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Drones in Real Estate: Benefits and Risks

May 20, 2021 | 0 comments

Note: Keep safety and responsibility in mind when flying. If you’ve never flown before, it’s never too late to learn. Find a hands-on Training near you.

 In order to legally operate a drone business, you will need a Part 107 License. If you want to pass the test on your first try, take a Prep Course.

Using drones to take awesome aerial photos is one of the more recent trends in real estate. Images like these offer a unique perspective on the property. All types of properties can benefit from the use of drones to take great shots. With current drone camera technology, it is possible to capture very high-quality images, videos, perform 3D mapping models, and even 360-degree panoramas.

Commercial real estate and residential real estate are the two types that most frequently use drones. A real estate agent usually seeks about 10 aerial shots to choose from when marketing residential real estate properties. The homes listed here could range from apartments to houses that have no land attached, right up to large estates with many acres.

Who benefits from Aerial Shots using Drones in Real Estate?

In the real estate industry, drone photography is highly sought out by investment firms and development companies that look to sell large land acquisitions. This also applies to companies involved in building renovation and construction projects. They are typically larger sites where aerial images will capture the entire property using the same techniques but from a much higher altitude.

Large Scale Photography

If you are using drones for real estate, it is sometimes valuable to show images looking straight down at a property. With larger properties, it is impossible to see the entire site in one image. You can achieve the same level of detail by using digital editing to stitch several shots together into one continuous image. The use of drone mapping software allows drones to fly autonomously in straight lines between waypoints while taking pictures automatically.

For full-time resort-style living or part-time rentals, real estate drone video tours offer great marketing opportunities. Incorporating elements like cinematic reveals, slides, pans, and orbits can help tell a compelling story.

Virtual Tours for Real Estate Listings

Virtual tours also make use of 360-degree panoramas. Drones are used to take these shots at a fixed aerial location while rotating and tilting the camera. Through the use of special software, clients can rotate, tilt, and zoom these images. They feel as if they are sitting inside the drone and can look around at will.

Here are some tips on using a drone for real estate:

  • Do not include yourself, your vehicle, or any other non-related subjects in your photos.
  • Don’t take pictures of slanted horizons.
  • Cloud shadows shouldn’t be captured on large properties.

Drone Applications in Real Estate

  • Property Marketing
  • Aerial Video Tours
  • The Resort Life
  • A 360° Panoramic
  • Property Investments

Why use Drones in Real Estate


When it comes to real estate there’s often a saying — “location, location, location”. Drones are an excellent tool for real estate because they allow users to see the location of a property in relation to nearby attractions, amenities, parks, etc. From the air, this layout can be seen to the fullest.


Perhaps the most critical step when it comes to selling a house is taking pictures. They are usually taken from a person standing in a driveway, a garden, a backyard, etc. These photos are useful when combined with some textual descriptions to give home buyers an idea of the look of the home and how it is laid out, while also leaving some of the relationships between these elements to the imagination.

Buyers can get a much more accurate picture of a property by using drone aerial photography.

It is possible to use aerial views to allow buyers to observe features that are otherwise inaccessible, such as roofs, gutters, vents, etc.


To win listings and sell more homes, you need an effective storytelling strategy. The best agents are those who have all the latest marketing tools at their disposal, so buyers and sellers want to know what they’re getting into. Professional and industry organizations indicate that drones are quickly becoming a standard in the real estate industry, with innovative companies using drones to attract savvy clients.

Learn more: Real Estate Drone Pilots Dominate the Industry

Return on Investment of Drones in Real Estate

The real estate industry could benefit from listing agents who use drones as much as 73% and close deals as high as 68%, according to some calculations by RISMedia. Over 80% of home sellers prefer to work with agents who use drones. With all these figures, agents are likely to see returns of over $10,000 each year.

Before, you could only take aerial photoshoots by renting planes or helicopters. This required hiring the aircraft, a pilot, and an aerial photographer. Most companies are usually unable to afford such technologies. In today’s world, drone technology provides a safer, quieter, more accurate, and, naturally, much cheaper alternative to helicopters.

With today’s current drone technology, you can get a very good professional drone for real estate starting at about $1000.00. With an Air 2S or a Mavic 2 Pro or Zoom you could easily complete any requirement for your real estate photography. While you could consider hiring a certified and insured drone professional, you could also consider doing it yourself. You could save over $500 every time you could require new imagery for your listing. Imagine needing to hire a photographer for every single listing, your operational costs might become unbearing.

Learn more: Drone Pilot – A Very Lucrative Career

Real Estate Companies Using Drones

A commercial drone pilot must be licensed to use drones professionally for real estate. Licensing involves passing an FAA exam covering topics such as airspace regulations and restrictions. Aside from federal regulations, local restrictions can prohibit flights at state parks and state infrastructure. There may even be local ordinances restricting where you can launch from in certain cities.

Learn more: LinkedIn Learning Part 107 Prep Course

Learn More: Drone License: Getting your Part 107 Certification – FAQ

Geofencing is actually good

Many drones come equipped with geofencing technology, which prevents them from flying in certain areas deemed unsafe or sensitive. All aircraft in an area can even be required to be temporary grounded. A drone pilot should always avoid flying well into these areas.

Unlocking a geofence is not all that complicated but it does require some extra steps. Learn more here regarding unlocking geofencing on DJI drones.

Learn more: DJI Fly Safe: GeoFences US Locations

Drones in Real Estate Need Insurance Coverage

Furthermore, drone usage for real estate is subject to specific insurance requirements. Not all general liability insurance gives coverage for drone insurance, but they may be included. CoverWallet is an insurance company that specifically provides coverage for drones.

Learn more: 5 Reasons why you need Drone Insurance

Learn to fly

Other factors to consider are the types of drones you fly, their techniques, and your experience. Smooth and consistent movements are necessary for aerial video; otherwise, the images appear jerky and completely ruin the quality of a session. Drone handling skills are essential when producing aerial cinematic videos. These skills provide seamless transitions between shots.

Learn more: Important Things You Must Know Before You Fly

Be professional

Another big concern with drones is privacy. There are still many people who are skeptical and nervous over drones flying over their neighborhoods. Whether they are concerned citizens or parking lot security guards, everyone will wonder what your drone is able to do and what specifically you are up to. You must know how to be the best steward of the industry and politely inform them of the rules and regulations. Exhibit professionalism and you should be fine.


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