9 Best Drones for Real Estate: Your Guide

drones for real estate

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Drones are a real estate game-changer. There is no better, cheaper way to get stunning footage of properties. Showing potential buyers the size of an estate, home, and area of land from a bird’s eye perspective isn’t just attractive, it stresses the scale and feeling of empowerment that buying property engenders. Beyond just giving an accurate and interesting perspective, their smooth movement gives the viewer a thematic sense of grandiosity, wonder, and a sense that the property you are trying to sell is bigger-than-life.

The crazy part is that drones, also known as quadcopters, offer amazing images in a price range similar to DSLRs. Not only do they offer incomparable value for literally heavenly views, but they’re also very fun, easy, and useful for a variety of purposes.

Find the best drones for real estate photography and videography below.

What Are the Best Drones for Real Estate Available Right Now?

dji inspire 2, best drones for sale Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 5.2K at 30fps
  • 60MPH+
  • Shoots Raw Cinema DNG
Price: $3,299.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
hubsan zino pro 4k Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Follow Me Mode
  • 4K on a Budget
  • ND Filter Available
Price: $439.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Phantom 4 pro plus +, best drones for real estate Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Object Sensors to Avoid Crashing
  • 4K at 60FPS
  • Controller Has Built-In Screen
Price: $2,549.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 4K UHD camera
  • Return to home feature
  • Easy to use
Price: $399.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
dji mavic pro, real estate drones, Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Small Size
  • Excellent Flight Time
  • Quieter Than Most Other Drones
Price: $2,049.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
dji phantom 3 advanced, real estate drones, Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Best Value for Outdoor Shooting
  • 2.7K Camera
  • Lower Price Than Others
Price: $1,499.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
dji phantom 3 standard, real estate drones, Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 2.7K and 12MP Photos
  • 25-Minute Flight Time
  • Lower Price
Price: $1,499.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Follow me mode
  • Return to home feature
  • Brushless motor
Price: $299.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
typhoon h plus Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Flies in high winds
  • Five motor mode if rotor fails
  • Professional-looking
Price: $2,599.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Editor’s Choice: DJI Inspire 2

    Pros:
    • Top of the line drone with stabilized cinema-quality camera
    • Shoots RAW cinema DNG for maximum post latitude and best quality images
    • Rock solid stability, speed (60mph+), and reliability
    • Footage compared to the top of the line cinema cameras
    • Dual operator control means one person can fly the drone, another can move the camera
    • Shoots 5.2K at 30fps, and 4k at 60fps
    Cons:
    • Post processing requires a beastly computer
    • Vastly overkill for anything but cinematic usage
    • Extras are pricey and necessary to maximize features

    Who is it for?

    Real estate agents or groups who don’t want to outsource their drone videography whose budget is under $10,000 and need a world-class tool. Note that post-processing and deployment will cost additional time and resources, but ultimately, this drone records Hollywood quality footage.

    The DJI Inspire 2 lives up to any expectation almost anyone could possibly have (perhaps not Jerry Bruckheimer). As a drone, it goes 67 mph, boasts redundant batteries and control systems (it’s almost un-crashable). It has a bevy of features for the cinematically-inclined including dual-operator compatibility, a fully rotating gimbal, and it’s protected by a one year warranty.

    That said, all of this is just mechanics, what really makes this drone a downright movie-making machine is its amazing camera. It has an array of capture options (CinemaDNG, ProRes) and in insane resolutions including 5.2K 30fps and 4k at 60fps. If any of that is Greek to you, then know only this: using the Inspire 2 is a bit cumbersome; it’s a professional tool at a professional price. Not only is the price high, one will have to purchase a slew of extras to use the very features that make it such a valuable tool, to begin with including SSIDs and special hard drive bays. Realistically, the six grand price tag is just the beginning; all in this drone used to its max capability will be just under $10k. That seems thoroughly obscene until you realize that before DJI put this into the world, a comparable solution, a mounted Arri Alexa, would run upwards of $50k. Is it as good as an Arri? Some people say they’re indistinguishable. Certainly, it’s worth investigating if you’d like to lop a Toyota Camry off your drone budget.

  2. 2. Best Budget Option: Hubsan Zino Pro 4K

    Pros:
    • ND Filter Available
    • 4K on a Budget
    • Follow Me Mode
    Cons:
    • Lacks Features
    • Lacks Pro-look/feel
    • No 4K video

    Who is it For?

    Relatively speaking this is one of the less expensive real estate drones you will find. Although it costs less, it will definitely get the job done for the small-town real estate agent and the big-time house slinger or even landlord or rental property manager. If your game is more geared toward slinging condos or apartments in the same complex, this drone would be a great way to show multiple properties at once. You are definitely going to get a ton of “bang for your buck” with this slick drone.

     

    While I don’t personally recommend “cheaping out” when it comes to drones, the Hubsan Zino Pro 4K drone is a solid budget option for those who need it. Sure, it sports the look of a toy drone that you’d find on the shelves of your local Target, but it’s actually packed with features and comes in at a price that makes it well worth it.

    First off, it is 4K capable right out of the box, as it includes a 3-axis gimbal-stabilized Ultra HD camera, allowing you to shoot smooth and stable footage with ease. It comes with two batteries, and it has a flight time of 23 minutes per battery. The Zino Pro also has a lower battery failsafe

    It has GPS and orbiting features as well, and an altitude hold that lets you hover precisely at a specific height.

    There’s also a Neutral-Density Filter available (sold separately) that reduces the amount of light that gets into the camera’s lens.

  3. 3. Phantom 4 Pro+

    Pros:
    • 20-megapixel sensor shoots great images and 4k at 60fps
    • Senses obstacles making crashing difficult
    • Widely considered to have the best photo and video quality for drones of this price
    • Remote controller has a built-in screen
    Cons:
    • Some users had issues with DJI customer support
    • Software requires updating, can be buggy
    • Overkill for some users
    • Mavic has a shorter setup time, better radio
    • Mavic is much smaller and more portable

    Who is it for?

    Real estate professionals looking for the best drone for real estate in terms of outdoor footage. If one doesn’t have anxiety about crashing a drone or is experienced, one can step down to the DJI Phantom 4 Pro (inferior radio, no collision detection) or DJI Phantom 4 (inferior radio, no collision detection, and no device display). That said, if one doesn’t need the Pro+, I’d go with the Mavic.

    The Phantom 4 Pro offers prosumer drone users the top of the line experience. It shoots stunning 4k at 60 fps and boasts a hodgepodge of features that make using the Phantom series easier than ever before. The footage looks great and capturing it is easier than ever with features like auto-tracking, obstacle sensing (meaning one can’t crash), and a robust app that lets one do things like set waypoints and follow people. This is as good as it gets for under $2,000– Users love everything about it. Some downsides include a large size compared to the Mavic Pro. It also has a longer setup time than the Mavic as connecting the controller can be time-consuming.

    DJI has really upgraded one pernicious aspect of their previous drones: the low light quality. Low Light on the Phantom 4 Pro looks great, however.

    The Phantom 4 Pro+ is the best version of this drone, and one can almost half the price by stepping down to the basic model. That said, this will mean losing a few key aspects for real estate: solid reliability from its advanced radio system, and collision detection. Both of these features many will agree our key for a drone that’s used to take video or photos of buildings where interference of signals and crashing into objects are extremely undesirable.

    VideoVideo related to phantom 4 pro+2018-09-29T16:19:55-04:00

  4. 4. HUBSAN Zino Pro Drone

    Pros:
    • 4K UHD camera
    • Return to home feature
    • Easy to use
    Cons:
    • Short battery life
    • 180 minute charging time
    • Extra battery not included

    Who is it For?

    The Hubsan Pro Drone is a perfect pick for all of you real estate agents and developers out there. This is one of the more moderately priced drones that has all the tech you could ever want for taking pictures and videos of large acreage. This drone is also a great pick if you are looking to film commercials or ads and need to cover your entire inventory. A lot of car dealerships use drones to get a full view of the entire lot. This drone is very easy to use and get the hang of so there really isn’t a lot of learning required before you are ready to film whatever it is you need to film. 

    The drone is complete with an ultra-sensitive 4K UHD camera that will provide you with a crisp and clear view of anything you film. From a 1 acre plot to a 40 acre ranch, this drone will do the job. There is a built-in GPS that will return the drone to your preset “home” location. You can access the return to home feature by pushing one single button, when the battery is low it will automatically return t home and will also return as a failsafe if you should get into trouble flying this rig. The average flight time with no wind is about 23 minutes which should be ample enough to film everything you need to. Also, you can recharge the battery and film in sections and edit clips together afterward. 

  5. 5. DJI Mavic Pro Bundle

    Pros:
    • Small Size
    • Excellent Flight Time
    • Quieter Than Most Other Drones
    Cons:
    • Blue Color Interference With Low Light
    • Complex
    • Lackluster Camera

    Who is it for?

    Most real estate professionals who want the best drone for real estate for a variety of uses, including outdoors and even indoors. If 4k at 60fps isn’t a must and one doesn’t need the utmost in footage quality, the Mavic Pro offers a very robust solution, small size, and quick setup time. It has a better radio than the Phantom 4 Pro+ and is much easier to transport.

    For most, the Mavic Pro offers an amazing, all-in-one solution. There are a few sacrifices and such huge benefits. This small, portable drone offers the best radio of any DJI drone besides the Inspire. Ocusync, its unique technology, is considered to be better than Lightbridge, the tech used in the Phantom 4 models. Ocusync allows for live transmission of 1080p footage (over Lightbridge’s 720p) and allows for a farther total distance of 4 miles.

    The Mavic Pro is smaller, more portable, and can be used inside.

    The Mavic is so small, it’s even practical to dismount its camera and gimbal for a handheld stabilizer.

    Indoor flight of a Mavic in a small home

    Another advantage that the Mavic Pro boasts over the Phantom 4 and Phantom 4 Pro, it has built-in collision sensors, meaning it’s difficult to crash. This feature is available to number two on our list, the Phantom 4 Pro+, but at a much higher price tag.

    There are some minor trade-offs with the Phantom 4 models, but the fact that these are such minor downgrades shows how great of a deal the Mavic Pro is. The Phantom 4 models (Pro & Pro+) can shoot 4k at 60 fps; the Mavic Pro maxes out at 30fps. Another slight difference, the Mavic Pro has a slightly narrower field of view than the Phantom series, meaning it makes things seem slightly less larger than life, but this is hardly even noticeable (see footage comparison below).

    The Mavic Pro is the editor’s choice because it does it all at a great price. It offers unique benefits with very few trade-offs and none that will impact a real estate agent’s goal in any significant way.

    VideoVideo related to dji mavic pro bundle2018-09-29T16:26:00-04:00

  6. 6. DJI Phantom 3 Advanced

    Pros:
    • For strictly outdoor shooting, best value
    • 2.7K camera is more than adequate for most users
    • Light-bridge technology ensures a smooth connection
    • Easy as new drones to fly
    • Can be flown great distances from operator due to Lightbridge (note: flying out of line-of-sight is illegal in some states)
    • Almost half the price of a Mavic, but certainly not half of the value
    Cons:
    • Basically paying $300 extra dollars for controller functions and reliable connection compared to Phantom 3 standard
    • Can’t be flown inside very easily (though people have done it)
    • Complex sensors mean slightly less battery life than Phantom 3 standard

    Who is it for?

    Real estate professionals who want a reliable drone for outdoor shooting. Some minor tradeoffs- less portable than a Mavic and pricier than the Phantom 3, but Lightbridge guarantees reliable connections and some advanced controller features make this an overall better experience than the Phantom 3 below.

    The Phantom 3 Advanced is a great budget pick for strictly outdoor shooting because it has great reliability, a more-than-good-enough 2.7k camera, and a robust control system. Sure, it’s not quite as portable or small as a Mavic, but if you’re hesitant to fly a drone inside (or have a Glidecam set up, like the Osmo Mobile), the Phantom 3 advanced offers a great deal.

    The footage speaks for itself.

    It’s more than good enough. Is it bleeding edge 4k? No, but it doesn’t need to be for the vast majority of users, even with a high-end purchase like a house. The fact remains that most people don’t have 4k screens. Most people will likely be watching your footage on a smartphone that isn’t even 1080p. The Phantom 3 Advanced has Lightbridge technology, meaning the connection is stable and one will almost always get the shots they wanted. Plus, it boasts a great, robust control system that you won’t see on the Phantom 3 Standard.

    VideoVideo related to dji phantom 3 advanced2018-09-29T16:27:14-04:00

  7. 7. Phantom 3 Standard

    Pros:
    • Shoots 2.7k footage and 12 megapixel photos
    • Flies up to 25 minutes, includes accessories (SD card and extra set of propellors)
    • Crashing means losing $500 instead of much more
    • Battery lasts longer than other Phantom 3 models due to less sensors and complexity
    • Most affordable option that takes well over 1080p footage
    Cons:
    • Reception can be spotty; lacks Lightbridge or Ocusync technology for even medium distance flights
    • Users have had issues with bugs leading to erratic flight control
    • Won’t necessarily impress clients as it’s the basic model of an old drone

    Who is it for?

    Real estate professionals who want a decent drone for outdoor shooting. The camera is as good as the Phantom 3 Advanced, but some users report issues with dropouts and connection problems. These can ruin key shots and lead to collisions or crashes. The controller has fewer options which means that getting the exact shot you need can be more challenging. Still, it’s a great drone and the 2.7k camera will be more than good enough for most users.

    The Phantom 3 is a solid budget option, but there are some trade-offs that keep it from being the best value proposition. Sure, one does get to hold onto the more than adequate 2.7k footage resolution, but losing Lightbridge means shakier connections (which can lead to poor quality footage or drone destruction). On top of that, many of the refined aspects of the controller are lost on this model; the Phantom 3 advanced lets one control a broad swath of things like exposure, tilt, and in general, has a much simpler, more powerful controller design.

    Needless to say, if you’re not worried about having an occasionally spotty connection (for instance, having to do a second video of a client’s home is doable), then the Phantom 3 can be a mighty fine choice.

    VideoVideo related to phantom 3 standard2018-09-29T16:28:25-04:00

  8. 8. Holy Stone HS720 Foldable GPS Drone

    Pros:
    • Follow me mode
    • Return to home GPS
    • Brushless motor
    Cons:
    • 26 minutes of battery life
    • Long charging time
    • Slightly heavier than other drones

    Who is it For?

    Another reasonably moderately priced drone. Yes, this is a valuable item for any real estate agent out there that has acreage they want to show. One of the best parts of buying a home is the land that comes with it. If there is value in the land you are selling, a swooping shot of every inch is a great way to close the deal. IF you are selling bigger lots or even development land then this is also a pretty neat tool. For its affordability, it is a great piece of machinery and a super valuable tool for not just selling land and homes, but for any kind of advertising for most businesses with a ton of inventory to show off. 

    Holy Stone made a great drone when they drew up the designs for this lightweight and completely foldable drone. Most drones are one solid piece that can be quite cumbersome and hard to tote around. This drone easily folds up so that storage and carrying are super easy. The drone will make quick work of anything you need to film and the flight time is perfect for getting the job done quickly and correctly. The Hd camera comes complete with shock absorption so that even on a windy, turbulent day you get the shots and video that you are looking for. If you are a beginner then this drone will be easy to use and will make you a fast learner. While some other drones are hard to control this one is super easy and fun to use. 

    The drone features a brushless motor, 2K FHD camera and is recommended for adults or kids over the age of 14. It has a return to home feature that allows you to press a single button and have the drone autopilot it’s way back to you. If you are moving around a lot while droning you can rest assured that the “follow me” feature will keep the drone close by. While it only has a 26 minute flight time, it makes up for that with crystal clear images and it’s the ease of use. 

  9. 9. Yuneec Typhoon H Plus 4K

    Pros:
    • Flies in high winds
    • Five motor mode if rotor fails
    • Professional-looking
    • 4K
    Cons:
    • Pricey
    • Not DJI brand
    • No thermal imagine available

    Who is it For?

    This is the ideal drone for anyone in the real estate game from developers to the local superstar real estate agent. Regardless of how big the fish is that you are trying to reel in, they will without a doubt appreciate the aerial footage of every inch of property they are looking at. If there is any sized land to give an overview of your client will appreciate that you have the tech to show it to them. 

     

    If you’re looking to go outside of the DJI brand for whatever reason, Yuneec has some great drones available that are perfect for real estate photography. You’ll want to check out the Yuneec Typhoon H hexacopter, which sports a 4K camera with a 1-inch sensor. It has a full mile range and 30 minutes of flight time, so it can cover a lot of ground in one go.

    It’s also worth noting that it can still fly in high winds of up to 35 mph, which is great if you’re trying to shoot a property that’s by a windy lake or ocean.

    Interestingly, this drone is built with a unique failsafe that will allow it to run if one of the rotors fails. When that happens, the Yuneec Typhoon H will automatically switch to five motor mode to allow it to stay in the air.

    Included:

    • Typhoon H Hexacopter
    • C23 1-inch sensor camera
    • Intel RealSense Technology module
    • ST16S Smart Controller
    • 2 Batteries
    • Charging accessories
    • Travel Backpack
    • Quick start guide

Is Using a Drone for Real Estate Illegal?

While using drones for real estate was considered illegal as recently as just five years ago, you are able to legally use drones for real estate photography and videography as long as you get a commercial drone license. There are some initial barriers and requirements you need to know: you must be 16 years or older, read/speak/write English, pass a standardized aeronautical knowledge test, and complete an FAA form that takes up to 100 days for you to actually receive. So, you know, hoops on hoops on hoops — but once you get your UAS license, you'll be snapping suite pics of beach houses in no-time!

The Best Budget Drone for Real Estate Photography

If you're just looking to get in some quick but quality 4K shots of some properties, your best budget drone for real estate photography is, hands-down, the Hubsan Zino Pro showcased in the list above. While it's not overloaded with some of the higher-tier features you'd find in something more formidable, it is a great budget option under $500 to get you started with 4K aerial drone shots.

See Also

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