Drones For Real Estate – How to Capture Real Estate Photography, Videography and Reach Your Target Audience

Drones in Real Estate - Real Estate Videography and Real Estate Photography

New and disruptive technologies are having a profound impact on how goods and services are being sold in the marketplace. The use of drones in real estate is one such example that shows how fast new technologies can disrupt age-old practices.

Survey figures certainly buttress this fact:

  • A property with aerial imagery is 68% more likely to sell
  • 83% of home sellers prefer to work with agents who are using drones

In this descriptive blog post, we reveal some nuanced information that will help you extract maximum benefit from drone technology. This post shall be particularly useful to real estate agents, home buyers, and sellers, or anyone else looking to maximize their real estate gains.

What are The Different Uses of Drones in Real Estate?

Marketing is the most popular end-use of real estate drones. Using aerial photos and videos, agents can better highlight the salient features of a real estate property. Apart from this, aerial shots can help you capture the neighbourhood – which is not possible with ground photography.

As far as marketing is concerned, creating well-edited timelapses is another excellent and creative end-use. Using drones, it is possible to capture the different stages of construction, and then stitch all these clips together to create a drone hyperlapse. 

Apart from real estate marketing, drones are a convenient home inspection tool. For instance, using drones with high zoom cameras for roof inspections is faster, cheaper, safer and way more accurate. Likewise, drones equipped with thermal cameras can be used to detect and fix any building insulation problems.

Which are The Best Drones for Real Estate?

Real estate drones for real estate photography and real estate videography
DJI drones are the go-to option for many real estate applications

For real estate photography, you need a drone with a large sensor, good battery life, and excellent low light capabilities. DJI’s Mavic 2 Pro with its 10-bit, 20 MP Hasselblad sensor checks off all these boxes and is generally regarded as one of the best drones for shooting real estate. Absence of 4K60 and a rolling shutter (a global shutter is faster) are unimportant as far as aerial videography and photography are concerned.

Mavic 2’s other variant, Mavic 2 Zoom, while a great choice for creative videography, will impact your ability to capture rich and detailed images due to a smaller, 12 MP sensor.

The recently introduced Skydio 2 has excellent autonomous capabilities, and is priced cheaper than the Mavic 2 Pro. An impressive 13-stop dynamic range means that you should be able to capture highlights and shadows with ease.  However, like the Mavic 2 Zoom, the Skydio 2 has a smaller sensor which might deter some prospective buyers.

The Autel Evo, priced at $999 is another great option for real estate videography and photography.

The Mavic 2 Enterprise Dual – with zoom and thermal capabilities is a great choice for home inspections. If you need higher zoom capabilities you will have to go for more expensive options like the DJI Zenmuse Z3 or Z30.

Pro Tip – Buying a drone capable of flying in Atti Mode is recommended. Though the Mavic 2 Pro does not come with Atti Mode, you can hack this drone to activate this mode.

Best Real Estate Drone (Overall) – Mavic 2 Pro

DJI Alternative for Real Estate Videography and Photography – Autel Evo

Best Drone for Real Estate Home Inspection – Mavic 2 Enterprise or Inspire 2

What is the Best Time to Shoot Real Estate?

Drones in Real Estate - Real Estate Photography and Real Estate Videography
Golden Hours are the best time to shoot real estate

Sunrise and sunset are the best times to capture drone footage. A scientific phenomenon called Rayleigh scattering is responsible for the magnificent colors that you witness during these “Golden Hours”. Because the sun is farther away from the earth, sun rays have to travel through more air volume – which results in the greater scattering of light.

So, what is a better time to shoot – sunrise or sunset? This is a question that end-users often ask us. And the answer is “It Depends”. Generally speaking, you will get more clear skies at sunrise, and warmer hues at sunset. One advantage of shooting at sunrise is that you might be able to capture the lovely foggy mornings.

Pro Tips – #1. As per Part 107 rules, drone pilots are permitted to shoot half an hour before sunrise and half an hour after sunset. Outside of these hours, you will need a Part 107 waiver to fly a drone at night. Currently, the FAA is evaluating a NPRM (Notice for Proposed Rulemaking) which make might it possible to fly a drone without obtaining a waiver.

#2. Using ND filters allows you to overcome hardware restrictions – and enhances flexibility. Orange gradient and blue gradient filter can be used at sunrise and sunset respectively.

Do I Need Permission from the Property Owner to Fly?

The straight answer is NO. If you have permission from the FAA, a private property owner cannot prevent you from flying over their property. But an important clarification – Though you can fly over private property, you CANNOT take-off and land from private property.

So, as long as you are taking off from a public road or a public park and flying over private property, you are not breaking any drone laws.

Tips and Tricks for Creating Engaging Real Estate Videography

  • Recommended length of a real estate video: 90 seconds to 3 minutes. Typically, a sub-$500,000 home would have lesser amenities and thus merit a shorter video
  • Keep the demographics of your target audience in mind while making your video. If you are selling a cheaper home in a college town, for instance, you can pick faster music that is more likely to appeal to the younger crowd. 
  • Turning on all interior and exterior lights will add more warmth to your footage
  • Clear the site of any construction debris and water your garden and plants
  • Use transitions to enhance the appeal of your drone footage
  • You do not need to shoot every room in your video
  • Make sure that your video follows a chronological flow
  • Use royalty-free music from a source like audiojungle.net so that you do not run into copyright issues. Even YouTube has a great collection of royalty-free music
  • Flying 20 feet above the roof-line will allow you to capture the neighborhood

Tips & Tricks – Real Estate Video Marketing & Photo Marketing

Drones in Real Estate, Real Estate Videography, Real Estate Photography, Real Estate Marketing

On-Page SEO

With multiple real estate agents scrambling for the buyer’s attention, you MUST follow the best SEO practices that help you garner the widest possible reach.

Before uploading your drone images or videos to your website, it is advisable to do some quick keyword research using tools like SEOMoz or Ahrefs. Ideally, you should look for keywords with –

  • High Traffic
  • Low Difficulty and,
  • High Organic CTR

Incorporating these keywords into your listing title and description will help you maximize your organic traffic. Also, when you upload your drone images to your website, you can input this keyword-optimized post title in your “image title” and “alt text”.

We also recommend compressing drone images using a tool like JPEGMini. This will help your images load faster and improve your page speed – an extremely favorable consideration for search engines like Google.


If you have certain key listings that you are particularly motivated to sell, you can consider writing an SEO-optimized blog post describing the many key features of your listing. An 800-1000 word blog post should suffice.

Paid Ads

Running paid traffic to a landing page is another option for marketing a real estate property. For instance, using Facebook Ads, you can upload your mailing list to build a “Custom Audience” off it. You can then, regularly pitch your video and image ads to these custom audiences and drive them to a well-designed landing page which encourages them to opt-in.

Email Marketing Automation

Once a lead opts in, a real estate marketer can target them according to their behavior. For instance, using CRM’s like Kartra or ActiveCampaign, you can determine the exact moment when a lead stops watching a video. You can assign tags for different time intervals and drive your leads into different email sequences based on these tags.

So, for instance, for a video, these tags can tell you if –

  • A lead clicked but did not watch a video
  • A lead left halfway
  • A lead stayed till the very end and saw the sales pitch

Having tailored email sequences for each of these leads will result in higher conversions and more business for an agent.

If you found this information useful, you might want to check out other blog posts as well. Watch this space for the latest and most exciting drone news and updates!

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