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Drone Real Estate Photography?

Posted by Darryl Glade on June 10, 2014

Drone real estate photography.

I'm sure you've noticed. I mean, how could you have missed it? The buzz in real estate marketing is drone real estate photography.  Drones are the center of attention right now. And why not? They are so cool! The photos and videos that can be captured for Realtors and their real estate listings are incredible. Drones are able to generate some fabulously unique views of real estate that cannot be captured from ground level photography.

However, IMOTO has taken the position that we will not be offering drone real estate photography any time soon. That is not to say that we won't ever offer it in the future...just not now.

Here is why:

The easy thing to say would be because it is illegal. But is it illegal? It seems like every article takes a different position. Some say the FAA regulates it, some say the FAA has no authority, some say you have to get around regulations by not charging for it (but they charge for it indirectly). There was a recent ruling in March 2014, but regardless, the legality of drone real estate photography has nothing to do with our decision to not offer it as a service.

The main reason is because our clients simply do not want us to offer it as a product! There is no reason to invest in multiple drones to serve our numerous markets and then train "pilots." Sure we could buy some drones and take some great shots...maybe post a few on our Facebook page and look great doing it! But we have surveyed our clients and by far the majority have told us they would not order a drone product. Some seemed interested but that interest ultimately waned when they heard there would be an extra charge for drone shots. The agents didn't feel that it would be worth the investment.

We shoot all sizes of houses and it is our experience that the majority of our clients are perfectly served with the use of our 30 foot aerial shot. This shot is absolutely free and gives a great perspective of the listing. Of course there are extremely large and expensive houses that we shoot that would benefit from a drone photograph. Just Google 'drone real estate photography' and take a look at the images...those are some incredible houses! But the percentage of our listings that are made up of these houses is so small that we think that we would better serve our clients by focusing on the high-quality photography that we currently provide and leave high flying to another expert company.

We are not knocking drone operators or other real estate photographers that offer this service. Some are very skilled and can produce great videos and photos. Beware though, some are charging hefty sums for mediocre work. Be sure to do your due diligence when choosing a drone operator.

Needless to say, IMOTO is actively researching and experimenting with all types of new products (including drone real estate photography). So if the demand for drone real estate photography increases amongst our clients we will be ready to fly!

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