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The Skies Above Fresno: Get More Out of Your Drone Photos and Video

Updated: Feb 20, 2019

For the right property a drone photo or video works really well in a real estate campaign. There are times when only an aerial view of a home or its location can show potential buyers the lifestyle, features and convenience of a particular listing. This is especially the case in a market like Fresno, where there is such a wide variety of properties available that a "big picture" becomes absolutely necessary.

However, as has been mentioned previously from in “Drone photography for real estate: what you need to know“, it is vital that you hire a professional drone operator who is fully licensed and is covered by insurance for any third-party damage they might cause.

Having done that, the next important step is to properly prepare the home for a drone photo or video. The only issue is that what’s needed is not always immediately obvious because the view a drone captures is going to be significantly different to the one we see at ground level (that is the whole point in the first place, after all).

So where do you start to make sure that everything looks its best for the shot?

Here are five basic things you should always consider doing to get more out of your real estate drone photos:

1. Clear the yard of all clutter, such as toys, garden hoses or tools, bikes and bins. Removing all of that excess allows you to capture more garden, lawn or porch. That translates into the perception of the property being more spacious.

2. Clean the pool, paving or timber decking a day or two before the drone shots so that everything has time to dry (assuming water is being used to clean those hard surfaces), and make sure that any work that needs to be done on the property--either by you or the homeowners--is completed before the shoot. As a photographer myself I have arrived at countless homes at the scheduled time only to find the owners or agent still cleaning the yard. Things don't always go to plan, and that makes things difficult for everyone. That's why being prepared in advance and completely finished with all necessary work well ahead of schedule will ensure that the day of the shoot runs smoothly for everyone involved.

3. The roof will be clearly visible in most drone shots of a property so have the roof and gutters cleaned out. It's important for your buyers to see that the home is well cared for, so a damaged, dirty, or leaf-covered roof and guttering is not the message you want them to receive. Arrange to have the roof and its fittings professionally cleaned and you’ll have buyers that are ringing your phone off the hook--not running away.

4. Tell the neighbors that you’ll be having a drone photo shoot or video, and give them details about the day and time of the photo session so that they know what’s going on. We don’t want a situation like this one where the neighbor was enjoying a topless sunbathing session, or where the kids next door are clearly visible in the video. Keep everyone in the vicinity clearly informed on what’s happening--and when it's happening--and you’ll have a much better video or image collection and happier neighbors.

5. Make sure the weather is ideal on the day of the shoot, and if you have an questions, make sure you ask the photographer. An overcast day isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and in some cases can actually help with some properties (as the difference between the bright areas outside and the darker areas under a porch will be lessened on a cloudy day), but if it’s raining then the shoot simply isn't going to work.


In any real estate market--especially one as diverse as the Fresno market--having a great drone photo shoot or video is an outstanding way to promote some properties (though not all). Just be sure to make the most of your photo session by doing the right things before the day of the shoot.

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