What’s going on?! If you’re new here, my name is Cole Connor, an artist, and entrepreneur who has built 3 different real estate businesses in 3 different cities. I’m FAA certified and today we are diving into my workflow for drone photo and video when shooting real estate. Let’s get into it!
I highly recommend WAY BEFORE flying for money that you go ahead and get your FAA PART 107 drone license. I have a video on how to take it and pass easily here.
Before even showing up to a shoot, it’s always best to check on apps like Aloft to see if you are in a zone that may need authorization or may be a no-fly zone. These are usually areas close to airports. And unfortunately, it happens more often than you’d think when people try to shoot right next to an airport. You can avoid an awkward situation if you just check on its zone status beforehand.
If you’re authorized and good to go, time to get to the shoot. The first thing I do for any home I shoot is do a quick scope of the area. I’m trying to see how many powerlines there are. Is there anything else I need to look out for? And even, how crowded is the street? Is there a lot of foot or car traffic etc. This all decides where I take off from.
If you’re anything like me, then you may get a little bit of drone anxiety anytime before you fly in a busy area. There are just always so many things that can go wrong. I’ve seen people crash drones and I’ve crashed drones and luckily nothing or no one was ever hurt (outside of the drone itself). I still feel like I should always be extra careful.
On top of that, people feel weird about drones, so I try to take off from a point that isn’t visible from the street if possible. Usually a backyard, just to avoid a neighbor coming out like what are you doing? You better not be taking photos of my house!! Sir, I’m not. Oh, okay, yeah you better not. Sir, I’m not.
To avoid that negative ass energy, I advise you to not draw a ton of attention to yourself, and/or I’ve also seen people wear FAA drone highlighter vests. I’m considering doing myself to ya know “legitimize” my officialness while on site. It will draw attention but hopefully positive.
I’m sure y’all know how to set up and turn on a drone before you fly. But assuming you don’t, just make sure that you register your drone with the FAA and put your registration somewhere on your drone before flying. I use and love the Mavic pro 2. Been using it for several years now and honestly, it’s been great. I hope it keeps it up for years to come.
While on sight, I plug in my phone to the controller, set up propellers, calibrate if needed, clear the launch area and get it up in the air! I always shoot bracketed at least 3. And will adjust my exposure depending on how bright the day is. For video, I shoot 2.7k 60 frames currently. But I just think it’s important mostly to shoot in slow-mo (at least 60 frames).
HOW TO FLY A DRONE FOR REAL ESTATE
So usually, my workflow for homes or buildings is very similar. I don’t tend to get too creative with it unless the home/client calls for it. So usually I’m done in less than 15 minutes.
I start with a top-down shot – one as close as possible and one higher. To make things as fast and optimized as possible – I’m shooting video in between photos (if the client wants video). This is how I do all shots listed below. The key for all of these shots is to make sure the house AND property you’re shooting is fully in the photo. For the closer shots – try to make it as centered as possible.
And for higher shots that you look to showcase views or things nearby, try to have the home/property at the bottom center. The video above has some examples.
SHOTS I GET:
- low front of the house (left, center, right)
- full circle at medium height (200 ft) 5-6 photos (definitely 4 corners)
- full circle at 300 -400 ft depending on what’s needed
While you’re flying, I just want to mention a few things to look out for. #1 is power lines and trees. Be wary. I’ve seen way too many people crash into one of these. Just always keep an eye out, and don’t get too cocky or try anything too crazy unless you are prepared to crash. Water towers/towers in general. Tall houses/homes on hills. I’m in LA so I need to always watch out for the hills. Even birds – who sometimes can be curious or attack.
I personally fly really safe with my Mavic 2 pro. And in the near future, I hope to get an additional one like an fpv that I can be a little riskier with.
That’s it folks – easy as that. You got this!! It will take some time to get it down pat, but trust me you will get there.
If you’re growing a real estate photo biz from the beginning, you may benefit from tuning into my course on Skillshare – you can get it for free at the link in the description in the video above. And I just dropped some other videos that can help with editing et
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