Real estate marketing is all about creating a good first impression. And while photos and videos can make a property attractive to buyers, drone videos take curb appeal to a whole new level – quite literally.
If you’ve been on social media or YouTube, you’ve no doubt seen these sweeping and cinematic videos. So why not put them to use for your own listings? They can make an already impressive listing downright irresistible for buyers.
Before anything else, though, let’s take a deep dive into aerial videography.
Why use drone videos?
From more engaging listings to better lead generation, drone videos offer several important benefits. Take a look at the major ones below:
Show the big picture – It’s only natural for homebuyers to focus on the house itself. But they’re not just buying property — they’re moving into a neighborhood, too. Since drone videos show the house and the lot it’s built on, it’s easier for prospects to see the bigger picture. They can assess the overall size of the house, how expansive the yard is, and what the surrounding houses look like — things that static photos or video walkthroughs can’t accomplish.
Drone videos are effective – At the end of the day, drone videos are marketing tools that ought to generate leads. As it happens, they’re very effective at that task. Data shows that listings with aerial images sold 68% faster than those that had only standard photos. Having a drone video helps a home stand out from the competition, giving sellers a much-needed edge.
Showcase your tech-savviness – Whether agents like it or not, they have to be digital natives nowadays. After all, millennials comprise 26% of all homebuyers according to data from REALTOR®. And that’s saying nothing of Gen Z’ers, who are quickly coming into age and have already become homeowners. These two generations are well-versed in all things digital and being able to offer drone videos when listing their property paints you as a tech-savvy agent.
It’s surprisingly affordable – As high-tech as drone videos might seem, they’re actually surprisingly affordable. On average, hiring an aerial videographer costs roughly a couple hundred dollars per hour. And you’ll get value for your money, too, as drones can also take videos of a home’s interiors. This two-for-one deal is a major reason why drone videos are becoming more and more mainstream these days.
What are the drawbacks of drone videos?
Drone videos are fairly new so it’s only natural that they have some hiccups. Before you hire a team, take heed of these potential drawbacks:
There might be privacy issues – If you’re taking an aerial video, you’re also inadvertently taking footage of the surrounding properties. Neighbors might not necessarily appreciate this unintended exposure and might object to your shoot. This is especially true of exclusive and gated subdivisions where privacy is of utmost importance. As such, it’s crucial to secure the proper permissions before taking any footage.
Mishaps do happen – The Federal Aviation Administration says there were over 1.7 million drones registered in the U.S. as of 2020 — a number that has surely only grown. With so many people operating these devices, it’s inevitable that mishaps will occur. In fact, data from the University of Florida found that about 4,250 drone injuries were reported between 2015 and 2020 — not a staggering number, but not zero either. And that’s saying nothing of the property damage a drone might cause if it malfunctions and careens from the sky. Fortunately, you can avoid such scenarios by hiring licensed and experienced aerial videography companies.
The weather can foil your plans – You can plan every aspect of your drone video shoot and still get no footage if the weather refuses to cooperate. For safety reasons (and to protect their equipment), operators won’t fly their drones when there’s snow, rain, or strong winds. Be sure to check the weather report in the days leading up to your shoot so you can reschedule if necessary.
When should drone videos be used?
Just because you can commission aerial videography doesn’t mean you should. Drone videos are merely tools and it’s up to you to decide if they fit your marketing strategy. That said, there are certain scenarios where using aerial videography is a smart move.
Highlighting location – As the real estate mantra goes, it’s all about location, location, location. While your drone videos can give would-be buyers a bird’s eye view of the property, you can also zoom out further to show the rest of the community. The footage can highlight how near the property is to good schools, work hubs, green spaces, shopping centers, and major thoroughfares. When convenient location is a major selling point, drone photography can truly accentuate it.
Spotlighting size – Are you tasked with selling a multi-acre estate? Static photos really can’t capture the grandeur of the property since they’re often taken from ground level, which limits your field of view. Video drones have a much wider perspective, however, making it easier to showcase the scale of the property.
Creative storytelling – Buying a home is an inherently personal experience, one that tugs at the heartstrings before the purse strings. Luckily, effective storytelling through drone videos can help people make an emotional connection with a home and convince them to buy it. For instance, you can shoot a video from the driveway to simulate what it’s like to pull up to the house after a long day. Or you could take footage inside so it’s like the viewers are walking through the property themselves.
Drone Operation: DIY or Hire a professional?
Believe it or not, video drones are classified by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) as an aircraft. In fact, it designates such devices as unmanned aircraft systems or UAS.
As such, you have to earn a license before you can operate a drone legally. This entails passing The Recreational UAS Safety Test (TRUST), obtaining a remote pilot certificate, taking the Aeronautical Knowledge Test, and undergoing a TSA security screening.
If you don’t have the time or the inclination to go through this convoluted process, you’re better off hiring professionals instead. But how do you find the best commercial aerial videographer? These are just some of the factors to consider:
Make sure they’re licensed and insured — First things first: ask them to furnish their license. This ensures that you will get excellent videos while also preventing mishaps that come with hiring unqualified amateurs. The team should also have insurance, which will cover any property damage or injuries should accidents happen.
Look at their portfolio — Aerial videographers are just like photographers in that they often specialize in certain types of shoots. So the best way to know if a drone operator will do great work is to look at their portfolio. Have they done real estate videography work before? Do they have an eye for showcasing a home’s best features? Are their videos creative or compelling?
Ask about their equipment — Drone technology has grown by leaps and bounds so you can now purchase a good quality drone for a couple hundred dollars. That said, you don’t want a contractor who uses “prosumer” equipment — if you’re going to do aerial videography, you may as well go all out. As such, it’s crucial to ask what equipment the operator will use; the more high-tech their gear, the higher their rate will be, but the higher resolution your footage will be, too.
Inquire about backup plans — There’s always a chance that your drone shoot will hit a snag, so ask your contractor what their backup plans are. Do they have spare video drones on standby if the deployed one malfunctions? What happens if the weather turns bad? Do they charge extra fees if you have to reschedule? These are all questions that will save you time and money.
How do you get the best drone videos?
Though you’re hiring a videography crew, you’re still calling the shots. You need to have a clear idea of what footage you need and what story you want to tell. To help you, check out how Agent Image’s esteemed clients use aerial videography to showcase their listings:
Tracy Tutor — As one of L.A.’s most successful agents, Tracy Tutor has a portfolio of luxurious seaside homes. To spotlight the deluxe lifestyle these properties offer, she used aerial drones to capture the expansive shoreline and how easily accessible it is for residents.
Kristin Stroh — This renowned agent specializes in Treviso Bay, a resort-style country club in Naples, FL. The drone videos highlight not just the high-end homes in this development, but also the world-class amenities residents enjoy. Sweeping views of fairways, lakes, tennis courts, and the grand clubhouse immediately communicate the leisurely living this community offers.
The Jills Zeder Group — The Jills Zeder Group uses drone videos strategically to showcase not just the beautiful homes it represents but also the prestigious communities they’re situated in. The seaside location is also deftly displayed, making listings more attractive to buyers.
Michelle Maldonado — From its towering skyscrapers, to its verdant golf courses, to its massive sports arena, Nashville, TN certainly has a lot to offer buyers. And all these are on full display on Michelle Maldonado’s website via drone videos. The bird’s eye view makes it clear that the city boasts both modern bustle and suburban comfort.
Christophe Choo — When people think about aerial videography, they immediately think of footage taken in broad daylight. Christophe Choo bucks that trend with his drone videos of L.A.’s stunning skyline taken during dusk. It’s a dramatic way of showcasing just how beautiful this iconic city is no matter the time of day.
Andreas Elsenhans — Los Angeles is home to many hillside mansions that offer incomparable vistas of the city and the surrounding mountains. As such, Andreas Elsenhans used drone videos to highlight the enviable location these listings have. The videos are breathtaking proof of why these properties are worth purchasing.
Bryan Halda — Miami Beach is a sunny slice of paradise located where the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico meet. Fittingly, Bryan Halda used drone videos to take footage of the pristine waters, white-sand beaches, and the high-rise luxury condos that line the shore. No other kind of video could have done justice to the gorgeous views of this resort city.
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