Drones in Real Estate

November 30, 2016 @ 7:38 am

Within the world of real estate, it is a struggle to find innovative new methods. For a long time, as with many other industries, the game hardly ever changed, and it was up to you to master the ancient methods of in-person communication, business cards, and cold calls. As far as marketing and promotions, people often ended up paying major amounts, amounts that would now be considered absolutely absurd, just to wind up lost in the midst of busy advertisement & classified pages of local newspapers, clicked over on hardly viewed television channels, and maybe, if you were doing well enough, having your face on a bench or billboard.

Today, online marketing, and the mass momentum of innovative new methods created by the mainstream popularity of the internet has totally changed our ideas of effective and efficient advertising. Not only do social media profiles and posts draw attention to businesses, or realtors, in this case, but the content that each realtor puts out defines how they appear to the public eye, and has a major impact on how their peers, colleagues, and potential sees them. At one time, social media seemed like a gimmick that would pass, but more and more it appears to have arrived and landed in a way that seems imminent to remain relevant for long enough that, basically, how you engage with it (or refuse to) will have a serious consequences, positive or negative, on how your entrepreneurial endeavors perform.

When people need an answer, the first place they look is the Internet. Resorting to an Internet search is, obviously, a modern convenience, but it has proved to be more of an inconvenience for companies, and especially Real Estate agents, who have not adapted to this new, online reality. Honestly, almost anybody interested in buying or renting (long term or short term) property is beginning their journey through an internet search.

And this, indeed, begs the question:

“How do I invest in my online marketing materials in a way that maximizes potential positive returns?”

“How do I create marketing materials that will help me stand out from the competition?”

One word of advice that we propose, of course, is using footage that has been filmed by drone cameras.

Why, you ask? Well, let me fill you in.

Though the technology is relatively recent, drone footage in real estate has already proved itself to be a total revelation; it is changing the game in a serious way, already. Over the years, the appearance of the interior design and layout of homes has been made available to potential clients because it has been pictured. The outside has, as well, but only from eye level. Now, drones are seriously beginning to help real estate agents show the property that they are responsible for marketing in a fuller context, giving people a clear idea of the neighborhood and surroundings around the property. Not only this, but the video images created from drone cameras in an area like the Outer Banks, or other areas that boast impressive landscapes and natural scenery, have proved to be outstanding, often gorgeous examples of video content.

Some real estate rental companies, such as Twiddy & Co, which is based on the Outer Banks, have received great return and feedback from their decision to invest in drone marketing. The flashy, impressive, and professionally edited drone-filmed marketing materials they have used for their Outer Banks rentals can be found on Youtube, their channel having garnered millions of views.  Many of these companies, including Twiddy, specialize in renting out investment properties. Because of the ability to achieve the aerial view, customers and clients have more assurance in their choice to book with such agencies. Many areas, such as the Outer Banks, are renowned, and visited, mostly for their physical beauty and proximity to desirable surroundings and conditions, such as beaches, parks, or exciting shops, restaurants, and activities. Again, providing the aerial view that only drones can conveniently provide can really be the major difference maker in showing off the best aspects of a home, and will give your clients or customers a much better perspective on the choice they are making– this, of course, gives them peace of mind, and ensures they will not have a negative impression of the area they are in when they arrive at the home which is their destination. Aerial footage of entire areas, such as the different islands of the Outer Banks, are also helpful for new potential renters who are not very experienced in the area. Being able to see videos that give comprehensive views of each area allows viewers to have the unique, modern, and widely appreciated experience of seeing the entire scope of an area before choosing which one they even want to begin searching for a rental in. Even though I am predominantly using examples from the Outer Banks, this applies absolutely anywhere, but in a uniquely effective sort of way for areas that manage rental and vacation properties.

Drone cameras can also be used indoors, to create flowing, smooth virtual tours of the inside of a home. Though the difference between this style of videography and previous methods are not as drastically as improved as what can be done outdoors, it can still be said that the steady, extended shots that these video tours provide truly offer a more consistent and natural video experience than many previous methods. So, when this is combined with the exterior possibilities, it truly cannot be beat.

With this information in mind, you have a few options. One option is simply purchasing your own drone camera and then learning, and/or being trained, to use it. This is not impossible, but there is certainly a learning curve. However, many real estate agents have learned to do it and it has revolutionized their practice and improved their independence. Do be aware that this skill takes a while to learn, and you may want to hire and work with a drone professional for some time before you start doing this alone; professional training should be easily and readily available in your city, region, or general area. Another, more immediately impactful option, is hiring a professional videographer, who owns a drone and is well-versed in operating it, to do this for you. It is true that this will be an added, accumulating, and continuous expense, but such an investment will allow you to have more time to focus on the multitude of other time-consuming demands and responsibilities that realtors face on a day-to-do basis. If you do decide hire a drone photographer, you should ask to see previous samples of their work, as well as making sure that they carry the proper license to operate a drone, and that all liability insurance information is clarified, agreed upon, and generally in order.

Effectively using this technology will surely improve your public image, which is a surefire way to generate more leads. Although it is never as simple as boiling it down to a basic equation, it is hard to argue with that better marketing leads to more interest in your operation, which leads to more business.

As I mentioned previously, drones are still making their splash in real estate, and it is difficult to predict how much their impact will ripple and grow. Still, they are already proving to be an invaluable resource for real estate agents all around the world.

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