Real Estate Drone Photography: The Ultimate Guide to Making Money, Choosing the Best Drones, and Finding Clients

Real estate drone photography has become a popular avenue for drone pilots to earn money while showcasing their aerial photography skills. Whether you're just starting out or looking to expand your portfolio, this guide will...

Real estate drone photography has become a popular avenue for drone pilots to earn money while showcasing their aerial photography skills. Whether you're just starting out or looking to expand your portfolio, this guide will provide you with valuable insights on how to succeed in the real estate drone photography industry.

What is the Best Drone For Real Estate Photography?

When it comes to choosing a drone for real estate photography, there are several factors to consider. The quality of the camera, battery life, flight modes, and payload options all play a crucial role. Here are some recommended drones for real estate drone photography:

DJI Mavic Mini - For Getting Started

The DJI Mavic Mini is an excellent option for beginners. With a 12-megapixel camera and a three-axis gimbal, it allows you to capture clear and smooth footage. The DJI Fly app makes it easy to create professional-looking images even if you have no prior filming or editing experience.

DJI Mavic Mini Photo credit: DJI

DJI Mavic 2 Pro - For Professional Drone Photography

The DJI Mavic 2 Pro is a popular choice among drone pilots due to its compact size and intelligent features. It features a professional-grade camera with a 1-inch CMOS sensor, offering 20-megapixel photography with enhanced HDR and color sensitivity.

DJI Mavic 2 Pro Photo credit: DJI

DJI Mavic Air 2 - For Hobbyist/Professional Drone Photography

The Mavic Air 2 is equipped with AirSense technology, enabling the drone to detect nearby aircraft. It boasts a 34-minute flight time, a 48-megapixel camera, and an 8K Hyperlapse feature. This drone offers a high level of technology and portability at a reasonable price.

DJI Mavic Air 2 Photo credit: DJI

How Do You Find Drone Real Estate Photography / Videography Clients?

Finding clients for your real estate drone photography business can be challenging, especially when you're just starting. However, there are several approaches you can take to build your portfolio and gain traction.

The "Free Shoot" Approach

One effective way to attract clients and build your portfolio is by offering free shoots. Reach out to realtors in your area and offer them a free session to showcase your skills. By delivering high-quality work, you can impress them and open the door to paid opportunities.

Real Estate Drone Photography Image source

Other Approaches

Apart from the "free shoot" approach, there are other strategies you can employ to attract clients:

  • Word of mouth: Leverage your existing network to connect with realtors in your area. Once you land your first client, it becomes easier to acquire more.
  • Online search: Check websites like Indeed, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn Jobs, and Glassdoor for job openings related to real estate drone photography. Drone pilot networks such as DroneBase and also provide opportunities to showcase your skills.
  • Drone pilot networks: Join drone pilot networks to gain experience and build your resume while getting paid.

How Much Can You Charge for Drone Photography?

The pricing for real estate drone photography varies depending on factors such as experience, location, and the depth of your portfolio. While some drone pilots charge $25 per hour, others can command $200 or more.

To set your prices, consider the following guidelines:

  1. Minimal annual cost: Calculate your expenses, including equipment, insurance, education, and other business-related costs. Determine the minimum amount you need to charge to break even.
  2. Desired income: Set a realistic annual income goal for yourself.
  3. Billable hours: Estimate the number of billable hours you can realistically achieve in a year, considering vacations and sick days.
  4. Do the math: Add your minimal annual cost and desired income, then divide it by the total billable hours. This calculation will give you an idea of how much you need to charge per hour.

Real Estate Drone Photography Image source

Do I Need a Drone License for Real Estate Drone Photography?

Yes, it is a legal requirement to obtain a drone license if you want to conduct real estate drone photography. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) mandates that anyone operating a drone commercially must be certified as a commercial drone pilot.

To obtain FAA certification, you need to pass the FAA's Aeronautical Knowledge Test, also known as the Part 107 test. Becoming a certified commercial drone pilot demonstrates your professionalism and compliance with aviation regulations.

Real Estate Drone Photography Image source

Follow Up Resources for Real Estate Drone Photography

To further expand your knowledge and skills in real estate drone photography, here are some free resources worth exploring:

If you want to enhance your drone cinematography skills, consider checking out the paid Drone Cinematography Masterclass offered by Drone Film Guide. This course provides professional instruction to help you level up your aerial videos and take your drone photography to new heights.

Remember, real estate drone photography offers immense potential for both creative expression and financial reward. By honing your skills, finding clients, and delivering exceptional results, you can build a successful and fulfilling career in this exciting field.