Developing Your Products & Services (Part 4/9 – Aerial/Drone Photography)

In this 9-part series I will discuss nine services that you can offer through your real estate photography business. Although it is not essential to offer all these services, it is a good business strategy to offer at least the primary services required to compile an online real estate listing which usually includes interior and exterior photography, aerial photography, floor plans and copywriting.

Solely offering photography can discourage clients from using your services as they will be required to contact another real estate photographer for additional services (i.e., floor plans, copywriting) that are regularly provided by real estate photography businesses. If this happens, they will most likely use someone else’s photography services, as it will be much easier for them to deal with one business instead of two.

Long gone are the days when photographers would need to charter a helicopter to obtain aerial images or video for their client’s property listings. Not only was this expensive, but it was also
unpractical for most properties and very time-consuming. Drone technology has improved quickly over the last few years, and you can now send a drone into the sky within a matter of minutes and start shooting or recording breathtaking footage.

Commercial agents (especially industrial, bulky goods and commercial centre specialists) will require aerial photography for most photo-shoots to show the size of the land and building from an elevated point of view. Aerial photography is also important for showing how close a residential or commercial property is to schools, road networks, shopping centres, parklands and other nearby amenities which can add value to a property.

Residential properties will also benefit from aerial images if they are uniquely shaped, are premium properties, have large land areas or are acreage-style properties. You may like to offer an aerial shot/s as a part of your regular photo shoot for a competitive advantage by adding more value to your service than your competitors.

Most countries have laws governing the commercial use of UAV’s/Drones. You will need to check with the governing body for drones in your country and ensure that you or your drone operator has the correct licenses and insurance in place before you carry out any drone services. Some real estate agencies will also request of copy of your license and insurance before they use your aerial photography services.

When setting your prices for aerial photography you need to consider how you will be offering this product as a service. Will you be providing it as an ‘add on’ to your real estate photo shoots (i.e., real estate photography + 5 aerial photos), or will you be providing aerial photography as a separate service targeting large commercial or residential properties. You may also provide all options. In the coming months I will be publishing more specific articles on aerial photography including, instructions on shooting technique, detailed pricing strategies and drone reviews.

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