Hiring a drone photographer for real estate.
The word conjures up thoughts of the future. When you see one hovering in place seemingly autonomously, you realize we live in the future. Drone photography and video is being used more and more to showcase properties in ways that were once prohibitively expensive.
Drones have changed everything when it comes to many industries, and real estate is no different. Once upon a time, in order to get aerial shots of an area, a helicopter or small plane would have to be chartered. That’s no longer the case.
Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, there are a lot of details to consider that may not immediately come to mind when you’re considering drone photography or video for your real estate listing.
It’s great that technology has allowed this new industry to flourish, but as with anything new, there are some caveats.
Because the barriers to entry are fairly low, hundreds of people have rushed into this industry offering their services for hire. Basically anyone with several hundred dollars can walk into an electronics store and walk out with a drone capable of capturing pictures. That, however, isn’t the whole story. There are several other points to consider before you hire someone to shoot real estate photos or video for you.
But first, should you hire someone? What about doing it yourself?
Ask yourself some questions before making this decision. Are you willing to make the investment for good equipment capable of producing the kind of result you want? The less expensive UAV equipment may not be capable of producing the results you expect. For our purposes these are flying cameras, so having a camera capable of producing clean results in changing conditions is crucial. Speaking of changing conditions and lighting, having someone well versed in the photographic arts is essential to getting the best possible quality out of your footage. This isn’t (or shouldn’t be) a point and shoot operation.
Also, the federal government has some words for you before you decide to fly commercially.
Because drones are fairly easy to come by, some new laws have been put into place to protect the public from wayward pilots. Known as the Part 107 rules. These require (among other things) people interested in flying for any commercial purpose to be a licensed pilot for UAS operation. The FAA has made it clear that flying for real estate activity is included in that definition.
See this link for more info on that:
Ok, so you’d rather hire a pro? Good call! (in our most humble opinion)
What should you look for in a drone pilot?
Ask them if they’re licensed by the FAA.
They will have an actual license they can show you. If they’re not, just don’t risk it. Find someone who is.
Ask them about flight restrictions in the area you plan to fly.
This can be easily verified by the pilot, and is important so you can gain permission if necessary. It’s also helpful to know to be on the lookout for low flying aircraft in the area.
What about insurance?
These things DO crash. Who is on the hook when that happens? Something to cover before an accident occures.
Ask your proposed pilot how long they have been flying and what kind of jobs they normally shoot.
Someone who normally does land surveys may not be able to shoot and edit a captivating property tour video. Ask for a portfolio.
We get asked once in a while if we fly our drone indoors. The short answer is no. Any professional real estate video company worth their salt has stabilized video equipment capable of producing FAR better results indoors than most drones. It’s usually a safety hazard and just not worth it.
Drones are with us to stay,
However, this new age of photography doesn’t come without responsibilities. New rules and regulations are constantly being proposed and it’s important to stay on top of the way things are changing. That’s why it’s great to have a pro on your side.
Backlight Marketing is licensed by the FAA for commercial drone operation. We’d love to hear from you and see how we can help you make captivating real estate photography and videos.
Let’s take your brand to the next level!
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