Aerial shots vs traditional shots: Which one increases the chances of your land parcel being sold?

Aerial shots vs traditional shots: Which one increases the chances of your land parcel being sold?

Taking the right shot of your commercial real estate property is crucial. It can differentiate your land parcel from that of your competition to attract more visitors and eventually a buyer. According to a recent Deloitte report, the commercial property price index “accelerated 4.8% year over year in Q2 2021, with deal volume growing 81% to USD 243.5 billion over the same period.” Increasing prices and deal volume hint toward rising demand and a growing market. In this context, it is essential to capitalize on consumer demand by differentiating yourself from the competition quickly and effectively. 

Moreover, in a study conducted by the Institute for Behavioral and Experimental Real Estate, researchers tracked the eye movements of buyers browsing real estate online. Their results highlighted something super insightful but not surprising – you get only one chance to impress your customers. “They found that 95 percent of viewers spent the most time focused on that first exterior photo. After focusing on the main photo for 20 seconds, their eyes “tended to flit all over the screen.” Most buyers search for real estate online; hence, the first picture they see of your property is the most important. 

It is vital to invest sufficient time and effort in getting the right shot of your property. While this may be time consuming or expensive, the subsequent rewards are worth it. There are multiple ways to get the right photo of your property. You can use traditional methods such as hiring a professional photographer or use more technologically advanced techniques such as taking aerial shots with a drone or helicopter. The correct method depends on your company, brand, property, budget, and objectives. 

This article will discuss the two methods in detail (aerial and traditional shots) to help you make an informed choice and sell your land parcel as quickly as possible. 

Traditional shots 

A professional photographer can leverage their talent to display your property’s true potential. They are also proficient with editing pictures and offering online photo galleries, which you can share with potential buyers. People often underestimate the work that goes in after taking a picture. Editing and fine-tuning your images are vital for producing impactful photos. Although a DIY approach may be cheaper, everyone does not possess the same technical proficiency as a professional photographer. 

Standard digital cameras can capture clear images; however, they have limited features. DSLR cameras (digital single lens reflex) produce higher resolution shots, offering multiple lenses and settings options for quality effects in any lighting. Further, High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography involves more advanced shooting techniques. Typically, multiple pictures of the same scene are taken at different exposures. These pictures can then be merged into one using editing software to create greater depth and contrast, creating a life-like image. While a few people interested in photo editing might be able to achieve this, the vast majority won’t. And that’s where a professional photographer comes in.

Lastly, according to a recent study by Redfin Corp, a brokerage firm based in Seattle, on average, property listings with professional photography sold for a higher price than housing with amateur photography. In conclusion, the more premium, life-like, and well-defined your images are, the more likely you are to sell your property for a good value.

Aerial shots

Commercial real estate firms have used aerial shots for decades to sell their listings. Traditionally, brokers have relied on helicopters and airplanes to take these shots and have reserved this method only for the most exclusive, high-end properties. This is because of the high costs associated with hiring helicopters and airplanes. 

The trend is now shifting towards using drones for aerial shots. Drones are comparatively less expensive, allowing brokers to get aerial shots for most of their listings. However, being more affordable also implies firms are increasingly using drones for aerial shots. Your brand and listings may suffer if you do not capitalize on this trend. 

Drones offer more flexibility when taking pictures of your property. You can take aerial shots from multiple angles and even take close-ups, which is impossible through helicopters and airplanes. Aerial shots from a drone can captivate your audience much better than traditional shots from cameras.  

While the choice between traditional shots versus aerial shots is difficult, leveraging the latest tech, such as drones which offer a cost-effective way to take aerial shots, is an excellent alternative. 

Why are aerial shots better than traditional shots? 

While the ultimate decision depends on your specific context, these are the reasons you should consider aerial shots:

  • Multiple Perspectives – While handheld cameras provide a personal point of view, they have several limitations. For example, they are poor at capturing dimensions and spatial relationships. This is especially important for large commercial properties wherein it is harder to understand the dimensions of the space. However, zoomed-out images from multiple angles, especially from the top, can make your listing stand out and give your customers a better understanding of what to expect. 
  • Contextualize Your Listing – A commercial property can have multiple selling points. External factors such as other properties in the area, the neighborhood, and the location of your property in the area are all important factors. 

For example, how far is your property from the nearest transit? Is there a parking space? How big is the property? Customers do not just want yes and no answers; they want to see for themselves. Moreover, these factors can remarkably increase the value of your listing. Aerial shots allow you to contextualize your listing in the larger area while giving buyers a visual answer to the aforementioned questions. Lastly, drone photography can also help you create interactive video tours that will be impressive for prospective buyers.

  • Display Inaccessible Features – Aerial shots help display amenities that are otherwise hard to show off. For example, you may want to display the roof, a solar-panel setup, and views from and of your property. This might be difficult or even dangerous for a professional photographer. Drones can easily capture angles that might be difficult for handheld cameras. If your commercial property is large and horizontal, it might be impossible to get a single image of the entire plot. An aerial shot can capture the true size of your acreage. 

How to make the most of your aerial shots?

While aerial shots offer numerous benefits, it is crucial to get them right. Keep the following factors in mind when taking and selecting your photo:

  • Location – Your property’s location is one of the most important factors that determine its overall value and marketability. Make sure you know what your customers are looking for in terms of location. If it’s warehouse space, buyers are going to be looking at nearby cities and towns. They may also be looking at public transportation options – this will affect the willingness of people to work in the warehouse and impact costs. In short, the ideal location depends on the type of commercial property you’re selling. You can use aerial shots to sell your property by showing the surrounding areas.
  • Keep Your Shots Recent – Neighborhoods keep evolving. New stores, construction, or projects may start around your property. Additionally, your property itself may also change over a long time period. For example, you may install a new amenity, or some features could deteriorate. Make sure whichever image you show your customers is recent and reliable. Customers value honesty. 
  • Be Strategic About Timing – Again, depending on the type of commercial property you plan to sell, pick a time that best aligns with its characteristics. For example, if you’re selling a retail space, you do not want to take an aerial shot when the streets and the parking lots are empty. This sends a negative message to your client. Ideally, you would want to display your retail property as bustling and active. Because aerial shots can take zoomed-out and wide-angled images, they tend to capture a decent amount of the surrounding area. While this is a great advantage, make sure you time it right.

Strategic timing also implies picking a day and time that maximizes the effectiveness of the lighting. For example, you want to avoid gloomy, dark, and windy days for aerial shots. While you can correct certain lighting related issues during editing, having the right lighting from the beginning can ease the process considerably. This is a fairly personalized decision. You know your property and its orientation the best; hence, you can judge what lighting and angle enhance your property the most. 

In conclusion, impressing customers is difficult, and the first property picture you display is the most important. Hence, selecting the right image is crucial to demonstrate your property’s value. Aerial shots offer numerous benefits over traditional shots. They offer multiple perspectives and allow you to display inaccessible features through a handheld camera. They also contextualize your listing in a larger area, allowing you to build a narrative around your property. 

Get your aerial shot now using Up Sonder’s state-of-the-art drone service. We offer a dedicated network of FAA-certified commercial drone pilots. Go beyond traditional marketing to bring your clients closer to your commercial real estate with stunning drone footage.