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Companies that Sell Aerial Photography and Drone Images for Real Estate

companies that sell aerial photography and drone images for real estate

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Published date:

October 19, 2016

Last updated date:

October 19, 2016

By Manny Manriquez

by Mark  Bingaman The integration of drone photography with real estate marketing has been a significant point of conversation recently due to the Federal Aviation Administration's summer 2016 release of rules governing commercial use of drone technology. We wrote about it here in two separate pieces, one called  “Using Drones to Buy and Sell Real Estate: Is it Legal?” and the other titled “FAA Issues Rules for Drone Photography of Real Estate.” The most recent article sparked a comment on our blog by Philadelphia's Karen Follis Mraz, a Land Acquisition Team Manager for the Westrum Development Company. She replied “Interesting timing when all the online imagery start-ups and ever-developing companies are selling drone captures from coast to coast. Clearly there is a value, but I agree: people (and) privacy; it's a valid point.” Her comment made us wonder: Who are the companies most actively involved in selling drone photography services to real estate interests? Here's what we found:


Pictometry is a patented technology created and owned by Pictometry International, a company that merged with EagleView in 2013 to form EagleView Pictometry and continues to sell an aerial image capture process that produces imagery showing the fronts and sides of buildings and locations on the ground. A big difference between pictometry technology and drone photography is the fact that, at least up until now, Pictometry has utilized airplanes to gather their shots. According to their website: “Pictometry Intelligent Images are captured by a fleet of 73 planes outfitted with USGS-certified camera systems flying year-round. Image processing is completed using patented technologies that deliver amazing clarity and detail for a precise view of every feature. Because every pixel in the image is georeferenced the images become actionable, allowing for measurements and data extraction.” Although EagleView Pictometry focuses on several different industries, real estate imagery is among the technology's chief uses, providing for quick property searches by address and viewing of each property from multiple directions including a north, south, east and west view. While the technology and company was built primarily on aerial photography via airplanes, EagleView Pictometry is now implementing drone photography into its offerings.

Drone Photography for Large-Scale, Commercial Real Estate

Providers of drone photography services for real estate can be broken down  into a couple of other categories. There are entities like The Drone Co., a national operation focused more on commercial real estate drone photography, including that of large-scale properties, developments, and buildings. A quick Google search will show a number of companies operating in this realm.

Local Real Estate Drone Photographers

If you're a local real estate broker, Realtor, or smaller property owner, you probably neither need nor want the larger, more expensive operations profiled above. In that case, you'll want to contact a local drone photographer in your area. Given that the business is burgeoning, you should have no trouble finding such a provider. In fact, many of the companies you already use for still photography or marketing videos are likely implementing drone photography into their service offerings. Just MAKE SURE they are FAA Compliant and following the rules and liability issues spelled out in our previous blog post here. Resources: FAA: Drone rules

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