Often the best drone photos for real estate don't look like they were shot from a drone….
That's because of processing fluency, a language study that's been around a lot longer than the internet. Companies soon discovered the science worked great for advertising too, both written and visual.
Advertising is about sparking positive emotion. Yet one of interesting things processing fluency uncovers is that when a viewer's brain has to 'trip' over something to understand it *for even a fraction of a second* the byproduct is actually a negative emotion. Here's an example: We all know that most homes have straight up and down walls. But because the photographer's camera was not exactly level, the vertical lines in some listing photos seem like they're pointed to converge outside the image. Your buyer's brain does the math and instantly delivers a straight wall verdict - along with a negative emotion! At that point some shoppers simply move on to another home.
Converging vertical lines is a common RE mistake that triggers a 'figure it out' mode in the brain. Others potential problems include white balance, window exposure and focal length distortion. There's more. Bottom line is that when it comes to effective advertising photography, simple and incredibly easy to understand isn't just a style - It's a requirement.
The average real estate drone photo has very poor processing fluency. Of course the brain has to trip over an unnatural perspective (flying). Rarely are vertical lines corrected. Wide angle distortion is extremely common. And there's almost always too much information (never a good thing when selling).
Not to mention, many drone photos feature little more than rooftops and driveways - is that in some way an emotive image? Of course not.
Recent studies show that a cover photo, including one captured from a drone, has under 4 seconds to engage the viewer. Think about it the next time you pull up a map - because that's essentially what a high altitude sweeping drone image is : A map - with a 4 second fuse.
RE drone shots should be tight and low. When someone wonders "was that shot from the air?" and really isn't sure - You've got it right.