6 Best Practices For Stellar Drone Video and Photography


High quality drone stills and video are one of the best ways to enhance your listing. In fact, according to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) statistics reported by Real Estate Magazine, properties with accompanying aerial images are 68% more likely to sell than properties without aerial photography.

“There is really no better way to get a ‘feel’ for the property,” said Brad Smith, Director for BDX.  “Drones provide a unique perspective that not only gives you the lay of the land, but also an idea of how that home is situated within the surrounding area. Plus, the sweeping views suggest a feeling of elegance that can give any listing an instant upgrade from a viewer’s perspective. Drones have really become an industry standard for any new home listing.”

Incorporating drones into all of your listings and online marketing campaigns is really a no-brainer. However, not all drone photography is created equal. Below are some Best Practices to ensure your drone photography is as good as it can be.

  1. Use a Certified Professional

These days everyone knows someone who can fly a drone. However, to legally operate a drone as a business, a pilot must obtain a Remote Pilot Certificate from the FAA. If your pilot is not certified you are exposing your company to potential liability and fines.

  1. View Samples of Their Work

Just because they are a certified pilot, does not mean they are a good photographer. Many drone pilots are “tech guys,” seduced by the appeal of the equipment, yet they don’t understand the first thing about good photography. Standard photography rules apply to drones, just like any other photography. Time of day, composition, focus and exposure all need to be considered. You should look for the same kinds of things in a drone photo that you look for in your exterior home photos. Time of day can be subjective depending on the community, normally early morning or early evening have softer and warmer light, but that also creates long shadows, which is why depending on the angle, some pilots choose to shoot mid-day, this is a discussion you should have with your provider. For video, moves should be steady, with little or no bumps or sudden moves.

  1. Ensure It’s Legal to Shoot

Work with your provider to ensure your community is not in “no fly” zone. This is normally near an airport, but can also exist due to power lines and other obstructions. Your provider should be able to confirm if flying is allowed, as significant fines could be assessed. In addition, there are drone operation rules that vary from state to state.

  1. Check The Weather

A good pilot will be able to address the weather issue properly. Normally, a beautiful sunny day is best, with light puffy clouds. Plus, calm, clear days are less hazardous for flying drones.However, slightly overcast can soften shadows and provide a more even look and feel. Discussing the kind of weather you prefer with your pilot is an important step. A good pilot will also be keeping track of weather and will work with you to choose the best day and time.

  1. Plan The Shoot

Obviously, good angles of at least the front and back of the home are needed, but it’s also important to include amenities: parks, sport courts, trails and pools, etc. Additionally, many builders tend to concentrate on their 100 acres, while much of what potential buyers are interested in is the surrounding area: shopping, dining, entertainment, etc. Provided, you are approved to do so, shots or footage of the surrounding area are a great addition to your general community coverage. Be sure to also take advantage of the high altitude capabilities of the drone, taking a wide shot of the entire area can give viewers a good idea of where certain aspects of the community are situated in relation to others.

  1. Get the Most From Your Photos and Video

Any good photography package should include at least 10 still shots. Video clips can be delivered as raw, but ask your provider if they can edit clips together. Even for an additional charge, it’s well worth it!

Want to learn more about drone photography and video? Email us at info@thebdx.com for more information or learn more at thebdx.com.

About the Author

Builders Digital Experience

At BDX, our team of experts sets us apart. For over 20 years, we’ve helped top builders successfully market their new home communities. We work with over 1000 builders to create successful digital marketing programs. Our professionals are experts in the latest technology, marketing, and industry trends.

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