Over the years, real estate agents have had an ever-changing arsenal of tools, technology and tricks to sell houses and help clients. As devices get smarter and better, these resources may be heading in a whole new direction: up.
Drones might be the next big thing in real estate. These unmanned aerial vehicles can be piloted by remote control from the ground, and they provide birds-eye views that could be exactly what a marketing strategy and that next listing need. However, there are some regulatory issues at the moment, and a list of pros and cons that any real estate professional may want to take note of before they dive right in to drone ownership.
Drones provide a fresh take on real estate
A number of real estate agents across the country are now interested in drones. Equipped with a camera, these devices can be a unique and creative asset for the professional who wants to stand out from the crowd.
According to Realtor.com, Illinois-based Realtor Scott Gerami has built his own drone, and now flies it above many of his listings in order to capture exciting and fresh images for clients.
"I've been using still shots of my aerial photography and incorporating them into my MLS listings," Gerami told the news source. "It's an eye-catcher. A buyer may be looking at 100 home listings and say 'Whoa!' when they see mine. It's a differentiator."
Gerami added that all agents should consider a real estate drone as a tool, because aerial photography can reach a wide audience. He explained that he has flown his drone over schools, pools and parks in the neighborhood to show potential buyers these attractive features. For many, this can be a creative way to highlight a neighborhood that doesn't involve a tour on foot. In a similar fashion, drones can even be flown indoors, to bring sky-high visuals to the interior of a house.
Even as drone popularity soars, there are still some regulatory issues slowing down growth. The Federal Aviation Administration limits their use for commercial operators, so only hobbyists interested in recreational fun can legally use them, according to Realtor Magazine.
Real estate professionals who want to target customers and get creative with marketing need a strong educational base. Courthouse Retrieval System can provide that, with an expansive collection of mortgage records, property data and much more.
It takes a little effort to fly drones
While drones may be a popular trend in real estate, flying them is often easier said than done. For those professionals who have already hopped on board, they are often figuring things out as they go along.
Teke Wiggin, staff writer for Inman News, wrote that drones can bring big benefits to the world of real estate marketing. For example, a neighborhood drone tour can be a lot more exciting than one completed on foot, and potential clients can also view it remotely. Even so, learning to fly can be tricky. Some common items that get in the way of a successful flight include cars, bridges and trees. Pilots have to maintain a visual sight on the aircraft at all times, so that could mean standing in the road. A unmanned aircraft buzzing about could also scare people, leading to potentially hazardous security situations.
Despite all of these problems, drones in real estate have been a success so far, Wiggin explained. Clients are interested in compelling aerial footage of a neighborhood, often highlighting the positive features of the area coupled with a narrative voice-over from a real estate professional. This way, agents can provide something of value to clients while standing out from the crowd at the same time.