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Drones in Real Estate

Drones in Real Estate

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Expert Author Rick Toney

Drones present a new and exciting technology for the real estate industry. Not only do they allow for a birds eye view of a property, but additionally they can serve as a convenient way to inspect a roof and other parts of a home. Drones can be summed up as an aircraft that does not have a human pilot on board. This statement raises some issues as many people have a fear of privacy and safety when it come to the use of drones. The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, or better known as the FAA, currently has tight restrictions on the use of drones. While rules have yet to be finalized for the governing of the commercial use of drones, many are anxiously awaiting with projections being made that finalized rules will come out sometime between 2016 and 2017.

The Growing Use of Drones

Drones have been around for some time. You may have recently heard about one illegally landing on the White House lawn or perhaps be familiar with the military’s use of drones in warfare. No matter the application, drones have big potential. The use of drones as a hobby is allowed, but with certain requirements. For instance, the drone must be flown no higher than 400 feet above the ground and the operator must maintain visual contact with the drone at all times. By 2020, the FAA has estimated that over 30,000 small drones will be utilized for business purposes. Public, civil and model aircraft make up the three types of drones.

These “unmanned aerial vehicles” have huge promise in the real estate industry for the purpose of real estate marketing. Imagine viewing a new property through aerial footage. The marketing possibilities are endless and truly a unique opportunity exists for this type of photography and videography. A drone can easily be equipped with a high-resolution camera enabling it to shoot video and capture still images that would not otherwise be obtained. A potential buyer can view the photos or video and can experience what the land looks like, the architecture of the home and get a feeling for the size and layout of the property. While federal rules have yet to be finalized for the commercial Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), realtors can still complete an application for a Section 333 waiver. This waiver allows for a limited-use permit with multiple restrictions for safety will operating the machine. Among one of the qualifications is that the machine must be made in the USA as the FAA will not register an Unmanned Aerial System that is registered by any foreign government.

Drone use in the Real Estate Industry

The use of drone technology may not work for all properties (think about closely built homes that would primarily only allow for a view of many rooftops). Luxury properties are the primary beneficiary of this newer technology. They say a picture can be worth a thousand words and the stunning images that a drone can capture of a property can potentially mean the difference in a sale or no sale. Drones allow for an innovative new way to market a property through a groundbreaking technology.

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