Real estate agents and brokerages are having to go the extra mile to boost sales. The advent of drone technology has presented realtors with a new and interesting sales tool. Helicopter and quadcopter drones equipped with high resolution cameras have begun flooding the commercial and recreational real estate markets, with the media citing both benefits and potential issues associated with its use.
The true advantage of utilizing drones, based on the testimonies of early adopters of the tech in the news, is that you stand to benefit from the large audience your drone’s camera footage will receive online, which will broaden your customer base by making your properties more appealing to potential out-of-town buyers who can’t immediately view the home in person.
Paul Rouillard is a realtor from Windsor, Ont., who recently adopted the use of drone technology for his brokerage. Rouillard’s utilization of this technology takes two primary forms. The first involves filming video of the interior of the home to create virtual walkthroughs, ones that offer a somewhat unique perspective from the traditional walkthroughs you’ll already find on real estate brokerage websites. And second, as a means of capturing aerial videos of the properties his firm has for sale. In an interview with CTV News, Rouillard stated that customers appreciate being able to see the “the lay of the land,” or a better sense of where and how the property is situated within a neighbourhood context.
“They can see the complete area, and they can see the entire property all around in a 360-degree view….We want to feature it. We want to highlight it. We want to make sure that when somebody does see it, their first instinct is, ‘Wow! I want to come take a look at it. We get that ‘wow factor’ all the time.”
Jim Williams is a commercial real estate agent, also based out of Windsor, whose interview with CBC.ca shed light on another potential use for drones, that of a “development scout.” To Williams, drones can be helpful to identify future development opportunities, and hopes his firm will have a few devices by early next year.
“To be able to fly downtown Windsor and look for vacant sites, potential buildings that could be repositioned, redeveloped, to do it from the air gives you a whole different perspective.”
According to CBC.ca, Canadian commercial drones have an ‘endless’ number uses under Canada’s current regulations. Transport Canada, the federal regulatory committee responsible for the oversight of drone-use nationwide, has reported struggled with the task thus far, receiving numerous reports of drones flying dangerously close to restricted aircraft flight paths, and cases of people being recorded in compromising situations without their knowledge. The existing laws require amateur drone operators to fly their devices only during the day, and the device is never allowed to leave the operator’s field of vision. Transport Canada has also established restricted air space for drones, which includes nine kilometres of any aircraft flight paths, and at all times must be within 90 metres of the ground. Larger drones intended for commercial purposes require a permit from TC before they can be flown.