Real Estate Drone Photography – A Complete Guide to Begin

Real estate drone photography has revolutionized how properties are showcased and marketed in the modern world. With the help of drones, real estate agents and property owners can now capture stunning aerial views and captivating visuals, offering potential buyers a unique and immersive experience. 

This complete guide will cover every aspect of real estate drone photography, its benefits, the types of drones used, essential settings, and how to establish a successful drone business in the real estate industry.

real estate drone photography

How to Do Real Estate Drone Photography?

Drone photography for real estate involves capturing aerial images and videos of properties using a remotely operated unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), commonly known as a drone. To perform effectively, follow these steps:

1. Get Proper Training: Ensure you receive proper training and acquire the necessary certifications to legally operate a drone for commercial purposes. To do this, you should apply from the FAA for a Remote Pilot Certificate in the US.

2. Select the Right Equipment: Invest in a suitable drone with a high-quality camera and features like GPS, stabilization, and obstacle avoidance. Get a drone that is within your price range and satisfies the criteria for real estate photography.

3. Plan Your Flights: Plan your flight path before flying and determine the key points you want to capture. Preparing a flight plan helps capture the property’s best angles and highlights its unique features.

4. Comply with Regulations: Adhere to local drone regulations and airspace restrictions when flying near properties or residential areas. Always prioritize safety and respect the privacy of others.

5. Edit and Deliver: After the flight, edit the captured images and videos to enhance their appeal. Deliver the final product to your clients on time.

How Are Drones Used in Real Estate?

Drones have become invaluable in the real estate industry, transforming how properties are presented to potential buyers. Here’s how drones are used in real estate:

Aerial Photography and Videography: Drones capture stunning aerial images and videos that showcase the property’s exterior, landscape, and neighborhood, providing a comprehensive view to potential buyers.

drone videography and photography

Property Inspection: Drones can access hard-to-reach areas of a property, allowing inspectors to assess roofs, gutters, and other elevated components without ladders or scaffolding.

inspection using a drone

Virtual Tours: Drones can create immersive virtual tours of the property, giving prospective buyers a unique and interactive experience as if they were physically present.

Promotional Content: Real estate agents use drone photography to create visually appealing promotional content for marketing campaigns, websites, and social media platforms.

Property Development and Planning: Drones help developers and architects survey and plan new construction projects, providing valuable data on terrain, topography, and land use.

calculating data using a drone

What Types of Drones Are Used in Real Estate Photography?

Various drones are used in real estate, each offering different capabilities and features. The most common types include:

1. Consumer Drones: These drones are budget-friendly and suitable for entry-level real estate photography. They often come with built-in cameras capable of capturing high-quality images and videos.

2. Prosumer Drones: Prosumer drones are popular among real estate photographers for their improved camera quality, stability, and intelligent flight modes. They strike a balance between affordability and performance.

3. Professional Drones: Designed for commercial use, professional drones offer top-tier camera capabilities, longer flight times, and advanced features like 360-degree rotation. These drones cater to the needs of experienced photographers and real estate professionals.

Drone Home Photography: Showcasing Properties from Above

Drone home photography allows you to present properties from a unique and captivating perspective. Whether it’s a spacious mansion with extensive grounds or a cozy suburban home, aerial images and videos offer a comprehensive view that traditional ground-level shots cannot match. 

This enhances the property’s visual appeal, attracting potential buyers and expediting the selling process.

Freelance Aerial Photography: Building Your Real Estate Portfolio

As a freelance aerial photographer specializing in real estate, you can work with various clients and showcase your skills. Building a solid portfolio featuring stunning aerial shots of different properties will help you attract more clients and establish yourself as an expert in the field. 

To establish a name for yourself in the real estate industry, consider providing competitive pricing and top-notch client service.

Benefits of Drone Photography in Real Estate

Real estate drone photography offers numerous benefits that traditional photography cannot match:

1. Aerial Perspectives: Drones provide a unique vantage point, capturing aerial views highlighting the property’s location, surroundings, and amenities.

2. Enhanced Marketing: Beautiful aerial photography draws more attention and makes homes stand out in a crowded market.

3. Time and Cost Savings: Drones can quickly capture aerial footage, saving time and resources compared to traditional photography methods.

4. Virtual Tours: Aerial videos create engaging virtual tours, allowing potential buyers to explore properties remotely.

5. Increased Sales: Eye-catching aerial images often increase inquiries and faster property sales.

What Are the Best Drone Settings for Real Estate Photography?

To achieve the best results in real estate drone photography, consider the following settings:

1. Camera Resolution: Set the camera to its highest resolution for crisp, detailed images.

2. Shutter Speed: Use a faster shutter speed to prevent motion blur in aerial photos.

3. Aperture: Choose a smaller aperture (higher f-stop number) for a more comprehensive depth of field, ensuring sharp focus throughout the scene.

4. ISO: Stick to a low ISO to minimize noise and maintain image quality.

5. Bracketing: Enable auto-bracketing to capture multiple exposures, allowing for better dynamic range in post-processing.

What Is ISO in Drones?

ISO in drones refers to the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light. A low ISO setting (e.g., ISO 100) is ideal for well-lit environments, producing cleaner and less noisy images. 

A higher ISO setting (e.g., ISO 800 or above) can be used in low-light conditions. Still, it may introduce some noise into the images.

What Is the Best Time of Day for Real Estate Drone Photography?

The best time of day for real estate drone photography is during the “golden hour.” This refers to the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset. During this time, the soft, warm sunlight enhances the property’s appearance, casting long shadows and creating a pleasing atmosphere. 

Avoid flying during harsh midday sunlight, leading to unflattering, contrasty images.

How Do I Get Clients for My Drone Business?

Establishing and expanding your drone business in the real estate market requires strategic marketing and networking. Here are some tips to attract clients:

1. Build an Online Presence: Create a professional website showcasing your portfolio and services. Use social media platforms to share your work and engage with potential clients.

2. Network with Real Estate Agents: Connect with local agents and offer assistance. Demonstrate how drone photography can enhance their property listings and marketing efforts.

3. Offer Special Deals and Packages: Provide introductory offers and discounted packages to entice new clients to try your services.

4. Customer Testimonials: Collect testimonials and positive feedback from satisfied clients to build trust and credibility.

5. Attend Real Estate Events: Participate in real estate expos, fairs, and networking events to meet potential clients face-to-face.

Drone Photography for Real Estate Statistics

drone photography statics

Drone photography has significantly impacted the real estate industry, leading to the following:

1. Increased Property Interest: Properties with aerial images receive 68% more views than properties without.

2. Faster Sales: Homes featuring aerial imagery sell 68% faster than those without aerial visuals.

3. Higher Sales Price: Aerial photography can increase the sale price of a property by 5.25% on average.

4. Improved Online Engagement: Real estate listings with aerial images have a 403% increase in online engagement.


Real estate drone photography has become a game-changer in the property market, allowing sellers to present their properties visually, captivatingly, and engagingly. By understanding the various types of drones, the benefits they offer, and the essential settings for optimal results, you can successfully leverage drone photography to enhance your real estate business. Embrace this technology, market your skills, and provide potential buyers with awe-inspiring aerial perspectives that showcase properties in an entirely new light. 

As the demand for high-quality drone photography continues to grow, mastering the art of real estate drone photography can open up exciting opportunities and elevate your career in the real estate industry.

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