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Real Estate Photography

A Definitive Guide to Real Estate Drone Photography

The evolution of the real estate market is happening at lightning speed. One of the newest trends is using drones to capture aerial images. They give properties a unique perspective.

You can use drones to capture aerial views of every kind of real estate listing. Moreover, two of the most popular real estate – residential and commercial, use drone technology more than ever!

It’s believed that residential property clients want at least 8 to 10 glamorous aerial shots to choose from. These shots could include anything like houses or apartments with or without land attached.

What is real estate drone photography? Let’s take a deep dive into this definitive guide.

What is Real Estate Drone Photography?

The real estate market has wholeheartedly welcomed drone technology. It has been one of the most valuable assets to the industry.

Real estate drone photography uses drones to capture photos of properties from an aerial view. With this, the real estate sector has become more imaginative and touched the technological realms to new heights.

This modernized conventional aerial photography technique boosts your listing quality and focuses on presenting creativity in your listings. Based on your needs, you have the freedom to choose between two main types of drone images: traditional and aerial drone images.

Traditional Images vs. Aerial Drone Images

Aerial drone images effortlessly upgrade the quality of photographs as compared to traditional photography. It allows the buyer to get a much better feel for the lay of the land and give a 360-degree view of the property. This is compared to traditional photography where individual static shots compel the buyer to flip back and forth; they can easily flow from one element to the next.

How Have Drones Changed Real Estate Marketing?

Real estate drone photography creates captivating images, and this method of visual marketing speaks for itself.  A study revealed that homes with aerial photographs sell 68% faster than those without. It provides a totally different perspective to the buyers.

Now, drones are used for all types of real estate listings, including residential homes, apartments, resorts, vacant land, commercial properties, etc. Drone camera technology is best for capturing still images, video, and even 360-degree panoramas.

  • Pros: Drones allow you to showcase a property's full exterior. It is easy to capture unique property shots that you can't otherwise get. Other options like a close-up bird's eye view, a 360 panorama outside the house, and a slow zoom are all easy with a drone.
  • Cons: Drone photography often comes at a pretty hefty price. Drones are moderately difficult in legal terms: you typically need a professional license to fly them. And there are some locations that are no-fly zones.

How to Get Started With Real Estate Drone Photography?

Now that you’re aware of drone photography's real estate usage let’s talk about getting started with it.

Step 1: Understand the Law

Getting yourself familiar with the local law is advisable before you start employing drone photography in your practice. Here are a few rules to keep in mind

  • You cannot operate drones near airfields, airports, and aircrafts
  • Your drone should be 150 ft away from property and people
  • Drones should stay below 400 ft

Apart from these mentioned rules, additional rules vary from state to state and country-wise. If you fail to follow them, you might get into legal problems.

Step 2: Get a Proper License

To operate a drone business and work as a commercial real estate drone pilot, you must pass the Part 107 test and get FAA-certified.

Once you have your drone license, it needs to be maintained every 36 months. You must keep it up to date by passing a recurrent aeronautical knowledge test every 24 months.

Get in touch with your local authorities in real estate aerial photography. Do your research on operating a drone properly.

Step 3: Buy Your Photography Drone

Once you’re licensed to fly a drone, the next logical step is to start your practice. Buy a photography drone and begin your practice.

Jumping straightaway into taking projects of real estate properties is exciting, but first, you need to practice this skill. Your end goal is to help your clients sell their properties faster. Hence, a great practice is required.

Also Read: Best Drones For Drone Photography In Real Estate

Real Estate Drone Photography Tips

Incorporate these tips the next time you do drone photography in real estate:

1. Set Up the Listing Landscape

Before you start shooting the listing using drone photography, look at the surroundings and spruce it up. Clean up the yard, driveway, lawn, and roof. Everyday home objects like toys, gardening tools can ruin the beauty of your home in pictures. Early morning is the best time to shoot your home as the streets will be close to empty. If possible, trim your lawn too, as it will save you time and effort while editing.

2. Adjust Drone Settings

Drones these days come with countless settings for the flight of the aircraft and camera operations. To get photos of maximum resolution in drone photography for real estate, change the camera aspect ratio to 3:2. 4:3 will also do the trick. Also, use autofocus as it will take a lot of weight off your shoulders and won’t disappoint you with blurry images. There are intelligent flight modes too available on aircraft, namely First Person View (FPV), Heads free mode, etc.

3. Use Natural Light

Natural light plays an integral role in drone photography. Although, of course, there are drone lighting kits available, nothing can replace the warm glow that the sun adds to your real estate pictures. If you are shooting at noon, take advantage of the timing because the sun’s position then minimizes shadows. However, if the lighting is too harsh, use neutral-density filters available for drones restricting the amount of light entering the lens. On the other hand, sunrise/ sunset is every photographer’s favorite time to shoot, but be wary of the long shadows that this golden hour can cause on your photos.

4. Fly Your Drone Low

A common mistake in drone photography for real estate is the tendency to fly drones too high up in the sky, which captures only the roof and surroundings of the home. Since real estate photography aims to give a rounded view of the listing, fly your drone closer to the house to show every possible part of the exterior.

5. Highlight the Home’s Best Features

Every home has something that makes it stand out. Be it the sprawling lawn or a luxurious swimming pool, focusing on these exceptional features will make your listing sell. To ensure that the viewer’s eyes get caught in such property attributes, increase the lighting in those areas while editing. Also, don’t forget to capture the surrounding areas of the listing using drone photography, be it the surrounding homes or the lush greenery, because homebuyers are keen to learn about the neighborhood they are moving into.

6. Bring Diversity into Shots and Angles

Variety in shots and angles can spice up the final output in real estate photography. So instead of just sticking to pictures from high up, give importance to capture the exterior details of the listing, such as the flowers in the garden and the beautiful deck. Floating around in the sky at 20 feet will help you strike the right balance between the subject and its details. Also, click many different photographs from the same angle so that you can choose the best one finally from drone photography for real estate.

7. Shoot in RAW and Edit Later

As you probably know, photography is 50% shooting and 50% editing. Average pictures can be transformed in the hands of a good photo editor. It is always recommended to shoot your real estate images in RAW format to retain as many photo properties as possible. RAW files are larger, so ensure your SD card is capable enough to store the images without compression.

Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are popular photo editing tools that tailor your photos according to your clients’ needs. While some prefer popping colors, others prefer their real estate photographs to be lukewarm. Now, many photographers resort to outsourcing photo editing because it produces professional results quickly. At Styldod, we assist real estate agents in the overall beautification of homes. Our suite of services consists of several photo editing ones, including image enhancement, object removal, occupied to vacant, and day to dusk. Choosing us as your real estate photo editor can have the following benefits:

Taking Your Drone Photography to Next Level

When it comes to real estate photography drones, they play a pivotal role in capturing what no camera and talent on the ground can capture. Aerial photos are only possible with drones, and aerial shots can make all the difference in showcasing the best angles of a property.

Some glitches can occur, like bracketed exposures, shaky shots, blurred images or even clutter getting captured in certain shots. You might catch leaves floating in the swimming pool, or a neighbor's car outside the driveway, or perhaps the trash can is caught in a frame or two.

Our team of virtual staging editors at Styldod can help you enhance all the images with our services like our Image Enhancement Service or our Object Removal Service. We also offer Day to Dusk image editing to make your photos even more compelling.

Styldod is a design-tech company that aims to simplify real estate marketing and help agents present homes in their most favorable light online by reimagining and automating the listing photography process.

Having begun as a virtual staging company, today, Styldod has affordable and best-in-class products and services for every facet of real estate marketing and photography. Styldod’s suite of services include virtual staging, image enhancements, floor plans, virtual renovation, 3D renders, 360-degree virtual tours, and Matterport virtual staging, to name a few. We're trusted by over 10,000 realtors from all over the US and from agencies like ReMax, Coldwell Banker, Keller Williams.

Take Your Drone Photography to the Next Level with the Styldod Image Enhancement Tool!

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Rahul Agrawal

Co-founder and Chief Business Officer at Styldod

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