How to create a drone video that gets attention

Managing Partner and Senior Sales Associate , ICR Commercial Real Estate
  • Sep. 10, 2015

When I started in the real estate industry, a single exterior photo was the standard for use on listing information packages. As a matter of fact, back then the use of black and white pictures wasn’t uncommon.

Within a few years, many brokers started using a wide-angle lens to produce multiple interior and exterior photos. As the Internet evolved, we saw change in almost every area of our commercial real estate industry.

The ability to seamlessly post a high-quality video link to websites and e-mail blasts and promote them through social media has resulted in much higher market penetration for our listings. Drone technology has now thrust us into the next generation of high-definition video.

Not all drones are created equal

I believed I had properly researched our options before purchasing our first drone about a year ago. It became evident very quickly I hadn’t.

If you live in Saskatchewan, you know there are very few days in a year when the wind speed is less than 10 kilometres per hour. Let’s just say it was a good thing our first flying attempt was in an open field, a safe distance from any buildings or people. It flew well inside industrial buildings with high ceiling clearance, but that became boring pretty quickly.

We just purchased a DJI Phantom based on the recommendation of my son’s business partner in Calgary who is also a commercial real estate broker. We’ve been thrilled with the quality of this next-generation drone.

It’s still necessary to monitor wind speed to pilot this unmanned aircraft safely, but we’re able to fly most days. Our clients seem to be impressed with the high-definition photo and video capabilities of this unit.

Learning how to use drone technology

Before any of our staff members are allowed to fly the drone they must complete a training session and demonstrate their ability to operate the Phantom in a safe and confident manner.

After completing a video tour of one of our listings, the raw footage is edited to create a finished presentation we strive to be no longer than one minute and 15 seconds.

Transport Canada has rules to follow

If your aircraft weighs two kilograms or less, and you can meet the safety conditions in the Transport Canada exemption, you don’t need permission to fly.

There are some rules necessary to follow, such as not being allowed to fly higher than 90 metres above the ground. More details can be found here.

Is a drone worth the investment?

I would categorize myself in some cases as an early adopter of new technology. As such, there are times when I invest in technology that hasn’t fully proven itself. I believe that in order to be successful in any type of business, an individual or company has to be prepared to take risks.

Clients demand we explore innovative ways to serve them better. Implementing the use of drone technology has provided just one small step forward to help satisfy that demand. Here’s a sample of a video on our YouTube channel. Why don’t you be the judge?


Born in small town Saskatchewan, I began my real estate career in Saskatoon at a really early age in 1978. Although I can’t claim to be No 1 in North…

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Born in small town Saskatchewan, I began my real estate career in Saskatoon at a really early age in 1978. Although I can’t claim to be No 1 in North…

Read more

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