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The 5 Best Drones for Real Estate Photography & Video (What to Buy in 2023) 

Updated in 2023 by Paul Posea
Drones for Real Estate

Aerial shots, videos, and even 3D maps are starting to help real estate agents skip much of the client-closing hassle by offering potential buyers a comprehensive view of the property they want to buy…

But, not all drones are equal, and some drones are far better for real estate than most. If you want to break into this industry as a highly paid pilot and wonder which drones will give you an edge over your competition without breaking the bank, this article is for you!

We’ll look at the top 5 drones for real estate right now, these are budget-friendly and are fit for pretty much anyone regardless of experience.

So without further ado, let’s get to it!

My Top 3 Drones for Real Estate

If you’re tight on time or simply don’t like reading a lot, I got you. Out of all the drones that we’ll cover in detail here, here are my top 3 based on category:

1. Best drone for real estate photography

DJI Mini 3 Pro

  • 3 axis gimbal
  • 4K 60FPS
  • 47 Minutes – Plus Battery
  • 10 km
dji mini 3 pro

2.Best drone for real estate videography

DJI Mavic 3

  • 3 axis gimbal
  • 5K
  • 40 minutes
  • 15 km
dji mavic 3

3. Best budget drone for real estate photography

DJI Mini 2

  • 3 axis gimbal
  • 2.7k
  • 30 minutes
  • 10 km
dji mini 2

How to choose your drone for real estate?

As you’ve noticed above, these drones vary in both functionality and price points, and for good reason.

Choose your drone based on the real estate projects you want to undertake, as well as the prices you want to charge your clients.

For example, if your preferred projects are huge commercial real estate properties, chances are you’re going to be flying your drones for quite a while in each project…

What to look for in a drone for real estate:

As I said, there are quite a lot of factors at play here that determine what drone you should get. But, there are a few things to keep in mind for real estate projects:

  • Battery and flight time: You’ll want a drone that can maintain flight for quite a while as you’re taking your shots – or at least a drone that has hot batteries that can be swapped quickly (Like the DJI Mini 2, or DJI Mini 3 Pro for example)
  • Ease of use: As a real estate drone pilot, you’ll want a drone that’s easy to fly, and can hover while you plan out which areas to film.
  • Intelligent flight modes: While this is not crucial, many real estate agents love follow-me drones as they can stay on their heels while they explore the houses. If you can do this, chances are you can charge much more.

The best drones for real estate – comparison

These are all some of the best drones out there for every market, especially in the real estate market. The cream of the crop…

But how do they compare with each other? You don’t have to dig on the internet as I’ve already compiled the ultimate comparison table for you below:

SpecsMavic 3Air 2sDJI Mini 3 Pro DJI Mini 2Autel Evo II Pro
Sensor size4/3 CMOS1'' CMOS1/1.3-inch CMOS1/2.3-inch CMOS1" CMOS
Pixels20 MP20 MP48MP12MP20 MP
F Stops12.812.612.612.6-
Aperturef/2.8 to f/11f/2.8f/1.7f/2.8f/2.8–f/11
5k Res5.1K/50fps5.4K/30fps4K 60FPS2K(6K video at 30fps)
FPS120 fps50 fps60FPS2K(5k at 60fps)
Battery46 min31 min47 min31 min40 min
Max Hover40 minutes30 minutes47 min30 min40 min
RangeFCC: 15 km CE: 8 kmFCC: 12 km CE: 8 kmFCC: 10 km CE: 8 kmFCC: 10 km CE: 8 kmFCC: 10 km CE: 8 km
Weight895 g595 g249 g249 g1191 g
Folded Size221×96×90 mm180×97×77 mm145×90×62 mm138×81×58 mm230*130*108mm
Unfolded Size347×283×107 mm183×253×77 mm171×245×62 mm159×203×56 mm457*558*108mm
Obstacle SensingOmnidirectionalOmni w/o lateralForward, Backward, BottomDown onlyOmnidirectional
Max Speed75 kph68.4 kph35.7mph35.7mph45 mph
Wind Resistance43 kph38.5 kph24mph24mphForce 8 wind
Temperature-10° to 40° C (14° to 104° F)0° to 40° C (32° to 104° F)14° to 104° F or -10° to 40° C0 to 40 degrees5~45℃
Internal StorageMavic 3: 8 GB Mavic 3 Cine: 1 TB8 GB1.2GBN/A8GB
Image size5k5k8k5k5k
Remote Res1080p/30fps 1080p/60fps1080p/30fpsFull HD 1080p resolution720pFull HD 1080p resolution

Best drones for real estate photos & footage

1. Best drone for real estate videography (DJI Mini 3 Pro)




47 Minutes – Plus Battery




3-axis gimbal


  • Best Camera Quality for this price
  • 47-minute battery life
  • 10 km range
  • Stable 3-axis gimbal


  • None as far as we can tell!

What makes the DJI Mini 3 Pro one of the best drones on the market right now is its powerful camera fits into a very small and compact frame.

Plus, it's super wallet-friendly, letting you create top-notch content without overstretching your budget.

Especially when you're just dipping your toes in the real estate market, this can be a game-changer, letting you stand toe-to-toe with big-shot agencies, attract more eyeballs, and seal more house deals.

In my opinion, it's the top DJI drone for real estate snaps and videos, and here's why:

  • Easy on the Pocket – It doesn't cost a fortune, making it a fantastic choice for solo realtors and small agencies.
  • Small but Mighty – Don't be fooled by its lightness; this drone is a tech marvel, allowing you to create standout content.
  • Pro-level Quality – It produces cinematic-quality footage, setting a new standard for affordable, compact drones.

Really, just take a look at these sample videos and photos.

2. Best camera drone for real estate (DJI Mavic 3)




40 Minutes




3-axis gimbal


  • Best quality footage for real estate
  • 40-minute battery life
  • 15 km range
  • Stable 3-axis gimbal


  • Heavy
  • Makes quite a lot of noise
  • Expensive 
  • Takes a bit of skill to fly

The DJI Mavic 3, with its 5.1k Hasselblad camera, guarantees superb image quality for both photos and videos.

By enhancing colors, and making them livelier and more natural, the Mavic 3 helps pilots capture all the hues nature has to offer, providing the ideal palette for your unique creative vision in every project.

Check out this quick demo showcasing the drone's capabilities:

Another standout feature of the DJI Mavic 3 is its generous 40-minute flight time.

Since you'll mainly use it to film, these 40 minutes provide plenty of time to capture all the shots you need. Need more time? Just pop in the hot batteries available for the Mavic 3.

Wondering if it can actually stay airborne for the full 40 minutes? I’ve personally hovered over it for about 35 minutes before the RTH feature was activated. Seeing as how the 40 minutes is meant for perfect conditions, we can agree that it’s not false marketing.

3. Best budget drone for real estate (DJI Mini 2)




30 Minutes




3-axis gimbal


  • Best quality footage for price
  • 30-minute battery life
  • 10 km range
  • Stable 3-axis gimbal


  • Lacking in terms of footage quality (compared to drones like Mini 3 Pro)

The DJI Mini 2, with its incredible 4K camera, comes with an affordable price tag of just $349.

This little gem lets you film awe-inspiring, cinema-like raw footage without causing a dent in your wallet.

Believe it or not, most folks can't spot the difference between footage from the Mini 2 and the DJI Air 2s. Check out this video below where I compare the two.

The camera isn't just powerful; the drone also features a solid 31-minute battery and fantastic wind resistance.

So, you've got all the time you need to fly around and inside properties to line up those perfect house shots, without fretting over battery life.

I've tested the flight time of the DJI Mini 2 against other DJI drones myself, and it easily matches up well with the larger models.

And in my flying experience, I've rarely felt the need to switch to a backup battery.

4. Best DJI alternative for real estate photography (Autel Evo II Pro)


6K / 8K


40 Minutes




3-axis gimbal


  • 40-minute battery life
  • Excellent image quality
  • 6k / 8k video capabilities
  • Best non-DJI drone


  • App isn’t intuitive
  • Expensive

The Autel Evo II Pro is a rare find among DJI competitors, featuring a 6K@30fps camera at an attractive price.

It's like having a secret weapon for filming cinematic and professional-grade footage for real estate properties, comparable to high-end cameras, without breaking the bank on models like the DJI Inspire 2.

This will give you a massive edge as a real estate photographer or videographer.

These folks below have made an awesome comparison with the much-loved DJI Mavic 3. 

Wait till you see the results – they might just blow your mind!

The footage is almost identical, and the Autel Evo II Pro even took the lead in photos, thanks to its superior resolution.

Also, it's packed with a 360-degree obstacle-sensing camera (a feature the Mavic 3 also sports).

This is a real game-changer for pilots keen on filming in urban jungles or mountainous landscapes, helping them to fly worry-free about the drone bumping into a building or a big tree.

Here's a video showing off the 360-degree obstacle sensing in action:

5. Best indoor real estate drone (DJI Mavic Air 2s)




31 Minutes




3-axis gimbal


  • Great image and video quality
  • Solid upgrades from Mavic Air 2
  • Great low light performance


  • Missing the higher-end options from more expensive models

The Mavic Air 2S boasts a great feature: its O3 transmission with a Full HD live video feed that reaches up to 12 kilometers.

If you’re shooting real estate videos in packed urban areas, this is crucial since you won’t have to worry about buildings interfering with your signal, and having to redo shots over and over again when you’re touring buildings.  

I’ve personally flown in this drone in large cities as well as packed forests, and the signal remained high for the most part.

Another cool thing about this drone? It rocks in low light conditions.

This means you can shoot properties and buildings even at night, and it’d still look good. This is especially great if you’re shooting venues or event locations.

Check out this video comparing the night footage of the Air 2s and the Air 2:

Best FPV drone for real estate








1-axis gimbal


  • Best quality FPV in the market
  • Easy to fly
  • Beginner friendly


  • The battery could be improved

The DJI Avata, with its game-inspired controller, might just be the simplest FPV drone with GPS to pilot.

Its joystick provides effortless, game-like handling, addressing the major issue with many FPV drones: they're just too tricky to fly.

Many real estate agents are starting to love the first-person videos taken of houses, so having the Avata in your fleet will give you an advantage over other drone pilots in this industry.

You can watch the motion controller doing its thing in this video:

Another neat feature is the obstacle detection, which is genuinely a game-changer.

Actually, numerous pilots report that the drone avoids crashes on its own, and even if a collision occurs, it's tough enough to endure it.

Do you need a drone license for real estate drone photography?

This is a great question. Usually, a license is one of the first things your clients will ask to see to not be liable themselves.

As per US law, you will need a part 107 drone license to fly your drone commercially, including flying your drone for real estate photography.

There are a bunch of ways people talk about a drone license, like

  • Drone pilot license
  • Part 107 license
  • Commercial drone license

And sometimes, you'll see stuff like "FAA drone license" or "Part 107 drone license." No worries though – they all mean the same thing! Basically, it's your golden ticket to being a commercial drone operator in the USA.

More on that in my previous drone laws article.

Do you need insurance for real estate drone photography?

Yes and no, because while it’s not exactly illegal to not have insurance if you’re running a drone business you’ll most likely have to.

There is no law that requires you to have drone insurance if you use one for business or recreational purposes. But if you’re using a drone for work-related purposes, you’ll want to consider getting the best drone insurance policy.

The reason why drone insurance (especially liability insurance) is important is that if you cause accidental property damage or injuries to someone else while operating your drone for work, you may have to pay out-of-pocket for repairs, medical bills, and lawsuits – if you’re covered however, you won’t need to have a thing.

Conclusion – bringing it all together

As you can see, there are all sorts of drones that fit different needs. The key is knowing exactly what type of real estate projects you’ll be undertaking, and then getting the appropriate drone for it.

In most cases though, an all-rounder drone like the DJI Mini 3 Pro will be more than enough for most projects.

If you’re struggling to close your first real estate deal, I’ve made a guide on how to start a drone real estate business over here!

Hi, I'm Paul.
A big drone enthusiast, reviewing, comparing and writing about drones since 2015. I'm all about helping people enjoy and even monetize their hobby.

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paul posea
Paul Posea
Hi, I'm a long-time drone reviewer and I hope my articles and comparisons on this site as well as Dronesgator's youtube channel are of as much help as possible.
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