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real estate photography

Emerging Trends... Aerial Photography for Real Estate

Emerging Trends... Aerial Photography for Real Estate

Whether you're listing commercial or residential real estate, or even just listing vacant lots, you're going to be at a disadvantage if you're not including aerial photography in your marketing of the property.

At a recent real estate convention in Cleveland, OH, OAR (held by the Ohio Association of Realtors®), the excitement around an aerial photography booth was palpable. The question asked most frequently by real estate agents was, “How does this work?”

How Does Aerial Photography Work for Real Estate?

Well, if you've grown up around technology, you know that it's really a rather simple process – as long as you go with a pro. Basically, you consult with the aerial photographer on what you would like captured, give the address, and select your package. Don't get us wrong – capturing the images from the sky is not simple, but the process for the real estate agent should be. A reputable professional will be able to provide you with a reasonably priced package, so shop around; be comfortable with whom you choose, so that you'll be happy with the shots you get and the overall experience.

If you have a few reservations, be assured that the drone and the pilot are unobtrusive; they'll do the shoot on site, parking their vehicle away from the listing home, never in the driveway; the mobile command center (the drone-flying equipment) is confined to the listing property, and the images take just a short amount of time to capture. The pilot will consult with you in advance, making sure that your property will be shot in the best light, at the angle you want, capturing just the perspective that you have in mind. And... don't worry if you're not sure how best to capture the location; your aerial photography pro will be able to give you guidance on that during your consultation.

What Can I Expect to Pay for Aerial Images of My Listing?

Most aerial photography companies will have several options for you. You can expect packages in the Midwest to start as low as $125 for standard quality photographs. Expect to pay a bit more on the East and West coasts. As your needs increase (higher quality photographs, special shooting situations, extra quantities of photographs, etc.), your cost will increase incrementally. Video packages can start as low as $225, and both packages should include branded and unbranded versions of your photography.

What Type of “Finished Product” do I Get from an Aerial Photographer?

Your final format will be digital, so in addition to using it for print, you'll also be able to use it for email, web posting and social media. A branded video image will include an agent's contact information (email, phone) and head shot, as well as the broker's name and company logo. A professional real estate aerial photography company should include unbranded versions as part of the package they offer (typically 10 images in a standard package), so you'll have those for use in your MLS listings. For non-MLS use, you may also add branding to your still images – most providers can offer you this option, as well. 

What Price Range Property Is Best Suited for Aerial Photography?

You may think that aerial photography should be reserved for multi-million dollar properties. Actually, the price of the property is rarely the determining factor for when it is best to employ a drone for aerial images of your listing. Think about the specifics of the real estate you're trying to show. Aerial images are perfect for vacant land. They're great to show water-front properties. Properties with sprawl, those that extend into wooded areas, or those that abut water, are great ones to capture from the sky. If the property has unusual lines, special back yards, built-in pools, or multi-level decks – unique features like these may be best captured from above, as well.

What about Licenses or Permits? Do I have to Worry about That?

The short answer is no. As long as you go with a professional aerial photography company, they'll most likely have either their Section 333 Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authorization for the commercial use of drones, or they'll have their part 107 Unmanned Aircraft Rule authorization. The Section 333 is still good (it's a 2-year authorization), and it will be replaced by the part 107 in the coming years. With either authorization, FAA requirements – the operational limitations, pilot certification and responsibilities, as well as aircraft requirements – must be followed strictly. The professional aerial photography company you select should willingly share with you exactly what authorizations it has been granted. Don't be shy about asking for it.

Your aerial photography pro can give you good ideas and guidance on how best to photograph your listing. All this can be covered in your consult prior to the shoot. There are many qualified, licensed, professional aerial photography companies for you to discover. Speak with one today to learn how this emerging trend can put you on top with your customers.

About the author

Barbara Barclay is the marketing arm of Aerial Agents, a Cleveland, Ohio-based FAA Approved, commercial drone aerial photography & videography media production company. In the birthplace of aviation, Aerial Agents is established as the foremost experienced, professional and licensed expert in UAS (unmanned aerial systems) or "drone" piloting. Drone aerial imagery has multiple applications in a wide variety of areas including sales, marketing, real estate, education, travel, entertainment, hospitality, information, instruction, insurance, news, court cases and more.


Drones are a perfect tool to showcase Architecture

Drones are a perfect tool to showcase Architecture

Aerial Agents is the industry leader when it comes to showcasing new and exciting properties that are available. Our equipment allows us to put a camera just about anywhere surrounding the target. This allows us to capture media from many different angles. 

Amazing architecture needs to showcased. See what we did for WXZ Development below. They put together 3 incredible structures near University Circle, and asked us to help them show them off. 

3224 Saint Mikala Court, Twinsburg, Ohio 44087

3224 Saint Mikala Court, Twinsburg, Ohio 44087

Outstanding home -- Outstanding value! It has a host of builder upgrades & sits on a .56 acre cul-de-sac lot. There is a side entry 3-car attached garage, vaulted & voluminous ceilings, a stunning & very open floor plan with warm decor, stately columns, crown moldings, 5" trim, large rooms, & a grand & elegant feel. It is ideal for entertaining. The home has maple wood floors through much of the 1st floor, a huge eat-in Kitchen with cinnamon-stained maple cabinets, granite countertops, a center island breakfast bar that seats 4 people, stainless steel appliances, large dinette, and warm Tuscan-style walls. There's also a Sun Room adorned with columns that leads to the yard, a Family Room with stone covered gas Fireplace, grand 2-story Foyer, formal Dining Room adorned with columns at its entrance, formal Living Room/Piano Room with French doors to another Sun Room, Den with French doors, 1st floor Laundry Room with granite countertops, front & rear staircase, huge 2nd floor Owners Suite with vaulted sitting room & dual walk-in closets, a Glamour Bath, 4 additional bedrooms all with walk-in closets, a Jack-n-Jill Bath, 2 En-Suite Baths, & a finished lower level with Theater Room, Family Room, Full Bath, Exercise Room, & more!

6515 Chestwick Lane, Hudson, Ohio 44236

6515 Chestwick Lane, Hudson, Ohio 44236

Fabulous upscale full stone architectural gem on cul-de-sac located in The Estates at Canterbury on the Lakes. Outstanding design with attention to detail throughout showcasing a stunning two story foyer, gorgeous curved staircase opening into and overlooking the well appointed two story great room. Just beautiful with old world charm and timeless elegance! Luxurious first floor owner's suite with patio access, a sitting area, double closets and sumptuous master bath w/oversized shower, double sinks and relaxing spa tub. Majestic mahogany paneled library with fireplace/marble surround and unique lighted trayed ceiling. Viking appliances and center island breakfast bar in chef's kitchen opens into spacious casual dining area with access to tiered 2 story covered porch with firepit, hot tub, grill station and breathtaking view of pond with fountain and woods. Charming hearth room with fireplace flooded with natural light. 4 spacious bedrooms on 2nd floor all with walk in closets and private baths, granite countertops and ceramic floors - all white woodwork & 9 ft. ceilings plus lg. loft area. Don't miss the lower level featuring media room, kitchenette, rec room with woodburning fireplace, full bath and additional bonus rm. Outstanding 1st floor laundry rm, back hall with lockers, guest lavatory, two staircases to upper level, 4 fireplaces, 6 full and 1 half baths, 4 car garage, central vac, zoned HVAC system and so much more. Move in and enjoy! 

New Horizons for Aerial Photography

New Horizons for Aerial Photography

A/V-equipped drones offer unique perspectives for the real estate, construction communities

By Thomas Wasinski

Aerial Agents

      Aerial photography has long been a friend to the construction, architecture and real estate industries, providing valuable, aesthetically attractive imagery of prospective properties, construction sites and completed building projects alike. Among their typical uses, aerial photos and videos assist in land surveys, development planning and marketing real estate. However, until recently, there were only three options for capturing aerial photography: airplane, helicopter or blimp. That is no longer the case. Today, unmanned aerial systems (i.e., drones) are revolutionizing the discipline and they are quickly becoming the go-to option for any aerial media that might be required. 

      This is because drones are able to hit the “sweet spot.” Most unmanned aerial systems, especially multi-rotors, are designed for low to mid altitude. That is 400 feet and below, that typically provides an ideal vantage point which is close enough to provide great detail, but elevated enough to capture a physically large area from a unique angle. 

Abundant applications

      The drone business is quickly growing into a billion dollar industry. That is because they can serve so many industries and satisfy needs that have been around for years. For example, about 45,000 annual bridge inspections could be conducted with small drones. Most bridge inspections currently employ hydraulic mobile cranes called “snoopers.” The average cost of an inspection using a snooper is $3,250. Cable bridge inspections are even more expensive because they often require a 200-foot aerial lift. Now the service can be delivered at a fraction of that cost. 

      They can save lives in other industries. There were more than 95 fatalities from 2004 to 2012 involving climbers working on towers. By using drone technology, that risk can be eliminated entirely by having the drone do all of the elevated monitoring. In other cases, companies are working on a solution to deliver defibrillators to people suffering from cardiac arrest. These are just a few examples of drones’ many applications.  

New rules

      The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recently unveiled new proposed rules regarding the operation of commercial drones, which previously were effectively banned unless the operator carried a special permit requiring a licensed pilot. The new guidelines essentially allow drones to fly legally for commercial purposes if traveling below 500 feet during daylight hours and within the operators’ sight. These rules are largely favorable to companies that want to use small drones for commercial purposes, potentially leading to the widespread flights by unmanned aircraft performing aerial photography, crop monitoring, inspections of cell towers and bridges, and other work. 

      The Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), an industry trade association, estimates that small, commercial drones will create 70,000 jobs with an economic impact of more than $13.6 billion in the first three years after their integration into U.S. skies.

About multi-rotors

      Multi-rotors or “drones” can have anywhere from three to 10 propellers on arms that extend from the body of the craft. Each propeller is attached to a small, yet strong motor that produces enough thrust to elevate a craft weighing up to 55 pounds. They are battery powered and can stay in the air for as long as 25 minutes, although larger multi-rotors can only fly for approximately 12 minutes. 

      Many crafts are equipped with brushless gimbals. Having a brushless gimbal allows aerial video to come out smooth and steady despite vibration of the craft, orientation of the craft, and wind gusts. However, the brains are the most amazing part of the machine. Whether your flight is manual or autonomous, the craft will know where it is at all times. Through the use of GPS, the drone knows where it is and will stay in the same exact spot when left in a hover, waiting for its next command. 

      These capabilities pair well with the latest advancements in camera technology. For instance, today’s 4k Ultra High-Definition cameras provide footage that is four times the quality of standard 1080 resolution. When all of these different pieces are working together, the results are more than extraordinary. 

Fresh angle

      In summary, the future looks bright for the use of drones to deliver stunning aerial photos and videos for a wide range of uses. In Northeast Ohio and beyond, informed property owners/managers, builders and real estate professionals are beginning to see the value in partnering with a forward-thinking company specializing in these exciting new technologies. 

Thomas Wasinski is a life-long RC enthusiast who naturally found a way to incorporate his business with a hobby to deliver a complete solution. He started Aerial Agents with Patrick DeStefanis in 2013, first taking on assignments for industrial recycling, real estate agents, car dealerships and sporting events. The brand has quickly grown and today Aerial Agents consults for a vast array of industries all across the country including construction, hospitality, manufacturing, TV/film and more.