Welcome, Commercial Drone Pilots!
Join our growing community today!
Sign up

Real estate drone work

Joseph McIntire

New Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2018
Messages
3
Reaction score
0
Age
87
Is Real Estate profitable to enter into. I reside in Northwest Wyoming and winter in Florida near the beach.

I currently do landscape and rural area photography.JOEMC
 

Mike Flys

Active Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
36
Reaction score
13
Age
56
Location
Central Florida
Website
www.mikeflys.com
Is Real Estate profitable to enter into. I reside in Northwest Wyoming and winter in Florida near the beach.

I currently do landscape and rural area photography.JOEMC
Profitable? well maybe. It's not a bad way to supplement your income. Lots of drone pilots here in Florida doing it.
It does take some ground work ahead of time to do it legally.
In Wyoming it will be less of an issue but here in Florida you will need to have Airspace Authorizations/Waivers for all the controlled airspace you may be shooting pics/video in. Best just to get the Broad Area Waiver for all the airspace in the area you want to work in.

I grew up in Wyoming and live in central FL now. I would love to see some of your Wyoming landscapes...
Mike
 

PatM

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
105
Reaction score
73
Location
Central Florida
One thing that will help someone in this market is if you have a broader skill and tool set than just getting the flying shots. We have found that typically we will get asked to do interior shots of properties first, and the aerial is an added feature that some realtors will pay for while others will not. Currently only about 25% of the clients we shoot for want aerial. In nearly all instances, we will have done several jobs for a client before they decide they want aerial shots for a particular property. Rare is it that the first job with a new client is aerial work.

So basically, becoming a photographer/videographer is step one. After all, the "drone" is only another tool that holds a camera.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 6, 2018
Messages
23
Reaction score
12
Age
37
There is a nice market in with the high end guys. I linked up with a high end firm that sells roughly 80 mansions a year. They wanted to do videos for 40 of them last year for homes ranging anywhere from $800k- $28m.

This approach will require a lot more gear and experience than just being a licensed drone pilot. These guys aren't your average realtor who are notoriously cheap... these guys are looking for quality. In other words an osmo mobil won't help you out here. We were going inside the homes for well lit, stabalized, wide angle interior shots, combining them with aerial, as well as doing the editing.
 

dpwarren

Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
9
Reaction score
17
Location
Dallas, TX USA
Website
www.dpwarren.com
I agree with all of the previous posters.

Equipment-wise for large land/properties you’ll need a UAV that can handle distance and wind. I use an Inspire 1 PRO for those here in Texas. For tighter neighborhoods you need a more maneuverable drone like a Phantom 4 or Mavic.

Also you’ll need to figure out you signature shots that best show the home. Photos are one thing, but i have elevated my business by shooting and producing videos that a realtor can post to social media or put on YouTube and send the link out to buyers.

Color correction is important as well as lens filters. Anyone can shoot stills and hand them over to the agent, but to be good you need Lightroom and become proficient in correction and creating HDR photos.

Here is an article I wrote on getting started.

t has been touted that the drone services industry will top $20 billion by 2022.
  • What does that mean to you?
  • How are you going to get a share of that money?
One area of expansive growth is that of the real estate aerial photography market. In this article I will discuss some real issues that you need to know and outline some proven ways to get your first clients.

The key lesson here is to bring more to the table than just a drone with a camera and a Mac Book.

First, It is better to market yourself before you can claim to market others. Here you have some tips on how to do it:
  • You need to develop proficiency in creating a video that tells a story. Develop your skills in editing and production. Learn how to use Photoshop and push your basic editing tools like iMovie to the max before getting wrapped up in the complex and expensive tools like Final Cut and Premiere. Be proficient and nimble.
  • Be a marketing resource to your Realtors
    I even assist in the management of some of their Facebook pages to help drive the demand that my video should be bringing. Utilize real marketing skills to and work to be more than just a phototaker on using a RC controller.
  • Get to know best practices
    Know what others are doing that you are not. Do those things plus more and communicate that to your clients.
  • Expand into other commercial area of drone-based services like Mapping & Surveys. Stay tuned for my write-up on using mapping software on projects.

Now lets talk pricing:
Pricing is all about the market that you are in and the time it takes to do the property justice.

For example, on a big ranch, I would position it as a property tour, which could be much longer and detailed, so that a remote buyer can get a sense for the property before coming in to see it. These jobs are going to be harder to get (especially without a great portfolio) and they will be few.

In my market outside of Dallas (Rockwall / Heath area) the housing market is a seller’s market and the need for aerials is just not really there. BUT the realtor’s need for showing value in listing with them is very high. So, I develop the relationship with the Realtor and use my 20 years of marketing experience to provide cost effective ideas for helping them market their listings, behind just MLS.

Big focuses in my market are:
  • Homes on 0.75+ acres over $400K
  • Cost-effective virtual tours using interior shots
  • Branded social videos for listing marketing on Social Media and Emails
  • Land/Property & Lots for Sale – to show boundaries and relationship to neighborhood
  • New Developments and Construction Marketing
  • I base my “standard pricing” off of what the established companies are charging, then I reduce rates for first-time customers and provide discounts for bundling services.

Standard Pricing:
  • $150 for Aerial Photos (based off of market rates)
  • $250for Aerial Photos and Video together
  • $300-$500 for a branded and high-production video to be used on Social and YouTube
Realistic (Off-Season / Discount) Pricing
  • $75 Aerial Photos for first-time customer and $75-$100 for recurring customers, depending upon property
  • Add $150 for a branded video for use on social media OR virtual tour using existing interiors
  • Add $100 for interiors on a home <4,000 SF (market)
As the selling season starts to pick up when things turn greener and school gets close to getting out, I expect that demand is going to increase dramatically and at that time, my prices will skew towards the standard pricing.

You can see my videos on my YouTube channel: dpwarren Aerial Photography
 

Christopher Enges

Active Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2018
Messages
32
Reaction score
25
Age
67
Location
Carlsborg, Washington
Website
spiritvisionfilms.com
When I started my business in 2015, real estate work was on the top of my list for income. I got over that real quick. Most real estate firms on the Olympic Peninsula (at least the larger ones) have a least one or two sales people that own drones. They use these in-house folks to do much of the aerial work for them these days. I think a lot of them are not commercially licensed, but I'm not going to call them on it. Nor do most of them actually have editing experience and some of their videos you can tell right away.
I have flown about a half dozen high end homes and properties on the peninsula. I get called by many real estate folks, but when I tell them my prices, I don't get many call backs. And that doesn't bother me in the least. I fly for government, corporate, a local public access TV station and tribal entities and have plenty of work.
My advice to anyone entering this segment: Don't put all your eggs in one basket! Diversify! Don't just count on the real estate market for your bread and butter. You'll go broke if you do!
I charge $100 an hour for flying, with a 2 hour minimum, if I'm there 10 minutes or two hours ... it's $200. I charge $50 for editing. A typical 1.5 to 2 minute real estate video is around $400. More if I do still interior photography along with the aerials.
Here is my last real estate video I did this summer at the mouth of the Elwha river west of Port Angeles, WA. It was a combination aerial and ground based. $600. They wanted no music, titles, or voice-over.

 

ZipAerial

Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
1
Age
47
One thing that will help someone in this market is if you have a broader skill and tool set than just getting the flying shots. We have found that typically we will get asked to do interior shots of properties first, and the aerial is an added feature that some realtors will pay for while others will not. Currently only about 25% of the clients we shoot for want aerial. In nearly all instances, we will have done several jobs for a client before they decide they want aerial shots for a particular property. Rare is it that the first job with a new client is aerial work.

So basically, becoming a photographer/videographer is step one. After all, the "drone" is only another tool that holds a camera.

Yes you must be a Photographer first drone pilot second. Real Estate Agents are looking for good quality photos first and the Aerial Photos are just icing on the cake. In fact a lot of our bread and butter shoots don't involve a drone at all.


High end properties (over a Million) generally get the full treatment Photos Aerials and a Edited Video. But most every day listings are HDR and edited by hand.
 

Riggs

Member
Joined
May 19, 2019
Messages
8
Reaction score
2
Age
69
Location
Murrieta, California
Here is a recent aerial night shot

I do 2-4 drones shoots a day. 80% of them are a combination of Interior/Exterior House shots and 5-8 aerial drone shots. I'm currently under contract with TourFactory working in Southern California.
 

Attachments

Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: BigAl07

DJ SureShot

Member
Joined
Oct 1, 2018
Messages
16
Reaction score
3
Age
46
Location
Orlando, FL
Here is a recent aerial night shot

I do 2-4 drones shoots a day. 80% of them are a combination of Interior/Exterior House shots and 5-8 aerial drone shots. I'm currently under contract with TourFactory working in Southern California.
THAT is an awesome shot. What Drone and settings and Editor? I primarily fly a P4P+ and use Lightroom, but yours is something exceptional...
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigAl07

BigAl07

Administrator
Staff member
DSAR Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
1,827
Reaction score
1,207
Age
48
Location
Western North Carolina
THAT is an awesome shot. What Drone and settings and Editor? I primarily fly a P4P+ and use Lightroom, but yours is something exceptional...

I completely agree. That's an awesome "Twilight" shot. Very impressive work.

@Riggs how much of the light spill from the windows etc is "Actual" as opposed to added in post? I'd that one has a good bit of post work to come in with that final result. That's definitely a great "Opening" pic for their portfolio.
 

Russ Still

Well-Known Member
Approved Vendor
Joined
Jan 15, 2018
Messages
192
Reaction score
155
Location
Atlanta, Georgia
Website
www.UAVGroundSchool.com
Real estate is an "obvious" choice for many new drone businesses. And for that reason, it's also the most saturated. My best tips for real estate are:

(1) Do whatever it takes to align yourself with several >successful< agents or brokerages. Make yourself their go-to guy. Be a professional. Ditch the man-buns and cover the tats.
(2) Stop taking taking pictures of the roof!!! You have a drone, but that doesn't mean you have to go to altitude on every shot. 20 feet is probably gracious plenty unless you're going after big landscape angles.
 

BigAl07

Administrator
Staff member
DSAR Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
1,827
Reaction score
1,207
Age
48
Location
Western North Carolina
Real estate is an "obvious" choice for many new drone businesses. And for that reason, it's also the most saturated. My best tips for real estate are:

(1) Do whatever it takes to align yourself with several >successful< agents or brokerages. Make yourself their go-to guy. Be a professional. Ditch the man-buns and cover the tats.
(2) Stop taking taking pictures of the roof!!! You have a drone, but that doesn't mean you have to go to altitude on every shot. 20 feet is probably gracious plenty unless you're going after big landscape angles.

Great advice all the way around.
 
  • Like
Reactions: DJ SureShot

Meta4

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
160
Reaction score
79
Age
63
(2) Stop taking taking pictures of the roof!!! You have a drone, but that doesn't mean you have to go to altitude on every shot. 20 feet is probably gracious plenty unless you're going after big landscape angles.
Exactly No-one's buying the house for its roof.
You need to show what the buyers are interested in.
 

New Threads

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Threads
2,129
Messages
20,232
Members
3,364
Latest member
GStuart