Is drone photography and video marketing worth it?

February 25, 2019

In many ways, the idea of using drones to capture great images and videos of a listing can be enticing. But does it get real estate professionals as much bang for their buck as they might expect?

On the one hand, any agent worth their salt knows that it's often attractive photography or video that draws in potential buyers, whether they see a listing online or in print. But on the other, some may be wary about what drone photography can do for them, especially given the startup costs they might face, according to Design Blendz.  Data suggests, however, that most people today like having video options when they're looking at listings online, whether the footage is of the home itself or the neighborhood in which it's located.

Why drones can be so effective
The good news with drone photography or video is that it usually looks good no matter how agents use it. Whether they are simply posting footage on YouTube or Facebook, or putting photos on mailers or newspaper ads, the images drones capture often can't be replicated.

Agents also have two options for obtaining this footage: They can either pilot the devices themselves or partner with a local photography or videography professional who specializes in drone use. In both cases, all involved have to make sure they are following all local and federal regulations, and have specific drone insurance that will cover them in the event of a mishap. The latter, of course, may only add to the cost considerations when figuring out ROI.

Maximizing the quality
There are other considerations for agents to keep in mind as well, such as the "above-the-curb" appeal of a home, according to Drone DJ. For example, if they take the drone up to get aerial shots of a property, and the yard itself or the roof isn't in great shape, that can actually be a bit of a negative. In addition, experts warn that a common mistake made when getting those shots is that pilots fly drones too high, and end up showing off more roof than house.

Furthermore, agents have to keep in mind that they can't just post raw photos or videos from a drone shoot, and should come into the process prepared to spend at least as much time editing the images as they did shooting them. Even something as simple as tweaking the brightness and color saturation of a single photo can go a long way toward making it look more attractive and getting as much value as possible out of the time and money they spent on a shoot.

Of course, every agent's needs are different, so they will have to carefully consider a number of factors, including the cost of buying a drone themselves or hiring a photographer. But if real estate pros weigh all their options and find the potential boost they could get from more attractive photos and videos to be worth their while, then drones can be a great way to market their listings.