Drone photography is quickly becoming one of the biggest ways to market higher-end real estate plots. It represents an excellent opportunity to let your clients see a larger plot of land and check out all of the features of any improvements that are located on a parcel.
Other real estate agents are creating sweeping shots of home interiors, which allow potential buyers to see exactly what it is that they’d be getting if they purchased a home. Those who need to sell a property that’s surrounded by trees or other obstructions won’t have to worry about them if they use a drone to photograph everything.
When it comes to drones for real estate marketing, you’re going to want to something with a camera that’s really out of this world. You’ll probably also want to make sure that the unit you get is light enough to drag along with you to each plot you’re surveying.
We took the opportunity to find the best drones for real estate agents, so you can spend less time looking and more time closing a big deal.
Best Drones for Professionals Under $500
Holy Stone HS720 Foldable Drone
• 25 minutes of flight time
• Automatic home return
• Follow me mode
• 5G Wifi compatible
• Extremely light to the point that it’s fragile
• May require registry in some areas
Holy Stone’s HS720 foldable drone is perfect for those who need a brushless quadcopter without paying a great deal for one. It comes with everything you’d expect from much more expensive models without driving up the price or the takeoff weight. It relies on a very unusually designed camera that still takes extremely sharp pictures, which can also be displayed on the remote control’s screen. While the hardware is designed to take 2K images, a genuine 4K output can be rendered in software. The end result isn’t quite as good as a real hardware camera might give you, but if you don’t stretch the resolution you might never notice the difference. Best of all, the drone comes with a series of one-touch buttons that makes it easy to fly even for those who’ve never touched one before.
UPair Two Drone Quadcopter
• Genuine 4K UHD camera support
• 3-axis stabilization gimbal
• One key return system
• Slightly fragile
• Kit weighs more than 10 lbs.
UPair drones might be slightly more expensive than their competition, but there are a few compelling reasons as to why they demand a higher price. They’re still an excellent choice for those on a budget, too, because all of these extra features are quite attractive. For instance, the Two Drone as it’s called features a three-eyed HD camera that can capture more footage than cameras that are twice its size. While the overall weight might be a little high, this irregular design feature helps to keep the actual drone’s weight down. Assisted and headless modes come bundled into the controller’s firmware. That enables the drone to do most of the heavy lifting, so you can simply watch the feed and look for potential issues with the plot of land you’re photographing. The images it takes are even sharp enough to use as illustrations in a listing.
AOKESI X7 Camera Drone
• Preplanned flights
• Long battery life for its weight class
• Quite affordable
• Supports VR mode
• Somewhat fragile
• May need calibration at first
When it comes to the real estate drone business, AOKESI is a relative newcomer. They’re much better known for toy and hobby drones. In fact, that’s where the X7 got its start. This newer more expensive version, however, is no simple toy. In fact, it supports full 5G WiFi if you’re lucky enough to be shooting in an area that offers it. The 2500 mAh battery is a good deal stronger than the ones often included with their previous toy models, so you shouldn’t have to worry about this fact either. Real estate agents on a tight budget will appreciate the fact that the kit includes almost everything you might need. It comes with a carrying case as well as a few other accessories. Like many other drones in its class, the X7 features a display screen mounted on top of the remote control so you’ll be able to follow the action right from your fingertips. Those who are shooting big sweeping panoramas are going to appreciate the trajectory flight mode, which gives you the freedom to set specific way points that the drone will automatically fly to before returning to its base.
Best Drones for Professionals Under $3000
DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus
• Comes with SD card
• Includes gadget bag
• Supports H.264 4K videos at 60fps
• Entire kit is just over 30 lbs.
• Relatively pricey
• Only 30 minutes of flight time
• Replacement batteries are expensive
Truly professional real estate photographers will appreciate the full inch-sized 20-megapixel sensor on the DJI Phantom 4. While the kit comes with enough material to fill an entire backpack, it should still prove attractive to those who might not have worked with drone photography because DJI made it that easy to fly. Make no mistake, though, because this is no toy drone. An Exmor R CMOS sensor is designed for serious photography. In fact, the Phantom 4 Pro has become a choice of those in the oil and gas exploration industries when they buy a new piece of real estate. Some people have even taken to using them in agricultural surveying, which means that anyone dealing with more residential real estate projects should be more than happy. A 5½-inch screen should prove large enough to meet the needs of even the most complicated imaging jobs.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro
• Weighs under 2½ lbs.
• Includes UHD 4K Gimbal camera
• Onboard OcuSync 2.0 transmission equipment
• May require FAA registration
• Flight time just over a half hour
Unidirectional obstacle sensing and a hyperlapse time-lapse mode make the DJI Mavic 2 a joy to fly and shoot photographs with. While it’s from the same set of technicians that designed the Phantom 4, it’s a completely different model with entirely different flight characteristics. Those who are looking for something that’s slightly less expensive and a bit easier to fly might be more attracted to this model. That being said, it doesn’t lack much in the way of features either. It comes complete with a power cable, car charger and remote control that should work right out of the box. The communications cable supports both USB 3.0 Type-C connections as well as traditional USB plugs, so it should prove to be an extremely flexible solution. In spite of the fact that it’s extremely light, this drone should also prove to be rather durable in a wide variety of situations. Treat it well and it’ll see you through even the most complicated real estate projects.
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Fly
• Waterproof carrying case
• Fast UHS 3 memory card performance
• Longer flight time
• Possibly needs registration
• Over 10 lbs.
At this point, it seems that many real estate agents rely on DJI drones to get the job done. Perhaps that’s where the Zoom comes from. This drone almost seems to be purposefully designed to work with the kind of camera equipment and software that real estate agents need. Since it features an onboard stabilization system, the DJI Zoom should be able to offer crystal clear images even if you’re an inexperienced pilot forced to deal with a little turbulence. That alone should make it a top choice for almost anyone that needs photos taken or video shot for a presentation on a parcel that’s put up for sale. While it’s not designed for indoor flight exactly, some people have reportedly used it in this kind of situation as well.
Assuming you don’t have any qualms about the price, you can’t do much better than the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. Its onboard 4K camera makes it the best drone for real estate photography according to many people who’ve used it in their own practices. While it might be expensive, it’s certainly one of the best all-around models when it comes to flight characteristics and ease of use. UPair Two quadcopters and the Holy Stone HS720 are great options for those who are doing their best to shave a few dollars off their drone bill. If you’re not ready to make the plunge and buy a full priced model, then either of these should do quite nicely. They’re both portable enough to bring to even the most remote parcels of land, but they still offer clear enough footage anyway. Those who want the full package, however, are going to want to stick with the Phantom 4 and its impressive array of features.