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Selling Land

Aerial Drone Photography for Land Listings

March 29, 2022

What comes to mind when you hear the word drone? Do you think of a toy that a child bought at a shopping mall that got lost in the neighbor’s tree when it flew out of control? Maybe you conjure up visions of a multi-million dollar military aircraft flown by a remote pilot that is capable of taking out the enemy? Or do you get upset thinking that drones are mostly used with nefarious intentions to spy on people? Have you ever considered that drones can be used as high-tech flying cameras that can improve the land buying experience? 

My Background in Drone Photography

Shortly after I started as a Nebraska Land Broker with National Land Realty, I decided to purchase my first drone so I could capture photos, videos, and 360 panoramas for my property listings. In order to fly a drone commercially, I needed to earn the FAA part 107 Remote Pilot Certificate. In the spring of 2019, I passed the FAA Part 107 exam and began my journey into flying drones for real estate. I did not expect to find a creative outlet with drone photography and videography. I set out to learn everything I could about photo and video editing.

This led me to start a drone photography/videography business,  High Point Aerial Images, in which I have provided professional drone services to clients in Nebraska, and Colorado. I have shot footage for commercials, golf courses, weddings, car shows, motorcycle races, grain harvests, and even a radio station promotional Big Wheel race just to name a few of my successful drone missions. The uses for drones truly are limitless. 

Aerial Drone Photography in the Land Industry

Drones have been used in the real estate industry, especially the land business, for several years. By using drones, land professionals can capture high-resolution photos and videos to showcase a property from an elevated perspective not possible from the ground. These aerial views allow buyers the opportunity to get a lay of the land before setting foot on the property for a showing. Many times a buyer who lives far away will purchase a property without ever seeing the land in person because they have been so well informed about the property from perspectives provided by aerial drone photos. 

In many instances, drone photos can provide better views of a property than satellite aerial maps alone. Drone photos can be taken at a much lower altitude providing very detailed views and can be more up-to-date than satellite imagery. When drone photos are used in conjunction with an aerial map, a buyer can get a good feel for the features of the subject property and the surrounding landscape. By drawing property boundary lines on the aerial photos, it allows the viewer the ability to know precisely where the perimeter of the property is located.

In addition to drone photos, drone videos can be used to provide additional views to enhance a property listing. Most modern drones capture high-resolution 4K video. These video clips taken above a land listing can be incorporated into a promotional video to create a flyover of the property. When put to music with text to highlight the property’s features, it can create an emotion-stirring property touring experience. 

Can you imagine touring a property without ever setting foot on it? With Land Tour 360® from National Land Realty, you can do just that! By incorporating 360-degree panorama images into a Land Tour 360®, viewers get a 360-degree view of a property complete with boundaries, landmarks, and points of interest. Land Tour 360® truly is the future of buying and selling land. With unparalleled views, exclusive property details, and an extraordinary interactive experience, the revolutionary Land Tour 360® technology transports you to any piece of property, from anywhere.

Land Tour 360® can also save both time and money for agents and clients. In many instances, property showings can be an all-day event and time is precious. Sometimes the driving distance to a property can be many miles and with rising gas prices, this can impact the wallets of both the agent and the client. Being able to see and understand the property virtually before making the investment in time and money to see the property in person is incredibly valuable. 

As a land professional, it is important to choose the right model of drone in order to capture quality footage. My personal brand recommendation is DJI. For real estate photos and video the DJI Mavic Mini 2, Mavic Air 2, and Air 2S provide all the bells and whistles that a land professional could ever need for their business. These drones are easy to fly and have a user-friendly app to make the flying experience enjoyable. One recommendation I give to National Land Realty agents who are looking to buy a DJI drone is to buy the Fly More Combo which comes with 3 batteries. Most land listings are far from good power sources so having 3 batteries and a car charger is essential for maximizing time in the air. 

Not unlike the cell phone industry, the drone industry is rapidly evolving and the technology is constantly improving. The myriad of uses for drones expands each year. National Land Realty has a technology team that is at the forefront of these changes and continues to strive to incorporate the latest drone tech into their website which immerses buyers into their land buying experience. 

About the Author
Jeff Phelps serves as the Technology Project Coordinator for National Land Realty's Corporate Team. He was raised in a farming family where he spent many years working with his father in their farming operation on the Nebraska/Colorado border. Jeff joined National Land Realty in the spring of 2018 after leaving a 28-year career with the outdoor gear company, Cabela's. Jeff was instrumental in the success of the Cabela’s Trophy Properties program where he led the real estate marketing initiatives for ten years and served as the Real Estate Broker for Cabela’s Ventures, Inc. for two years. Jeff is committed to offering superior customer service, honesty, and integrity to every client whether they are looking for their dream property, investing in ag land, or looking to sell their farm, ranch, or recreational property. When Jeff isn’t busy working, you will usually find him on back roads and highways training for his next bicycle race. Jeff lives in Sidney, Nebraska, and services the Western Nebraska region for National Land Realty.