The visual advantages of camera drones have most impacted the way that expensive luxury homes are presented on the MLS and on agent’s websites. Buyers of multi-million dollar homes often shop online first, so they expect high-quality photography and video in the online listing or they won’t bite. It’s hard to argue that in the luxury property market, drone photography has upped the real estate marketing game in a big way. Whether it’s to highlight the waterfront view, a gorgeous garden, or a really cool swimming pool, aerial drone photography captures the beauty and the utility of a home far better than ground-based photography or video can.
Luxury property markets across America, Canada and Europe are incorporating drone photography into their marketing, very quickly.
According to Joe Houlihan, managing partner of Houlihan & O’Malley Real Estate Services in Bronxville, NY, drones were used to photograph about 20 percent of their higher-end Westchester, NY, properties in 2015. In 2016, Mr. Houlihan expects to increase that to 35 percent. “It’s an additional cost that’s pretty reasonable,” he says. In the ultra-luxe Silicon Valley market, drone photography has entered the real estate world in a major way. All across the San Francisco Bay area, “drone videographers” exist that specialize in producing dramatic aerial videos and movie-studio quality property walkthroughs, using a combination of camera drones and hand-held gimbals. While 2015 was mostly a year of high-end marketing experiments, in 2016, it seems that every level of the market is beginning to experiment with drone-based photography.