Welcome to Real Estate Drone Photography! Before I start talking about all the wonderful things my blog is going to do for you and your real estate business, I want to talk about why I am doing this. From the time I was a small child, I was completely mesmerized by anything that flew. My mother was always terrified that I would grow up to be a fighter pilot, because when I was 3 years old I didn’t want to watch cartoons, I wanted to watch Top Gun. Well, I didn’t grow up to be a fighter pilot, but I did grow up to be an Aeronautical Engineer.
In the past year, I have become absolutely obsessed with drones. The pace at which these technologies is advancing is astonishing. 10 years ago, it would have been unthinkable that the average consumer could obtain a quadcopter that could hover by itself using GPS signals, return home if the satellite signal was lost, AND deliver stunning high-definition video, all for less than $1,500. But that’s where we are. And it’s only going to improve from here. With the large number of drone companies entering the market, the only limit to what these wonderful machines will be capable of is the limit of the human imagination. We truly are on the verge of a technological revolution.
That’s enough about why I am doing this. What do I hope to accomplish here, and what information do I hope to convey?
What is a drone?
I’ve talked about how much I like drones, but what exactly is a drone? When you heard the word “drone”, this term may conjure up images of covert military operations being carried out in far away lands. While this is one area of application, the use of drones has become much more commercially widespread. I will be addressing the types of drones that are available commercially, their applications, and how exactly drones obtain and process data.
Is it legal to use drones for business purposes?
The FAA has recently relaxed the restrictions on drone use for commercial purposes. They haven’t been loosened to the point where Amazon is going to be delivering packages across town anytime soon, but for an individual with the proper credentials, valuable marketing materials in the form of aerial photo and video can be obtained quickly and efficiently. In addition to FAA regulations, several states have created their own set of drone regulations that must be followed. Don’t worry, you don’t have to have a legal background to interpret these rules.
Why should I use drone photo and video for my real estate marketing efforts?
The answer to this one should be fairly obvious. What’s more impressive to you, looking at stills taken at ground level, or stunning 4K footage taken from above? Drone photo and video will never replace traditional real estate photography, but they will become a standard addition in the next few years. Why not start taking advantage of this competitive edge now, not when your nearest competitor has incorporated it into their marketing efforts?
Should I buy my own drone, or should I hire a drone service provider?
The answer to this question will depend on how often you actually need drone photo and video for your listings. If you routinely find yourself in a situation where aerial video would be a great asset, it may make sense for you to go to the trouble of buying your own drone, becoming a FAA certified remote pilot, and actually learning to fly your new toy. Otherwise, you may want to find a local competent, safe, remote pilot to provide the drone photography services for you. I will go through the process for each approach.
The questions posed above are by no means an exhaustive list of topics which I intend to cover. I’m sure that in the process, I will think of many other questions that need to be answered. This is a rapidly changing technology, and one that I am very excited about. I hope you are excited too.