Drones used in real estate

First impressions are vital in the real estate space; in fact, 50 percent of buyers found the home they purchased via the internet, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The first impression buyers have of a home will be on the internet. many current and future buyers will shop homes for weeks or months before contacting an agent. Typically at this point they have found homes they will be interested in looking at and it will be the motivation of calling a realtor.

Many have taken their presentation of homes to a whole new level, literally, with the use of drones.

“Drones are the newest tool in real estate marketing, taking a great listing and making it stand out from the rest on MLS” says Tom Stevens, Owner of On Point Photography, who emphasizes the importance of being unique when marketing real estate.

“Having a photographer that uses drone photos makes my listings pop when I list them next to others. I get a lot of positive feedback from other realtors, buyers and sellers on the photos in my listings” stated Karina Vazquez, a Murrietta California Realtor.

One noted perk

Listings typically sell faster and at a higher price when using drone photos. Karina has witnessed firsthand the power of drone photography and videography in relation to market time.

“I had one particular client ask me to showcase their backyard, in the listing,” says Karina, that property had been listed with another agent and was on the market for about a year at that time and I was going to be the third listing agent. The previous agents had pretty good photos but they were not capturing the size a, view and beauty of this homes outdoor space. “Within two week of posting new photos including the drone images she sold the property because the aerial photos showed the home at a different angle, showcasing the large backyard and the surrounding nature.”

What real estate markets are using drones?

Originally it was used exclusively for high-end luxury homes to show off large properties, amazing views or special features. The price of drone photography has come down in recent years and realtors are realizing the benefits of aerial photography for all listings. As a result, almost every real estate photographer has a drone to shoot their real estate shoots. It has become an industry requirement for photographers to include or at least off the service for real estate clients.

“High-end luxury and horse properties tend to be the most common properties, but there has been a huge increase in aerial photography on mid-level homes looking showcase the listing and any amenities that may come with the home. This is especially popular in gated communities where there are communities pools and community centers” says Karina. “I can’t tell you how important this is, especially with existing properties that have been on the market for a while.”

Most people fail to realize there are regulations on drones and it requires licensing to operate one commercially. the fines can be quite hefty if you are caught taking real estate photography without the proper license. (For more information on the FAA’s small unmanned aircraft continue to read here.)

Drone technology itself, as well, is now being built with restrictions (both legal- and weather-related) in mind.

“The latest, consumer drones are very intelligent and easy to operate,” Tom says. “There are numerous apps, like UAV Forecast, that read your GPS coordinates, current weather, wind, and visibility, and to inform you if it’s safe to fly to fly your drone.”

Privacy concerns

Many people feel uncomfortable because drones can view over fences and into areas that many feel as private sanctuaries. The standard drone does not have a camera that will be able to zoom in to levels that can truly be invasive. They are designed to take wide-angle photos and video that are not extremely detailed.

Most people still think of drones as spying devices as our military has used. This is an unfair stigma that has been applied to drones. But as people start to see the private uses and benefits this stigma will start to wane.

Once these privacy apprehensions are tackled, drone usage in real estate can make the difference between a stale listing with average photographs or a hot property that flies off the market in a matter of days.

“The true value is in the new ways to market real estate, but it’s also in what the agent brings to their brand,” Tom emphasizes. “The agents that know how to bring the most out of the property by utilizing drone services to elevate the listing have a powerful tool to help them sell faster.

“It’s all in the story you want to tell the prospective buyer, and how you’re utilizing photos and video to bring that story to life.”

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