6 Things You Need to Know Before You Book Your First Drone Shoot

drone shoot Las Vegas

You finally won that amazing listing you’ve been chasing. You’ve decided that a drone shoot is just what you need to market the property to full advantage. And now you’re ready to book!

If you’ve never booked a drone shoot before, you may be surprised to discover that the process can be significantly different from a regular photo or video shoot. Whether you book with HouseLens or another drone provider, here are some things to keep in mind before you pick up the phone.

Your regular photographer and the drone pilot may not be the same person. There are special legal and regulatory requirements that govern drone work. Drone operators must have a license from the FAA, register their equipment, and carry a specific type of insurance. Drone photography is also a different skill set from interior photography. Not everyone is willing to go through the trouble and expense of meeting both sets of qualifications. So if you’re doing both drone and interior photography, be prepared for two different photographers to show up at your door.

Drone shoots are heavily dependent on weather. Ground-level photo shoots (especially the interior portion) can usually proceed as scheduled, except in extreme conditions. Drones, however, can’t fly in any kind of rain, snow, or wind, and extreme temperatures may cause a sudden loss of battery life. Keep in mind that conditions in the air may be different than those on the ground. Aim for a day when the weather will be still, sunny, and mild.

Your drone and ground-level photo shoots may be on different days. For the first two reasons above, your drone shoot may have to take place separately. Prepare your seller for this possibility ahead of time. Also keep in mind that separating the two shoots may affect the turnaround time on your content. Make sure your provider understands whether you want each type of content delivered as it is ready, or everything delivered together.

Drone shoots usually require more lead time to schedule. Drone pilots are fewer in number than traditional photographers, and professionals who can do both types of photography are rarer still. For this reason, and because of the greater sensitivity to weather conditions, drone shoots may require more advance notice than traditional shoots. As a good rule of thumb, plan to call your provider at least 48 hours before you need someone to be on site.

Tree cover will affect the shoot. When you think about getting ready for a photo shoot, tree cover is probably the last thing on your mind. But it’s one of the most important factors affecting your drone shoot. If the property has many trees close to the house, you’ll have limited shot options. The pilot may refuse to fly close to the house, to avoid damage to the drone or property. And if the tree cover is especially heavy, keep in mind that you may not be able to see much of the property in higher-elevation shots.

Or you might see everything. You can’t “shoot around” anything with a drone. Assuming the tree cover is light, high-elevation shots will show everything about the property: the roof, all outbuildings and vehicles, and the entire landscape. This is what makes drone shoots such a terrific option for large properties, but it also means you have to take a much broader view of staging. To make the property attractive, you may need to have the seller move vehicles or trailers off the property, clean up brush piles, clean out gutters, or tidy up areas of the property that haven’t been visited in a while.

Though drone shoots can be a bit more complicated to plan, they are worth the extra effort for certain types of properties. Nothing showcases a waterfront or estate-style home like a drone shoot. And now that you know how to be prepared, you can look forward to your shoot and the amazing market it will produce!

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