The following post was written by Chris Grillo for DroneBase. Chris Grillo is a freelance writer and journalist who works with clients in tech and product development.
When it comes to residential real estate, career success and financial security is almost entirely built on sweat equity of the individual agent. So much of the business is contingent on the health of the market and the costs and potential headaches associated with a property are often revealed after a commitment has already been made to the listing.
Because of this, agents are forced to rely on the few things they can count on, like their personal ability to work hard, and the value that exciting imagery brings to the marketability of a home.
Among the ways in which agents endeavor to capture the potential of a home for prospective buyers, none is as statistically supported to drive sales as aerial photography.
According to the MLS, home listings that feature aerial footage sell 68% faster than those advertised with ground level, still photography. From the seller’s perspective, the data trend is similar. The National Association of Realtors reports that agents who consistently utilize aerial photography are favored by 73% to those that do not. Still, despite the incontestable data, only 9% of agents are capitalizing on aerial imagery within their listings.
There are a few reasons why this might be. Namely, agents likely associate aerial photography with the costly and time-consuming process of employing helicopter or airplane photographers which may only seem worth it for listings of multi-million-dollar homes.
With the inception of more accessible drone technology, however, companies are beginning to exploit the cumbersome process of traditional aerial imagery. Companies like DroneBase have emerged, offering an option for any and all listings, regardless of value, that is affordable, less invasive, and much, much faster.
It is perhaps the last benefit that is of most importance. As agents begin to use aerial imagery in their listings, and their homes begin to sell faster, they will need a reliable source of footage in order to keep up with quick turnaround. The long, drawn out means by which helicopter and airplane photography is done is a sure-fire way for a real estate business reliant on aerial imagery to lose momentum.
Drone piloting companies like DroneBase, on the other hand, can provide a higher quality product without the time sucks. Booking a drone pilot is seamless and time in the air is much more efficient for a drone because of its maneuverability. Most importantly, DroneBase aerial imagery packages include the content production work that many traditional aerial photographers leave to the agent making it a far superior product in every sense.
Perhaps the most discouraging thing about securing helicopter or airplane photography is all that has to happen before takeoff.
Often, companies that provide these services are limited to one or two aerial vehicles that are backed up from dates far in advance. The inability to secure a helicopter charter directly after an initial inquiry is definitely not conducive to residential real estate. Agents need to secure footage to post almost immediately after securing a listing. You never know when a future buyer could be browsing, and every minute counts.
Conversely, DroneBase asks for only 48 hours to put things in motion from the time of confirmation to the actual flight. This is the same timeframe one New York Helicopter Charter allots simply to respond to inquiries.
If an agent is able to wait for a helicopter or airplane pilot’s next available flight date, they will experience the subsequent time inefficiencies of the flight itself. Many traditional aerial photography companies require leaving from and returning to an airport nearest to the property site. In some parts of the country, the nearest airport is not so near, and travel from the runway to the airspace over the listed home could take much of the contractual hour for which you are paying up to $3500 dollars.
While drone pilots will sometimes cancel flights because of weather, drones are far more adaptable to conditions a helicopter or airplane pilot might deem too dangerous for travel. Often last-minute cancellations due to inclement weather of any kind. Certainly, this is not reflection of the pilot. After all, they are the ones at risk. It is merely a fact of aerial imagery that drone flights are cancelled or delayed far less often due to weather.
Effective aerial photography using a plane or helicopter is an extremely difficult to capture. Typically, it requires the stabilization of cameras by an operator harnessed at the edge of an open door. Needless to say, sometimes vital shots are missed or shot poorly, and the vehicle is forced to backtrack or complete the planned flight a second time. All of this is to say, traditional aerial photographers spend much more time in the air.
In addition to the not-so-user friendly camera setup, is the fact that aerial vehicles are HUGE pieces of equipment when compared to a drone. For this reason, they cannot fly very low in residential neighborhoods, which makes it difficult to capture a variety of angles without including surrounding properties in the shot.
A drone can hover directly over and around a single property in a much less invasive way. One of the big arguments against drone use in residential real estate is just this: the potential to infringe on the privacy of neighboring homes and to crash and cause damage outside the listed property. Companies like DroneBase contract licensed drone pilots who are highly vetted. These are folks who know exactly how to get the hard shots without intrusion thanks to DroneBase’s propriety training and the continuing development opportunities offered to pilots online.
The End Game is Content
As a real estate agent, your aerial footage is marketing content.
Imagine this: The airplane you chartered didn't fly until two weeks after you booked. When it did, it went over budget. You are relieved that this process is over and you learned some valuable lessons. Then, you find out that the company only provides the raw footage of the shoot, completely uncut, unfiltered, and unvetted. Because of your time constraints, you will likely have to hire someone to sift through the hundreds of images and video clips in order to collate the most marketable package to be listed.
Unfortunately, the above is a common scenario for agents who have depended on traditional imagery, and that is not the worst of it. In some cases, pilot and photographer are separate hires. This requires even more leg work and opens up a new world of inevitable scheduling conflicts.
All that is wrong with this situation is avoidable if agents opt to collaborate with companies like DroneBase that provide drone imaging packages that are practical to specific industries. DroneBase understands the residential real estate agents want a fast turnaround of aerial content in order to market their properties. For this reason, residential real estate services are packaged by the amount of standard, itemized content included. What’s more, the most extensive content package is guaranteed to be delivered in three business days. For the speed and ease of use alone, drone companies set themselves apart as the absolute best choice for use in residential real estate marketing.
Ready to level up your RRE marketing and sell more listings with aerial data? Get started today!