Drones in real estate

Case studies     4 reasons     Buy or outsource     Cost?     Quick checklist     Example Inquiries     Get some quotes    

Case studies: how Aus agents are using drones

4 reasons why property vendors should agree to get drone photography

1. For encompassing aerial views of their entire property and land - the 'zoomed out' perspective allows the drone operator to bring all of the surrounding features into one shot – the gardens, pool, tennis court or granny flat. A well edited aerial video of a property, with fitting background music can inspire a potential buyer much more so than a regular video.

2. For confirming the condition of the roof, fence lines, large trees and other property features that are difficult to see from the ground.

3. To show what the drive home or the kids’ walk to school looks like, the drone operator can go up to 400 feet and catch shots of the neighbourhood and surrounding area. Later they can overlay graphics to show the number of km’s to local schools, train stations, hospitals, parks and shopping centres.

4. On vacant sites, to fly up and get 360-degree shots to replicate the view – what it will look like from predetermined heights/levels of a proposed building. There is also tracking progress of construction sites, mapping terrains and creating three-dimensional models by stitching together drone photos.

Buy one or outsource to a licenced drone operator?

Most agents outsource their regular (ground based) property shots to a photographer so given that drones are more expensive, complicated and risky, it would seem logical to outsource.

If you want to try it yourself, keep in mind even professional drone photographers (drone ‘pilots’) crash their drone from time to time so be prepared to crash or even lose the drone! Also, because you would be flying the drone in a commercial context, be aware that you need to get one of these 3 CASA certifications sorted out first. Otherwise you won’t be able to operate the drone legally in Australia and hence won’t be able to get public liability insurance- very important since your drone has the capability to injure someone or damage property.

How much do real-estate drone operators charge?

Luckily, getting shots of houses and buildings is one of the simpler applications of drones. Experienced drone operators in the bigger cities will charge around $500-600 per property for some nice aerial photographs, and video shots (supply the unedited video files on a stick or drop box). This comes down to $300-400 in smaller or more remote areas of Australia (price estimates are as at May 2017).

Before hiring a drone operator: quick checklist

1. Licenced and insured. Remember commercial drone operators must have one of these 3 options covered before they can legally be hired by you. Also make sure your chosen drone operator holds a current public liability insurance policy that specifically covers the operation of a drone.

2. Relevant experience. As always - check the operator’s images and videos for relevant experience with residential / commercial properties or construction sites. Find someone who can actually demonstrate that they have done at least a few houses and that the images are crisp, from good angles, and that the video is smooth and taken with enough artistic skill to show the property in its best light.

3. Area approval. Sometimes drone operators will need to request an area approval depending on the job location. You should ask your chosen operator about this before they commence the work.

Drones For Hire is the largest drone operator directory in Australia

316 real-estate focussed operators currently listed
47 residential real-estate job requests made in the last 4 weeks
4 examples of actual quote requests below

Job type: Residential property (e.g. house) - Video / photos for real estate
Job done by: Next 2 days
State: QLD
Name: Quinn *****
Email: qui******@******.com.au
Phone: 0407 50* ***
Suburb: MOUNT *******, ****
- For marketing purposes, wanting shots of my property in *******
- 3 - 5 HD aerial shots of the property
- Raw photos will be fine
- Ideally, and weather permitting, I would like the photos taken Friday 19th May.
Job type: Film & TV (e.g. TV commercial) - 360 degree panorama / VR
Job done by: By a specific date */*/2017
State: VIC
Name: Stafford ********
Email: stafford*****@*******.co
Phone: 0404 83* ***
Suburb: SPRIN***, *****
We will be needing good quality stills for the creation of 360 panoramas at various RLs on site.
To be recorded above an open, grassy area.
+ a few nicely framed shots from each RL
Job type: Commercial property (e.g. factory) - Other
Job done by: By a specific date */*/2017
State: NSW
Name: Stu *******
Email: peri******@**********.com
Phone: 0435 19* ***
Suburb: GREEN****, ****
Hi, I need a Drone operator to get a pan and aerial shots of a warehouse.
basically a side pan and then up for an aerial shot.
2 hours work, prefer 4k.
The warehouse is in *******e.
at some stage in the next 2 wks.
Job type: Residential property (e.g. house) - Video / photos for real estate
Job done by: Next 2 days
State: QLD
Name: Kevin L*******
Email: Kjl*****@******.com
Phone: 0449 53* ***
Suburb: WONG******, ****
- Video and photos of house construction in Wongawallen
- Uncut version 3-4 minutes of video
- Outdoor shots only
- Material must be supplied by Monday 15th at latest
- Once off job

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