Drone Operations Queensland Info


New Drone Laws

All the  information below was written and supplied by: Remote Aviation Australia  and reproduced here by permission.

They have written an article that explains the changes in more detail below:

Changes to Advisory Circular By Remote Aviation Australia

In the past couple of days CASA have updated their guidance material about how to avoid the approach and departure paths around aerodromes. This advice has been provided through a change to Advisory Circulars AC 101-01 and AC 101-10 (Excluded RPA/sub-2kg operators). The main changes are the:

  • addition of a clearly defined approach and departure path around controlled airports
  • removal of approach and departure path diagrams for operations near non-controlled aerodromes and helicopter landing sites
  • removal of 3nm exclusion zones around some high-traffic hospital helicopter landing sites
  • addition of maximum operating heights when flying near high terrain that surrounds some controlled airports

Overall, while it is good to see approach/departure path diagrams added to controlled aerodromes, the removal of diagrams that previously provided a clear indication of the approach and departure paths around the thousands of Australia’s non-controlled aerodromes may cause confusion. Advice from CASA is it is now up to the individual to determine what these approach and departure paths are (using adequate risk management techniques) to meet the obligations of CASR 101.075. While we support providing operators with more flexibility to undertake their RPAS tasks, the removal of this guidance material may open up the possibility for airspace conflict between manned aircraft and RPAS operators that don’t adequately understand the area they are flying in. It also creates more ambiguity in a rule set many people already find confusing.

Australian Drone Laws

CASA reminds us that:

  • The privacy of other people should be respected by not flying near homes and backyards.
    • Never fly a drone in an active bushfire area as there is a real risk of a mid-air collision with a fire fighting aircraft, which could cause an accident. Fire fighting aircraft will be grounded if a drone is conducting unauthorised flights on a fire ground, hampering work to control the fire and putting people and property at risk.
    • Drones should also be kept away from police operations, accident scenes, building fires and rescue operations.

If you violate these rules, CASA can take action against you in the form of infringement notices (read: fines) up to $8500 per offence. If you put people at risk or seriously injure someone, the penalties are far more serious and will be dealt with on a case by case basis.

For example, a private drone operator was allegedly using a quadcopter above a marathon race. The drone reportedly failed and struck a woman in the head causing serious injury.

The CASA took the case before the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions to see whether or not criminal charges could be laid against the operator.


Commercial Drone Use

The CASA defines the commercial use of a drone as anything you’re doing for hire or reward. For example, if you’re a production company strapping a camera to a drone for the purposes of gathering footage, or if you’re flying something into the air to test it via a drone, that’s commercial use.

However, an amendment to legislation for commercial drone operation in Australia, means that as of 29 September 2016, small operators can conduct commercial work without an operator’s certificate or remote pilot license. If you have a drone under 2kg and want to do commercial work, you won’t have to apply for the $5,000 to $10,000 “Unmanned Aircraft Operators Certificate” in order to do so — but you will need to inform the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) with a once-off registration.

Operators also need to abide by “mandatory conditions” or risk penalties. The conditions include flying only in day visual line of sight, below 120 metres, keeping more than 30 metres away from other people, flying more than 5.5 kilometres from controlled aerodromes and not operating near emergency situations.

Private landholders are also be allowed to carry out “a range of activities” on their own land without the need for approvals. This includes remotely piloted aircraft up to 25kg, as long as no money has changed hands for the flights.

The changes are designed to “cut red tape” without compromising on safety, CASA’s Director of Aviation Safety, Mark Skidmore said in a statement.

“While safety must always come first, CASA’s aim is to lighten the regulatory requirements where we can,” Mr Skidmore said. “The amended regulations recognise the different safety risks posed by different types of remotely piloted aircraft.

“People intending to utilise the new very small category of commercial operations should understand this can only be done if the standard operating conditions are strictly followed and CASA is notified.

“Penalties can apply if these conditions are not met.”

Land Surveying Info

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Here at Drone Operations Queensland

We use Drone Deploy & Pix4D  for

Fly and Capture Drone Imagery

Automate mapping and photo flights for DJI drones using the Drone Deploy mobile app—the most popular drone mapping app in the world.

Simple and Secure Team Collaboration

Enable teams with unlimited cloud image processing and single-click collaboration, export, and integration options.

When we take our images we set an overlap of 80% Forward and 75% Sideways,

this gives us a more comprehensive and detailed view for stitching the images

together to create and even more Detailed Map for our Clients.

The amount of overlap between photos will affect the map quality and size.

Our prices:

Camera GPS workflow (no GCPs)  $150 “set up fee

$32 per acre with a minimum of $130

GCP projects have a $300 set up fee plus the cost of surveying the GCPs


Apart from our Services of Real Estate and Video Photography

We also offer:


3D reconstruction of images and models (Accurate up to 4cm)

Surveying Land

Access to areas that are dangerous for people or difficult to access for traditional vehicles

Surveillance and Safety

Integration with other vehicles on large construction sites as a means of traffic direction and sending models of the landscape to the vehicles

Prevent common construction mistakes



Get volumes faster and safer

Monitor site progress & spot deviations

Improve blast planning

Get more frequent airspace calculations

For compliance reporting

Giving site managers access to the models




Annual or ah-hoc Inspections

Replicate the view for a proposed site development

Constructing 3D models of structures






Small businesses use RPA’s 

Boost your website and social channels

Marine businesses

Golf courses

Events companies

Real-estate agents

Building inspectors and architects

Film crews

Farmers assessing the health of their crop

Window cleaning businesses

Asset inspection


Record your event from a bird’s eye perspective

Live video streaming for attendees and remote viewers

RPA can actually stream Wi-Fi at an event

Flying security cameras








Can cover a large amount of terrain

Can carry sensors

Can take off from almost anywhere

Monitor Controlled Burn off’s

Stock Control –  Animal Counts

Mapping missions, 3D

Water Preservation & Monitoring

River & Plain Flood Mapping



Agriculture Info

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4 ways farmers are using RPA’s in 2018


1.   NDVI crop health assessment

Normal cameras record images in three bands of the visible spectrum – red, green, and blue. By comparison, the hyperspectral camera captures 270 bands in the visible and near-infrared portions of the spectrum, providing far more detail than the human eye can see. RPA are now capable of carrying small versions of these incredible cameras, which were once so large and expensive only satellites and planes could carry them.The hyperspectral camera allows for the classification of different kinds of crop or vegetation type. Every object gives off a unique hyperspectral signature, kind of like a human fingerprint. A diseased plant gives off a different signature than the equivalent healthy one. From the data that the camera collects, agronomists can measure pigment absorbance and see cellular integrity problems to identify nutrient deficiencies and pest infestation.Eventually there will be a large database of these unique signatures – allowing the quick and easy identification of specific crop species and health. Artificial intelligence algorithms can automatically recognise and classify these unique signatures – the hyperspectral equivalent of a police ‘fingerprint database”. This database will become increasingly valuable to all kinds of crop farmers.E.g. to spot bacterial or fungal infections on trees: a speedy response will save an entire orchard. In addition, as soon as a sickness is discovered, farmers can apply and monitor remedies more precisely. These two possibilities increase a plant’s ability to overcome disease. And in the case of crop failure, the farmer will be able to document losses more efficiently for insurance claims.Final comment: Keep in mind that RPA are simply airborne tools for increasing the amount of information your agronomist has access to. RPA-acquired data should rarely be considered in isolation, but in conjunction with soil assessment data and other property characteristics and variables that your agronomist already knows. RPA are simply adding more pieces of the puzzle for your agronomist as he or she moves more into precision agriculture.

2.   Crop spot-spraying

Do you have a weed problem in isolated areas of your property, or areas that are steep or very difficult to access by walking or driving? LiDAR enables a RPA to adjust altitude as the topography and geography of a property varies, and thus avoid collisions. Consequently, RPA can scan the ground and spray the correct amount of liquid, modulating distance from the ground and spraying in real time for even coverage. The result: increased efficiency with a reduction of in the amount of chemicals penetrating into groundwater. In fact, experts estimate that aerial spraying can be completed up to five times faster with RPA than with traditional machinery.

3.  Crop monitoring

Vast fields and low efficiency in crop monitoring together create farming’s largest obstacle. Monitoring challenges are exacerbated by increasingly unpredictable weather conditions, which drive risk and field maintenance costs. Previously, satellite imagery offered the most advanced form of monitoring. But there were drawbacks. Images had to be ordered in advance, could be taken only once a day, and were imprecise. Further, services were extremely costly and the images’ quality typically suffered on certain days. Today, time-series animations can show the precise development of a crop and reveal production inefficiencies, enabling better crop management. RPA data is used for things like identifying mis-planted or thin coverage areas, or assessing damage from events such as pigs or weather.

4.   Irrigation

RPA with hyperspectral or thermal sensors can identify which parts of a field are dry or need improvements. Additionally, once the crop is growing, RPA allow the calculation of the vegetation index, which describes the relative density and health of the crop, and show the heat signature, the amount of energy or heat the crop emits.


Faba beans
Grape vines
Melon Crops
Export Hay Production
Pulse Crops


Pinpoint areas of plant stress
Establish soil constraints – salt, shallow, drainage
Nutritional shortages
Scouting large areas quickly and accurately
Formation of germination
Irrigation deficiencies
Non-wetting areas
Identify soil disease areas
Identify fungal foliar disease areas
Identify root disease areas
Establish insect presence or damage
Establish low organic matter zones, sand hills
Create harvest zones for improved grain grades and profit / MT
Integrate VRT / GPS technology for cost saving benefits
Balance paddock agronomy to maximize total output

Mining Landfill & Quarries Info

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6 ways mine sites, landfill & quarries use RPA in 2018

  1. Get volumes faster and safer
    Stop sending staff out to walk stockpiles and reduce the number of field surveys required to validate them. A drone operator will get volumes quickly and safely and then allow you to do comparisons from previous surveys. RPA/ Drone survey can also identify areas suffering from uneven settlement.2. Monitor site progress & spot deviations
    Use drone data to create spatially accurate maps and models that you can overlay with design files to ensure work is progressing to plan and that deviations are identified and rectified early.3. Improve blast planning
    Good site surveys by drone and bench level plans can improve blast results and significantly reduce drilling and blasting costs for quarries and mines.4. Get more frequent airspace calculations
    Use the detailed elevation data to quickly calculate your sites total airspace. With RPA making frequent flights affordable, you can also compare volume changes over time. Identify areas suffering from uneven settlement. Other information such as ground water monitoring well locations can be overlaid to give a full picture of site infrastructure.5. For compliance reporting
    Hire a drone operator to create a highly accurate map of your site which you can overlay on a landfill design to ensure you are keeping within the approved limits. Inspect for erosion, fence line conditions, vegetation coverage, groundwater and other physical aspects of your landfill site.

    6. Finally, giving site managers access to the models
    After the drone has landed and the data is taken out of it, various platforms such as Propeller and Arc GIS can be used to stitch the images and process the data to deliver 3D terrain models. Outputs are geo-referenced and ortho-rectified, meaning measurements and calculations can be taken directly from them – distance, area and slope calculations right up to stockpile volume analysis, sight lines or watershed runoff simulations.

    Red Bird and 4D Mapper are programs that make the final models visible via your internet browser so site managers can easily view them without needing to download expensive software. These platforms basically allow drone pilots to manage and share their models in a browser – be it LiDAR, point-clouds, orthomosaicks, 3D terrain models (DSM/DTM) or GIS. Site managers can even do some simple interactive functions such as measure points, lines, areas, profiles and volumes.

How much do drone surveyors charge?

Experienced drone surveyors in Australia will charge around $175-$285 per hour for survey and mapping work. These guys are not your run of the mill drone flyers – they understand the need for flight preparations in order to get accurate data sets – weather checks, take-off and landing, sufficient imagery overlap, and the correct software/algorithm for processing the data after it has been acquired.

Asset and Building Inspections Info

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Asset Inspections

The first thing is to realize there are several challenges with traditional asset inspection methods. Most often, the boss is aware of the high costs, risks and the long time it takes to carry out a traditional inspection. Despite having this knowledge, the organization will most likely be looking at ways to improve on the methods, but rarely looking at drones as an alternative.

Already, there are several industries that are using drones to inspect a wide range of assets, including aerial photography, surveying, deliveries, asset inspections and more. Others are just starting, while the rest have yet to make the decision. While companies using the drones can quickly and safely produce detailed and accurate inspection data, the ones relying on traditional methods will find it hard to do so over the same period. The scope of drone use case applications will vary from one company to the other, but the building industry, energy, insurance, real estate and others with similar requirements are using drones to carry out a wide range of inspections. There are several benefits to using drones to perform activities, such as asset inspections, which are traditionally risky, costly and time-consuming. In addition, it replaces the traditional methods that are likely to produce inaccurate data due to human error and other factors.

Business Promotion Info

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10 ways  businesses use RPA’s 

1. Boost your website and social channels

Small business owners are using RPA photography to freshen up their website and social media channels with new and engaging media. RPAs can capture images and video of your premises, your team working outdoors (e.g. tiling, landscaping, and construction), a staff get together or a fleet of vehicles. Hire a RPA operator to come around and capture your work from a new and engaging perspective that can then be shared on social media.

2. Marine businesses

To promote their boats for sale, marine businesses hire RPA operators to fly in a slow orbit around the cruiser/yacht for sale to capture engaging video of the vessel as it moves across a sunset/sunrise. The video and photographs are added to the online for sale listing. RPAs can also be used to film sailing races. Fishing boats and prawn trawlers can fly a RPA in front of the boat to help scout for schools of prawn. A live video link from the RPA allows the captain to see where to steer the boat to next.

3. Golf courses

RPAs can be flown through each fairway, recording HD video as it goes. The video can later be edited down to create a hole-by-hole preview for golfers wanting to check out the course from their home/office. Commentary can be added to provide audio tips as the RPA goes over certain features such as bunkers and water.

4. Events companies

An aerial perspective of an event can provide a unique bird’s eye view and can bring the whole crowd plus any attractive surrounding features of the area into the shot. Examples include outdoor corporate events, sporting events, weddings, and schools & university events, shows and markets. RPAs can even deliver objects onto a stage – we have seen various requests for different kinds of objects to be delivered by RPA – a beer can, engagement ring, balloons, paper brochures, a packet of butter, water balloons, a birthday card and even a chair. Or think about this – a swarm of RPAs carrying LED lights performed a choreographed light show at NFL Super Bowl and at Disney World.

5. Real-estate agents

Aerial shots bring the garden, pool, or water views into the image. It’s well-known these days that RPAs can deliver much more engaging imagery of a house for sale. On vacant sites/development sites, RPAs can fly up and get 360 degree shots to replicate the view – to show people what the view will look like before the building is developed.

6. Building inspectors and architects

RPAs allow for inspections of the most challenging roofs and buildings. Fly the RPA up and zoom in specifically on defects such as cracking, corrosion, storm damage, guttering and facades. This has added a major safety factor to building inspections as well as eliminating traditional manual inspection processes such as hiring access equipment and scaffolds to gain access, which can cost thousands of dollars a day.
There is also tracking progress of construction sites, mapping terrains and creating three-dimensional models by stitching together RPA photos.

7. Film crews

Sprawling cities and miles of forest look great, but RPA usage in film and TV is not limited to ‘establishing’ shots anymore. RPAs are being used for stunning reveals, vehicle tracking and other creative shots.

8. Farmers assessing the health of their crop

Normal cameras record images in three bands of the visible spectrum – red, green, and blue. By comparison, a hyperspectral camera captures 270 bands in the visible and near-infrared portions of the spectrum, providing far more detail than the human eye can see. RPAs are now capable of carrying small versions of these incredible cameras and this allows for the classification of different kinds of crop or vegetation type. Every object gives off a unique hyperspectral signature, kind of like a human fingerprint. A diseased plant gives off a different signature than the equivalent healthy one.

9. Window cleaning businesses

These businesses use RPAs to fly around a building to assess the kind of windows it has and how dirty they are, and what features of the structure might make the job more challenging to do. The video from the RPA determines these things and makes quoting much easier and more accurate by being evidence based. The RPA can fly again after the job has been done to demonstrate how clean all the windows are to the building manager.

10. Asset inspection

Bridges, towers, solar panels, wind turbines… Many outdoor structures need to be inspected at least once a year. RPAs replace cranes and EWP’s and allow for faster, safer and more detailed high- res images of these assets. Images can be stitched together using software and 3d models of the assets can be developed. Each time this is done, the asset owner can benefit from more and more historical data about their asset.

Event Management Info

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7 ways event managers are using RPA in 2018

  1. Record your event from a bird’s eye perspective
    Obviously, number one is putting a RPA up above your event and getting beautiful video footage and photographs from an aerial perspective. The aerial perspective can provide a unique bird’s eye view of the event, and can bring the whole crowd plus any attractive surrounding features of the area into the shot. Examples include outdoor corporate events, sporting events, weddings, and schools & universities.2. RPA that deliver objects onto the stage
    It’s a great x-factor for any event. Here at RPA For Hire we have seen various requests for different kinds of objects to be delivered by RPA – a beer can, engagement ring, balloons, paper brochures, a packet of butter, water balloons, a birthday card and even a chair. The RPA would typically fly up past the audience from a concealed place and then deliver the object to a person or people. A second RPA can be used to record the process for promotional video / social media exposure.3. Live video streaming for attendees and remote viewers
    While user generated video streaming is a growing trend in 2017 (Facebook Live, Periscope app etc.), live event streaming is being taken to the next level by RPA technology. RPA with high-definition 4K video cameras and GPS stabilized RPA platforms enable high quality videos to be screened on multiple monitors across the venue. Not only do attendees experience a whole new perspective of the event they are at, remote audiences are treated to a bird’s-eye view as well, creating an immersive event experience for everyone.4. A swarm of RPA for an LED light show
    You may have heard about a swarm of RPA carrying LED lights performing choreographed light shows at huge events such as the NFL Super Bowl in the US. It was also done at Disney World. These shows are very unique and very engaging. The RPA can fly in unison with music, dancers and other aspects of the show.

    5. RPA can actually stream Wi-Fi at an event
    At crowded outdoor events staying connected can be almost impossible. In cases when existing mobile phone towers get overcrowded with users, RPA can actually act as additional towers. Special telco-RPA can be sent to hover up to 120m above the crowd, ensuring continuous signal and access to existing networks (Telstra, Vodafone etc.) over a wider reach, thus curbing attendees’ frustrations. This relatively new technology is still being tested out by the likes of Facebook and AT&T in the US. Remember if attendees cannot use their phones at your event, they cannot share photo and video content on social networks.

    6. Flying security cameras
    CCTV style cameras that are used to detect possible security violations or signs of disturbances in crowded areas can be fitted into RPA. This way, RPA will be able to catch unrest before they become fully blown problems. The continuous aerial monitoring during events will also help in the efficient delegation of security personnel should an accident or security breach occur.

    7. Flying disco-tech!
    Spotify teamed up with Belgian telecommunications company BASE to release their very own “Party RPA” decked out with 3 speakers and an amp at a music festival to entertain unsuspecting ravers.When people registered for the festival online, they were asked to add their favorite song to a Spotify playlist. When they turned up at the festival to collect their tickets, the RPA was able to detect which song was added by them and blasted their favorite tunes while hovering right above their heads as they entered the venue.

Construction Site Info

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Uses of Drones (RPA’s) Remotely Piloted Aircraft  in Construction


  • 3D reconstruction of images and models (Accurate up to 4cm)

Projection of future plans on current image: Architects can view their designs and models in 3D, leaving less to the imagination.

Boost your portfolio with stunning centerpiece 3D model.

Superimposition of current progress to future plans: An exciting and visual method of showcasing progress to the clients who may not be able to go to site

Volumetric Measurements: Measurement of stockpiles, such as sand and gravel, for more precise and exact volumes

Cut and fill analysis: Determine progress with site balancing with a visual 3D model of the earth above and below the final grade

  • Surveying Land

Reduce the labour and time required for land surveying and monitoring

Allows surveillance of greater detail, including detailed variations in dirt patterns

Vector Overlay: Overlay of site design and line works with RPA imagery to detect potential clashes, site accuracy, and catch mistakes.

  • Access to areas that are dangerous for people or difficult to access for traditional vehicles

Collection of instantaneous information in difficult to maneuver areas

Delivery of small scale materials in a time and financial efficient manner to areas which are difficult for traditional delivery vehicular methods

  • Surveillance and Safety

Live Stream: surveillance of multiple sites without the need to relocate – Track the construction site with greater frequency and degree of accuracy and precision unknown in the industry

Structural inspection in a safer and more time-efficient method

Safety: Accessing areas too dangerous for workers, better surveillance as the eyes are in the sky – on level with works in high areas

Building inspection, in combination with 3D imagery technology, allows for real time monitoring, as well as projection of future plans on current images to gauge progress

The intelligence allows construction companies to more efficiently deploy resources around a job site, minimize potential issues, trim costs, and limit delays

Save time in data collection with a RPA so that you can focus on making the important decisions

Thermal Inspection: Help to detect leaks and cracks in buildings

Integration with other vehicles on large construction sites as a means of traffic direction and sending models of the landscape to the vehicles

Prevent common construction mistakes

Site balancing, concrete layout, quantity tracking and fulfilment verification and schedule tracking

Benefits of using RPA (RPA’s)


  • Convenience
  • Safety
  • Accuracy
  • Reliability
  • Time efficient
  • Cost efficient – 30% of the cost of construction is wasted in the field due to coordination errors, wasted material, labour efficiencies and other problems that arise during traditional construction methods which could be eliminated by usage of an RPA.
  • Creative

Real Estate – Residential & Commercial Info

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5 reasons why property vendors should agree to get drone photography

1. For encompassing aerial views of their entire property and land – the ‘zoomed out’ perspective allows the drone operator to bring all of the surrounding features into one shot – the gardens, pool, tennis court or granny flat. A well edited aerial video of a property, with fitting background music can inspire a potential buyer much more so than a regular video.

2. For confirming the condition of the roof, fence lines, large trees and other property features that are difficult to see from the ground.

3. To show what the drive home or the kids’ walk to school looks like, the drone operator can go up to 400 feet and catch shots of the neighbourhood and surrounding area. Later they can overlay graphics to show the number of km’s to local schools, train stations, hospitals, parks and shopping centres.

4. On vacant sites, to fly up and get 360-degree shots to replicate the view – what it will look like from predetermined heights/levels of a proposed building.

5. There is also tracking progress of construction sites, mapping terrains and creating three-dimensional models by stitching together drone photos.

Why you should consider hiring a Drone Operator

Why businesses should consider drones? & for what purpose.

Are unmanned aerial vehicles right for every company? For some it may not be worth the time and money. But for others, the outcome could be incredible.

One industry that should strongly consider incorporating our drones is the real estate market. For real estate agents, drone photography can be implemented with excellent results. For individuals and companies helping to sell land and property, there are several good reasons to invest in hiring a high quality UAV ( Drone ) for photography or Videography purposes. Here are 5 of them.


Drone photography will save you time

Selling a parcel of land that encompasses thousands of acres? Instead of spending countless hours walking or driving across the land to obtain all the needed photographs, simply send Aerial Imaging’s drone into the air. Producing beautiful digital aerial photography, our drone can cover the distance at a fraction of the time, creating a more efficient work process and leaving you with more time to focus on other aspects of your business: like landing the sale!


Photos from above capture ‘the bigger picture’

Not only does aerial photography enable you to cut hours off of your photography time, it undoubtedly produces some top notch images. With the possibility of perspective and distance, we can capture images that show much more than your average ground-level photo. Drone photos display “the bigger picture.” If you’re selling a large plot of land, imagine how much more effective it would be to show the entire size and scope in a single image? Clients can’t help but be impressed. Sale = made.


It takes your business to new heights (literally!)

Pardon the pun, but drone photography does take your business to new heights; it will certainly kick things up a notch. Drone usage is professional, unique, forward thinking, and sets you aside from many other real estate agents. This may change as drones grow ever more popular, of course, so it’s a great excuse to get started NOW.



Drone photography makes a mark on social media

These days, home buyers are starting their searches online. To stand out as a real estate agent, a strong social media presence can make a massive difference. Sharing content has become increasingly focused on photos and video. With aerial drone photography, you can produce incredible content that helps skyrocket your social media accounts, and brings in many more followers (and potential customers).

It helps you sell a dream

Drone photography still amazes us. In the real estate business, it offers an overarching picture of a piece of land or a home that can’t be managed with traditional photography, and in this way, such images help to capture a dream. Your potential home buyers will be enchanted by these aerial images, giving them a new vision about what their property is and could be. This alone makes drone photography completely worth it.