It’s a bird! No, It’s a Plane! No, It’s not Superman! It’s a DRONE! Well that is the awe this technology inspires! Imagine your prospective customers going gaga over a virtual tour of your property and choosing it, out of all available options!
A virtual tour is supposed to make your prospective customers feel that their vacation could be a memorable one if they choose to stay at your property. To make your property stands out from the herd, you need to be innovative and Drones can help you with that. So let us explore this piece of technology.
Check out the slides below for a quick guide on how to drone your VR:
What Drones are capable of…
There are different ways of showcasing your property through a tour. It could be a simple Video Tour or an Aerial Tour or a 3D Tour but have you ever wondered how you can combine all of these? Well the answer is obvious, by using a Drone!
Drones are the most cost-effective way of creating an aerial video. It can rise to 200 ft or higher, depending upon the norms, and swoop down like an eagle flying towards its prey. This can create a dramatic effect that you have only seen in movies. Club it with a dramatic sound-track and you can mesmerize your prospective customers.
Imagine you have a huge property amidst a large expanse of landscaping. There is a giant pool and a backyard. And you want to capture it all. Before drones came into existence, property owners, who could afford it, used helicopters for the view from the top. Now drones can do this and do it much better with the ultra HD cameras installed on them.
Drones can glide into your home through the front door, making it seem as if your prospective client is walking into the property. It can take them through each of the rooms and areas of attraction. These are the features of a video tour and Drones can do it better.
If the property is a vintage hotel, combine the video with an engaging voice-over describing its history, famous guests, architectural style, authentic decor, and so on. These grasp the attention of the viewers. Drones can alter their speed so you may even slow down the video to give an effect of going back in time.
Drones can even capture beautiful panoramic pictures and still images using the 360-degree cameras. These can be put through a 3D tour software such as Matterport and developed into an immersive, VR-enabled tour. So now we know how drones can truly combine all formats of a virtual tour.
Another distinguishing feature of drones is that they are GPS enabled. This makes it easier to feed in a radius around the property. The drone can cover the nearby ocean, beach, wilderness areas, and other such gifts of nature. This shows how accessible your property is to all these places. When the vacationers see your video, they get ideas of what all they can do in and around the property. This is a key factor in their decision-making.
These days, it is coming to the notice of many, that Drone videos are the highest performing videos on Social Media. They get the highest amount of engagement so they are becoming mandatory arrows in your marketing quiver.
But before you get entangled in the benefits of a Drone video, you should be aware of some prerequisites.
A few prerequisites of using Drones…
A few words of caution have never harmed anyone. So let’s have a look at some prerequisites:
● Drones are not very old technology, so, naturally, many property owners have little experience in operating them. It is advisable to hire a professional to get the best out of the money you spend on it.
● Many governments require individuals to take permission before they can fly drones. So it is best to be aware of the permissions and acquire them beforehand. If you hire a professional, make sure they have all such paperwork intact.
● Drones might get damaged in extreme weather conditions, it is advisable to insure against the same. Keep a few spare days to avoid bad weather.
● If you want to capture a famous event conducted close to your property, schedule the shoot accordingly.
● Inform neighbors about the timings of the shoot for privacy concerns.
How will you get your hands on a Drone…
Here we describe different service providers of Drone technology:
Airilo: It is one of the most niche players specific to the vacation renters in the drone industry. It is a web portal connecting the nearest drone service providers to property owners. Once the drone has captured the images and the videos, Airilo helps in editing, adding soundtracks and effects. They charge anywhere between $250 and $850 for a video depending upon the quality and resources utilized. Soon they plan on coming with an app. They promise a turnaround time of 48 hours, which is quite commendable.
Droners.io: It is another marketplace for drone flyers. The client needs to post a job on their portal and they provide the most suitable flyer. Although they are not specific to vacation rentals, they are not lacking the capability. At times it is even known as ‘Uber’ for Drones because it connects the pilots to clients. There is no editing service as of now. The prices vary on a case to case basis. They are expanding in various countries.
Skypower: This is a UK-based multiple services portal. You can rent a Drone from here instead of hiring a drone flyer. So this is more appropriate for those who have a prior drone flying experience. However, if you can hire a flyer for cheap and the total cost is lower than other options, you may go for this option. They have drones that support 8K image resolution. They even have a video production service so you may provide them with drone images and videos for generating the final product. The charges vary as per the service you choose.
DroneVista: This is a Brazil-based multiple services portal. You can rent a Drone from here and they provide a flyer too. They are sector-agnostic and have prior experience in covering properties. They provide Phantom 4 Drone, which is the latest technology. Another interesting part is that they provide a drone flying course too. So they have inhouse expertise in training flyers. Or you may take a course and only rent a drone if you want. You will have to request a budget from them for your requirements.
SoldbyAir: This is a Drone only portal and therefore they are highly focussed. On top of that they have developed a niche for the commercial properties so they have their expertise in this segment. They even mention on their website that their videos have helped clients in renting their properties faster. You can request for a pilot out of their network of 3,000 pilots. They even provide professional editing services such as color correction, perspective straightening, sky replacement among others. They deliver images within 24 hours of the shoot for you to choose from. They take care of all the necessary paperwork and permissions so you don’t have to worry about that. They use the Phantom 4 Pro Drone. They claim to be present in all 50 states in the US through their Pilot Network.
DroneHive: They have a network of 1,000 pilots in the US. You may hire a pilot or a drone as per your need. They take care of regulatory compliance. They have additional services for Virtual reality (VR) and Rendering. So they can help create 3D tours.
New service providers are coming up each day. It is best to have a thorough check before you pick one. Try to go for a known player so that you get it right in the first go. You may even buy a drone online, but if you want to shoot only one video then it doesn’t make sense to spend about $2,000 on a drone. It is best to use one of the above-mentioned services.
Where Drones can’t take off…
It is a rhetorical way of saying that even Drones have their limitations. Some of these are:
● Drones require a clear path. If you want to capture a cabin in the woods, the drone’s path may get blocked by trees in the forest. In such a case, the flight needs to be a guided one and not an automated one. But even so, it might not be hurdle-free.
● Drones are moving, it is a pro and a con at the same time. If you wish to take a focussed image and blur out the surroundings, it is not possible with current technology. You might have to edit out some of the things captured by the drone and the effects. So, give it time, don’t rush, edit images and videos properly to make the most out of it. So if you wish to stay relevant in the industry, you have to think out of the box. For your property to be showcased uniquely, you need to pilot it in the right direction. So be innovative, if you want your profits to soar, try a drone!