Technology has entirely changed the landscape for anyone looking to sell their property. Having the best of the best in terms of print and newspaper ads used to be all the rage, and your real estate agents’ value was essentially determined by the budget he or she had to spend on that type of marketing. In today’s day and age, technology has made that component of advertising almost completely obsolete. Agents living on the cutting edge are taking advantage of new market techniques and video production equipment in order to improve how they represent their listings to buyers, much of which you can do yourself on-site with just an iPhone and some film equipment.
The real game changer in this sector of real estate has been the emergence of the market for drones. With an overhead, aerial view, drones allow agents to show their properties in the context of whole neighborhoods, drawing in potential buyers. Drones can fly in and out through properties, even weaving under terraces and small spaces that are difficult to capture with just a picture.
Buying your own real estate-ready drone hardware can cost anywhere from $1,000 to more than $10,000. However, many agents argue that this is not an expense but an investment towards their business and the future of their business. This becomes especially important when the value of a property is heavily determined by its lot, particularly with homes set on golf courses, country clubs, and other amenities as well as commercial properties.
With that being said, most realtors can’t just pick up a drone and start shooting aerial video of their listings. The FAA part 107 outlines the rules for small unmanned aircraft in the United States, making it so that you have to be certified to fly a drone for commercial purposes. The Section 333 exemption was what drone pilots used to operate drones commercially from 2014 to 2016, however it no longer exists and was replaced by updated terms in the 107.
The existence of these exceptions was what created a niche for companies like Aerobo, which is an FAA certified drone flying company that designs, builds, and flies drones for all types of clients, including realtors. Their services extend even to affordable stabilizing cameras that real estate agents can take advantage of when shooting walk-throughs of homes & other properties.
With the emergence of drones also came the push for sellers to take advantage of 3D technology when advertising their listings. Natterport is an immersive media technology company which allows users to explore spaces in three dimensions, giving an entirely new perspective to virtual home buying. Their technology costs $4,500 and is controlled by an iPad, which can take 3D scans of any room and convert it into an entire model that can be customized to the client’s taste.
It goes without saying that these updates to technology allow buyers to experience homes like never before, giving sellers an edge. However, when looking to use drones to document your listing, it’s important to be aware of the rules in order to avoid what can be up to a $250,000 fine for illegal drone usage. These laws are evolving rapidly, but first and foremost, it is critical to be certified by the FAA to fly your drone. You shouldn’t be flying it above 400 ft, nor should it be used near sensitive government locations or airports. Moreover, have insurance to protect yourself and others, and be courteous to the neighbors around you when occupying their airspace.