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5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use a Drone for a Real-Estate Listing

Drone photos and videos can be a great way to market a property, but it’s not always necessary.


3 min read

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


When I started my real-estate marketing agency in 2012, the only way to get an aerial view of a property was to hire a pilot with their own plane. It was expensive and few pilots were even willing to take you over a property. Quickly that changed as companies like DJI made drones (actually called quadcopters) commercially available. Now, a drone is a necessary part of any real-estate marketer’s toolkit, but you know the saying: Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.

Here are five reasons why you should not use a drone when marketing a property. 

Subdivision living

If the property is on a small lot and very close to the neighbors, a view from above will really accentuate that. With ground photos and videos, it’s easy to focus on the home and property alone. But with drones, it can make a property look even more crowded than it actually is.

Related: 5 Mistakes Franchisees Make When Looking for Business Real Estate

Winter wonderland

If you live in a snowy climate and a fresh coat of snow just fell, everything from above just looks white. Even with the most high-quality drone, so many details are lost. If you do use drones in the winter, plan your shoot for after the plows have been through. Make sure all the walkways to the home and sidewalks are clear so people can still see the defining spaces of a property. 

Garbage (or recycling) day

If you can, try to book your photo or video shoot day on any day other than garbage day (and recycling day, leaf collection day, and compost pickup day depending on the neighborhood!) Blue bins are really bright, even from 200 feet in the air!

Related: What to Expect From the Post-Pandemic Real-Estate Market

Proximity to non-residential spaces

Oftentimes, a neighborhood will be close to an industrial area. Light pollution, air pollution and noise pollution can all scare away a potential buyer. Even if it’s actually a really quiet neighborhood, a nearby industrial space can make it look less appealing than it actually is.

The neighbor’s property

The house you’re selling may look great. But your neighbor’s house may be in disrepair, their yard may be dead, or they may have a mess behind their fence — and that’s a huge red flag for a prospective buyer. So keep that in mind when you’re looking to show off a property from above. 

Using high-quality photos, video, 360 tours and floor plans is a must to market a property today, but use the drone footage with caution. You might be pointing out a flaw that you can’t see from the ground. 

One final note: Don’t forget to make sure your drone operator is certified or licensed to fly in your area and carries the necessary insurance in case something goes wrong. And, if you’re flying near any airports or hospitals, make sure they are able to file the proper paperwork!

Related: Creative Financing Strategies for Real-Estate Investments

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