Elevating Real Estate: Mastering Aerial Photography with Drones

In recent years, drones have revolutionized various industries, and real estate is no exception. Currently, real estate drone photography has a market share of US$ 398.9 million and that’s just 5% of the total drone photography market share. Imagine the untapped potential? With drone real estate photography the selling point is their ability to capture stunning aerial shots and provide unique perspectives, drones have become indispensable tools for real estate agents.

Gone are the days of expensive helicopters or precariously perched photographers. Drones, once a futuristic novelty, have become accessible tools. The accessibility and affordability of drone technology have contributed to its widespread adoption, enabling agents and photographers to showcase properties in innovative ways.

In this article, we will take you for a ride through the ins and outs of mastering aerial photography. It’s not the ideal magic carpet ride but the view is definitely shining from that point of view!

Want to learn more about what Indoor Drone Tours has in store for real estate photography? Stick with us and we’ll show you!

Importance of Aerial Photography in Real Estate


drone for real estate photography


Aerial photography’s role in the real estate market is undeniable. It offers prospective buyers a comprehensive yet interesting view of properties and their surroundings. In a highly competitive market, you need to stand out is crucial.

Unlike with traditional ground-level photography, aerial shots provide a bird’s-eye view, highlighting key features such as property boundaries, landscaping, and neighborhood amenities. This elevated perspective not only enhances property listings but also helps clients emotionally connect to the property and results in them making informed decisions by visualizing the property’s full potential.

Benefits of Using Drones for Real Estate Photography

The advantages of using real estate photographers extend beyond aesthetics. Here are a few things you can expect while using a drone for real estate photography.

  • Listings with aerial photos not only attract more eyeballs and inquiries, but they translate to faster sales and potentially higher asking prices. 73% more views to be exact!
  • Integrated aerial footage that draws prospective buyers into immersive virtual tours, allowing buyers to explore the property remotely.
  • A visual showcase of proximity to key amenities and transportation hubs, highlighting the property’s desirability.
  • The capture of expansive shots quickly and safely, eliminating the need for expensive equipment or risky climbs.

Indoor Drone Tours has been an authority for drone real estate photography for almost four years now. We’ve worked with companies like the Rowland Group, Lincoln Property Company, and Industrial Outdoor Venture to execute premium real estate photography and video projects. Need a quote?

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Getting Started with Drones

Getting started with drones involves choosing the right drone for your needs and picking the right equipment and accessories. Let’s get into what this entails.

Choosing the Right Drone

Picking the right drone for you is the first step in your journey as a real estate photographer. You’ll need to consider your budget, intended use, and skill level before you decide on a drone. Entry-level models offer basic features and affordability, making them ideal for beginners. According to Best Reviews, the top entry-level drone is the HS720G ( Holy Stone 2).

As you gain experience and confidence, you may opt for more advanced drones like the DJI Inspire 2 or Matrice 600 Pro. These have additional capabilities such as higher camera resolution, longer flight times, and obstacle avoidance systems. However, researching different drone models and reading reviews can help you make an informed decision tailored to your needs.

Necessary Equipment and Accessories

In addition to the drone itself, you’re gonna need proper equipment and accessories to enhance your flying experience. We suggest that you invest in spare batteries to prolong your flight time and ensure an uninterrupted experience. A quality controller/transmitter with intuitive controls is also needed to maneuver your drone with precision.

You can also get a carrying case for convenient transportation and storage as well as propeller guards, ND filters, and landing pads. In the end, your choice of equipment and accessories depends on your preferences.

Mastering Aerial Photography Techniques

As more and more real estate agents and real estate photographers continue to dabble in real estate drone photography, the most important thing to remember is practice is key! Experiment, explore, and most importantly, have fun!

Basics of Aerial Photography

Aerial photography offers a unique perspective, as it captures landscapes and subjects from above. Understanding the basics can help you create compelling aerial images. Start by familiarizing yourself with your drone’s camera settings, including aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, to achieve optimal exposure and image quality. Additionally, practice maneuvering your drone smoothly to capture stable shots and avoid motion blur. Developing a keen eye for framing and composition is crucial for creating visually engaging aerial photographs.

Composition and Framing from Above

Composition can help you to create impactful aerial photographs. When framing your shots from above, consider incorporating leading lines, patterns, and points of interest to guide the viewer’s eye through the image. Experiment with different perspectives and angles to add depth and dimension to your photographs. Utilize the rule of thirds to position key elements within the frame and create balanced compositions. Moreover, be mindful of the foreground, midground, and background elements to create layers and depth in your aerial images.

Lighting Considerations for Aerial Shots

Lighting in drone real estate photography is fundamental, especially for those breathtaking aerial shots. Pay attention to the direction, quality, and intensity of light when capturing aerial footage. Golden hour, occurring during sunrise and sunset, offers soft, warm light that enhances textures and adds warmth to your images.

On the other hand, overcast days can provide diffused light, reducing harsh shadows and producing evenly lit scenes. But we can for sure tell you to avoid shooting in harsh midday sunlight, as it can result in overexposed highlights and harsh shadows. Always be mindful of the drone’s shadow and position yourself to minimize its presence in the frame.

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Planning Successful Drone Shoots

Ready to take your drone real estate photography to new heights? We’re about to navigate the crucial pre-flight checklist that ensures your shoot takes off smoothly and lands you stunning results.

Preparing a Shot List

Before embarking on a drone shoot, prepare a comprehensive list outlining the specific shots and angles you intend to capture. Consider the property layout, the features you want to highlight, and the perspectives that you want to focus on. By planning ahead, you can ensure that you get all the shots you want and reduce the need for do-overs.

At the end don’t forget to review what you have with the clients or team members can help align expectations to make sure that everyone is on the same page.

Assessing Weather Conditions

Weather conditions can make or break a drone shoot as they affect visibility, lighting, and flight stability. Before scheduling your real estate photoshoot just take a peek at that weather forecast. Ideal conditions for drone photography typically include clear skies, minimal wind, and favorable lighting conditions. However, be prepared to adapt to changing weather conditions and have contingency plans in place in the event of unexpected weather, temperature, and humidity, which can also affect drone performance and battery life.

Ensuring Safety Measures

Safety should always be a top priority when planning drone real estate photoshoots. By prioritizing safety measures, you can conduct your drone shoots confidently and responsibly, while ensuring the well-being of both yourself and those around you.

  1. Familiarize yourself with local regulations and airspace restrictions governing drone operation in your area.
  2. Identify any potential hazards or obstacles in the vicinity, such as power lines, trees, or buildings, and plan your flight path accordingly.
  3. Conduct thorough pre-flight checks to ensure that your drone is in optimal condition and that all components are functioning correctly.
  4. Try to maintain a safe distance from people, property, and other aircraft during flight to minimize the risk of accidents or collisions.

Have more questions regarding what using a drone for real estate photography can entail? Our team of experienced and licensed first-person view (FPV) drone pilots got together and answered a few frequently asked questions for our Indoor Drone Tours’ clients.

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Executing Drone Photography for Real Estate

Want to elevate your real estate listings? The answer is right here. We’re about to explore the techniques that’ll transform your property into a bird’s-eye masterpiece.

Capturing Exterior Shots

Exterior shots are usually what your viewers will come in contact with first impression. And that first impression matters if you want to attract those potential buyers. When using a drone for real estate photography and to capture those exquisite exterior shots, try to focus on the property’s curb appeal and architectural features.

Take from us. Start by capturing wide-angle shots to provide an overview of the property, highlighting its size and layout. Then, gradually zoom in to capture detailed shots of the exterior, including landscaping, outdoor amenities, and unique architectural elements. Pay attention to lighting conditions and time of day to capture the property in the best possible light, enhancing its visual appeal and inviting prospective buyers to explore further.

Showcasing Property Features from Above

One of the key advantages of using a drone for real estate photography is the ability to show the property features from unique aerial perspectives. Make the most of the opportunity and use your drone to capture overhead shots that highlight the layout, design, and functionality of the property.

Focus on capturing features such as swimming pools, outdoor living spaces, and architectural details from elevated angles to provide a comprehensive view of the property’s amenities. Leverage dynamic movements such as orbits and flyovers to create engaging visual narratives that capture the viewer’s attention and immerse them in the property’s ambiance.

Highlighting The Surrounding Area and Neighborhood

In addition to showcasing the property itself, using a drone for real estate photography offers an opportunity to highlight the surrounding area and neighborhood amenities.

Capturing aerial shots that showcase nearby parks, schools, shopping centers, and other points of interest tends to give prospective buyers a sense of the community’s lifestyle and convenience. You should aim to incorporate wide-angle shots that encompass the property’s proximity to natural landscapes, waterfronts, or scenic views, emphasizing the unique selling points of the location. By highlighting the surrounding area and neighborhood, you can paint a complete picture of the property’s value and appeal, helping buyers envision themselves living in the community.

Editing and Enhancing Aerial Photographs

You can transform your raw footage into polished masterpieces at the click of a button. There’s no reason to limit yourself. You can elevate your footage with intentional editing to enhance your real estate drone photography.

Selecting the Right Editing Software

Choosing the appropriate editing software is the first step in the process. Opt for versatile and user-friendly software that offers a wide range of editing tools and features tailored to aerial photography. Popular options include Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom, as well as specialized drone photography software such as DJI’s editing app LightCut. Things to consider before deciding on software should include your editing preferences, workflow efficiency, and the desired result.

Retouching and Enhancing Drone Images

Once you’ve selected your editing software, focus on retouching and enhancing your drone photos to maximize their visual impact. Start by adjusting basic settings such as exposure, contrast, and white balance to correct any exposure issues and ensure accurate color reproduction.

Then, fine-tune specific elements such as clarity, vibrance, and saturation to enhance details and colors while maintaining a natural-looking aesthetic. Pay attention to composition and framing, cropping images as needed to improve composition and remove distractions. Additionally, experiment with creative effects such as vignetting graduated filters, and sharpening to add depth and dimension to your aerial photographs. These will help sell your listings faster.

Ensuring Natural-Looking Results

Keep in mind your results should look natural. This should not be treated the same as a brand, event, or promotional content. While editing and enhancing aerial photographs, strive for natural-looking results that accurately represent the scene and evoke a sense of authenticity as well as human connection.

Try to avoid over-editing that could result in unrealistic or over-processed images, as they can detract from the overall appeal of real estate photography. Instead, focus on subtle adjustments that enhance the image while preserving its inherent beauty and character. Your goal should be to maintain a balance between realism and artistic expression. By prioritizing natural-looking results, you can create aerial photographs that resonate with viewers and leave a lasting impression.

Integrating Drone Footage into Marketing Materials

Remember, quality matters! By leveraging the captivating perspectives provided through real estate drone photography, real estate professionals can create compelling marketing materials that engage viewers, showcase properties in their best light, and drive interest and inquiries from potential buyers.

Incorporating Aerial Shots into Listings

Aerial shots offer a captivating perspective that can significantly enhance property listings. With that in mind, it’s in your favor to remember that by incorporating drone footage into listings, real estate agents can maximize the marketability of a property listing.

Showcase real estate properties from unique angles and provide potential buyers with a comprehensive view of the property and its surroundings. Highlight key features such as expansive landscapes, architectural details, and proximity to amenities to captivate viewers’ attention and pique their interest.

Creating Stunning Virtual Tours

Virtual tours have become an essential marketing tool in the real estate industry, offering immersive experiences that allow potential buyers to explore properties from the comfort of their homes. Ruby Home Luxury Real Estate found that 63% of 2020 new homeowners put in their offer for a property after a virtual tour!

By integrating drone footage into virtual tours, real estate agents can create dynamic and engaging experiences that bring properties to life. Incorporate aerial footage to provide aerial perspectives of properties, showcasing their layout, size, and features compellingly. By seamlessly integrating drone footage into virtual tours, real estate photographers can provide an immersive and interactive viewing experience that resonates with buyers and encourages them to take the next step.

Enhancing Property Websites and Social Media

Property websites and social media platforms are powerful marketing channels. Serious real estate agents leverage them to showcase their listings and engage with potential buyers. By integrating drone footage into property websites and social media posts, real estate agents can capture remote viewers’ attention and leave a lasting impression from anywhere in the world. That’s even more qualified leads while maximizing your marketing efforts.

Indoor Drone Tours can help you achieve this through our specialty services geared towards office, multi-family, hotel, residential real estate and so much more!

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Leveraging Drones for Different Property Types

We don’t want to preach to you, but imagine your potential buyers viewing your listing from a POV soaring above sprawling estates, majestic landscapes, and bustling cityscapes. The capabilities of drones for real estate photography are unmatched. Look at how we’ve leveraged the breathtaking visuals of real estate drone photography for our clients.

Residential Real Estate

Drones have become invaluable tools for marketing residential real estate properties. They offer unique perspectives in an immersive way. For residential properties, drones can capture stunning aerial shots that highlight the property’s features, such as landscaping, outdoor amenities, and proximity to parks or water bodies. By leveraging drones for residential real estate, agents can create compelling visual content that attracts potential buyers and helps them envision their dream homes. Here’s an example.

Commercial Properties

Marketing commercial properties can benefit from the unparalleled advantages that real estate drone photography has to offer. Real estate aerial photography can capture expansive buildings and vast land areas. Drones can provide aerial views of commercial properties, showcasing their size, layout, and proximity to major roads or transportation hubs. For retail or office spaces, drones can capture aerial shots that highlight accessibility, parking facilities, and surrounding amenities to attract tenants or buyers while facilitating successful transactions. Here’s an example.


Land and Development Projects

While marketing land and development projects, a real estate photography drone can provide aerial perspectives that highlight the potential of the property. For undeveloped land, the best drone real estate photos can capture aerial footage of the terrain, natural features, and surrounding landscapes. Additionally, drones can provide progress updates for development projects your real estate business is currently working on, documenting construction milestones and the evolving landscape over time. Here’s an example.

Overcoming Common Challenges in Drone Photography

As exciting as using a drone for real estate photography can be, it’s not always rainbows and sunshine. We’re about to navigate some of these common challenges with a dose of humor and practical tips to keep your drone shots smooth and your spirits high!

Dealing with Wind and Weather Issues

  • Know Your Limits: Research typical wind speeds for your location and choose calm days for delicate maneuvers. Imagine respecting Mother Nature’s power and avoiding battles you can’t win.
  • Embrace Stability Features: Utilize your drone’s wind resistance modes and automated flight paths to combat gusts and maintain control. Think of them as your aerial co-pilots, keeping you steady when things get bumpy.
  • Be Flexible: If the wind picks up unexpectedly, adjust your plans or reschedule your shoot. Remember, safety and capturing quality footage are more important than sticking to a rigid schedule.

Handling Technical Glitches and Malfunctions

  • Be a Responsible Pilot: Research and adhere to local drone flight regulations, including no-fly zones and altitude restrictions. Imagine being a good aerial citizen, respecting both airspace and privacy.
  • Plan Your Route: Use drone mapping apps to visualize designated flight areas and stay clear of restricted zones. Think of it as having a detailed aerial map to guide your adventures.
  • Respect Privacy: Be mindful of people and private property. Don’t peek where you shouldn’t! Remember, ethical flying builds trust and avoids unnecessary trouble.

Measuring the ROI of Drone Photography

Investing in a drone for real estate photography only to find your wallet lighter and your leads unchanged, is any realtor’s worst nightmare. But don’t worry, Indoor Drone Tours is going to break down exactly what you need to pay attention to get more bang for your buck.

Calculating Cost vs. Benefit Analysis

To measure the ROI of drone photography, it’s essential to conduct a thorough cost vs. benefit analysis. Start by calculating the initial investment required for drone equipment, training, and any associated expenses such as licensing or insurance. Then, quantify the benefits derived from drone photography, including increased property visibility, enhanced marketing materials, and potential time savings.

Compare the total costs against the tangible and intangible benefits to determine the overall ROI of incorporating drone photography into your business operations. By analyzing the cost-effectiveness of drone photography, real estate agents can make informed decisions about resource allocation and investment priorities.

Assessing Impact on Property Sales and Marketing

Another aspect of measuring the ROI of drone photography is assessing its impact on property sales and marketing efforts. Track key performance indicators such as website traffic, lead generation, and conversion rates to determine the effectiveness of drone photography in attracting potential buyers and driving sales.

Additionally, aim to solicit feedback from clients and colleagues to gauge the perceived value of your drone photography marketing materials and property listings. By analyzing the impact of drone photography on property sales and marketing outcomes, real estate agents can optimize their marketing strategies and maximize ROI.

Identifying Long-Term Value and Trends

In addition to short-term gains, it’s important to consider the long-term value and trends associated with drone photography. Monitor industry trends and technological advancements in drone technology to stay ahead of the curve and leverage new opportunities for innovation and differentiation. Assess the scalability of your drone photography initiatives and their potential to generate sustained value over time.

It will also be in your favor to track customer satisfaction and loyalty. This will help you to assess the long-term impact of drone photography on your brand perception and client relationships. By identifying long-term value and trends, you will be able to future-proof your real estate photography business and continue to realize ROI from drone photography investments.


The world of drone marketing is waiting to be explored! With practice and creativity, you can unlock the true potential of aerial photography and transform your real estate marketing. Drone photography has revolutionized the way properties are marketed and sold, offering a powerful tool for real estate agents to showcase properties in their best light and drive successful transactions.

By embracing aerial drone photography and leveraging the resources that Indoor Drone Tours has to offer, you can level up your marketing strategies. Are you ready to elevate your listings, attract more qualified buyers, and achieve greater success?

Contact Indoor Drone Tours Today!