Aerial Drone Real Estate Photography: What Everyone Ought To Know

aerial drone real estate photography

Aerial drone real estate photography helps to sell homes

Many home buyers these days are searching for real estate outside of their current location.  What this means is, people are looking for more information so they can make better informed decisions before visiting the home.  Drone technology effectively gives every consumer a handheld tour of the property’s exterior and the entire neighborhood.  As a result, buyers can see potential problems right away.  This makes for more efficient home shopping and gives agents who provide aerial drone real estate photography a distinct advantage.

The FAA allows commercial use of aerial photography

In the past, the FAA has sent out mixed messages regarding the use of drone equipment for commercial purposes.   Now, it is clear that selling drone services is legal as long as the company abides by common sense regulations.  For example, to fly drones commercially, service providers need to file a 333 exemption with the FAA and follow the following rules:

  • Max altitude of 400 feet
  • Pilot must have a visual line of sight on the drone at all times
  • Must fly during daylight hours only.
  • Max velocity of 100 mph
  • Must yield to manned aircraft
  • Do not fly over people
  • Must not fly from a moving vehicle

There are also areas where drones are strictly prohibited.  These include sports stadiums and any locations within five miles of an airport.  For a more detailed summary of the rules, please click here or visit the FAA website to search approved aerial drone operators.

New drone equipment makes producing aerials affordable

Just a few years ago, real estate agents would spend big bucks renting helicopters for aerial photos.  Today, drone real estate photography pricing starts at around $200, or about the cost of regular photography.  Therefore, agents and homeowners from all types of properties can afford aerial drone real estate photography.

Not your father’s aerial photos

Aerial photos used to consist of a top down view of the home’s roof and yard.  As a result, it was very hard to determine spatial relationships.  With drones, photographers can capture a property from all angles.  For example, the shot can begin on the ground, then transition up the front yard at roof height maneuvering over the home to the other side and back.  The flight path is so flexible that insurance companies are using drones to help determine the extent of roof damage.  Furthermore, some of the most dramatic aerial drone shots involve flying near ground level.  At 6-10 feet high, a drone can fly up the driveway for a perfect POV entrance shot.

Aerial photography is here to stay

Drones are already flying all over the sky in a variety of applications including law enforcement, meteorology and delivery services.  In 2016, the FAA issued more than 500 approvals per month and started using summary grants to speed up the process.  A study by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) estimates that the aerial drone industry will generate more than $13.6 billion and create 70,000 new jobs within the next three years.  Of course, the growth of aerial drone real estate photography has not been without controversy.  Many privacy advocates have voiced concerns resulting in local ordinances.  Hence, real estate photographers would be best served by, no pun intended, rising above those who give drones a bad name and sticking with a strict code of ethics and safety.

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7 Comments on “Aerial Drone Real Estate Photography: What Everyone Ought To Know”

  1. Elisabeth Southgate

    It is good to know that the FAA has approved some guidelines for commercial drones such as not flying above 400 feet and only during daylight hours. I can see how using a drone to get real estate shots can be incredibility useful. Knowing though that there are some restrictions when it comes to using them can be helpful for business to know.

  2. Cameron Bennett

    I like that you mention that the aerial industry will create about 70,000 jobs in the next few years. This is an exciting prospect because not only are more jobs opening up, but aerial photography is adding a nuanced twist to photography that wasn’t as common before. I think it’s good to embrace it because the photography can be utilized in many types of businesses.

  3. jamesmatrin

    I’m planning to sell my home and want to make sure that my property have to be stand out from the crowd. So I’m looking for the best ideas to view my house and in this blog, I got useful information and this aerial photo is a very good idea, how much it cost to use this service for my house?

  4. Tyler Meredith

    I like that you talk about how it’s important for a company offering aerial photography services to abide by certain FAA regulations. It makes sense that this is essential to ensure it’s safe and legal to photograph the house without any issues. Thanks for the post; I’ve been wanting aerial photos of my home and yard and looking at companies that abide by the regulations could be very helpful.

  5. Tomas Killington

    My brother is selling his home soon. He wants to make sure he stands out from the crowd, so he’s looking at different photography options. I didn’t realize drone photography is able to represent good spacial relationships by giving you a top down angle. I’ll be sure to share this option with my brother.

  6. Alex Dean

    I am thinking about selling my home, and am hoping that it if I do it will be a quick sell. I am trying different techniques to help me do this, and I heard about using a drone service to get aerial photos. I like the idea that using this type of service will give potential buyers a tour of my property’s exterior and the neighborhood. One suggestion I would have is to probably look for someone that is a professional when it comes to flying a drone, and an extensive knowledge of how to get the perfect shot. This article really did help with giving me ideas of what I can do to sell my house!

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