Real Estate Photography

 8 reasons to book a drone pilot for real estate photography

Most estate agents do their own photography, and consequently most property images are taken from a ground perspective. Estate agents appear reluctant to offer drone photography. Why bother?  There are many reasons. Buyers are making the largest investment of their lifetime, and will wish to consider the purchase of a home from every angle. 

1/. Marketing & competitiveness -  

Agents that offer something different can be more competitive, and stand out from the competition, conclude more sales; surely that is what business is all about? It costs nothing to offer drone photography, and videography services, the only costs incurred happen once the client agrees to accept the added service. Drone photography can be offered as an add-on that is chargeable as an upfront cost, not a freebie included in the commission. Not every vendor will choose this service, but vendors with larger homes who want a quick sale will certainly be interested. To stand out from the crowd, elevate your service offering.

2/. Perspective - 

Drone photography can offer a new perspective; a slightly elevated shot can show the home at it’s best to tug at the heartstrings of the buyer, thus reduce the time to conclude the sale. 

All agents seek to shorten the sales cycle; they only get paid once the property sells. What better than to show a property in the sunset, from this or that angle, or from a height to show it’s rural location.

3/. Condition - 

Agents can offer a condition report to show a roof survey. Buyers will be interested to see the roof condition, as well as any solar panels that may be installed. 

4/. Thermal Properties - 

Some pilots offer thermal reports to show the thermal insulation credentials, or where insulation might be added. 

Drones can be fitted with thermal sensors that measure the relative surface temperature of land and buildings beyond the scope of human vision and create aerial thermal imaging for analysis and reporting. Drones offer far more information that you would get in an energy efficiency rating home buyers report.

5/. Elevation - 

Vendors that purchase larger properties will be interested to see the property boundaries, extent of the land, scope for extension, off-road parking, extent of and condition of the gardens, and features like pool, summer house, hot tub. 

6/. Neighbourhood - 

Buyers will want to see the property neighbourhood - a big factor when purchasing a house, the largest investment that most people will make. Buyers who seek rural properties wish to know where properties are located - drone photography offers far more that Google Earth possibly can.

7/. Internal 3D Photography - 

Many drone operators offer an internal photography service, and 3D walk through videos. These services have become very popular during the covid pandemic to allow buyers to view properties during lockdowns.  

8/. High Rise Apartments - 

Street elevation perspective photography is a serious shortcoming, don't you think? 😊 Drone photography sells. 

Questions to ask a drone operator

Some drone pilots are hot on marketing, some not, but you’ll want somebody who is local and reliable. You will need to know that the drone operator is qualified and licensed according to local regulations. Drone pilots will need liability insurance - this can be purchased by the operator on a yearly or even hourly basis.   

You will want to know what equipment the drone pilot uses. Some drones are merely toys, professional drones and cameras separate the newbies and wannabes from professional drone operators, so always ask the question - what equipment do you use? At the end of the day, the vendor will decide whether or not to go for silk purse or pig’s ear quality, you get what you pay for. You’ll want a pilot who has lots of experience, so will want to check out their website portfolio to see past work. (rather than someone who just got a drone for Christmas)  Post production techniques are a factor - drone pilots may specialise in mapping, thermal, 3D, photography or videography - videos help your company market properties via YouTube.

Where to find a qualified drone pilot in your area?  

First call should be  - if you cannot find a local pilot there, request help via the form or post an opportunity on the FaceBook group at 

The do it yourself approach

Could an estate agent do his / her own drone photography? Yes they could, so long as they are experienced, trained and qualified, licensed, insured, have knowledge of local regulations and have the latest equipment and post processing skills. If you don’t have the time and money to acquire these skills, best to hire an expert.