Five Pros And Cons Of Using Drones In Real Estate Marketing

Drones in real estate—A no-brainer, right? Well, there are some things you ought to know.

By Jeff Vasishta December 22, 2016

Remember when virtual house tours first came on the scene? The clickable arrow, which was supposed to take you seamlessly around the house, somehow gave you five tours of the living room, followed by the side of a refrigerator? Virtual technology has come a long way in a few short years. Now drones have revolutionized the way luxury properties are sold—particularly, sprawling estates.

With a sweeping cinematic effect worthy of any top-notch Hollywood director and a musical score to match, drones are allowing buyers to make potential additions to their multi-million dollar portfolios on crystal clear flat screens, or on laptops by the pool. But in this virtual world—Are the flying eyes all they are cracked up to be?

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Drones are time savers

If it’s luxury estate you’re after, with acres of land, lakes, tennis courts and more, a drone can save both an agent and a buyer a lot of time by getting a great overview of a property with the click of a mouse.

Drones have enormous exposure potential

An online video filmed by a drone can be viewed by thousands of potential buyers at once anywhere in the world, which massively increases the chances for a property to be sold.

Drones are convenient

A drone video can be shot in optimal conditions—great weather, immediately after the property has been cleaned, and without pesky children interrupting the tour shouting, “I’m bored! Can we go home now?”

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Drones give you accessibility

A drone can get you to otherwise hard to view places, such as the roof, while also getting a clear indication of property lines, topography, etc.

Drones can save you money

Unlike people, who have to get paid for their time, after the initial outlay for the drone, it’s free to use. If it helps to sell you a house, it’s a great investment.


The initial outlay for a drone doesn’t come cheap

A decent one with a quality camera can cost $3,000 or more. On the other hand, you could pay a professional videographer a $100 per hour for one hour worth of shooting.

Drones aren’t easy to use well

Sure you might be able to get a drone to take off but—just like flying a helicopter—there’s a lot to learn between a take-off and hitting the ground again. If you want to be able to perfect making stunning cinematography to sell your gorgeous home, be prepared to spend 20 hours or more behind the joystick. There are also technical aspects to master—such as software use and upgrades, maintenance, battery charging, etc.

Drones are dangerous

Not only could you do a Sully Sullenberger and decapitate an unfortunate bird with the propellers but if you can’t keep out of the way of your own drone, it’s liable to take a chunk out of you too.

Drones are not for every home

Drones offer a macro wide shot, taken high above the ground. They won’t work for smaller homes, or if you want to check to see whether the furnace is working efficiently, or whether the toilet’s leaking.

Drones have legal ramifications

Don’t think you’re just going to buy a drone, take it out of the box and fly it around to your heart’s content. If you did, you’d be breaking the law. A drone is an aircraft and as such, you would need a license to operate it. And what if you accidentally captured footage of a neighbor’s wife skinny dipping…and they were the suing kind? Or if you encroached over someone’s land, and they decided that they would be well within their rights to shoot your $3,000 drone down?

Drones in real estate? Great idea—but also a can of worms.

Jeff Vasishta



Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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