Aerial video footage and pictures used to be the exclusive domain of luxury properties; however, now with the advent on unmanned flying drones and light weight high definition cameras these options are now available to every Realtor and property.
Use of such technology popped up first in 2011; however, before it could make a big splash in the real estate world the FAA grounded the practice siting laws that prohibited the use of unmanned drones for commercial purposes. In January 2012, the LAPD warned real estate agents against the practice stating that federal regulations prohibit the operation of unmanned aircraft in U.S airspace without specific permission, though the rules do allow hobbyists to fly model planes in designated areas. As the drones in this case are being used for commercial purposes they would not be exempted from the law.
The congress and President Obama were quick to react passing a law on February 14, 2012 stating that the FAA had 90 days to implement new regulations allowing use of drones under 4.4 pounds. However, this first deadline is only for use by police and first responders. Commercial drone activity will have to wait until September 30, 2015 when the FAA will allow for a safe implementation of drones for commercial purposes.
The footage below shows an example of how aerial drone video photography would be used to market properties. As you can see it gives views a great and quick understanding of the exterior of the house, the lot, the positioning of the house on the lot and the positioning of the house within the neighbourhood as well as the neighbourhood and topography in full that can’t be shown by any of the other currently available marketing tools.
Currently drones can be purchased for as low as $300, see the A.R. Parrot Drone for sale at Amazon which has a high definition camera and can be controlled with your iPad or iPhone. The technology is improving vastly at quick speeds and may be even more affordable for the average real estate agent by the time the new commercial regulations are in place.
Bloomberg News has estimated a $6 billion valuation on the drone industry and stated that it could almost double by 2021 due of commercial expansion.