Here’s why you should be strategic about what to show in real estate drone photography

Here’s why you should be strategic about what to show in real estate drone photography

Imagine witnessing a crisp bird’s eye view of your listing as you fly towards it after a stunning cinematic reveal. Drones work perfectly for such visually gratifying experiences that boost the aesthetic and commercial value of your property. While this might sound perfectly doable in theory, the reality is that your listing’s surroundings might not always work in your favor. Perhaps your property is near a run-down store, odd patches of vacant land, or even a bustling highway. Whatever it is, it’s likely you will find one or more aspects of your location that do not suit the look or purpose of your listing. These elements can not only be an eyesore but also hinder your listing’s valuation. 

It seems access to resources plays an essential role in a property’s value. One meta-analysis found that commercial listings within 1/4 mile range from railway stations were about 12.2% more expensive than residential properties. The researchers also discovered that by including other ‘accessibility’ elements, like highways, for example, the impact that railway stations may have been having on property valuations was reduced. Hence, for commercial listings, location can always be leveraged to improve how valuable they appear in a customer’s eyes. But how can one successfully market their listing when there are unfavorable elements? The answer is selective omission.

How selective omission in drone photography helps your listing’s marketing:

Omitting certain characteristics of your location in your aerial shots is a key strategy in real estate marketing. Drones, being both nimble and precise, can be used to show off selective external aspects of a property. Here’s how selective omission boosts your property’s marketing features.

1. It is necessary to create a coherent story 

Let’s assume you are aiming to tell a story of how energetic, bustling, and vibrant the area around your commercial office space is, but you have a largely vacant area of land adjacent to the listing. A standard overhead shot will put this land on display, in sharp contrast to what you are trying to market, making your property’s surroundings less impactful. In the mind of consumers, what your listing claims to offer (like a busy neighborhood close by) doesn’t seem to be depicted in the actuality of your location. Drone services like Up Sonder that work with skilled FAA-certified pilots can shoot your property such that only the busy segments are highlighted. 

Ultimately, your marketing campaigns, like promotional footage and photos that might be featured on your website, need to align with the narrative you want your listing to create. Looking to sell a strip mall that is currently under renovation? Highlight the nearby metro and crowded neighborhood by shooting in the evening time when people are flocking to the area. Trying to get developers to buy your land? Capture how expansive your area really is with a proportional overhead shot capturing key details like the density of vegetation that is visible during the day.

2. It can influence how your property is perceived

While there are many elements of successful drone marketing, such as timing your flights, and using lighting to your advantage, technical aspects like panoramas or ASO, selective omission is a simple yet powerful one to overlook. Notice how when buildings are under construction the poster on the surrounding walls shows an artificial render of the finished product. For residential properties, a pool, gym, and happy residents are seen enjoying their stay in their new and amenity-rich home. For commercial properties like a mall, you’ll likely see the render as a lit-up night-time version of the space with neon lights and a crowd of people bustling around it. 

Both images have a powerful impact on your imagination as they help you visualize what those properties would look like at their best. What those images are not showing are the times when those spaces are empty, closed, or ‘sobered’ in other ways. Highlighting select aspects of your location with drone footage works the same way. You are opting in to show off the best aspects of your listing’s surroundings, which will cater to the imagination of your customers. You make it easier for customers to imagine your property as pristine, crowded, spacious, dense, organized, or whatever visual you are aiming to convey. 

3. You need it to fulfill ethical obligations 

Flying drones can present issues of privacy for the public. After all, drones are essentially a camera mounted on a mini airplane flying high up in the air. It is easy for drones to capture too much. This is why there is a handbook of ethical guidelines that all drone pilots need to adhere to, which operates using the principle of selective omission. For instance, recreationally flown drones in the U.S are not allowed to fly over stadiums, racetracks, national parks, prisons, or military bases. Drones used specifically for real estate marketing, cannot even fly over 400 feet in the air. 

Other important rules include the fact that drones cannot operate over moving vehicles, and constantly need to be within the line of sight of their pilot. Hence, the purpose of selective omission isn’t just to keep your marketing ideas coherent with your campaign’s focus; it is also to prevent any issues with your recreational use of drones, to begin with. Professional drone pilots are able to prevent ethical issues from cropping up while flying drones as they have the necessary know-how of what they can show and, more important, what they cannot show. Hiring a professional will ensure you are unlikely to cross any ethical boundaries with drone operation.

Craft a compelling story for your listings with Up Sonder

Looking for expert drone pilots that understand the fundamentals of selective omission and highlighting your property at its finest? Up Sonder’s fleet of FAA-certified drone pilots is here to help. With Up Sonder, you can have a piloted drone reach your location, no matter where it is in the U.S, for a professional shoot that captures the best assets of your commercial listing. Book a flight with Up Sonder today to get the finest drone footage for your commercial real estate.