7 Tasks to Complete Before Using Drones for Real Estate

by Derek Waleko Mar 4, 2019

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Today’s competitive real estate market requires excellent digital marketing, and a large part of good marketing is ensuring that you have excellent photographs and video of your real estate listings. Drone photography allows you to add dramatic, compelling images to your listings; highlighting outdoor features and giving buyers a sense of where the property is situated. It has become a necessity when it comes to luxury property listings.



If you are a real estate agent who is planning to utilize drones in your upcoming real estate listings, there are a few things you need to know first. Here are some of the best practices for hiring a drone pilot for your real estate listing. Following these 7 steps will help ensure a successful real estate listing. You will walk away with stellar images and video that have the potential to help you impress buyers and sell the property for top dollar!



1. First, talk to the drone provider about your needs when scheduling



When using drones for real estate, it is essential to list your needs and expectations up front, before the drone pilot is onsite. That helps ensure a successful outcome for your drone photographs and video. Have a list of the features you want them to focus on and talk with the pilot to make sure that your expectations are grounded and realistic. Explain your goals for the images or video. For example, do you want to focus specifically on the home’s stellar pool and patio? Do you need footage of the mountains in the background? A good drone pilot will work with you to tailor their services to your needs.



Talking with your pilot is particularly helpful if you are a real estate agent who will frequently need drone photography for your listings. Build a strong professional relationship with a local drone photographer, and they will be glad to work with you on all of your upcoming real estate listings.



2. Mow the lawn, trim the shrubs, and complete other landscaping tasks



Let the homeowner know that the drone images will turn out best if the lawn is freshly mowed and the landscaping looks tidy. If there is a pool, it will need to be cleared of all grime and debris. If there is a patio or driveway that is looking grimy, it may be a good idea to powerwash it. Of course, ideally, the property is already in good shape since the homeowner is trying to sell it, but it is still a good idea to make sure. Nothing can ruin high-quality good drone footage more than an unkempt backyard.



3. Get the gutters and roof cleaned professionally



The state of gutters and roof is something that few homeowners think about daily; however, it’s very important when drone images are about to be taken! With an aerial perspective, any leaves or twigs cluttering the roof and gutter will become painfully apparent and will make the property look like it’s poorly taken care of. So, if the roof and gutters have not been cleaned lately, it’s likely that it will need to be done professionally before using drones for real estate photos.



4. Make sure the appointment does not fall on trash pickup day



This is a simple yet important tip: find out when trash pickup is scheduled for the neighborhood and make sure it doesn’t fall on the same day as your drone photography session. It certainly detracts from the beauty of a neighborhood if everyone has their trash at the curb! Even worse, you do not want a garbage truck rolling up in front of the house in the middle of your aerial photography.



5. Declutter outdoor spaces as much as possible



In addition to making sure the landscape is tidy, the gutters are clean, and the driveway is trash-can-free, it is a good idea to look around and see if anything else can be decluttered. Is there a hose, or any other gardening equipment, that needs to be brought inside? Are there children’s or pets’ toys in the yard? Is outdoor furniture strewn about when it should be arranged in a pleasing way? Outdoor spaces look far more spacious and pleasing when clutter is out of the picture. Stow things away in the garage, if needed.



6. Alert neighbors to the drone imaging appointment



When using drones for real estate, you’ll need to consider the neighbors. A few days before the drone pilot is expected to come and take photos of the listing, it is important to let neighbors know so that they know what to expect and aren’t alarmed when there is a drone flying over their neighborhood. Let them know that the entire drone photoshoot should only take about half an hour or less. Tell them that it’s only taking photos and video of your listing, but that the drone may have to fly over their property to get the necessary footage. If neighbors have young children, they may be advised to keep them inside during the drone imaging appointment.



7. Check the weather forecast



In the days before the appointment, make sure that the weather forecast is to your liking. Obviously, if there are thunderstorms or high winds forecasted, your drone pilot will need to reschedule—but also, it is a good idea to keep your preferences in mind. Is it important to have sunshine in your listing photography? Or are you perfectly happy to get drone videos and photography done on a cloudy day? Both options have their pros and cons. Sunshine can cause harsh shadows, but it is also cheery and bright. Clouds eliminate those shadows, but the photos could potentially lack the bright colors you might be looking for in your listing photography.

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