Should real estate agents buy a drone?

 

Should real estate agents buy a drone?

Drones, also known as quadcopters, are becoming a staple in the real estate industry.

Not too long ago, getting high quality aerial photographs of your properties required helicopters, airplanes, and thousands of dollars in fees. Sure, you’d get a quality final product, but you wound up feeling like you paid to shoot a scene from Terminator.

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Let’s hope you didn’t spend any extra money on this guy (photo courtesy of Wikipedia).

Drones have made aerial photographs and videos accessible to even the smallest of real estate agents.

These remote-controlled flying devices may have a large initial cost and a learning curve, but you can save money over time the more you use it.

In other words, instead of pumping your photography budget into a helicopter or airplane service to get a small number of properties photographed/videoed, you can put that money toward buying a drone that allows you to get a larger number of properties photographed/videoed—even the lower priced listings.

Are real estate drones a short-lived gimmick?

It doesn’t seem so. As of June 2016, approximately 39 percent of drone permits went to real estate professionals: https://www.zillow.com/agent-resources/trends-and-data/tips-and-advice/drones-real-estate-photography/.

Look at it this way—drones are simply the latest technology that people are using to solve a problem: how to get aerial photos of real estate.

Before, the solution to that problem was expensive and complex. It just so happens that this is the newest solution.

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How can drones help with your real estate business?

Drones can help potential buyers get views of the entire property or land for sale.

If the property is near an amenity like a public pool or a golf course, you can use aerial footage to create a visual representation of the proximity to those features.

Or maybe the property is near a school for the kids or close to a gated community entrance—it’s all perfect for showing off on a drone.

As drones become more and more popular, sellers may expect aerial photographs as part of your standard service package.

Now, there may be reasons not to include aerial footage as well, such as undesirable features that would be in the shot, like a close-proximity freeway, for example.

“Do I really have to buy a drone?”

If the idea of purchasing and learning to fly a drone feels overwhelming for you, then you may want to outsource the job and only use the service for larger, more expensive properties. There are several drone photography service providers in southwest Florida that you can hire to provide this service.

Outsourcing aerial footage may be more expensive in the long-run, but as your business grows it may make more sense for you to spend a bit more money in order to save time.

Sidenote: take a look at some of the amazing real estate footage people are grabbing with drones. Video courtesy of Utah Aerial Imaging

(Don’t think that you have to make some fancy video like this to make aerial footage work—start with taking still images and work your way up to videos, even if they’re not as amazing as this one.)

Or perhaps you’re new to real estate and don’t want to put in the initial investment for a quadcopter along with your other start-up costs. That makes sense.

In that case, you may want to wait until you get more clients and start selling more expensive properties before you invest in a drone.

If at that time you feel the need to get more aerial photographs, then go for it. There are lots of tips and tutorials online to help anyone learn to fly.

Either way, aerial footage is cheaper and more accessible than ever for real estate agents, and that’s a good thing for everyone, including your clients.

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