Image quality, portability, price, and ease of use
The best drone for real estate in 2017 is the DJI Phantom 4 Pro. This drone offers the best combination of the four most important things to think about when buying a drone for real estate. If taking pictures of real estate is your primary goal, the choice is simple - Phantom 4 Pro. I make my case below.
With drones, you have to balance out image quality against all of the other variables. If image quality is the only thing you are concerned with you are officially an aerial photography camera snob and you should double or triple your budget, forget about being able to just throw it in your car, and get ready to climb a step learning curve. If you choose to fly a camera that has a good enough camera you will be able to get an image that is easily cropped and edited. Better cameras will also work better in low light situations and can shoot with higher shutter speed. The Phantom 4 pro has a 1 inch sensor and takes 20 megapixel images. This is a wonderful camera and you will be able to take great pictures of real estate.
If you have not owned a drone before, please trust that portability is important. The reason I don't recommend the Inspire or one of the higher end drones that can carry even better cameras is because you give up so much portability. Yes, you gain the use of a real camera (although the Phantom 4 pro gets pretty darn close) but the hassle of moving this larger machine around can be a huge burden. You have to put it in travel mode, then take the props off, then stuff it into a giant box, then carry the big box around, then rebuild the drone on site, etc etc etc. The Phantom 4 Pro fits in a backpack and is easy to carry around. For extreme portability, check out my article on the Mavic Pro Vs Phantom 4 Pro.
The Phantom 4 Pro is not cheap at $1499 but let me save you a little money. If you are a real estate agent taking your own pictures you probably do not need to spring for an extra battery because the flight time of the included battery is enough to easily shoot pictures of an entire mansion from the air. There are other options available like the regular Phantom 4 that comes in around $1299 but I highly recommend you spend the extra money to get the better camera and the additional crash resistant features on the Phantom 4 Pro I will discuss below. The Phantom 4 Pro should last for several years because this camera is great, and that alone justifies the cost.
Ease of use
DJI is ahead of everyone else in the drone photography game as far as I am concerned. Every version of the Phantom comes out with more features that makes it easier and accessible. The Phantom 4 Pro adds rear collision detection sensors to the side and front ones. You could think of the price difference between the Phantom 4 and the Phantom 4 Pro as insurance. You only have to prevent one backward flying crash to justify the extra cost. And did I mention you get that awesome 20MP camera?
DJI stuff is notoriously easy to use when compared to anything else on the market, so any of the latest drones should be good for just about anyone. If you have played any video games or driving a remote control car you should be fine. Even if you have no RC or video game experience, you should be fine. Consider buying a little practice drone like the Cheerson CX-10D to practice on inside (cost is about $20).
The Phantom 4 Pro is the best drone for real estate
I have been shooting aerial photography for a long time and I feel confident recommending the Phantom 4 pro for real estate use. If you decided on a different drone, please let everyone know what you use and why you picked it below in a comment. We can all learn together. Thanks for reading!
The links in this article are affiliate links that give me a tiny commission if you decide to buy after you click. They do not increase the price you pay. The links also take you directly to DJI and I recommend buying from them because it makes support less of a hassle if you end up having any problems. - Justin