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Aerial Photos and Videos - How High is Too High?

Real Estate Agent with RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA

Well, that depends on what features of a property you want to promote that will attract the most interest from buyers. Many properties won't benefit at all from aerial photos or videos. They will just be a waste of time and money. Condos for example, unless there is something attractive about the location like a lake, river. Many townhouses crowded together and surrounded by commercial buildings probably won't benefit much from aerial photos or videos.

 I would consider the market where the listing is to begin with. If it's a 3-$400,000.00 house on 1/4 acre lot, that will sell in 60 days or less, I wouldn't worry about aerial. And many sellers in that price range aren't going to want aerial photography anyway.

 If the property is a farm type property of 10 acres or more, and/or higher priced say in the $600,000.00 market, I would give aerial serious thought. Although I know from experience, many sellers in that price range have little interest in aerial photos or video.

 To skip ahead, let's say a seller requests aerial photos and video, and even offers to pay for them! How do you decide which will be most effective. Analyze the property, and the properties around it out 1 mile or so. Is there anything that would attract interest from an aerial photo? It could be a park, lake, shopping center, town, river, etc. The next question is finding someone to do the job. This wait averages 2 weeks with the aerial photographers I know now. If drones become acceptable to FAA, that wait will be reduced.

 Then, at what altitude should the photos and videos be shot? That depends on what I want to feature. It could be the 1 mile area around the property. It could be just the property and land itself. Or it could be mainly the house with just some of the land around it. Each property is different.

 This is an old B&W aerial. It shows the Potomac river, MARC train station in Brunswick MD, bridge across Potomac to Lovettsville VA, part of the City of Brunswick, the larger lots and farms in Lovettsville. It can show a potential buyer the population density. Closeness to river and C&O Canal towpath, public transportation, distances to local attractions, etc. If I wanted to promote a horse farm in Lovettsville, I would come way down closer to earth and maybe leave Brunswick out of the shot. Same if I wanted buyers to focus on a listing in the City of Brunswick. I might zoom in to the City, Potomac river, and MARC train station, and leave Lovettsville out of it. Each property will tell me a different story, and I will adjust my marketing plan accordingly.


Jeff Pearl | Lic in VA

Remax Distinctive | McLean VA


Homes | Land | Farms | Historic


Equal Housing

Kimberley Kelly, SFR, HAFA, GREEN
HK Lane, Christie's International Affiliate, 760-285-3578 - La Quinta, CA
I do Real Estate like I played polo-to WIN!

I list and sell many large properties here in the Palm Springs, Calif. area..particularly East Valley.  Would think I need to look into this option!!

Jan 16, 2015 10:19 AM
RVA HomePRO Michael Hottman
RVA HomePRO Realtor with Keller Williams serving Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfiled and Richmond, Virginia - Glen Allen, VA
Helping you achieve goals in life & real estate

I started puttign together lifestyle maps for my listings.

Jan 16, 2015 03:39 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

#1- Hi Kimberly, It couldn't hurt tio becaome familiar with aerial photographers in your area. Some are fairly priced and can help attract potential buyers.

#2- Hi Mike, that's a good idea. We have a huge variety of lifestyles in this area.

Jan 17, 2015 06:54 AM
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

One Realtor does aerial photos...something we need to look into as well.

Jan 21, 2015 06:19 AM
Larry Johnston
Broker, Friends & Neighbors Real Estate and Elkhart County Subdivisions, LLC - Elkhart, IN
Broker,Friends & Neighbors Real Estate, Elkhart,IN

Most places have pilots locally that take photos of farms, property and houses when needed. They usually have the experience to get a good photo that shows all of the improve property.

Mar 16, 2015 01:47 PM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

#4- Hi Rebecca, it's good to know who to call if the occasion comes up where a seller wants aerial.

#5- Hi Larry, Exactly. One pilot I know likes to take photos near sunrise, and at the baes angles to showcase the properties. I think he still provides 12 aerial photos with license to use them however I want for around $350.00.

Mar 16, 2015 09:28 PM