Guest Post: Mike Putnam, Real Estate agent in Northern Virginia
Northern Virginia real estate may never be the same, thanks to drone technology. These unmanned flight vehicles have become popular for use in many fields, and real estate is just one of the latest to employ them.
The Federal Aviation Administration or FAA has recently released the proposed guidelines and rules for the use of drones in real estate. This would enable agents and firms like Mike Putnam Real Estate to use drones to assist clients in marketing properties.
Proposed Rules for Drone Technology
The rules proposed by the FAA consist of the various permits required, as well as how, when and where drones can be used. It also details the process for reporting any injuries or accidents with the drones. Some examples of proposed stipulations in the rule include:
- Commercial drones could travel no farther than 500 feet in altitude and 100 miles per hour and be operated only during daylight.
- Operators would be required to pass a test for aeronautical knowledge and be given a permit. The permit would need to be renewed every two years.
- All flights must be remain in the sightline of the operator.
The National Association of Realtors has been working with the FAA to create its own list of requirements for use in the real estate industry. Northern Virginia real estate agents could on day create aerial views of properties for sale to enhance the listing.
The Benefits of Drone Technology in Northern Virginia Real Estate
Drone technology would allow agents to take aerial photographs of the property as well as nearby amenities. Agents could show interested buyers where a home is located in proximity to the beach or other natural settings. Right now, the only method of obtaining these images is by helicopter, which is more expensive and not as close up.
Commercial properties would also benefit from this technology, as would any large tracts of land. Agents selling large estates would be able to provide an overview of the property, offering valuable information to buyers.
Many real estate agents say they would primarily use drones for luxury properties, which is an obvious choice for the equipment. However, another option is to use them inside a home. Drones can provide a smoother tour of the house than what is seen with a traditional camera.
Location is Prime Indicator for Drone Use
The main component for how much impact drone imaging would have on a property is more about location than price tag. Any property located along the water would definitely benefit from aerial photos because a ground view doesn’t always capture the entire essence. A home by the lake or beach is sure to impress buyers, once they see the aerial images.
Builders will also appreciate what drones can do for them. They can provide images of the views outside of homes even before they are built. This helps buyers have a better feel for the neighborhood when they’re considering buying in a current development.
The Concerns of Drone Technology
Though use of drones in Northern Virginia real estate isn’t allowed yet, the FAA and NAR are moving closer to that day. Some operators have received permission for special use, but the process is slow. Many other countries have been utilizing this technology in real estate for some time, and the US is expected to follow suit.
However, there are some concerns about using this technology. Cost has been one inhibiting factor, but pricing is coming down for the equipment, making it more affordable. Another issue is taking quality photos. Not everyone who can manage a remote will be able to operate a drone effectively and take high-quality images. It takes some skill and practice to capture just the right images at the best distance and angle.
For many agents, they will be better to hire a professional photographer to capture the images. More photographers will be developing this skill, so they can expand their business. The same person an agent hires to take interior photos of a property may be able to capture drone images as well. Agents will look for experts who have in-depth knowledge of the camera and equipment as well as skills in editing.
Drones promise to become even more part of people’s lives as various industries find uses for them. Real estate is just one seeking to capitalize on the convenience and benefits of this technology. These unmanned aircrafts promise to change the game when it comes to commercial and even residential real estate in the next few years.
Alan is serial entrepreneur, active angel investor, and a drone enthusiast. He co-founded DRONELIFE.com to address the emerging commercial market for drones and drone technology. Prior to DRONELIFE.com, Alan co-founded Where.com, ThinkingScreen Media, and Nurse.com. Recently, Alan has co-founded Crowditz.com, a leader in Equity Crowdfunding Data, Analytics, and Insights. Alan can be reached at alan(at)dronelife.com