Drone Photography Business Start Up Guide

By Hal Simmons •  Updated: 06/29/20 •  6 min read

There are many different moving parts when it comes to starting your own real estate drone photography business. If you buy a drone and try to go out and get clients right away, chances are you will come back with nothing. Real estate drone photography and videography is a competitive industry and requires careful planning and branding to achieve success.

How do you start a real estate drone photography business? From figuring out your branding and legalities to figuring out pricing and marketing tactics, a drone real estate business requires more than just a drone and some cool shots. You need things like a quality camera for stills, a Flysight Monitor, an Osmo, and so much more. You also have to offer a variety of services to compete with other drone businesses.

Throughout this complete guide to starting a real estate drone photography business, you will learn all you need to know to get started and all the tools it takes to run a successful business.

What You Need To Get Started

So you want to start a real estate drone photography business, but you are unsure of where to start. Before you trek down the long and unforgiving path of starting and running your own business, you must first be familiar with drones and drone photography & videography. You can plan until you are blue in the face, but if you don’t have the skillset to match, your business will go nowhere.

The Money Maker:

There are countless drones on the market, but you will need a drone that has a quality camera on it. Some drones come with a camera that is better for still photography, while others have a camera that is amazing for videography.

A few things to look for in the drone you’re purchasing:

There are drones that shoot stills in 4K, but when it comes to video, the shots come out shaky with poor quality because the resolution for video is lower than standard or the drone doesn’t have a quality stabilizer on it.

It is recommended to have two separate drones; one drone that specifically shoots still photos, and another that specifically shoots video. This will ensure that you stay organized on the job and always get enough shots before going home to start post-work, but it will also ensure you are using the best quality drone for each stills and video.

The DJI Phantom 4 Pro is a popular choice among real estate drone photographers. It features four propellers, fixed legs, and a camera hanging from a gimbal on the undercarriage of the drone. One of the coolest things about this drone is the fact that it has a 5.5-inch 1080p resolution screen directly on the remote. This allows you to see exactly what you are getting, even on the sunniest of days. It is basically a small tablet running Android software without the app store.

The camera on the DJI Phantom 4 Pro is spectacular. It features a 1-inch image sensor that shoots 20-megapixel stills with 11.6 stops of range. It has an 84-degree field of view, which is a bit narrower than the Phantom 4 whose field of view is 94-degrees. If you prefer wider shots that you have the option to crop later, you may want the Phantom 4 rather than the Pro version.

Nonetheless, its 25-minute battery life and multiple speed settings make this drone perfect for real estate drone photography professionals.

Accessories Needed:

Alongside your drone or drones, you will need a few other pieces of equipment to run a successful business. Apart from any carrying cases, batteries, and essential lens cleaners or replacement propellers, you will need things like:

Mastering Cinematic Movements:

Mastering all the different types of cinematic shots will increase your value tremendously. The more shots you master, the more diverse your videos will be, and the more you can charge the realtors you are shooting for.

The different cinematic shots include:

It is important to note that the more you practice, the better you will be. It is crucial to practice these shots in different wind conditions as well. You should be able to execute these shots in up to 25 mph winds, but it isn’t recommended you try this until you have at least 100 hours of flight time.

Use these shots as guidelines, but let your creativity flow. The obstacle shots will be difficult at first, but if you can master them, it will take your real estate drone business to the next level.


Once you acquire the equipment and skill set needed to run your own real estate drone photography business, you can focus on things like a business plan and pricing. Owning a business is more than just a catchy name. You have to create a brand for yourself, which means you also have to understand how realtors do business. In order to be successful in this industry, you have to stand out from the rest. The question is how do you do this?


Hal Simmons

When I first started flying drones I was always afraid of damaging my drone. I would always be thinking what if. I questioned myself often and as a result it made me question various aspects of flying drones. In the process I learned a lot. This is why I feel I have a lot of information that will be helpful to beginners and intermediate drone enthusiasts. Of course I still have a lot to learn so join me on this journey and I am sure you will enjoy the adventure ahead of us.