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!
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