Using Drones To Market Commercial Real Estate

Using Drones To Market Commercial Real Estate

Commercial real estate businesses are seeing a tectonic shift in their mode of operations. The sector has quickly adopted digitization and remote operations over the past few years. In a bid to streamline operations and enhance user experience, many commercial real estate businesses have started using drone photography and video for the majority of their listings. 

Drone photography and video offers a number of benefits to commercial real estate investors, buyers, and sellers. Drones are particularly helpful in a real estate deal because: 

  • They make aerial photography accessible to nearly any marketing budget.
  • They capture features that standard photography can’t. An aerial view is essential for commercial real estate because it puts the entire property into perspective. Aerial views highlight every important detail from layout and architecture to the general vicinity/neighborhood. Drones can also be used to capture unique angles (to highlight exceptional features of the property) that standard, on-foot photography can’t.  
  • Selling the lifestyle of customers that frequent the commercial real estate has a higher value to potential buyers. Drone-captured images do more than just make a property look good. They capture properties and their amenities in a way that shows why customers are attracted to them, adding to their appeal. These ‘virtual’ eyes present a property as an immersive property in a dynamic ecosystem. Adding this much-needed edge to your listing efforts can help your property sell or lease much faster.
  • They are green and are carbon neutral technologies. Unlike airplane/helicopter-based aerial photography that use gas and emit pollution, drones are all electric. Firms with Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) requirements and standards are happy to integrate drone photography and videos into their marketing workflows.

How Drones Are Helping Change The Real Estate Industry

According to the National Associations of Realtors (NAR), unmanned aerial systems or drones are one of the most influential marketing tools for real estate businesses. Real estate firms that use drone-based photography sold/leased properties up to 68% faster. Drone photography is not a fad anymore, but a full-fledged industry trend, and Up Sonder stays ahead of the curve by offering professional drone service for commercial real estate nationwide.

As a robust marketing tool, drone photography offers much more than conventional photography methods. Drones allow businesses to:

  • Monitor renovation progress
  • Generate 3D models of the property 
  • Make detailed aerial maps
  • Conduct remote/virtual tours
  • Switch to cost-effective, remote inspections 

All these add towards making a listing more attractive and hence, more valuable by saving money early on preparing the property or after making it’s presentation dynamic. Businesses that use drone photography are usually able to provide their customers with much better, immersive customer experiences and streamline their operations at the same time. This gives them a definite edge over businesses that employ conventional photography methods. 

How Drones Can Help Businesses Improve Their Listings

The biggest challenges big real estate firms face today is sourcing drone pilots for each individual property. Typically, dealing with a drone pilot involves scheduling time for each shoot, negotiating price, monitoring the weather, checking airspace, vetting pilot qualifications and dealing with reshoots. All of these things add extra time to the marketing process, making the process complex, tedious, and time consuming.

Besides, each drone pilot has their own method of flying and taking property shots. This is especially problematic when property portfolios span multiple geographic locations. Commercial real estate agents aren’t trained to speak with drone pilots and are unlikely to understand the various nuances that drone flying involves such as LAANC, yaw, pitch, and roll. To keep your company’s branding consistent, it is crucial to keep images and videos congruent to keep marketing quality the same property to property.

As the competition becomes more cut-throat, businesses will have to find ways to distinguish themselves from the competition and push against their shrinking profit margins in order to expand (or even sustain) within the industry. 

Marketing listings better to get better deals on them is an excellent way of doing this. Large real estate firms can harness the power of drone photography to cater to their clients and offer them a more comprehensive look at their listings without actually having to allocate a dedicated employee for each customer. Switching to drone-based photography can help large estate firms because: 

  • One of the best selling points of any real estate listing is its looks, and the regular two-dimensional shots fail to capture the essence of the place and just don’t cut it anymore. Often captured from unflattering angles, these images divide the place into pieces. In contrast, drone footage detailing a property in 360-degrees gives a better complete feel of the property.
  • Aerial videos, sweeping images, 3D shots, and the other shooting options that drones allow are able to highlight a property’s best features. Drones aid more accurate sizing of the place and provide a better sense of depth and dimension. 
  • Shots from a drone can easily be tied together to create a virtual tour, combined with a good quality soundtrack. This can be used to share the interesting features, information, and history of the property. This also saves time for the agent, the seller, and the buyer because it is a one-time recording that can be reshared as much as needed and doesn’t require needless in-person reruns of the same details.
  • Drones help you show instead of tell. For example, instead of writing in your property description that the commercial hub is a two-minute walk away, you can now use aerial footage and sweeping pictures to communicate this. 

Why You Should Consider Remote Drone Coverage

The American commercial real estate market saw a tremendous boom in 2021, with non-residential sales reaching a 15-year high in May 2021. Experts believe this points towards a larger, concrete trend that’s likely to continue in 2022 and beyond.

According to CoreLogic chief economist Frank Nothaft:

“We’ve got a boost in demand that’s due to record low mortgage rates and we’ve got a shrinkage of supply. Between more demand and less supply, prices are up and they’re up at the fastest pace since the 1970s.” 

This means that your potential business is about to grow at unprecedented rates, and to grab and maximize this growth you will need a quicker and more efficient system to market your properties. Wasting valuable time sourcing drone pilots property by property or sending employees to the actual locations for shoots, inspections, and walk-throughs might not be possible with larger portfolios. 

Engaging drone footage acts as an extremely helpful all-in-one resource that can be used for both in-depth inspections and as a marketing tool that presents the listing in a flattering, dynamic light all while reducing overhead costs and saving time. Keeping drone services under one roof is a cost saving strategy that streamlines the commercial real estate firm’s marketing process.

Regulations For The Use Of Drones In Real Estate

Switching to drone-based photography can prove to be an excellent decision for your firm, but ensuring complete legal compliance can prove to be difficult for real estate firms. Large businesses can’t afford to waste time, money, and manpower needed to manage all the back-office work that goes into complying with the FAA’s safety and operation standards. Understanding airspace classifications, flight altitude restrictions, FAA authorizations, geo fencing, Part 107, drone registrations, etc while needed to not break any federal laws, requires a lot of extra education for commercial real estate agents. 

This is where dedicated drone services like Up Sonder can help. At Up Sonder, we only offer services from qualified drone operators with industry experience who are 100% compliant with all standards. We look after everything from legal certification to industry-specific training. Up Sonder is essentially your very own internal drone program but without any overhead costs. 

The Up Sonder Difference

Up Sonder provides drone services to real estate businesses across the country. We only work with commercial real estate companies on an as needed basis, and our pilots are trained to cover large real-estate portfolios.

But does your firm need a dedicated drone service? Yes.

Because as your firm expands across the U.S (and beyond), it will be difficult to source and employ drone pilots in each new region. The regular compliance, equipment checks, and administrative work can all pile up, making drones more of a problem than an elegant solution.

With Up Sonder, all your listings get dedicated commercial real estate marketing under the same roof. This makes managing portfolios of any size an absolute breeze. Our drone pilots are currently helping real estate managers across the country streamline their workflows and generate professional-quality listings. Here’s what makes Up Sonder the best drone service for real estate marketing:

  • A formidable national footprint

    We currently cater to clients from over 1,000 U.S cities. Up Sonder currently has an extensive national network of highly skilled drone operators, and we’re growing every day. No matter what the location is, we can get a professional drone pilot to photograph your listing. With Up Sonder, you get a one-stop shop that covers your entire portfolio extensively and not just individual listings.
  • Excellent flexibility

    With us, you are free to choose independent drone flights or multi-site projects where Up Sonder manages everything from start to finish. No matter what your budget or focus (selling or leasing) is, we’ll give you a service plan tailored specifically for your needs.
  • Diverse client portfolio

Up Sonder’s services are availed by businesses from several major industries like hotels, retail, restaurant chains, healthcare, and entertainment establishments. We understand your industry-specific needs and provide a best-in-class service that helps fulfill them with excellent efficiency. 

Ideal For Businesses Of All Sizes 

The total number of realtor associations and brokerage listing services (BLS) in the country has been falling dramatically over the past few years. However, the number of employees in the real estate industry has been increasing.

What do these confusing trends point towards? Rampant consolidation. Real estate firms across the country have been consolidating with bigger businesses to counter the competition and take advantage of the unexpected real estate boom. This means that small businesses too will be competing against large, consolidated real estate firms that have a barrage of resources at their disposal. Drone-based photography can help these businesses get the same, high-quality pictures for their listings for just a fraction of the price.

Up Sonder’s dynamic drone-capture services are ideal for businesses of all sizes. Our industry-trained pilots make sure you get images and videos that help your listings stand out against the competition. Whether it’s one listing or an entire portfolio, we make sure all your needs are well-attended to and your workflows, quick and efficient.

Up Sonder is more than just a drone service. It is your personal drone program that is tailored to meet all your business requirements. If you are interested in our services, fill out this form, and a dedicated project manager we’ll get back to you to discuss your project in detail.