Last week I decided to run a poll on a popular neighborhood website to find out from home buyers what was the number one, most important deciding factor for them buying their home. The results are in, and I got zero votes for aerial views!
I mentioned this before, but it seems that Real Estate Agents are still focused on things buyers don't care about one bit. What's worst, is that every time someone asks me what I do, and I respond with "I am a professional real estate photographer", the first thing they ask me is if I use drones!? I mean, "drones" have nothing to do with real estate photography. My job as a real estate photographer is to show potential buyers what the home looks like on the inside, so they can decide if they want to live there or not. Those who want to buy homes want to see the interiors where they'll be living, and not the roof and surrounding areas which they can easily see on Google Maps. Or Google Earth.
As expected, the most important thing was still the schools; even before the interiors.
I am not against drone usage for real estate photography, but I would like folks to know that Aerial Photography its is own genre, with it own specific educational training, equipment, and guidelines, and that it means nothing when it comes to a subdivision. Drones are handy when someone owns over ten acres, and cannot see the entire property with their eyes. Other than that, they don't help a buyer decide if they're going to buy a home.
Of course this may seem biased, but it really isn't. I have three kids, and the number one thing for us was schools too. I don't care what the house looks from above, or who the builder was, I just care that we're somewhat close to the schools so we don't spend hours in traffic eating up homework time. If we didn't have kids, we'd probably live in a condo somewhere, also not caring what things look from above.
Aerial photography is cool when you photograph cool things, like shore lines, forests, islands, or amazing mountain landscapes that are hard to access or are inaccessible to people. You know, things we can't see every day with Google products. I rather look at the interiors of a home because I want to see layout, I want to see what updates we might have to do, but ultimately price and schools are always first.
My advice to Real Estate Agents is to focus their attention on what buyers are asking for, and not waste time with things they don't care about for everyone's sake. Drones are also very expensive, and there have been numerous occasions where photographers had them shut down out of the sky because homeowners didn't appreciate the spying/privacy intruding element, and others were chased down by armed homeowners no less. So, what's the point in endangering us, when buyers don't even care about aerial views?