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Drones in Real Estate: Can Aerial Views Help Sell a House?

Millionacres logo Millionacres 9/20/2020 Liz Brumer-Smith
a group of people in a garden: Drones in Real Estate: Can Aerial Views Help Sell a House? © Provided by The Motley Fool Drones in Real Estate: Can Aerial Views Help Sell a House?

Sure, quality photography can easily sell a house over listings with no or poor-quality images. But with advancing technology, it's now possible to take real estate photography to a whole new level. Enter drones for aerial photography.

Drones and aerial footage can take a property listing up a notch. But is the cost and effort worth the outcome? Let's take a look at the 5 W's to get a better understanding of how drone footage can help sell a property.

What is drone aerial real estate photography?

By technical definition, a drone is an unmanned aircraft. For aerial photography purposes, it's a camera that can be flown over a property by the pilot, who remains on solid ground. The pilot can take video or still images, which can vary greatly in quality, depending on the drone and camera.

But don't assume this tiny contraption won't take quality photos. Drones can have excellent 4K cameras. When compared to the old-school approach of spending thousands of dollars to hire helicopter pilots and finding a professional photographer willing to hang off the side to get the perfect shot, drones are a much more achievable -- and safe -- approach to aerial photography.

Why use drone photography in real estate?

Drone-attained aerial imagery will set you leagues apart from traditional photography, allowing the buyer to get a much better feel for the lay of the land. According to multiple listing service (MLS) statistics, properties with aerial imagery are 68% more likely to sell than those without it. This is an opportunity to paint a picture, if you will. You can create a mood or feel for the lifestyle the buyer will have if they purchase this property. Instead of individual static shots where the buyer has to flip back and forth, they can easily flow from one element to the next.

When to use drones in real estate

Not all real estate necessitates aerial footage. It will likely depend on your asking price for the property, what your potential profits will be, and the overall market, and the type of property. It's typically utilized when there are unique features to highlight that otherwise would be difficult to convey. Large or higher-end homes, commercial property, land with a lot of acreage, or properties with picturesque views can also benefit greatly from aerial photography, because it will give a better vantage point to put all the pieces together while potential buyers are in front of their computer.

Who can provide drone photography for real estate?

While most real estate investors don't have a personal drone for taking these images, a large selection of companies will provide aerial photographs or video. Services vary greatly, depending on the size of the property and extent of the footage, but you can expect to spend between $200 and $500 for an average property. Do your homework before hiring to make sure the company is licensed and insured, and look at past projects to ensure they are to the quality and standards you want and expect.

Where to capture

When getting aerial images with the drone, aim for sweeping views, pictures encompassing the entire property, and hard-to-show yet important features like the condition of the roof. Make sure to capture any interesting features of the property like its proximity to the beach or the wooded path down to the entertaining area. If the property is waterfront, have the drone show potential buyers what it's like to access the property from the waterway to capture the beautiful water views. Show nearby features like the walk to the community pool, hiking paths that border the property on public lands, and the restaurant scene for the historic downtown district just a few blocks away from the property. With the drone, you can even go down the street, into the drive, then through the front door, just as if the buyer were walking into the home themselves.

The bottom line

Aerial photography is no longer a view reserved for super high-end properties. At just a few hundred dollars, drone footage can be used to sell almost any listing. Take advantage of all this unique perspective has to offer by allowing your potential buyer that bird's-eye view of their future home and watch just how quickly it will sell.

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