How To Make Money From Drone Photography

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Existent estate drone photography is one of the most popular ways for drone pilots to suspension into making money with a drone.

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One of the well-nigh mutual existent manor drone photography work scenarios is when a realtor hires a freelance drone airplane pilot to take aerial photographs and/or video of a property. These aerial shots can help make a property more appealing to potential buyers, especially if it’due south a bigger firm or slice of land.

Another common way for drone pilots to find real manor drone photography work is past signing up with a drone pilot network, like those run by DroneBase or

In addition to aeriform photographs and video, work in real estate drone photography can include capturing enough visual data to create a 3D or orthomosaic map of a belongings. Potential buyers tin use these maps to familiarize themselves with it as they consider making a buy.

Here are some of the almost common types of properties drone pilots are hired to photograph:

  • Residential real estate. Homes, housing developments, and communities
  • Commercial real manor. Malls, shopping centers, business complexes, golf game courses, hotels, and hotel facilities
  • Large areas of land. Big estates, golf courses, ranches, and farms

In this guide, we’re going to cover everything you need to know about real manor drone photography, including how much you lot tin charge for drone photography, the best drones on the market for existent estate work, and how to find clients.

Desire to jump around? Here you go:

  • What is the Best Drone For Real Estate Photography?
  • How Do You lot Find Drone Real Estate Photography / Videography Clients?
  • How Much Can You Accuse for Drone Photography?
  • Do I Need a Drone License for Real Estate Drone Photography?
  • Follow Up Resources for Real Manor Drone Photography

What Is the All-time Drone For Real Manor Photography?

When it comes to real manor drone photography there are several practiced prosumer drone options out there, nearly starting at around $500 and going upwards to effectually $2,000.

Before diving into our listing of drones for real manor drone photography, here are a few things to consider when shopping for a camera drone to use in existent manor work:

  • Quality of the photographic camera. You’ll want a professional-form camera with a high plenty quality to permit you to take professional shots.
  • Battery life. For an boilerplate residential shoot you lot may need about an hr of flight time and for a commercial shoot you’ll demand, even more, so make sure to keep this in listen when choosing your drone. The terminal matter you want is to run out of batteries halfway through a task.
  • Flight modes. Some drones come with special pre-programmed flight modes, like DJI’s Intelligent Flight modes, which allow yous to get special shots automatically. Whether yous’re brand new or an experienced professional person, these modes tin can be useful for capturing dynamic shots for your existent estate clients.
  • Payload options. As you get more than experienced yous may want to attach a dissimilar camera to your drone, which will hateful you lot need to recollect about whether your drone allows for customized payloads.

Now that nosotros’ve covered things to await for in your drone, let’southward dive into our listing of recommended camera drones for real estate drone photography.

DJI Mavic Mini – For Getting Started

The DJI Mavic Mini is a great starter drone for those looking to break into existent estate drone photography. It comes with a 12-megapixel camera and a 3-axis gimbal to help yous capture clear, smooth footage. Plus, y’all can get in enough of practice with DJI’s QuickShots, pre-programmed flight maneuvers that help you capture cinematic footage.

Photograph credit: DJI

At around $399 in the DJI store, the Mavic Mini is a cracking pick to consider if you’re just getting started with drone photography. The DJI Wing app enables you to create professional-looking images fifty-fifty if you have no filming or editing experience. Once y’all get more experienced, you lot may desire to upgrade to a drone with a more advanced camera to encounter the quality requirements of professional real manor photography.

Cardinal Specs/Features

  • 12 MP photographic camera
  • Max flight time of thirty minutes
  • Altitude Hold
  • Return-to-home
  • QuickShots

DJI – Introducing Mavic Mini

DJI Mavic 2 Pro – For Professional person Drone Photography

The DJI Mavic two Pro is one of the near popular drone models on the market because of its compact size and its large array of intelligent features. Its professional-course photographic camera from Swedish camera manufacturer Hasselblad has a 1-inch CMOS sensor, and offers 20-megapixel photography with enhanced HDR and color sensitivity.


Photo credit: DJI

Key Specs/Features

  • All the same image resolution of 20 megapixels
  • Video resolution of 4K 10-flake HDR Video
  • Max flying time of 31 minutes
  • Max speed of 45 mph (in sport mode)
  • Foldable/portable for meaty travel
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • Obstacle sensing

Introducing the DJI Mavic 2

DJI Mavic Air 2 – For Hobbyist/Professional Drone Photography

The Mavic Air ii, it is the first consumer drone to be equipped with AirSense. Which is essentially ADS-B In tech that enables the drone to choice upwardly on nearby aircraft. DJI has done an incredible job packing this new drone with a large array of features.

mavic air 2 real estate drone

Photo credit: DJI

With a 34 minute flight time, 48-megapixel camera, and an 8K Hyperlapse characteristic, information technology will be difficult to discover a comparable aircraft in this size and toll range. Starting at $800, this drone is ane of the highest tech portable drones on the marketplace.

Key Specs/Features

  • Still image resolution of up to 48 megapixels
  • Video resolution of 4K at 60 fps
  • Max flight time of 34 minutes
  • Max speed of 42 mph (in sport way)
  • Foldable/portable for meaty travel
  • Intelligent flight modes
  • 8K hyperlapse
  • APAS three.0 0bstacle abstention

14-Min Review of the DJI Mavic Air 2 Drone

[Want more than options? Check out our guide to the all-time photographic camera drones on the market.]

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

When you lot’re just getting started in drone real estate photography it tin can be a piffling hard to go traction. It’due south a chicken-or-egg trouble—how practice you become clients if you don’t have a portfolio? And how exercise you build a portfolio without clients?


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The “Free Shoot” Approach

One common path to edifice a portfolio of drone existent estate photography / videography work and growing a client base of operations is to offering work to clients for free.

Drone Pilot Basis School alum Derrick Ward took this arroyo to land his kickoff real manor clients in Utah. Here’southward how he did information technology:

  • He chosen all the realtors in the area to fix meetings and offered each of them a free shoot
  • The first realtor to accept his offering was i of the biggest realtors in the state
  • They were pleased with the work he delivered for free and hired him to do more than work
  • Derrick yet works them to this day

By taking this approach Derrick was able to country several clients and build a client base in a curt period of time. He was too able to grow his portfolio of real estate drone photography and videography quickly, which helped him land paying clients shortly subsequently he started giving abroad work for gratuitous.

[Acquire how Derrick went from free flights to charging $250/hour.]

Another Drone Pilot Ground Schoolhouse alum, Jonathon Russell, also took the “gratuitous shoot” approach to grow his drone real estate photography business when he and his wife first moved to Hawaii.

The actress spin he put on the approach was to ask realtors if he could shoot backdrop they were having problem selling, so he could highlight non only the quality of his aerial photography but also the straight affect drone existent manor photography could have on sales in real manor.

Using this approach Jonathon and his married woman Beth were able to abound their business concern from no clients at all to over 200 in just a few years.

[Learn how Jonathon and Beth Russell grew JBR Life Photography to 200+ clients.]

Other Approaches

Although some drone pilots have had success with giving abroad free shoots, you don’t take to give annihilation away to abound a customer base of operations in existent estate drone photography.

Here are another ideas to help you get started:

  • Give-and-take of mouth. Explore your existing network to run into who might be able to connect yous with a realtor in your area. In one case yous country your get-go client it will be much easier to get your second and your tertiary, and and so on.
  • Search online. Sites similar Indeed, ZipRecruiter, LinkedIn Jobs, and Glassdoor all list chore openings. Get to one of these sites, enter your location, and type in ‘drone pilot’ or ‘drone pilot existent estate’ to see if there are any open searches for existent estate drone photography or related work in your area.
  • Drone pilot networks. Do real estate drone photography or other types of missions (yous cull) for a drone pilot network to build your resume while even so getting paid.

Here are the top drone airplane pilot networks out there:

  • DroneBase

[Come across our master listing of drone pilot networks here.]

How Much Tin can You lot Accuse for Drone Photography?

Then how much tin you really make doing real estate drone photography?

The answer is—it depends. Some drone pilots make $25 an hour while others are able to accuse $200 or even more than per hour.

Like any professional skill, the corporeality you tin brand doing real estate drone photography depends on your level of experience and the depth of your torso of piece of work.

The amount you make is also tied to where you lot alive. Real estate drone photography is going to toll more than in Los Angeles than in Bakersfield just considering the cost of living is higher in Fifty.A.

The proficient news is that although you may starting time out charging relatively low prices—say, $30 an hour—equally you develop your portfolio and customer base you’ll steadily be able to charge more.

To acquire more about how much drone pilots are making in real estate, check out the results from our 2022 Drone Manufacture Survey.

real-estate-drone-photography-example 2

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Guidelines for Pricing Your Existent Estate Drone Photography Services

Setting prices tin can feel a little arbitrary when you’re working for yourself.

Are my skills worth $l an hour or $sixty? Or $160? Sometimes it tin can feel like shooting in the dark.

To remove some of that uncertainty, here are a few things to keep in mind when setting your prices for your work in real estate drone photography.

1. Minimal almanac cost

When considering prices information technology’s important to be aware of the coin you lot’ve already invested in your drone business.

To do this, establish a minimal amount you need to make to business relationship for your expenses, including your craft, gear, insurance, education and whatever other expenses related to your drone business so that you pause fifty-fifty.

The number y’all come up with should include all these different expenses for the entire yr. That’s both expenses you’ve already incurred and projected expenses—if you know y’all’re going to need new gear or a new drone, include those amounts, too.

two. How much practice you want to make?

Afterward you establish your minimal cost, think about how much y’all’d like to make a year.

Brand sure to be realistic—just because you want to brand six figures doesn’t hateful your concern will support it just notwithstanding.

3. How many hours tin you bill in a twelvemonth?

Now think about how many hours y’all can realistically bill in a year, taking into account vacations and sick days.

Go on in listen that 40 hours is probably likewise much for one week since we’re talking billable hours here, not total hours worked. In addition to the hours you get to pecker clients for, yous as well have hours devoted to authoritative work, sales, and other tasks that you don’t get to bill.

When you lot take all these things into account, aiming to bill an average of 30 hours a week may seem similar a pretty aggressive goal.

4. Now practise the math

Afterwards you establish your minimal annual price and your ideal almanac salary, add those numbers together. Then, divide that amount by the total number of hours you tin nib in a given year.

And there you go. The resulting number is how much you’ll need to charge per hour to brand what you want to earn per year and comprehend your expenses.

real-estate-drone-photography-example 4

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Pricing Pro Tips

  • If your client has a minor upkeep then propose reducing the scope of work—not your price.
  • Be aware of what your competition is charging and then y’all can present facts as to why a potential client should hire yous over your competition.
  • Be gear up to respond the question “Why?” well-nigh your prices. Being able to share the math from above is a skilful starting place, but keep in listen that most people will be focused on ROI—Render on Investment. If yous can convince potential clients that the expense they make with y’all volition make them more money past helping them sell their properties more rapidly then your aerial photography services will sell themselves.

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


This is an like shooting fish in a barrel one. If you are doing whatsoever kind of piece of work with a drone, such every bit real estate drone photography, federal law requires that you be certified past the FAA as a commercial drone pilot.

To obtain an FAA certificate y’all must meet a number of requirements, including passing the FAA’south Aeronautical Cognition Test, also called the Role 107 exam. Learn more about how to become FAA certification to be a commercial drone pilot hither.

Desire help preparing for the Role 107 test?

We’ve trained over thirty,000 drone pilots, and over 99% of our students have passed the FAA’due south Office 107 examination on the showtime try. Learn more about how we tin can aid you pass the examination and go a commercial drone pilot at

real-estate-drone-photography-example 3

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Follow Up Resource for Real Estate Drone Photography

Here are some free resource to assistance you learn more well-nigh real estate drone photography:

  • How to Build a Existent Estate Marketing Business that Includes Drones
  • The Real Estate Section of Our In-Depth Drone Jobs Guide
  • Existent Estate Drone Photography Contour: How Derrick Ward Went from Complimentary Flights to $250 an 60 minutes
  • Real Estate Drone Photography Profile: How Jonathon and Beth Russell went from 0 to 200+ Clients

Want to step up your drone cinematography skills?
Cheque out the paid Drone Cinematography Masterclass created by our friends over at Drone Picture Guide.

The course was made to assist drone pilots master aerial cinematography, and provides professional person pedagogy to aid you level up your aeriform videos. Learn more than near the Drone Cinematography Masterclass on the Drone Flick Guide website.


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