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Drones for Real Estate | A Complete Guide

aerial drone

Adding new technology is an important part of continued success in real estate. While traditional methods, such as placing a classified ad, putting signs in the yard, and other methods are still effective, technology is changing the way people look for homes. The millennial generation (over 50% of them) use their smartphones and the internet to search for homes.

Drones are becoming very important for real estate personnel. The sale of drones for commercial use is set to reach 2.5 million drones sold in 2017. This is a 300 percent increase from the previous year. The Real Estate industry is set to see an increase in the use of drones for business purposes. Real estate agents are said to make up 22 percent of all commercial drone use by 2020.

There are two main uses for drones in the real estate industry, to create great looking material for marketing, and they are used to conduct home inspections. The use of a drone can set the real estate agent apart from the competition. It can help the agent connect with their client and stand out in the industry.


Drone Usage for Real Estate Marketing

Technology has allowed real estate agents to show the true beauty of a property. They can show videos and photos of the homes using this technology. These images are high quality, which will get the attention of potential home buyers. The high-quality images can also increase the asking price for the home.

Real estate professionals use drones and video to make the home look more appealing and give new information to potential buyers. The drone will allow for aerial views of both the home and the property. While regular pictures are helpful, potential buyers want to see the entire property. Adding aerial pictures with photos of the home will allow the buyer to see the entire layout of the property. They will get to see how the home, the yard, and other features, such as the shed all work together.

Pictures taken by a drone will allow the potential buyer to see all of the great features of the property.

Drone Down View


Location Proximity

While the agent can describe the property, it is not the same as seeing a picture of the entire property and all of its features. The drone will also allow the potential buyer to see things that are close by. The drone pictures and videos can show:

  • The walk to the local school for children
  • Entertainment options can be shown, including restaurants. The pictures can also show gas station and grocery stores
  • If the home is close to the ocean, lake, river, mountain, or other natural feature that are close by
  • Drones can showcase the positive features in the neighborhood

Location Drone Shot


Neighborhood highlights: Potential home buyers are going to want to know about the neighborhood. They are going to want to see if the homes around them are well cared for. Are they close to busy roads? Are there steep hills that can pose a threat in the winter? Do the roads have sidewalks? Home buyers will often use Google Maps to see a street view of the area. Now the real estate agent can use their own drones to capture these views so the potential buyers can be checking out their site.

Drone Benefits in Real Estate

Real estate professional needs to have a competitive edge. They only get paid when a person purchases a home. The drone can help them make sales in a number of ways including:

Having a Direct Impact on the Selling Price: The biggest benefit that the drone has in real estate is to offer high quality pictures that show the entire property. A study found that homes with the highest quality photos sold at asking price or above the listing price, 44 percent of the time. The study also showed that homes that were priced between $200,000 and one million dollars sold for $3,400 to $11,2000 higher than the price they were listed at when high quality pictures were shown.

Drones will help the realer stand out in the business: Many real estate websites will allow the agent to upload many pictures of the property. There is one image that will stand out to potential buyers. An aerial picture from the drone will help the property stand out and people will want to share it. This will lead to a quicker sale.

The use of drones can create new opportunities for the agent: Drones will show potential customers that the agent is willing to put in the extra time and effort. Drone videos and pictures will help attract more people to the website, home listings, and social media. The more exposure the agent has, the more likely they are to make a sale.

Drone aerial images are affordable: In the past, in order to get an aerial image, the agent had to pay a small plane or a helicopter to fly over the property. This costs thousands of dollars. Only pictures of high end properties were shown using this because of the cost. Drones are affordable to use. Every property can be shown with aerial pictures thanks to drones.

When drones are used in real estate, they will show the value of the property to both the agent and the potential buyer. The drone will help the potential buyer make an informed purchasing decision. This is something that is important for everyone involved in process.


Home Inspection and Drones

Home inspections are an important part of the buying process. Seventy-seven percent of homes sold in both the United States, as well as Canada, are inspected before the deal is closed. If the inspection report is incomplete or contains inaccurate information, the homebuyer may face potential problems with the home. For example, a study found that out of 21,000 different properties that needed a roof replaced, the average cost of this replacement was around $7,000. Home inspectors use new technologies to make sure their reports are accurate and that the inspection is done in a timely manner.

A home inspector can use the drone to help with the inspection of the property: The inspector will be able to see more of the property. They do get up on ladders and check out the roof but the view is not as good as they would get from aerial pictures. When the winter comes, a homeowner may find ice due to loose shingles that may begin to leak or a chimney that needs replacing. The drone will allow the inspector to see the entire roof, including the problem areas. The top of the roof can be viewed without a problem. It will be easier to see problem areas and the videos and pictures can help with the inspection.

drone above house

Drones will allow inspectors to see problem areas: Many inspectors walk on the roof to check it out. If they make a wrong step they can end up damaging the home. Concrete or slate tile may crack and steel or other metals may be bent. It the temperature is hot that day the inspector may accidentally leave their footprints in the asphalt shingles. Damage to the roof and the materials that it is made out of can allow moisture or water into the home. This can lead to major issues with the roof.

Drones can increase safety for the inspector: The roof may be steep, have a slope, it may be sagging, or it just may be old. There are many dangers on the roof. If the roof is not safe no one should be up there walking on it. The roof is one of the most important parts of the home inspection and some inspectors may get up there anyway so they can write their report. With drones, pictures can be taken. They can even be zoomed in. These pictures will allow for an up-close view without putting anyone in danger.

For most people, purchasing a home is the biggest investment they are going to make in their life. The drone will allow them to get a complete inspection. They will get the information they need to make an informed decision about purchasing the home and any hazards that may be present.


Purchasing a Drone for Real Estate Professionals

If you are interested in the purchase of a drone for marketing purposes or to be used during a home inspection, there are six features that you will want to look for in the drone:

  • Camera: The first thing to look for in a drone is the quality of the camera. Drones can be upgraded for thousands of dollars to get the perfect camera. All that is needed is the 4k, which comes standard on most models. They can give the high-quality footage that is needed.


  • 3 Axis Gimbal: a gimbal is a machine that is used to keep the camera steady and level. They will reduce the vibration in the drone and will keep the camera stable. This will allow for higher quality footage. A 3-axis gimbal will adjust up/down, left/right, and forward/backward, allow the user to have total control of the movement of the camera.


  • Battery life: Look for a drone that can stay in the air at least 20 minutes. Some drones have that batteries that are built into them. Each time the drone flies the entire unit has to be charged. Drones with batteries that are removable are easier to use.


  • Autonomous flight features: There are some autonomous features on drones including Orbit, Follow, and Waypoints will allow the users to take special shots. Orbit will allow the zone to fly in a specific radius and capture points of interest of the user’s choice while circling in the air. The Follow mode will allow the drone to follow a remote control. This can be useful to catch the features around the homes, such as parks of schools. Waypoints will allow for GPS locations to be set. The drone will follow this path. This can be helpful when taking pictures of the neighborhood or a large area of land.


  • Protective Case: Drones are becoming more durable and a protective case will help keep it safe. Look for a hard case. This will provide protection in the air and protection when storing the drone.


  • Customer Support: Drones are usually simple to operate, but if there is a problem, customer support can help. See what type of support is offered before purchasing the drone.


Before Flight | What You Need To Know

The average drone weights around 55 pounds and will need to be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration. The user will register an account with the FAA and give some information about their company and the drone. There is a $5 fee per drone. All of the drones can be operated from one account. If they are used for commercial purposes, a registration number will be needed. The number needs to be somewhere clearly visible on the drone.


Additional Requirements:

  • According to Part 107 certification: As of August 29,2016, drones that are used for commercial purposes need to be 107 certified. The requirements for this certification include:
  • Users must be at least 16 years old
  • They need to be able to understand, read, and speak the English language
  • They need to be in good physical and mental condition
  • They need to pass an FAA approved knowledge assessment

Background checks: Pilots of the done need to have a criminal background check performed by the Transportation Security Administration before operating the drone.

After registering the drone, getting the certification, and the proper background check, the drone may be legally used for commercial purposes. There are still some regulations as to where the drone can be flown.

  • The drone must be kept under 400 feet above ground level. It must have a clear line of sight
  • The drone can be operated during daylight hours or twilight only
  • It cannot be operated over people
  • It cannot be flown over stadiums, airports, or areas that are restricted

For more information, be sure to read the FAA Summary of Small Unmanned Aircraft Rules


In order to run a successful real estate business, it is important to use the latest technology. Drones can be used for marketing or home inspections. It will allow quality videos and photos of the property. Drones can help the customer make an informed decision about their purchase and can drive new customers to the real estate office.

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