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Drone Photography for Real Estate will Exceed $10 Million Opportunity by 2016

BY Alan Perlman
27 May 2015

By: Alan Phillips

Drone Photography

Selling million dollar homes is a sure way to bring home a large commission check. But selling “luxury” homes (defined today as those in excess of $1,000,000) takes work to gather all the marketing ingredients necessary to stimulate interest from a selected set of buyers.

“What we do is just give the client all the information and they make a decision”

– says Miami realtor, Mirce Curkoski

More and more the discussion of luxury home marketing turns to aerial photography as a “need to have” rather than a “nice to have” item in the sales package. This requirement has led the real estate community to quickly educate themselves on the options for capturing promotional aerial views of their homes.

Real-estate Sales

Looking at real estate sales by the numbers (and with a broad “rounding” brush):

  • There are 5 million homes sold in the United States annually.
  • Of these sales, 100,000 or (2%) are categorized as “luxury” sales, exceeding a price tag of one million dollars.
  • Real estate commission rates are five percent or $50,000 (for the one million dollar house)
  • Realtors generate more than $5 billion annually from the sale of “luxury” properties.

With $5 billion in commissions in play, realtors will do whatever is necessary to get prospective buyers in the door. DRONELIFE believes that this will translate into over $10 million in aerial photography service fees in 2016 in the United States. DRONELIFE expects that 35% of all “luxury” home sales in 2016 will include drone footage and that all but 5% (where the drone is owned by the realtor) will be through business relationships with aerial photography service providers. The $10 million math: 30,000 drone jobs @ $350/home (average price charged for real estate images and video clips).

So how are realtors finding service providers? Most service providers have a website where a realtor can see their portfolio of images and video in the real estate category. DRONELIFE offers a national service for realtors and other service seekers called This service allows for an immediate introduction to a service provider based on the proximity of the job.

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