With loosened FAA rules, drones may become real estate marketing’s scene-stealer.

Drones are gaining popularity as marketing tools in real estate, as real estate agents are increasingly using the technology to take pictures and videos of their listings to set the scene for potential buyers.

One of the reasons for the uptick in use in real estate and other industries is that drones, also known as unmanned aerial vehicles, have become more accessible, thanks to the Federal Aviation Administration’s loosening of its drone use restrictions. Today, all that’s needed to fly a drone commercially is a remote pilot certificate, which costs about $150, according to an article by Ilyce Glink, which appeared March 6 on CBS Money Watch.

Benefits

UAV use offers big benefits for real estate agents. Among the perks: cost. Professional aerial photography from a plane or helicopter can be cost-prohibitive, while satellite images available on Google Earth can be grainy and unprofessional. Enter drone photography, which is affordable and offers unprecedented property perspectives views.

Glink researched prices for drone photography and videos, if the agent decides to hire a company, and found basic aerial drone photo packages start at around $250 and video package pricing hovers in the $400s to $500s.

Drone photography and videos can boost not only the marketing of listings, but also an agent’s appeal because it’s high-tech and trendy to use a drone, according to the article.

When it comes to capturing images and videos of properties, drones are versatile and can depict a property’s unique qualities. It’s optimal for capturing views of large, sprawling properties that are hard to get when a photographer is on the ground. It also showcases a property’s surroundings, from tennis courts and swimming pools, to winding driveways and waterfront views.

Unmanned aerial vehicle, drone over residential area

Drone photography and videos can boost not only the marketing of listings, but also an agent’s appeal because it’s high-tech and trendy.

A property that looks ordinary can turn into a family’s dream home with videos showing tree-lined neighborhoods and nearby parks, for example. These videos offer potential buyers a feel for not only the home, but its environment and lifestyle, which can make a bigger emotional impact.

That’s where drone photography and videos shine—for expansive properties or homes surrounded by attractive amenities. The technology isn’t as effective in capturing downtown high-rise apartments or properties in crowded environments, according to CBS News.

While drones can’t view properties remotely, yet, stay tuned. Flying drones in tight spaces isn’t easy or up to par but it should be in a few years, according to the article.

drone hovering over suburban neighborhood for use in real estate

A property that looks ordinary can turn into a family’s dream home with videos showing tree-lined neighborhoods and nearby parks.

Drawbacks

Some drawbacks to drone use are increasing concerns about privacy and liability, according to Glink.

Flying a drone to photograph and video a property without talking with neighbors first could have consequences. Sometimes, people are concerned about appearing in the images captured. Sometimes, they’re concerned about safety when a strange drone is flying about. The best approach, according to Glink, is for agents to let neighbors know the drone is coming and why, before the shoot.

As for liability, drones can crash and harm property or people. It’s a good idea to have insurance just in case, according to the article.

For more information on drone technology and real estate, check out the National Association of REALTORS®’ FAQs for Small Unmanned Aircraft Rule.

Source: “9 ways drones are changing real estate,” cbsnews.com (Mar. 6, 2017)