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Real Estate Photography

PatM

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So I thought I would make a post here since this is where much of my aerial work thus far is coming from. While I have been into videography and photography for over 20 years or so, my main drive is the video side. My wife is a professional photographer and does mostly events, portraits and; starting a few years ago - real estate. I was already flying multi rotors and taking photos and video as a hobby but when see got asked for aerial work I started to study to get certified as a 107 operator to supplement her business.

So now we have this ability and we are getting work but; here in Florida, the housing market is on fire and for the most part, realtors could show a child's crayon impression of a house and it will sell - thus the sellers are electing to not to pay the extra for the aerial.

I'm looking at putting together a video package for real estate that is more comprehensive than simple photos and just wondered what others out there are doing or where you think this market is going.
 

IrishmanPDX

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Some good questions there, speaking as a potential buyer of housing? I've been browsing John L Scott and while it's always nice to see the house photo's, one of the things I will always do is copy the house address into google maps and get a satellite view of the house. Mainly to see where it is in location to the neighbors, how close the main road is, what shops are in the area etc. However on the one or two occasions that I'll come across something with drone footage.... the drone footage just doesn't seem to show what I want to see (which at the very least is where the neighbors are, and where the main road is). Instead I'll see some nice cropped orbit shots that doesn't include anything outside of the property lines, or some slightly elevated shots of the front or back of the house.
So maybe it's worth your while doing a survey of potential buyers and what they would want to see, rather than let the estate agent give direction, get a feel for what the buyer wants to see, not what the agent thinks they want to see.
Just my two cents.
 
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PatM

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I agree. This is where I want to go with my video work. The house and property are important, but buyers want to see so much more and I think realtors are pigeon-holed into certain types of routines and formats to show prospective buyers.
 

IrishmanPDX

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I agree. This is where I want to go with my video work. The house and property are important, but buyers want to see so much more and I think realtors are pigeon-holed into certain types of routines and formats to show prospective buyers.
There is a lot of useful stuff that could be shown via drone footage that would help the buyer, some of it's just as simple as showing a car/suv or mini van pulling into the driveway, how much room is there? Could you fit two in side by side or one after the other? Sometimes it's not easy to see that from estate agent pictures because they all seem to love their wide angle lenses that makes a shoe box look like a ball room. Right now, if I pull up the estate agent photo's of the house I currently live in, it would show a narrow driveway up to my house. What it wouldn't show is that there's space for parking 3 full size pickups to the left and room to turn them around in the driveway. So honestly, when I go to sell my house, I'd want to make sure that's something the potential buyers could see online.
I've seen some houses online that looked like they were surrounded by land, had a long private driveway on them and with that, I would make arrangements to go see the house. When I arrived however, it would turn out that the agent was very specific with the camera angles and you could knock on the front door from the main road. I think proper drone footage would help eliminate any false pretenses and be more informative for the buyer.
 
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I think this is going to be a great site for us to learn from and help each other!! I cover Realty work for several different agent's and they all have there own opinion of what the buyer wants to see and also what they want the buyer to "NOT" see.. I edit and produce a short video for each house using the pics and some short video captures while doing the outside aerials.. You don't want to spend a lot of time on a video because they don't want to pay much for any of it.. Once they see the exposure they get from the video's on YouTube they start paying attention!!
 
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Tim Jones

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One thing I have learned over the past few months, don't let my fascination with aerial footage, (and getting it) throw me off my ground game.
A 100% aerial property video is fine, but video is telling a story.
I have started shifting some of my focus back to my ground game. I think in the end my final mix might be more in the 40/60 aerial to ground content.
 
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PatM

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I think your right on. A lot of pilots get caught up (no pun intended);) in very high, long and overly repetitious clips. It takes very few shots from the air to broaden the story; after all the aircraft is just another tool to hold the camera.
 

Tim Jones

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Exactly, it is no different than a slider, or a tripod.
The dang things are just soo munch fun. I have to admit it tripped me up.
What I have learned to do now, is get on site. Talk to the client and find out what story they want to tell.
And use the aerial component for placement and good B roll, or to specifically accentuate location.

Lately I have been trying to introduce an interview component. With a few seconds of live video talking to the person about a property, but keeping the audio as they describe things to lay over video of what they are talking about
 

Meta4

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There is a lot of useful stuff that could be shown via drone footage that would help the buyer ...
I've seen some houses online that looked like they were surrounded by land, had a long private driveway on them and with that, I would make arrangements to go see the house. When I arrived however, it would turn out that the agent was very specific with the camera angles and you could knock on the front door from the main road. I think proper drone footage would help eliminate any false pretenses and be more informative for the buyer.
If you want to be paid by a RE agent, you have to understand where they are coming from and what they want.
As the photographer the agent hires, your job isn't to assist the buyer.
The photography (or video) is just the bait to attract the customers.
They don't want to show anything that might be thought of as a negative feature as that might cause a potential buyer to ignore the property and shop elsewhere.
If the location of the property relative to other features like a beach, shopping etc is a positive feature they may want to highlight that.
But the buyers themselves can work out how close the neighbours, highway, factory, high voltage powerline etc is when/if they inspect the property (or when they do their own research.
You can't expect an agent to give people reasons to ignore the property before they see it.
 
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EhmayWuntee

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I assume the majority of realtors don’t want to just hire you for some aerial shots to add to their other photos, they prefer to find a one stop shop that does the full interior stills as well, correct?

It’s something I’d consider getting into, but the time commitment difference from aerial only to the full 9 yards may make it a tough after hours and/or weekend gig.
 

Meta4

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I assume the majority of realtors don’t want to just hire you for some aerial shots to add to their other photos, they prefer to find a one stop shop that does the full interior stills as well, correct?
For convenience and cost, they would much prefer dealing with just the one operator.
Either their regular interiors guy often has a drone nowdays or the agents often do the aerials themselves.
In my part of the world, shooting (just) aerials for RE agents died out a year ago.
 

AerialEye

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Have you given any thought to offering 360 degree interactive panos? This allows the potential buyer to view the area around the property including neighboring homes and streets. You can also add ‘pins’ to points of interest and their distances from the property in Ps. POIs like schools, public transport, shopping centers etc.
Here’s an example (without pins).
okolo: Test
 

Airbender

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Last real estate job I had was specifically to show proximity to shopping, dining etc. The client turned his nose up on my piano offer :(

Interestingly I thought some pins dropping in on the video with the names/logos of some of the well known restaurants and stores would be a good idea, but nobody wanted to finance the extra edits.

I have to agree that the seller and sellers agent are going to want to hide any visible negatives. In the car industry they try to bury the high mileage and direct you to the awesome sound system :)
 

PatM

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I assume the majority of realtors don’t want to just hire you for some aerial shots to add to their other photos, they prefer to find a one stop shop that does the full interior stills as well, correct?

This has been the case for us. In fact all of the jobs I have done are piggy-backed to the original hire for typical full house interior and exterior shots. The aerial shots are an additional cost that occasionally the realtors have decided not to spring for; but the basic stuff they do.
 

PatM

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. . . .In my part of the world, shooting (just) aerials for RE agents died out a year ago.

With the advancement in satellite technology, the quality of imagery available to the general public is rapidly increasing. I can can envision
it getting to a point in the near future that services like Google Earth will eventually have imagery that will be "good enough" for many realtors
and the aerial imaging services of UAV operators are going to be priced out of existence or; they will have to be able to provide a full range
of imaging services.
 

AH-1G

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Here's a thought. Real Estate Agents don't like paying out the money. So why not get local businesses to advertise on your aerial shots. Agent and customer get it free, businesses advertising from a different perspective;). Yea it's extra footwork, but that's what marketing is all about, HUSTLING!
 
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RAHAlpha

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First I wanted to say that I think it's great that someone started this specific forum. Now, for my 2 cents worth:

I've been doing RE photography for about 4 years but just got into the aerial thing when a couple clients asked me about it. When Part 107 came around, I had already studied up and tested the first day and been offering aerials ever since.

Per this thread, I can say that I've found, here in Albuquerque, NM, that my clients aren't too concerned with long aerial video. What we've sort of settled on is that I usually give them 5-7 good stills from different angles and then maybe a 15 sec fly in or 20 sec orbit or, sometimes, both. A couple of my clients said that potential buyers don't want a ton of exterior work before they get to the interior shots so that's what I give them.

Second point that I won't get deeply in to is price. Just based on my limited research, I have to say that realtors here are a bit on the "conservative" side in what they will pay. I charge as much as I can hope for but the agents just don't seem to appreciate the effort we go to to get a 107, get an expensive drone, practice/learn, edit, etc. I hope the rest of you have at least a few clients who properly appreciate what it takes to add aerial work to our ground work.

Hope all are getting a good start to 2018 and I'll look forward to seeing more of what you all say on this forum.

Bob
 
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