Drones take to the Skies in Real Estate

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Love them or hate them, drones are here to stay, and this emerging technology is starting to change how we do business. Michelle de Caires outlined in an excellent article in April how drones have a growing use in construction (https://constructioncaribbean.com/2017/04/18/uses-for-drones-as-a-tool-in-construction/). The fact is they are also becoming extremely useful in real estate and especially real estate marketing.  Construction Caribbean takes a look at “Drones in Real Estate”.

Drones in Real Estate
(photo via http://bestdroneforthejob.com/drone-buying-guides/fly-it-or-buy-it-the-complete-guide-to-using-camera-drones-for-real-estate-marketing/)

One of the major keys to selling property is aesthetics and the appearance of the property, consequently, the use of drone photography and videography is starting to make a major contribution. Drones can also be used in conjunction with other tools such as GlideCams. Glidecams allow videographers smooth shots by restricting the rotation of the stand using weights to handle it from its centre of mass.

Glide Cam
(photo via http://www.macomberproductions.com/2012/03/how-a-boscpug-canon-c300-test-film-became-hustle/)

The Benefits of Using Drones in Real Estate:

  1. Drone photography creates more vivid, irresistible images and more interesting virtual tours than station-based photography can. Prior to their introduction, views of property were mostly from the ground and were not able to show off the full view of a property from any angle and distance. Brian Balduf, CEO and co-founder of the real estate photography company VHT Studios (based in Rosemont, Illinois), says: “In marketing real estate, you’re trying to get people’s attention and get them to spend more time looking at the property. Drone photography and video is definitely unique and offers a cool, interesting perspective.”
  2. Drones are also able to draw attention to more property features in terms of where the property is situated in the surrounding environment (e.g. distance to parks and schools) and they can highlight the relationship of the house to outside features of the property (e.g. pools, walking paths and gardens).
  3. It’s a well-known fact that real estate listings that look better and provide more information, sell better.
  4. This technology can save money because compared to shooting aerial photos from a helicopter or an airplane, drones are cheaper and becoming more affordable as time passes.
  5. Drones are also great for planning and photographing high rises and other residential multi-unit projects, either to help with selling or for inspection and surveying purposes.
Drones in real estate
(photo via https://www.dezeen.com/2016/12/22/drones-fly-through-preview-movie-film-herzog-de-meuron-architecture-elbphilharmonie-hamburg/)

Limitations of Drones in Real Estate:

  1. It is important, however, to recognise that drones will never be able to photograph everything needed for real estate marketing and inspection. There are still certain kinds of photos and videos that a flying camera is not well suited for.

These include:

  • Photographs designed to avoid an objectionable feature or to help a room or yard appear larger or longer.
  • The interiors of smaller buildings, such as condos or apartments.
  • Homes hidden by trees or other buildings.
  • Traditional street-side shots that buyers have come to expect.
  1. Other limitations include the fact that drone photography might not be the best strategy for home sellers who are going at it alone. It takes a lot of skill and experience to successfully manoeuvre the kind of drone needed for this kind of videography. Hiring a pro will be safer, less expensive and produce more viable footage.
  2. While this technology provides an interesting new perspective for real estate listings, it does come with a few issues, such as:
    • Privacy concerns from neighbours. Always let them know, giving them time to prepare the aesthetic of their exterior will increase the value of the footage for you and them as well.
    • The possibility of the drone crashing and harming people or property.

Most of these points are to be taken as considerations rather than points against drone usage. As despite these concerns, most people believe that drones are the most important new technology to enter real estate marketing since the internet and that the dramatic, beautiful and compelling video-photography they produce is a positive change to the industry.

Additional reads:

Uses for Drones as a Tool in Construction 

How to Photograph Architecture 

Legal Checklist for Successful Property Purchases




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James Meyer

James Meyer is a 1st year student of Integrated Mechanical and Electrical Engineering at the University of Bath. This summer, his main interests will be the research into new technologies and the overall effects that they will have in the development of the Caribbean alongside the wider world. Perhaps in the future, James will be able to return home to be a part of the Caribbean’s modern era of industry.

James Meyer has 3 posts and counting. See all posts by James Meyer

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