Drone Photo Use in Real Estate

Aerial photography could be a major boon when selling certain properties. Here are a few things realtors should know about drone photo use in real estate.There’s no shortage of uses for drone technology. The military has been using drones for unmanned missions for a while, surveying dangerous areas without putting men and women at risk. They can carry out all kinds of important tasks and save lives in the process.

Then there are consumer model drones for children and adults that are used for little more than fun, although plenty of people have found useful employment for this technology. Some hunters have started using drones to more easily find their prey, for example. Naturally, some people are also prone to annoying their neighbors with drones.

Of course, there are commercial applications, as well. The law enforcement community can use drones in similar ways to the military, sending in drones before people as a way to size up dangerous situations and minimize risks. Amazon and other companies are also toying with the idea of using drone technology to deliver packages faster.

As a real estate agent, you should know that there are applications for your industry as well. Aerial photography could be a major boon when selling certain properties. As sellers are hiring real estate agents that pull out all of the stops to sell their home, you’ll want to consider adding drones to your marketing repertoire. Here are a few things realtors should know about drone photo use in real estate.

Drone Use is on the Rise

According to a recent survey conducted by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), drone use in real estate is on the rise. In their first ever survey on drone usage, the group questioned over 150,000 members and generated more than 10,000 responses.  This sampling is thought to be a relatively accurate representation of roughly 1.2 million active realtors in the U.S., about half of which are members of NAR.

The results indicated that 11% of respondents hire professionals for drone photography while 12% report that others in their office use drones. In addition, 56% said that they have not used drones, but 18% responded that they plan to use drones in the future.

Cheaper Aerial Photos

It’s really no surprise that drone use is moving toward commercial purposes, especially where real estate is concerned. The best realtor knows that not every property can be shown in the best light from the ground.

Certain residential and commercial properties can only be truly shown to advantage from the air, but hiring a helicopter to take photos is fairly cost-prohibitive. Drones are a far less expensive alternative.

Whether a real estate broker hires a professional photographer to capture pictures of a property with a drone or springs for a consumer model drone for use in upcoming property listings, the cost for aerial photos is greatly reduced.

FAA Registration

Any time new technology hits the market there are bound to be some problems that cause the authorities to step in and regulate. Drones are no exception.

It didn’t take long for consumer drones to start getting in the way of commercial flights, news and police helicopters, and wildfire water drops. So the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) began setting limits on drone use.

Nowadays, drones must be registered for legal use. However, there are different rules for consumers and commercial operations. If you’re thinking of purchasing a drone for use in your real estate operation, it’s important to make sure you understand the regulations surrounding commercial usage.

Third-Party Providers

Because of the legal requirements associated with drone use, the best real estate agent will probably avoid the hassle and simply hire a third-party photographer who already has a registered drone. In addition to this convenience, you’ll also get a professional photographer, and one that knows how to properly operate a drone, resulting in the best possible photos of any property.

Why Use Drones?

Drones are certainly more cost-effective than helicopters, but why do realtors need aerial photography to begin with? While it’s easy enough to photograph the average residence at the ground level, it’s much more difficult to display the biggest selling points for larger properties without aerial representations.

Large, rural tracts of land, posh estate homes, and some commercial properties will be much more favorably showcased from the air than from the ground. If you’re looking to present the scope and layout of such properties, the best way to do it is with aerial photos.

Drones are quickly becoming the preferred method to capture such photos. With low costs, stellar results, and increasing availability, drones are likely to see a lot more use in real estate in the coming years. When finding real estate agents to list your house, consider one who utilizes this new technology.

If you are buying or selling a house and are looking to hire a successful real estate agent to help you through the process, take a look at AgentHarvest's list of top-ranking local Realtors in your area. We found these agents by examining their sales track records, awards, rankings, client testimonials and by conducting personal interviews.