Get more out of your drone photos and video

Photo by Kenai Peninsula real estate photographer Simpson Studios

For the right property a drone photo or video works really well in a real estate campaign. There are times when only an aerial view of a home or its location can show potential buyers the lifestyle, features and convenience of a particular listing.

However, as we’ve mentioned here previously¬† in “Drone photography for real estate: what you need to know“, make sure you hire a professional drone operator who is fully licensed and is covered by insurance for any third-party damage they might cause.

Having done that, the next important step is to properly prepare the home for a drone photo or video, and what’s needed is not always obvious because the view a drone captures is going to be significantly different to the one we see at ground level.

So what do you need to do?

Here are five things you should consider doing to get more out of your real estate drone photos:

1. Clear the yard of all clutter, such as toys, hoses through the garden, bikes and bins. When you remove all of that excess you show more garden, lawn or porch, and that translates into the perception of it being a more spacious property.

2. Clean the pool, paving or timber decking a day or two before the drone shots so that everything has time to dry (assuming water is being used to clean those hard surfaces), and make sure you or the homeowners are able to complete anything. As a photographer myself I’ve arrived at many homes at the scheduled time only to find the owners or agent still cleaning the yard because things didn’t quite go to plan, and that makes things difficult for everyone. Avoid those issues, and get things done early so that the day of the shoot runs perfectly.

Photo by Hawaii real estate photographer Jonathan Davis

3. The roof will be clearly visible in most drone shots of a property so have the roof and gutters cleaned out. You want buyers to see that the home is well cared for, so a damaged, dirty, or leaf-covered roof and guttering is not the message you want to be sharing. Arrange to have it professionally cleaned and you’ll have buyers that are calling you, not buyers running away.

4. Tell the neighbors that you’ll be having a drone photo shoot or video, and give them details about the day and time of the photo session so that they know what’s going on. We don’t want a situation like this one where the neighbor was enjoying a topless sunbathing session, or where you have the kids next door clearly visible in the video. Keep everyone clearly informed on what’s happening, and when, and you’ll have a much better video or image collection and happier neighbors.

5. Make sure the weather is ideal on the day, and speak to the photographer if you have any questions. An overcast day isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and can actually help with some properties (as the difference between the bright areas outside and the darker areas under a porch will be lessened on a cloudy day), but if it’s raining then it definitely won’t work.


Having a great drone photo shoot or video is a great way to promote some properties (though not all), so be sure to make the most of your photo session by doing the right things before the day of the shoot.

Photo by Naples Florida real estate photographer Sun Services SW.