UAV’s changing the way we think about Real Estate (and a how-to inc)

The online age has fundamentally transformed the way we do business, buy goods and seek services, and an era of disruption has arisen as eCommerce expands beyond online to existing sectors.

More and more, the real estate sphere is set to undergo some significant changes in years ahead as a result. Let’s look now and what’s changed and what change is forthcoming with the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) drones.

UAV’s and Real Estate

Gone are the days of real estate listings being only done via the newspaper classifieds, whereas now 360 degree panoramas and video tours are the standard seen from many realtors.

These mediums have given potential home buyers and investors the opportunity to have a ‘virtual tour’ of the home, and the opportunity to see in detail all its finery and features.

Great as the advent of this tech was, until now the outside of a property and its surrounds received far more limited attention. This is what makes the rise and use of UAV tech so exciting.The potential for a UAV to give you a previously unforeseen view of that apartment you’re buying in Bermondsey, London, just the same as getting an aerial view of the acreage you’re looking to buy in Snohomish County in Seattle, a farmhouse in Southeast Texas, and so on.

Yet, even for the more routine property listings, a UAV offers the chance to see the home in a new light and new aspect.  Both for real estate agents looking to showcase and potential buyers seeking to better see the advent of such technology is truly win-win.

An example of the type of aerial shot that can be obtained using a drone. Picture: supplied.

An example of the type of aerial shot that can be obtained using a drone. Picture: supplied.

Sounds good but do I need a license to fly a UAV?

Though the growth of UAV technology has allowed for innovation, it has also come with challenges. This is especially so as though the current owner of a property may have no issue with the realtor flying their drone around it to get an aerial perspective and the accompanying footage, neighbours or other locales nearby may protest their privacy is being breached as fences and gates are little use as barriers when drones now take to the sky.

Beyond concerns of privacy alone, UAVs also have given rise to security challenges surrounding military bases and airports, as well as over the potential for voyeurs to interfere in the work of emergency services such as police, fire and ambulance. While all sides can agree some regulation need be in place finding widespread consensus as to the fair and reasonable use of UAV is where the sticking point remains.

With the Federal Aviation Authority [FAA] in the US currently reviewing a task force report in anticipation of making a more widespread recommendation for nationwide laws on UAVs.  At the same time, it is yet unclear this shall be the final word as various efforts at the state level in the US have seen a back and forth occur in the debate.

Though checking local laws and proceeding mindful future legislation may be enacted is prudent, it’s also clear there is recognition of the immense value UAVs can offer the commercial sphere, as well as to recreational users generally. Accordingly, many governments enacted new laws for UAVS , but nonetheless made the process relatively straightforward for a realtor seeking to take to the skies and get some footage to complement a prestige listing.

Therefore, while this is a debate to keep an eye on, for a local real estate agency’s purpose, it is not one that should pose a great challenge to you now nor into the future. This is especially true because there remains much to be excited about future innovations in this sphere.

The Future of Drones in Real Estate

Most exciting is the prospect both for tours of premium real estate via drone passenger systems.  Then, there is opportunity for use in the high end luxury market, with passenger drones offering in the opportunity  What’s more, the prospect of passenger drones on the horizon such as the Ehang 184 AAV affirms there remains some evolution to come.

Using a UAV to get some outstanding pictures or film of your property listing is easy once you know how to fly.

Using a UAV to get some outstanding pictures or film of your property listing is easy once you know how to fly.

In the meantime though, many video UAVs are readily available, and easy to use. Further, with a number of model featuring quality cameras starting at around the $300USD for a Parrot Bebop drone. There is also the DJI Phantom 3 Standard model, the professional model, and the 3D Robotics 3DR Solo for a little more. All up, UAVs can be an affordable investment piece for any realtor or private seller look to make their listing stand out.  

True it’s important to consider the surrounds of such videos – such as ensuring you film in suitable lighting conditions beforehand and use good editing software (whether paid or free to acquire) after to put the film together – once you’ve the hang of operating a UAV these challenges are easy to navigate, and the potential for a UAV to boost your realty’s business and branding is substantial.


Ed Kennedy is a journalist, ghostwriter, and web developer proudly from Melbourne, Australia. Say hi to Ed via or on Twitter @Edkennedy01

#Real Estate and Finance

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