Real estate drone photography and real estate videography has attracted beginner drone pilots in droves. How do you differentiate yourself in this intensely competitive market?
So, what is the secret to excellent real estate drone photography? Do you need to use any additional equipment while shooting real estate interiors? We also discuss post production and pricing. Read on to find some great practical insights that will help you deliver excellent real estate footage.
Sunrise and sunset are desirable times to for real estate drone photography and videography. You can capture the golden hues of the sun in an early morning shoot. Whereas you can capture more depth and warmth if you shoot a real estate video at sunset. You can also grab some stunning night time footage. You can also choose to go the extra mile and use a portable lighting solution such as Lume Cubes to light paint the exterior of a property. Check out Drone U’s Light Painting Course with Vic Moss to learn more about this topic.
Be sure to capture any property highlights. Common sense measures such as clearing any construction debris and turning on lights will tune up the appeal of your real estate drone photography and videography. It is important to capture the relationship of your house with the neighborhood community. You can highlight amenities such as nearby beach, for instance. But remember not to go overboard with this. All shots should not be from 300 feet up.
Remember, having a lot of jerk in your movements will result in poor real estate videography. Any good drone pilot should always aim to deliver smooth buttery footage. Moving the drone naturally rather than against the wind can help you eliminate jerk. A higher frame rate will allow you to slow down the video shots without compromising on the smoothness of the video.
Further, drone pilots can resort to various maneuvers to heighten the quality of their real estate videography. For instance, starting super-wide and slowly moving through the front door is always a good idea. You can also opt for a “reveal” shot. As the name suggests, start off when the subject property is not in view, and then move to “reveal” the subject.
Using the Osmo to shoot interior real estate photography and videography certainly has its benefits. It is a mistake, however to carry the Osmo in your hand. Mounting the Osmo on a suction cup or a slider will result in much better control and hence, smoother movement. Because you can tilt the Osmo through an App, you can easily get the shots you desire. This will result in less post production work as well. Mounting the Osmo on a suction cup in the corner of a room will capture the entire length and breadth of the room. This will make the room appear bigger than it actually is.
Shooting the interior of a property comes with its own set of problems. WiFi and ferromagnetic interference will hinder your flight. Resorting to tricks such as turning on lights and fans and focusing on highlights such as the fireplace will further enhance the video quality.
You can follow the sunny 16 rules if you have adjustable aperture control. The sunny 16 rules can help you estimate correct daylight exposures without a light meter. This rule states that on a bright sunny day, you should use aperture f16. The shutter speed should be reciprocal of ISO value. So, if your ISO value is 100, then set shutter speed to 1/100. Messing around with the ISO on the Phantom or the Inspire is not recommended. This tends to jack up noise levels substantially. On overcast days, f8 aperture is recommended. Also, using the ND filter on overcast days should be avoided. You can use the polarizing filter instead. If you do not have adjustable aperture control, setting the white balance and Kelvin level will help you. You can also adjust the exposure value via your drone remote.
Also, remember that having slightly darker videos is perfectly fine. You can adjust the tones of the shadows separately from the mid-tones and the highlights in final cut pro. However, if your whites are too over exposed, you cannot pull data out it.
If you are new, you might end up spending 5 hours in post production using Final Cut or Premier Pro. An experienced editor can complete post production in 90 minutes. You can also consider outsourcing all your editing and post production work. Using one of the various outsourcing platforms, you can easily find a virtual contractor/employee for around $15/hour. However, be clear with your video editing requirements or else the final product will be below par. Your final video should be no longer than 3-5 minutes.
Providing some strategic upsells can result in greater value addition for the client and more earnings for you. While solely relying on aerial photography is not a good idea, you can include photos as an upsell. You can also provide 4K footage as an upsell. Another trick that you can employ is to shoot in 4K and provide 1080 footage. The end product will look crispier than your competitors. While you can consider offering a free video in order to build your clientele, be very clear that you will not be providing any other free services.
Give realtors the option to preview the product but not download it. For instance, putting up the video on YouTube is not such a great idea since the realtor can download the video. However, using a tool such as Frame.io lets you showcase your work without giving the realtor the option of downloading it.
While negotiating with the realtor, it is a good idea to offer multiple options: a low end option, a intermediate option and a high end option. Offering multiple options is a smart negotiation strategy that can work in your favor. Not many realtors will opt for the low end option. The intermediate option is likely to be the most popular. In the high end option you can provide upsells such as slo-mo and 4K footage.
Trying to market just aerial photos to realtors is not advisable at all. The entry barrier is really low and competition cutthroat. Organizations like PhotoVan are trying to capture the market by offering aerial photos for as little as $130. You can, however provide aerial photos as an upsell.
So, how much can you charge for a house? You should be able to charge $650 for a sub $500,000 house in place like New Mexico. However, if you are shooting in Colorado, for instance, you can easily charge $1,000 for a house that falls in this price range. In extremely small towns, you might have to lower your price to $500 a house.
Shooting luxurious properties is certainly a more lucrative option. $1,500 for a million dollar house is not uncommon at all. For luxurious properties, the agents have fatter commissions and hence, larger marketing budgets. Properties marketed nationwide are likely to have a higher quality requirement as well. For instance, a high end ranch shoot is likely to net you $3,500 and upwards
It is also important that drone pilots concentrate not only on production but post production and client deliverables as well. Providing an entire package of services will also result in greater value add, and carving a niche in a competitive market.
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