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The Role of Drones in Real Estate Marketing: Part 2

Drone for Real Estate Marketing

If you’re ready for your real estate marketing to really fly (pun intended) in 2017, you need to be considering drone photography and videography.

Last week in Part 1, I talked about how important drones are to real estate marketing. Recently relaxed regulations, combined with the incredible benefits of drone photography and videography, make it a no-brainer.

Or, at least, it would be a no-brainer if you owned one and knew how to fly it. Most Realtors® don’t. I have good news for you, though – you can either get one and learn to fly it, or you can hire someone to take care of that aspect for you.

Just as there are professional photographers and stagers that help you with your listings, there are professional drone operator photographers and videographers. The key is to find, hire, and use drone technology to the best effect.

Strategy One: Buy and Operate Your Own Drone

The first strategy is to purchase a drone and learn to operate it yourself. In fact, instead of going into it completely alone, you could partner with the other Realtors® in your brokerage for the purchase.

Once you have a drone, you can learn to fly it yourself or appoint someone within your brokerage as the drone operator. Then, you or the appointed operator can make extra money performing drone photography and videography for others inside and outside the brokerage.

Buying a Drone for Real Estate Marketing

When you go to buy your own drone, keep in mind that prices and quality vary significantly. To comply with the law, keep the drone and camera under 55 lb total weight.

There are many options available for drones for real estate marketing, and they range in price significantly. You can start as low as $700 and pay as much as $3300. You’ll want to do research depending on your needs, but you can also use the “wine bottle rule” – don’t pick the lowest or the highest, but rather in the middle, and you’ll probably get a good quality, useful product.

Make sure that the drone you choose has a 3-axis gimbal, a suitable 4K camera, spare parts and a hard case to carry it.

Operating Your Own Drone

When it comes to operation, the FAA has released specific guidelines to help you understand what you need to qualify under Part 107. Some highlights include:

  • You must keep the aircraft within a visual line of sight (VLOS)
  • You can only fly the drone in daylight
  • Maximum altitude of 400 feet or within 400 feet of a structure
  • You cannot operate more than one drone at a time
  • A person operating a small unmanned aircraft must have a remote pilot certificate
    • Need to pass an initial knowledge test at an FAA approved center or hold a part 61 pilot’s certificate and complete an unmanned craft training class
    • Need to be vetted by the Transportation Safety Administration
    • Need to be at least 16 years old

Strategy Two: Hire a Drone and/or Operator

Obviously, doing the entire drone and operation yourself is an expensive and time-consuming endeavor. Unless you have a real love for drone aviation, it may not be worth it to you. Although, if it is, it could become a good side income for you!

Hiring a Drone Operator

If you’re outsourcing your drone operation work, you can find people who charge hourly and those who have a fixed price for certain deliverables. It’s usually best to go with the fixed price so you know exactly what you’re getting.

The services you need for a listing generally include:

  • one 60-second 4K aerial video of the single-family home
  • 15 high-quality still shots taken inside and outside of the home
  • one 30-second interior video

To find a drone operator, you can ask for referrals from those you know, or you can search services like Droners.io  that allow you to request quotes, read reviews, and find the best local professional for your needs.

You’ll want to ensure that a drone operator is properly qualified, has a portfolio you can examine, has references, and carries appropriate insurance coverage. Before allowing the drone operator to begin the shoot, be sure to check their license, drone registration, and liability coverage to ensure everything is active.

Finally, ask to see their planning checklist and ask what the normal timeframe is to shoot the deliverables you requested. Be sure to ask if there is an additional charge for video or photo editing.

Is Drone Real Estate Marketing For You?

There are many benefits to drone real estate marketing, and it will definitely help you stand out in your area, win listings, and build prestige.

Due to the costs, you may decide that drone marketing is something you only want to include for properties that have a certain financial value and price. Right now, drone photography is most common for high-end listings. However, I think there’s value in doing it even for mid-range properties.

Remember, if you get started with drone photography and videography now, you’ll be gaining experience while everyone else is resting on their laurels. When drones become a normal part of the business, you’ll be experienced and poised, not just starting out!

If you’re ready to update your print marketing with new photography for 2017, we’re here to help. Printerbees has dozens of templates that can easily be customized with your images. Contact us today to get your print marketing materials ready for 2017!

The Role of Drones in Real Estate Marketing: Part 1

Drone for Real Estate Marketing

Using drones, or unmanned aircraft, as a tool in real estate marketing may be the biggest innovation in 2017. While some Realtors® have already hired drone pilots to capture photos and videos, many have not, but the trend will grow significantly in the next year due to changes in FAA regulations.

With that in mind, here’s a guide to the role of drones in real estate marketing. Next week, I’ll be talking about the technology needed and how to find, hire, and use drones in your own marketing.

Why Use a Drone in Real Estate Marketing?

A drone is essentially a flying robot to which you can attach equipment such as a camera. Why would it be an important element of your marketing strategy?

Recently Relaxed Regulation

Drone photography has been a major topic of conversation in real estate for the last two years, but FAA regulations made it almost impossible to operate a drone for commercial purposes.

As of August, 2016, the FAA changed drone operator restrictions, making it much easier to use drones for real estate marketing. This means that drones will be used a lot more in 2017, and it also means that your clients will start to request – or at least ask about – drone photography and videography as part of a marketing strategy.

A Unique Overhead View

Drone photography and video footage adds a unique perspective to real estate marketing materials. You can get a grand view over a home, showing off the size, location, landscape, and even elements like a pool and exquisite backyard deck.

Standard marketing photos struggle to give a real sense of size, relationship, and scope inside and outside a home. Drone photos can change that.

In addition, drone videography allows for a seamless walkthrough experience, as well as majestic video of surrounding natural views and landscaping. In addition, you don’t have to worry about obstructions making a listing seem smaller than it is. An overhead view gives the full picture.

Take a look at this stunning drone video of a property in California to see what I’m talking about.

drone-video

The Viral Nature of Gorgeous Videos

Want to have your listing go viral? If you didn’t answer “Yes!”, I’m sending someone to check your pulse.

The bottom line is that gorgeous videos are easily shareable and people WANT to show these videos to their friends and family. When someone is house hunting, they look for second opinions – and many times, they just show off a pretty home.

Your drone video allows them to do both. Because a drone can capture a home, the surrounding views, and even the entire neighborhood, you’ll be creating content that can easily go viral.

Capture a New Client With a Drone Demo

When you’re prospecting FSBO’s or expired listings, you need to stand out. Can you imagine their face if you were able to show them a beautiful drone video you did for another listing, and offer to do the same for them?

Chances are, you’ll be the first one they’ve heard offer such a thing, and it’s a great way to win a listing in a very competitive market. Even the most jaded homeowners have to admit that drone videos are really cool.

It Will Help You Sell Land

Selling a lot with a traditional written description and regular photographs is an exercise in futility. Instead, turn to a drone. A drone can give either aerial photographs to help enhance your description, or you can use a drone to shoot a video and provide narration as it flies.

Stop relying on Google maps and create your own photos and footage of the lots you’re selling. The impact will be immense, and you’ll be able to see exactly how a picture is “worth a thousand words”.

Don’t Wait: Use Drones Now

There’s a tremendous value in being an early adopter of drone marketing technology. You want to use it in your marketing while it’s still novel, while you’re still one of the few deploying it.

If you wait until everyone is doing it to jump on the bandwagon, not only will clients be less impressed, but you’ll be less experienced. This means that while others have mastered new techniques and have learned how to save money and time, you’ll be fumbling with the basics. This will make your marketing far less effective.

Stay tuned – next week, I’ll be talking about how to find, hire, and use drone photography and videography in your marketing. You won’t want to miss it!

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New Ways to Approach Real Estate Marketing in 2017

New Ways to Approach Real Estate Marketing in 2017

The new year is rapidly approaching, and new marketing techniques can help you stay competitive. Of course, the old standbys of farming, using just sold and just listed postcards, and following up with expired listings will always be important.

But technology has given Realtors® unique approaches as well, and it’s important to know about them so that you can experiment and stay ahead of the curve.

Virtual Staging

You can save thousands of dollars by using virtual staging instead of having a stager set a home for you. Virtual staging is a growing trend as more and more buyers rely on online pictures and online videos to review homes.

With virtual staging, you can show what a home would look like with furniture, artwork, rugs, plants and more. Because buyers often narrow down their home choices online before deciding to view a home in person, your virtual staging can be a vital part of showing your listing in the best light.

If you’re concerned about buyers being disappointed to find that the home isn’t actually staged, you can put a high-quality printed image of the virtual staging in each room. This can help buyers remember what it looked like furnished, while also being able to imagine where they might put their own belongings in the empty home.

Use Drones to Create Videos and Photos

Drones are the newest disruptor in real estate marketing. With a drone to take high-quality photographs and create video of a property, you can have eye-catching listing photos that will help you stand out from the pack.

A flying camera can allow you to get aerial photos of a property, showcasing a swimming pool, incredible deck, and beautiful porch – all at once! You can also use it to show off the dramatic views available around the home.

A drone can also allow you to create videos in a seamless fly-around style, giving the ability to showcase the interior and exterior of a home in a way that has never been available before. The FAA has exemptions available for commercial drone operation, including use for real estate marketing.

Not only will this help you sell homes for top dollar, having drone marketing as part of your strategy will help you win listings because it will show that you are a tech-savvy Realtor® who takes advantage of every marketing opportunity.

Encourage Sellers to Install Home Automation

Having a “smart home”, or certain elements of the home’s operation automated and accessible via mobile devices can add to a home’s value. It can also help a home sell more quickly and draw a lot of additional interest in the listing.

Adding a good-quality home automation system can add 3% – 7% to a home’s value. The best systems focus on lighting control, security, and temperature control. Buyers can save money on utilities and gain peace of mind about their home while they are traveling or out of the house.

Installing home automation doesn’t have to be expensive, but keep in mind that the lowest-level automation systems won’t have the same effect on the home’s perceived value as better systems. Encourage homeowners to choose a reputable, full-featured service. They’ll gain back far more than the purchase price.

Technology has changed real estate marketing dramatically in the last five years. It will continue to impact how real estate agents market homes and assist buyers. While print marketing and other traditional techniques will always be relevant, you can improve the results by integrating other marketing methods like the three I mentioned here.

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