How To Take Better Aerial Real Estate Videos – Complete Guide!
What's going on, guys? Billy here, and with this video, I will be following up on a previous video I uploaded, which was my complete guide for taking better aerial real estate photos. In this video, we'll instead be looking at how to take better aerial real estate videos.
With video becoming so popular and major social media platforms prioritizing this form of media – homes that are going up for sale are typically marketed using video in some capacity to help the real estate agent and homeowner find a buyer.
This video is used in coordination with the listing photos so as a real estate photographer, it's wise to offer some form of video as a service to help your client diversify the methods they can use to showcase a property.
Now here's the thing with video, I think that there is a LOT more creativity that goes into the creation process than there is with photographs.
In my previous video that I mentioned at the beginning of this video, I literally shared a cookie-cutter template of how you can properly capture a solid set of aerial photographs of a home because the same angles will get you great results 99% of the time. The same goes for the interior pictures too. I am just trying to show off all of the rooms and deliver a quality set of images each time.
Now, this is not to say that you can't get creative with your real estate photography by adding detail shots and finding different angles… but when I think about all of the room for the different ideas I can execute with video… the list is very long. I mean, this here is all of the different videos that I typically put together on a weekly basis for my clients, and I'm sure that there are plenty of styles that other people are offering that I don't have listed.
- Aerial-only video
- Vertical “reel” style
- Traditional walkthrough
- Agent on camera
- Narrated walkthrough
- Highlight video
- FPV fly-through
So getting back on track here, a major part of creating these videos is utilizing a drone to capture the exterior of the home.
You've been watching some aerial clips from videos that I have created over the past few years that have helped agents market some of the nicest homes in my area.
Some of these are taken from videos of properties where my client literally just wanted aerial video, and some of them are just bits and pieces of videos where I actually also included a video of the inside of the home and where the real estate agent was actually on camera talking about the property.
Despite how it may seem, an aerial-only video is actually a really good way to show off a home that's for sale especially when it's some of these monster properties that have been included in this little reel.
Like, if you have a 300-acre farm that you're trying to capture, using a drone is really the only effective way of showing the scale of the property but is still a great way to capture minor details.
With that said, now I want to get into the nitty-gritty of how to capture better aerial shots for your real estate video, whether you are just using the drone for a small portion of a larger video, or if you are creating an aerial-only video.
If you want to learn even more about real estate photography, I would highly recommend checking out the real estate photography and videography course that I just finished up offered on Pilot Institute's website.
Along with Ken Dono, I helped produce this entire course that walks you through how to get started in the business, from the gear you need to the best shooting style, how to edit, how to manage your files… literally everything that you need to know from top to bottom.
Along with this course, Pilot Institute also has a great catalog of content like their best-selling Part 107 course to help you pass your exam for your commercial drone license (Part 107 Certificate), a general photo and video masterclass to help you improve your shooting skills, and there is a plethora of free content to help you learn how to make the most of your drone.
They often run really great sales like the current Black Friday pricing, so be sure to click the link in the description if you're interested in learning more about how to become a better real estate photographer and videographer or if you just want to check out all of the great content they have to offer.
Is the property right?
So much like my guide to taking better real estate aerial photos, we first have to determine if the property is right, but here's the thing… if you're capturing a video of a home, 9 times out of 10, the drone can probably be used effectively.
ven if you plan on capturing a walkthrough video showcasing the whole property both inside and out, sometimes just a simple establishing shot with the drone is all you need, like literally one clip, and that's perfectly fine because it still adds that diversity in your shots and grabs the attention of the viewer. Most of the homes that I shoot videos on are usually nicer anyways, which means that will show well from the air.
Gear needed for better aerial real estate videos
Now I know one of the biggest questions I am going to get is, “what drone should I buy” to which I would respond… you can get away with really any drone that has come out over the past 4-5 years.
I mean, the original Mavic Pro here is pushing 6 years old, and it's still an effective option that would get you perfectly usable aerial real estate video.
With that said, like I mentioned in my guide on aerial photography, my three go-to drones right now are DJI's Mavic 3, Air 2S, and their Mini 3 Pro.
The reason I use these drones is for the features that just make them easier to fly. They each have great flight time, range, they can handle the wind really well, and of course, they take beautiful photos.
All of this makes my daily job easier so it's worth the investment, but, if you are a photographer that is looking to add aerial photos to your offerings for the first time, you will be able to go with something more affordable like the Mini SE or Mini 2 from DJI and get great results.
You've already seen plenty of videos captured from each of these drones here in this video, but just to share a few more. They all look great with good dynamic range and awesome colors.
It's easy to get caught up on buying the best gear, but, as far as a drone is concerned, just getting one that is relatively newer is going to do you just fine.
You also have to realize that these videos are getting compressed when uploaded to social media websites, and especially when being shared through the MLS system that real estate agents use, a lot of them require super small file sizes which means you have to compress the videos down even more to meet their requirements.
Getting set up
Another piece of information that I want to share from my real estate aerial photo guide is the setup process for making sure the property itself is ready so that the aerial video you capture looks good.
I don't really have a checklist perse, but for the sake of this, I have made one just so that you know some things to look out for.
- All people inside
- Cars out of the driveway
- Trash cans tucked away or on the side of the home
- Patio cushions in place
- Umbrellas up
- Pool cleaner removed (if applicable)
- Hot tub open (if applicable)
- Airspace / clearance
- Scan area for obstructions
So a lot of these things you probably already do when taking your standard exterior photos, like pulling the car out of the driveway or putting the patio cushions in place – but some of the drone-specific things you need to think of is what the area is like to fly in and be careful of any issues you might face.
One of these issues I run into often is nosey neighbors, which you just have to handle case appropriately to diffuse the situation.
Shooting process for aerial real estate videos
Now let's talk shooting process, which is kind of hard to pinpoint because, remember, there are SO many different types of videos that you can create.
Some will require just 1 drone shot, some might use a handful to show off the property, and other videos might use only aerial real estate video to show the grounds. With that said, I am going to go through a shot list here that I generally follow for most of videos to make sure I have enough clips for my edit.
- Full property orbit (front)
- Full property orbit (back)
- Proximity shots (if applicable)
- Front facade reveal
- Low angle front facade tight shot (x2)
- Back facade reveal
- Low angle back facade tight shot
- Exterior backyard reveal
- Low angle backyard tight shot
- Backyard feature (x4)
- Endclip , pullback
Total of 15 clips – 1-minute video
Tips and tricks for aerial real estate videos
So the first tip that is probably the most important is to get into the settings of your drone and change the flight settings so your gain and expo settings and your gimbal settings like the pitch speed and smoothness.
If you noticed, most of my clips were super slow and smooth, which I'm able to easily accomplish by adjusting these settings accordingly.
The second tip is to pinch your sticks with your thumbs to get better control over the drone. I use a hybrid method where I pinch the right stick to control the movement of the drone but just use my thumb on the left stick to control the height and rotation of the drone. Adjusting your grip will give you better control over your drone.
The third tip is to introduce three levels of movement to your video. What I mean by this is, as you're saying, flying towards the home, try to increase the drone's height, while flying forwards, and pitching the gimbal and camera. This will make the video that you shoot even more dynamic with all of the motion.
Aerial video editing
Now I briefly want to touch on my editing process, and rather than build a video from scratch because that would take entirely too long, I want to pull up an aerial-only video that I've put together to give you an idea at my philosophy of how to assemble all of these clips together.
All right, so now it's time to tie everything together with the final piece of the puzzle, and that is the editing process. And I'm not going to sit here and edit a full. From start to finish from scratch, that would just take entirely too long. We'd be here for like 30, 40 minutes.
So instead, I'm gonna show you a video I've already edited and give you some of my philosophy behind what I've done here. So really quickly, I'm gonna put the video up on the screen with no music whatsoever. This was a project that was actually part of a much larger project.
So we actually did a full video here with the agent on camera, the outside, the inside photography. So, Was done on this home, but I'm just showing you a small portion. This is like the short reel that I made for the real estate agent. Not only did I deliver like a horizontal quick reel for them, but also a vertical reel.
So I actually took this video and then just chopped off the sides and made it a vertical video. But regardless, I think it came out really good. I used the song streets by Doja Cat. It's just a trending song to. Put up there on Instagram for an Instagram reel. So I'll put the link to the final video and the description if you wanna watch it with music.
But for the sake of copyright, I'm probably not going to share the music here in this video. So we'll go ahead and actually mute our audio. So basically, my philosophy when editing a real estate video is start with the sound, start with the music. Lay that in your main track there, or your main layer within your timeline, and then go ahead and mark off areas where you can actually have the camera cut.
So along my audio here, you'll see that I have cuts because that's where the beat switches and that's where I actually want to make my cuts. That's where I want my clips to change, right? So with every beat switch, it's a different clip. It's a different clip, it's moving fast.
So, My progression for an aerial video or for any video in general when it comes to real estate, is start from the front, work your way through and end your way in the back.
Now because this is aerial video only, we started far from the home. We worked our way close. We ended up in the backyard, and then we kind of, because it's a real, we ended up with just a shot of the back facade or the entire back of the home itself. But you'll notice, like as we go through our video here, it starts far away from the right.
We have kind of like that orbit shot of the entire property. We then have that shot that's kind of a reveal of the front facade. Then we bring it back and show off more of the property because I think it's just so epic how much room they have in the front of this home with this big circle. So this again, shows like the, the grandiosity of the entire property itself.
We then move to this awesome shot, probably my favorite, a low-angle kind of reveal of the front facade, but also showing that there's a gate. So, Move through the front. Then from there, we have this shot revealing the front facade with the Rolls Royce there in the front. That was a pretty cool touch. And then we move on to the backyard, so we kind of have this top-down view.
I loved the symmetry of everything here, from the umbrellas to the pool itself, to the little cabin in the backyard. So I wanted to show off that symmetry by kind of doing this top-down shot. Then we go, and we actually reveal the backyard, show it a little bit more, then show it a little bit closer, then show it a little bit closer, and then finally we show the whole thing and that's the end.
So again, my philosophy is kind of like bringing people from the outside, bring them in close, and then bring them back. And that's kind of like a natural progression in my opinion. So again, you'll see through here, if you look up in my library, I have a bunch of clips I didn't even end up using.
Right, things like, you know, a reveal of the back. Uh, you know, kind of revealing around some of the different furniture. We've got shots of the fountains shooting up, right? We've got shots of the cabana itself.
We actually go in, I think, closer to the cabana if we go Yeah, look, so I was actually flying close to the cabana, so there's a lot of shots that I used here that I didn't actually end up using in the video.
And it's always good to overshoot to make sure that you have. All of that extra footage as a, just in case, like if I had a shot I know I wanted to use and it didn't end up working, it's great that I could go and pull from a previous shot that I ended up capturing. But you know, I had kind of as a backup.
So again, my philosophy when editing is to lay the music down, let your markers fill your clips in between those shots, watch it, see how it feels, move clips around, and again, kind of go for that natural progression of starting far away from the home, moving in, and then at the end, move them back out again.
It kind of feels like you're going into the home and then leaving the. And I think that that is a really good feeling when it comes to aerial real estate videos. Also, by the way, all of this footage was shot with the Mini 3 Pro and this was like a 3.2 million listing in Moorestown, New Jersey.
So just know that it, again, doesn't matter what drone you buy, you could go and buy the Mavic 3 Cine for $5,000 and get great-looking video, or you could buy an $800 Mini 3 Pro and get great-looking results.
So guys, thank you so much for watching this video. Hopefully, this kind of rounds out my aerial photo and video series for real estate. I'll put the link to that complete photo guide in the description if you want to check that out.
Again, I think this will give you a really good jumpstart in capturing your aerial photos and videos for real estate. But if you want to get even more knowledge about the entire thing, the inside, the outside photo and video, be sure to check out my guide, my course over on Pilot Institute.
Again, thank you guys so much for watching. If you've got any questions, let me know in the comment section below, and as always, I'll talk to you later.
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