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Best Drone for Real Estate [2021 Review]

In: 
Published: 14/07/2021

Some people don't want to spend hours driving to a location, only to spend a few minutes viewing a property. As the demand for aerial real estate photography grows, we're going to guide you in choosing the best drone for real estate to help agents, sellers, and buyers browse properties conveniently.

Our Top Drones for Real Estate Reviews

After researching and trying out several drones, our score sheet ranks the DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus as the best drone for real estate because of its smooth transitions, ultra HD drone video quality, several tracking modes, and stable flying.

Aside from that, we're also including other real estate drones for real estate photography that cater to different skill levels, objectives, and price considerations.

Brand
Best Overall
DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus
Best for the Money
DJI FPV Combo Drone Quadcopter
Best Cheap Pick
Ryze Tech Tello Mini Drone
Product
DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus V2.0 - Drone Quadcopter UAV...
DJI FPV Combo with Motion Controller -...
Ryze Tech Tello Boost Combo - Mini Drone with 5MP...
Control Type
Remote Control
Remote Control
Remote Control
Media Type
Micro SD
Micro SD
SD
Rating
-
-
-
Best Overall
Brand
DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus
Product
DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus V2.0 - Drone Quadcopter UAV...
Control Type
Remote Control
Media Type
Micro SD
Rating
-
Price
Best for the Money
Brand
DJI FPV Combo Drone Quadcopter
Product
DJI FPV Combo with Motion Controller -...
Control Type
Remote Control
Media Type
Micro SD
Rating
-
Price
Best Cheap Pick
Brand
Ryze Tech Tello Mini Drone
Product
Ryze Tech Tello Boost Combo - Mini Drone with 5MP...
Control Type
Remote Control
Media Type
SD
Rating
-
Price

Best Drone for Real Estate Overall: DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus

Online and virtual presentations play a role in achieving above-average property sales. The key to that is creating a breathtaking aerial video using the DJI Phantom 4 Pro+, which has exemplary image resolution, the field of view, and flight performance.

DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus V2.0 - Drone Quadcopter UAV...

Like the DJI Air 2S, this drone contains a one inch CMOS sensor that can record 20-bit depth images and 4K videos. While it's slower than the Mavic 2 Pro and DJI Inspire 2, flying at 45mph enables the Phantom 4 to last 30 minutes when fully charged.

It has sensors on all four sides, much like the DJI Mavic Pro. This feature helps the drone see and move away from obstacles in any direction. It also lets the device follow a subject while flying sideways or backward, like when people walk in the scene.

Unlike the Phantom 4 Pro v2.0 that uses an OcuSync transmission system to connect to DJI Goggles, the Phantom 4 Pro features a Light Bridge transmission system to send signals between the remote control and drone. Still, you can use the DJI Go app to control exposure settings and mechanical shutter.

More than that, it's a super-powered device with a remote controller and a built-in screen, an upgrade from the traditional smartphone controller. The screen is like a small tablet with a very responsive touch screen and runs on an Android operating system. 

The remote control features a 16GB built-in storage capacity and a micro SD card slot if you want to expand it further. With that space, you will have all your real estate work in only one convenient place. 

Pros

  • A 4.3-mile signal range even when operating for up to 30 minutes on air
  • Obstacle avoidance features for navigating in complicated landscapes

Cons

  • Heaviest at 3.1 pounds, although this is mainly due to the large sensor
Sale
DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus V2.0 - Drone Quadcopter UAV...
  • The Phantom 4 Pro+ V2.0 camera drone comes equipped with a 3-axis motorized gimbal and a 1-inch 20MP...
  • With the 5.5-inch 1080p LCD screen built into the optional remote controller, your images are easily...
  • The Phantom 4 Pro V2.0 is a beast when it comes to flight performance. It has a maximum flight speed...

Best Real Estate Drone for the Money: DJI FPV Combo Drone Quadcopter 

To keep up with market trends, the DJI FPV Combo Quadcopter is among the most high-end drones for real estate photography. Its excellent video resolution, stabilization, and reliable transmission enable you to craft panoramic shots with compelling stories.

DJI FPV Combo with Motion Controller -...

Suppose you like creating cinematic and out-of-this-world effects. You would enjoy controlling this drone's 150-degree horizontal panning and 90-degree vertical tilting, the best field of view among the drones we reviewed.

In this way, this 4K drone can record 60 fps, resulting in sharp details and vivid colors. However, taking still images isn't its strongest suit, as the camera can only produce 12-megapixel photos.

However, if you only have a few minutes to take aerial footage, this drone's flying speed of 87 mph outshines other drones, saving you precious time when working.

Note that this real estate drone doesn't show a warning for low battery. Thus, make sure to monitor the battery's life as the device would enable the Return to Home function once it reaches 30%.

Even if it already has a gimbal, the FPV Drone Combo makes use of a RockSteady Electronic Image Stabilization technology to make camera movements smooth. In effect, the drone can speed across the sky without causing wobbly movements.

Pros

  • The kit comes with a DJI Motion Controller that lets you maneuver the drone using hand motions 
  • Has a Smart RTH feature to ensure a safe flight

Cons

  • Requires a drone spotter for legal use in the USA
DJI FPV Combo with Motion Controller -...
  • 【IMMERSIVE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE】Feel the thrill of immersive flight provided by the DJI FPV Goggles...
  • 【4K/60FPS VIDEO】The DJI FPV aircraft can record 4K/60fps video at up to 120 Mbps, capturing...
  • 【BRAND-NEW S MODE】Get the dynamic look of FPV footage easily in S mode. This hybrid flight mode...

Best Cheap Drone for Real Estate: Ryze Tech Tello Mini Drone

It's understandable why some photography rates are more expensive than the others, mainly because you're using more advanced gear. However, you can still offer quality real estate drone photography with the help of the Ryze Tech Tello Mini Drone without spending too much.

Ryze Tech Tello Boost Combo - Mini Drone with 5MP...

While it can only record 720p videos, the camera's focal length of 82mm creates a dreamy macro perspective on your subjects. Nevertheless, the Tello Mini is a great practice drone before you choose and splurge on camera with a higher price.

Aside from that, this drone's technology allows you to shoot 5-megapixel photos that you can share straight to your smartphone. In this way, you can immediately send RAW files to clients.

The Ryze Tech Tello doesn't have obstacle avoidance features, much like the Mavic Mini Combo. Depending on your speed, the drone can run for up to 15 minutes. While this seems short, the lightweight body makes it easier to maneuver the body across spaces, letting you work fast.

Despite a few downsides because of its cheaper price, this real estate drone can compete with DJI drones in terms of connectivity. This is thanks to its two antennas that improve drone video transmission. It can also transmit complete data even when it's flying 6.2 miles away from you.

Pros

  • Accepts remote and DJI flight controller to do camera angle tricks
  • Supports kid-friendly programming language so that you can create coding blocks using a mobile device

Cons

  • Can only move the camera 45 degrees horizontally and vertically, although this should be enough for tight spaces
Ryze Tech Tello Boost Combo - Mini Drone with 5MP...
  • See the World from the Sky: Whether you're at the park or hanging out at home, take off and...
  • Capture Great Pictures and Videos: Tello's camera has a high-quality image sensor to capture 5MP...
  • Programming Fun: The Tello EDU app supports Scratch, a kid-friendly programming language. With a...

Best Starter Drone for Real Estate: DJI Mavic Mini Combo Drone Quadcopter

Now, if you're ready to try a more advanced yet beginner-friendly drone, the DJI Mavic Mini Combo Drone is the best drone for real estate photography for beginners. It combines long battery life, a collapsible design, good image quality, and video capture in a lightweight yet sturdy body.

DJI Mavic Mini Combo Drone Quadcopter 2.7K Camera,...

For a reasonable price, the DJI Mavic Mini allows you to capture stunning indoor photographs. It comes with a 2.7K camera to produce top-quality stills and videos. It also has the new DJI Go app that simplifies your flying experience.

Like the Parrot PF728000 ANAFI, this real estate drone only weighs 0.55 pounds, making it the best drone to use in difficult zones like small corridors or streets crowded with buildings.

The Mavic Mini comes with three-axis mechanical gimbal stabilization. It also includes other handy features, such as a swappable microSD card slot to allow you to expand your album for property photos. Additionally, its collapsible arms fold and unfold whenever you want.

Similar to the Mavic Air 2 Fly More, this real estate drone uses intelligent tracking to track subjects. While it lacks obstacle avoidance features, it has two bases that reinforce the body for a smooth landing at the end of the job.

To top it off, using the DJI Fly application gives you flight modes tutorials, intuitive controls, and editing tools. Despite being significantly lighter than the DJI Mavic Pro, this drone camera can compete with its bigger counterparts in terms of flight time.

Pros

  • 3-axis gimbal stabilization enables the camera to steady shots to let you maximize the 30-minute battery life
  • Zooms up at a 36-mile range without losing transmission at 6.2 miles

Cons

  • 2.7K maximum video quality, although this is still above the 1080p standard
Sale
DJI Mavic Mini Combo Drone Quadcopter 2.7K Camera,...
  • The Drone and MicroSD Card May Ship Separately
  • This bundle contains the DJI Mavic Mini Combo with a Samsung 128gb MicroSD Card
  • Drone: Weighing less than 0.55 lbs (250 grams), Mavic Mini is almost as light as the average...

Best Professional Drone for Real Estate: DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo

After successfully passing the Part 107 test, it's time to complement your skills using a professional real estate drone like the DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo. This is a top-tier commercial drone for creating 4k videos of mansions, commercial buildings, and massive land properties.

DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo with DJI Smart...

If you need to spend a lot of time taking aerial footage, this real estate drone is much suitable for you because it has a battery life of 34 minutes. Even if it soars through the sky with a 43-mile range, you won't need to charge the battery right away.

Aside from a manual mode, this drone camera allows you to use an app to control automated shot modes that automatically follow identified subjects. There's also an HDR mode for dealing with low-light environments.

This 4K camera is similar to the Mini Combo when it comes to the field of view, letting you angle the 4k camera 40 degrees horizontally and 70 degrees vertically. However, it has smoother flying movements because of an optical avoidance feature.

Moreover, this Mavic Pro drone comes with safety features, including a Find My Drone feature that records the device's last known position to help you determine the safest spot for an emergency landing. It even has toggle lights to improve your navigation visibility.

Pros

  • Longest flight time in the DJI Mavic series with the capacity to shoot in 4K
  • A sensor helps the drone stabilize and hover for still shots

Cons

  • A professional drone that requires FAA registration, although this can be your proof of credibility
DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More Combo with DJI Smart...
  • UP YOUR GAME : The Mavic Air 2 camera drone takes power and portability to the next level. It...
  • NEXT-LEVEL CONTENT : Capture impressive 48MP photos with a 1/2-inch CMOS sensor while the 3-axis...
  • IMPROVED FLIGHT : An impressive flight time of up to 34 minutes allows you to pull off epic,...

Best Drone for Real Estate Exteriors: DJI Air 2S Drone Quadcopter

While the other drones can also work well for outdoor photography, the DJI Air 2S Drone Quadcopter is a dedicated real estate drone for exterior shots. This mainly because of a stable transmission that gives you ultimate control even when the drone is flying 7 miles away from you.

DJI Air 2S - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 3-Axis...

Among the reasons why this is one of the best drones for real estate is its ability to shoot 5K videos. It can also produce 20-megapixel images. Despite having the same sensor size and type as the DJI Mavic Pro, it has a better range at 150 Mbps.

This real estate photography drone has the same battery life as the Mavic 2 Pro Zoom, although it has a slower flight speed at 42 mph. While there may be windy days, a 3-axis gimbal stabilizes the drone to ensure you can swiftly glide across spaces and continue to fly the drone at this speed.

While it shares almost the same features as the Mavic Air, the Air 2S has better angles. This drone camera enables you to pan the camera 72 degrees horizontally and 58 degrees vertically, minimizing motion shake by keeping the body steady.

Since you'll mainly use this for exterior shoots, you can rely on the drone's positioning technologies, such as GPS, visual sensors, and geofencing support. These features help calculate positions and angles to make sure you're hovering the camera at the right place.

Pros

  • Lets you toggle between remote and app control to shoot in JPEG or RAW
  • Gimbal helps record a staggering 5K video resolution and 20 MP image quality

Cons

  • App-based editing only allows 1080p, although this is the standard resolution
DJI Air 2S - Drone Quadcopter UAV with 3-Axis...
  • 【1-INCH IMAGE SENSOR】Equipped with a 1-inch image sensor and large 2.4μm pixels, DJI Air 2S is...
  • 【MASTERSHOTS】The next evolution of QuickShots, MasterShots is an advanced intelligent feature...
  • 【THE CENTER OF ATTENTION】FocusTrack features Spotlight 2.0, ActiveTrack 4.0, and Point of...

Best Drone for Real Estate Interiors: DJI Mavic 2 Zoom Drone Quadcopter

The DJI Mavic 2 Zoom is the best drone for real estate photography, especially if you're usually working on interiors. For its price range, this is perfect for interior photographers who want the ability to change focal lengths while recording, much like when using DSLR zoom lenses.

DJI Mavic 2 Zoom - Drone Quadcopter UAV with...

Its most useful feature for interior drone work is the zoom lens because you can zoom in and out seamlessly while keeping subjects constant in size. This is crucial in capturing accurate details of an interior's room dimensions and features.

The image quality is comparable with the DJI FPV Combo, although the Mavic 2 Zoom has a longer flight time of 31 minutes. Even when there's mixed lighting coming from the windows or light fixtures, the drone can retain even exposure while limiting flaring.

However, it can be quite tricky to change the exposure mid-shot for HDR shooting. Although you can use the focus lock, exposure lock, and manual mode to modify exposure settings.

The infrared sensor mainly works to avoid furniture, decorations, and walls. However, this phase-detection system also supports autofocus to ensure the camera remains focused on the scene even as you zoom or move the drone simultaneously.

Pros

  • Hover accuracy and gimbal keep your angle almost the same as your standard shooting height in a DSLR.
  • Like the Mavic 2 Pro, this drone uses the DJI Go 4 app and OcuSync 2.0 technology to ensure maximum transmission of 5 miles. 

Cons

  • 8GB of internal storage may only record 15-minute RAW videos
Sale
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom - Drone Quadcopter UAV with...
  • Powered by a 1/2.3-inch 12MP sensor with up to 4x zoom, including a 2x optical zoom (24–48 mm), 4...
  • Up to 31 minutes flight time, 44 mph max speed, 905G takeoff weight, 3-axis gimbal for steady shots,...
  • Functions include ActiveTrack 2. 0, Omnidirectional Obstacle Sensing, Hyperlapse, Low-Noise Design,...

Best Compact Drone for Real Estate: Parrot PF728000 ANAFI Foldable Quadcopter

The Parrot PF728000 ANAFI focuses on having a compact, foldable body to make aerial photography available anywhere you go. Whether you're shooting around the neighborhood or inside a home, this device is one of the easiest drones to set up and calibrate.

Parrot PF728000 ANAFI Drone, Foldable Quadcopter...

It weighs 0.55 pounds, much like the Mini Combo. However, this drone camera has a better design because of its skinny body that uses a lightweight carbon frame. In effect, you can unfold this camera in less than 3 seconds.

Furthermore, the Parrot ANAFI uses a 3-axis gimbal to help reduce motion shake. As a result, the sensor can shoot even in low-light environments and produce 21-megapixel real estate photos.

It comes with a wide-angle lens with a maximum f/2.4 aperture, perfect for daylight shoots. The ANAFI can also zoom up to 2.8 times, even for a 4K video. In addition, it has a timer, burst mode, and wizard functions to take over professional shooting settings.

It can ascend into the sky thanks to a 32-mile range, even faster than the Ryze Tech Tello. It can also retain that speed and stay in the air for up to 25 minutes.

Pros

  • Charges using a USB, so there's no need to buy a separate charger
  • Gimbal provides a strong wind resistance despite the plastic components

Cons

  • Lacks avoidance sensors, although you can easily maneuver the camera using a tri-fold remote controller
Parrot PF728000 ANAFI Drone, Foldable Quadcopter...
  • This drone with a camera equipped with f/2.4 wide angle ASPH lens, HDR, and up to 2.8 times digital...
  • The ANAFI Parrot Drone can have up to 25 minutes of filmed flight time thanks to an intelligent...
  • With its ultra-compact and lightweight carbon frame (320 g), this quadcopter drone unfolds in less...

Features to Consider for the Best Drone for Real Estate Photography

Many real estate companies use drones for marketing properties and listings. In order to get a good drone for real estate photography, you will need to understand your individual needs. 

While drones have varying specifications and traits, we believe camera performance, resolution for photos and videos, flight performance, stabilization, and price point are the features that make the best drones. Let's go over and compare their features to see which drone would suit you the most.

ProductImage QualityMax Video ResolutionMax Flight Time and Speed
DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus20 MP4K30 Minutes and 45 MPH
DJI FPV Combo12 MP4K20 Minutes and 87 MPH 
Ryze Tech Tello Mini Drone5 MP720P13 Minutes and 18 MPH
DJI Mavic Mini Combo12 MP2K30 Minutes and 36 MPH
DJI Mavic Air 2 Fly More2.4 MP4K34 Minutes and 43 MPH
DJI Air 2S20 MP5K31 Minutes and 42 MPH
DJI Mavic 2 Zoom12 MP4k31 Minutes and  44 MPH
Parrot PF728000 ANAFI21 MP4K25 Minutes and 32 MPH

Camera Performance

The camera is at the center of effective real estate drone photography. For this reason, it is only logical that you get the best. 

While most drones have a 1-inch sensor, they still differ in the number of megapixels. For example, the DJI Phantom 4 Pro Plus and DJI Air 2S have the most megapixels at 20-bit depth, enabling the drones to record a more significant amount of details and colors.

Video Resolution

The standard for high-definition quality in videos is 1080p, although most advanced drone cameras can record 4K video. Besides, you get to save battery power when shooting at 1080p for real estate drone photography.

A close up shot of Mavic 2 drone

The Ryze Tech Tello has 720p as its maximum quality, whereas the Mini Combo can only shoot 2.7K. Meanwhile, the rest of the drones on this list can shoot at 4K. 

Given that most platforms like YouTube and even modern smartphones can play a 4K video, this would be a great way to showcase the beauty of your properties. With a 4K camera, you will be able to shoot crisp and high-quality images that showcase the different aspects of your property.

Flight Performance

This refers to how the drone performs while in motion. The speed you choose depends on how fast you want your drone to go and whether you plan on capturing other fast objects or just the property. Other more powerful drones like the DJI Inspire 2 can hit 58mph. 

In this regard, the two most important features to check are drone speed and battery life. 

Drone Speed

The speed you choose depends on how fast you want your drone to go and whether you plan on capturing other fast-moving objects or just the property. 

Drone speed comes in handy if you are trying to capture real estate photos and at the same time capture videos of fast-moving objects like cars or boats.

For instance, our overall best recommendation can go up 45mph while the cheapest option clocks 18mph. If you want a more powerful option, you can choose DJI Mavic Air 2, which can hit 87mph. However, going this fast makes the battery last for only 20 minutes. 

Flight Time

Flight time is a crucial element, especially for professional and long hours of photoshoot. As for the battery, go for at least 25 minutes of battery life, like the Parrot PF728000 ANAFI. While this looks pretty short, it's long enough to capture enough content for your real estate needs.

For uninterrupted shooting, it would be much better to go with the DJI Mavic Air, which features a 34-minute flight life. The DJI Air 2S and DJI Mavic 2 Zoom can also get the job done within 31 minutes. However, your drone speed and quality can still influence flight time.

If you are starting out, you can go with a cheaper option like the Ryze Tech Tello, which runs for 13 minutes on air. We do, however, recommend that you carry an extra battery just in case the one you have runs out faster than you anticipated. 

Stabilization

Like DSLR and professional lenses, some drones also come with various forms of stabilization features. For example, the DJI FPV Combo and Ryze Tech Tello use electronic image stabilization when flying. However, the resolution tends to suffer as the processor balances power in several mechanisms.

This is why it's ideal to opt for drones with a 3-axis gimbal. The rest of the drones we reviewed contain a 3-axis gimbal, a stabilization system that keeps the drones steady even as you pan, tilt, or zoom. 

Transmission

Transmission refers to how data travels from the drones to other devices. Most drones use Radio Frequency (RF) to transmit data to and from the Drone. These transmissions include live video, drones location, pilot's location, remaining flight time, altitude, airspeed, and other relevant information. 

For a dynamic video experience and uninterrupted camera transmission, we recommend that you choose WiFi transmission, much like in Mini Combo. This is faster, cheaper, and supported by most modern drones. However, WiFi may not work well in areas that have signal blocking objects.

The latest transmission technology in the market is OcuSync2.0. It is faster, more reliable, and can cover longer flight distances compared to WiFi. This transmission is supported by most enterprise and professional DJI drones like the Mavic Air

Man holding a drone

Signal Strength

The signal range is one of the most vital specs of drones because it affects your remote connectivity, and consequently, how you control the flight and speed. A powerful range means taking more real estate images and videos in less time. 

If you're usually shooting exteriors or high-rise buildings, the DJI Air 2S would be more fitting for you since it has a 7-mile signal range. Meanwhile, the range of the DJI FPV Combo, Ryze Tech Tello, Mavic Mini, and Mavic Air 2 all have 6.2-mile coverages. 

However, note that some places have laws that require drones operators to keep the device in sight at all times, which is around 4 miles. In this case, consider the 4-mile range of the DJI Phantom Pro or the 5-mile strength of the DJI Mavic 2.

Integrated GPS

Some premium drones have integrated GPS systems, which let you know where the device is flying or hovering. Like in other kinds of devices, a GPS improves a drone's navigation, especially when you have to fly the camera across vast properties.

Similarly, having a GPS helps drones find their way back home using a Return to Home feature, much like in the DJI drones.

Obstacle Avoidance Sensors

Obstacle avoidance isn't a required feature for real estate drone photography, although it can help improve flight performance, especially for first-time drones operators. 

The Phantom 4 Pro has the best obstacle avoidance features, having sensors on all 4 sides to ensure the drones won't run toward an obstacle.

On the other hand, DJI FPV Combo calculates side and rear distances using front and bottom sensors. DJI's Mavic Air 2, Air 2S, and Mavic 2 Zoom also have intelligent flight sensors.

Price Range

For the price point, consider whether you want to splurge on one or buy a backup. While drones have rugged body designs and obstacle sensors, there are still unfortunate times when drones might drop in water, bump into structures, or get tangled in trees.

With that said, consider if your situation calls for a one-time yet long-term investment, or you need to divide your budget on FAA registration, accessories, and the drone price itself.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Benefits of Real Estate Drone Photography?

Buyers and sellers benefit from remote property viewing. A drone video of properties gives agents and buy a vast yet beautiful perspective of properties, whether it's an average-sized home or luxurious high-rise buildings.

What Should I Do First Before Flying a Drone?

Take drone flying lessons, especially since some places require a Part 107 test, a professional drone pilot license, and drone registration. It's also important to learn aviation laws and maps. While optional, you can save money using an insurance policy for your drone in case of accidental damage.

What Are Real Estate Photography Tips for Drone Pilots?

Secure your Part 107 certification, then choose a professional-grade drone camera because quality impacts the output of pictures and videos. Make sure your drone has an anti-vibration system, like a built-in gimbal. In this way, you can experiment with different flight modes and image settings for a smoother flying operation.

How Can I Fly a Drone for Interiors and Exteriors?

For exteriors, consider the time because lighting and wind current can influence your drone movements and angles. Meanwhile, the use of drones for interiors is pretty challenging because of obstacles like furniture. This is why it's essential that you study the fly path depending on room size, lighting, and objects.

Conclusion

Some clients prefer more than just one-directional real estate photos, while others want to see other perspectives in the form of aerial photography. With the best drones for real estate, you can capture quality footage and dynamic visuals to grow your real estate photography business.

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