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Drones in Real Estate

Helicam Aerial Photography for Real EstateIn real estate, there’s a thing called “curb appeal”. This describes the impression that a home makes on a potential buyer when they see it from the curb. Realtors will work their clients hard to get them to increase the curb appeal of their homes, which makes them a lot easier to sell.

No matter how much curb appeal a home might have, however, the person seeing the home for the first time from the street doesn’t really have much of an idea of what that home looks like in the bird’s eye view. Enter the drone.

Helicam captured video is becoming increasingly popular as a way to advertise real estate. For those who plan to use their drone to do this commercially, there are some legal considerations that have to be taken into account. 

Of course, there aren’t any legal considerations if you’re just making a video of your own home and, if you want to expand out to making some money with your drone, that’s a fine way to start.

If you get a helicam and start taking aerial shots for your own use, you’ll soon see what they have to offer. For someone considering buying a home, those aerial shots can make a huge difference in the impression a property makes.

Before we get to the sales appeal, however, the business appeal bears examination.

The Ease for Realtors
Realtors depend a great deal upon having good photos, video and virtual tours of the homes that they represent on the market. The photographers who shoot this material are typically very pressed for time and, if a realtor happens to want aerial shots, that can entail a long wait and a lot of money, particularly if they go the route of hiring a helicopter to get the footage.

With a helicam, this is all much easier. The DJI Phantom line are good choices in multirotors for this type of photography. Depending upon the regulations that apply, the realtor or their videographer may have to file for a permit to do the shoot, since it’s being done for commercial purposes. This is not always the case, however.

If a contracted helicopter shoot doesn’t get the footage the realtor needs, it’s inevitable that it’s going to be a huge hassle to get the footage again. With a UAV, the realtor need only pilot it themselves or have their drone pilot run out to the property and reshoot. It can literally take under an hour to get a new set of images and video footage to use for the listing. 

This is particularly handy when a home is on the market for a long time. It makes it easy enough, for instance, to get autumn aerial shots in the autumn, summer shots in the summer and so forth.

The New Curb Appeal
Having aerial shots and footage of a property gives a potential buyer a very real sense of what that property has to offer. There’s a big difference between seeing 3 acres in a plat book and on a video, for instance. The video footage can give the potential buyer a sense of the geometry of the property. It can also give them a good sense of the neighborhood, the area around it, the proximity of resources like stores and so forth.

The bird’s eye view can really make an impression and realtors are figuring that out more and more. As they do, it’s inevitable that the use of multirotor UAVs like the DJI S1000 octocopter in real estate will expand. There’s just no reason for that not to happen, given how inexpensive and convenient they are compared to other means of getting aerial footage of property.

Learning the Controls
For realtors who want to do this themselves, there are myriad benefits. The video footage they get can be used over and over in some cases. Because realtors do tend to represent the same neighborhoods repeatedly, any footage of a neighborhood that is permissible may be used for multiple listings. Knowing where the roads lead, the intersections are and so forth is great information for any homebuyer.

These drones are also very compact. The models in the DJI Phantom line can easily be put in the car and driven out to a shoot. There’s no huge equipment required and the video from these devices can easily be edited on any video editing software.

Watch out for more aerial shots and videos coming from realtors. Because of the nature of what they do, realtors are often early adopters of technology that allows them to get better imagery of their properties and give them a competitive advantage.

UAVs have a lot of recreational potential, but with professional grade equipment becoming more and more affordable, it seems inevitable that businesses of many kinds will be finding a use for helicams and what they offer. They’re easy to set up, can be used indoors or out and give great results.



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