAVs) for luxury properties. And that’s definitely a good use; there are many examples of successful use of drones for these type of properties. Just take a look at this NY Times article about Halstead Properties using drone footage, shot for one of their luxury beachfront houses, which garnered more than 500,000 views. Halstead is even using drones to shoot the interiors of their larger homes – drones with stabilized cameras can offer a much smoother video tour of the home than someone carrying a camera, though handheld camera stabilizers are becoming popular too.
Commercial real estate is also becoming a large segment for drone operators – developers are using the technology to shoot views from apartments and condos before they are built, allowing a buyer to be confident in the exact view they will receive when the complex is built.
But the use of drones shouldn’t be limited to homes or real estate with a large price tag. Rather, it is the type of property which should be considered.
Waterfront or large acreage properties are prime candidates for aerial filming and photos, as their appeal can’t always be captured from the ground level.
Real estate in Nova Scotia, for example, where home prices are not nearly as expensive as British Columbia, is often a better candidate for drone footage than some Vancouver homes. Vancouver homes in the suburbs, often still costing over a million dollars, don’t have much to showcase from the air. But beautiful lakefront homes in Nova Scotia, or elsewhere, can be captured from the air, showcasing the surrounding area and helping to sell the home.
The cost of aerial footage taken by drones is coming down as well. Originally, many realtors turned to drones because of the superior footage they could provide compared with planes, which were limited in how low they could fly, and their lower price compared to helicopters. But the price still wasn’t necessarily cheap.
Now, with the advancement of drone technology, drones suitable for shooting high-quality, stabilized aerial footage, can be found for around $1000.
So why, as a realtor, shouldn’t you get one yourself?
Well you could, but there are some risks.
The first is legislative: there are rules governing drone use in Canada, and most other developed countries. The National Association of Realtors, as of February 2015, “recommends that its members not utilize this technology for any purpose related to selling property”. In the United States, more and more operators are obtaining exemptions which do allow them to operate commercially, but the process is slow and tricky.
In Canada, permission in the form of a Special Flight Operations Certificate (SFOC) is required, and there are instances where fines have been given to pilots for operating without one.
Consulting with a professional drone operator will ensure that you are operating legally, saving you both time and headache in navigating the quickly-changing legal landscape.
Great drone marketing content requires skill as well – if you want great photos and video, you will need a great pilot, who has editing skills and knowledge of the camera and equipment he is using. Many drone pilots are professional photographers as well, so you can have one person do your interior photos as well as the content for your drone marketing.
Don’t know where to start? We are always happy to help, so if you’re interested, send us a message and let us help you get started on using drones for your real estate marketing.