These days, drones are used across a whole range of industries. From photography to surveillance and even fishing, the possibilities are endless. One industry that is increasingly using drones is the real estate industry. So, what benefits can drones bring, and what is the best drone for real estate?
In this guide, we aim to answer just that. First, we’ll explain how drones are used in real estate and how they can improve real estate businesses, and then we’ll review the best drones for the job.
Our reviews take a close look at all the important aspects of the top real estate drones, including price, camera, and battery life, so you can easily pick the perfect one for your needs.
Why Use Drones for Real Estate?
Drones are most commonly used for aerial photography and videography, and that’s exactly the way they’re used in real estate. With a drone, you can capture more stunning aerial shots or properties easier, faster and cheaper.
Previously, if you wanted to take aerial photos of properties or land, you’d have to hire a professional to take them from a light aircraft. Not only do drones let you do this cheaper and easier, but they offer much more camera capabilities.
For example, with drones you can view every aspect of a property and easily zoom in on any particular details you want to show off, both in photos and video. Plus, the best drones for real estate sales have a range of intelligent flying features for easily taking stills and recording footage from different perspectives.
The great thing about drones is that they’re not just useful for photographing individual houses or properties for residential real estate.
The best drones for real estate can reach speeds of 16m/s and have up to 30 minutes of battery life, meaning you can easily cover much larger areas, such as:
- Golf courses
- Shopping centers and business developments for commercial real estate
- Ranches, farms and other larger areas of land
There are several companies dedicated to providing real estate drone services — you hire them to provide quality photos and footage for your business. However, in truth, there’s nothing stopping you from simply using a drone yourself if you work in real estate.
The best drones for real estate have a variety of smart recording features that make it easier than ever to capture professional-grade footage, even if you’re not an experienced photographer. So if you put in the time and effort to get to grips with a drone, you’ll save money by not having to hire drone professionals over and over again.
The Best Drones for Real Estate
Now we’ll review the best drones for real estate photography and videography, starting with the cheapest.
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DJI Mini 2 – Best Drone for Real Estate Videography Under 250 Grams
- Price: $599 — Available on Amazon here
There are several benefits that come with choosing a lightweight mini drone for your real estate photography, and the DJI Mini 2 is undoubtedly the best there is.
For starters, this drone weighs just 249g, which is under the 250g FAA registration limit. As you can fly it without needing to go through the registration process or pay the registration fee, it’s great if you’re looking to get up and flying quickly and without hassle.
Not only is this drone extremely light, but it’s also really compact and can fit in the palm of your hand, which is useful if you’re traveling between real estate properties.
Plus, the lightweight and small size make it easier and safer to fly than larger, heavier drones, so it’s a good choice if you’re a real estate professional without much drone experience.
Its physical specs are far from the only selling point of the Mini 2, though. Any real estate drone needs to have an exceptional camera, and that’s certainly what you get with this model.
You can capture 12MP stills and record 4K video at 30fps, so you can display properties in fantastic detail. This drone can stream video from within a 10km range, and thanks to DJI’s advanced OcuSync 2.0 transmission system, feeds are very clear and reliable.
While this may be a small, lightweight drone for real estate, it’s actually very powerful. It has level 5 wind resistance, meaning you can still use it to take photos of properties even on windy days. The battery life is 31 minutes, which is also really good for a drone in this price range.
Parrot Anafi Work – Overall Best Drone for Real Estate Photography
- Price: $999 — Available on Amazon here
Many drones used in the real estate business are just regular camera drones used for photographing properties or land. However, the Parrot Anafi Work is one of very few drones out there that is specifically designed for use in real estate.
For starters, it has a 21MP, 4K HDR camera that offers exceptional quality for taking both stills and video. The high-resolution camera has a unique 180° orientation, making it easier to film difficult-to-access or dangerous areas within the property. It uses a hybrid 3-axis stabilization system to ensure that all your real estate footage records stably and without blurring.
That’s not even the standout feature of the Anafi Work. What really makes this drone unique is that it’s supported by the Pix4DCapture drone flight planning app and is compatible with the Pix4DModel 3D modeling software.
You get a year’s subscription to Pix4DModel when you purchase the Anafi Work, letting you create 360° images and 3D real estate models that you can share with your clients. This is something you simply don’t get with any other drones on the market.
This drone also has some helpful flight features to make the whole process easier, and GPS return-to-home functionality for improved safety. You control this drone with the intuitive Parrot Skycontroller 3, which has a 4km range, precise zoom and tilt control, and two hours of battery life per charge.
One of the most practical aspects of the Anafi Work is that it has a USB charging system that allows you to easily charge it with a power bank while on the go. Plus, it comes with four smart batteries that you can easily swap out, with each offering 25 minutes of flight time. This is really useful as it allows you to photograph different properties throughout the day with plenty of battery life.
This real estate drone is powerful enough to resist 50km/h winds and is silent while in the air, so you can use it to photograph properties without causing disturbances.
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom – Best Drone for Real Estate Photos with Zoom
- Price: $1,499 — Available on Amazon here
Having a drone camera with powerful zoom can be hugely helpful when it comes to real estate. For example, it allows you to zoom in on particular details to better show them off to clients. It also means you can take high quality images from further away, which can be useful if a property is surrounded by neighbors as it’s less obtrusive.
If you’re looking for a camera drone that allows you to do this better than any others, then be sure to check out the Mavic 2 Zoom. This real estate drone offers a 12MP, 1.23” CMOS sensor with 4x lossless zoom FHD video, which is simply unbeatable for the price.
Not only that, but the Mavic 2 Zoom is one of very few consumer drones on the market that offers optical zoom as well as regular zoom. The optical zoom only goes up to 2x, but that doesn’t matter due to the increased quality that the optical lens offers.
This is because the 48mm optical lens compresses the perspective more than a 24mm wide-angle lens. This results in an increased parallax effect, giving your stills and video footage a cinematic edge that you simply can’t get with a regular wide-angle lens. If you want to show small details of real estate with unsurpassed quality from the air, this is the drone for you.
Plus, the advanced autofocus feature combines phase and contrast detection, resulting in a 40% increased focus speed, as well as higher focus accuracy.
Not only does the Mavic 2 Zoom allow you to capture small details with incredible accuracy, but it also means you can capture better details from a safer distance than with other drones.
Of course, the incredible zoom capabilities aren’t the only impressive aspect of this drone for real estate. It has all the power, long battery life, long transmission range, and intelligent flight features that are characteristic of DJI drones, so it’s a great all-rounder.
DJI Mavic 2 Pro – Best DJI Drone for Real Estate
- Price: $1,555 — Available on Amazon here
We gave the Anafi Work the title of overall best drone for real estate photography due to it being specifically designed for the job, but if you’re simply looking for the drone that can take the highest quality photos of real estate, then check out the Mavic 2 Pro.
This drone is part of the same line as the Mavic 2 Zoom but, as you can probably tell by the much higher price, exceeds its counterpart in most areas aside from the zoom function.
One of the main differences to the Zoom is that the Pro uses a more powerful Hasselblad camera, which was co-engineered by DJI and Hasselblad across two years of research.
The camera uses Hasselblad’s unique Natural Color Solution technology, capturing 20MP drone pics for real estate that truly show off buildings in all their glory. The large 1-inch sensor captures stunning clarity even in low light environments, thanks to the increased max ISO of 12,800, up from the 3,200 of the original Mavic Pro.
Another standout feature is the 10-bit Dlog-M color profile that records over 1 billion colors rather than the 16 million recorded by traditional 8-bit technologies. This means images retain more in-depth details and have a higher dynamic range for increased grading flexibility, allowing you to capture subtle notes and offering more post-production capabilities.
This drone offers 4K HDR video, and you can plug it into a 4K TV and immediately playback footage without losing color or tone quality, so it’s a great way to share stunning, detailed footage with clients.
The Mavic 2 Pro also has some fantastic features that make it easier to capture professional-grade footage. For example, the hyper-lapse function automatically processes aerial shots, meaning you get a top-quality image without the need for post-production. You can then instantly share your stills via social media.