This article is part of a series of tutorials we are developing for professional drone pilots
"How much should I charge for aerial photography?" This may be the most commonly asked question on drone forums. If you ask 10 different drone pilots you will get 10 different answers. Depending on the niche you are targeting the answers will vary greatly. Fortunately for those of us in real estate it's more straightforward than other areas of the drone world. Yet there are still many factors to consider. Here is our take on it.
How much is your competition charging? Do some research on those providing aerial photography for realtors in your area. But be cautious, there are a lot of people just getting into the business who immediately price themselves out of the game. The reality is that this field is all about volume, not price. Drone services are considered an add-on service in real estate so the pricing reflects that. You need to find the price point where you will make a small but healthy profit. We recommend researching at least 3 people providing aerial photography in your area so you have a rough idea.
How much experience do you have? What sort of gear are you working with? If your competition is using a P4P, has been doing this for years and you have a Phantom 3 Standard and are just starting out. Should your prices be the same? Probably not. You are going to need a portfolio early on so it may be worthwhile to do some shoots at a discounted rate or even for free.
You are going to need a full picture into your costs. If you aren't using something to manage your finances, start now. It can be as simple as a google spreadsheet. Quickbooks and Wave Apps are two popular programs. Add up all your expenses so that you know what you need to make in order to turn a profit. Some examples include...
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