With the outbreak of COVID-19, real estate agents have had to change the way they work profoundly. Now relying on technology more, agents have shifted away from multiple in-person visits to virtual viewings to adhere to social distancing guidelines.
Smart home technology has helped in that viewers can see a property without an agent present. Thanks to smart locks, potential buyers can browse locations and make an offer without even meeting their real estate agent in person. Given this shift, agents have changed their marketing tactics and begun to look towards the new future of showings.
One technology that has already been on the rise in the real estate world is drones. This unique feature of a listing is in demand as 83% of home sellers prefer an agent who uses drones. Most of us have seen drones flying around at some point. This industry is on the rise; drone sales are expected to reach over $12 billion in 2021.
Of course, there are concerns over this technology that agents must be aware of as they invest in this new way of showing a property. Here’s a look at how drone technology is changing the real estate market, especially through the changes from the pandemic.
The real estate industry is the second-highest user of drone technology (behind photography). One reason for this is that the views are stunning and add value to the listing. High volume agents use aerials 3.5x more often than low volume agents, likely due to buyer and seller demand. Without an aerial view, it is complicated to showcase the lot and the full size of the property.
Buyers who are careful about social interactions can have a better idea about a property without leaving their homes. Adding drone footage to a video view of the property accurately displays what the buyer will get in the purchase. Perhaps that’s the reason why homes with aerial images sold 68% faster than homes with standard images, according to MLS statistics.
Drones are particularly useful for large properties. It’s very challenging for agents to show a large estate just from the ground, and drones can help showcase the magnitude of a place. Furthermore, it’s challenging for those moving to a new neighborhood to get a sense of what living there would entail.
Many businesses are currently shut down, people are walking around the street less, and viewers do not want to spend time possibly in contact with others. Drone footage, however, can showcase entire neighborhoods, giving viewers a feeling of actually being there.
Design and mapping
Drones ease the burden of property design, especially when it comes to views. It’s nearly impossible to see what a view would be from the ground, so drones can help decide placements of sitting areas, windows, and overall design structure of properties.
Drones can also help identify any unseen issues and give in-depth looks into dense regions. This technology can also view traffic patterns, which is crucial for retailers thinking about building a new location. Drones make gathering this information quicker and more reliable, which is a massive help for architects and investors.
Concerns with drone technology
While it seems as though drones are a dream technology addition to the real estate industry, numerous concerns about drones exist. Privacy and legal issues are among the top issues many have with drones. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) created a helpful FAQ about using drones.
Drone legalities have changed, with the small drone rule going into effect on August 29, 2016. This new rule eased Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS) restrictions and created an FAA-issued “UAS Operator Certificate.” This new certificate does not require a pilot’s license to operate UAS, which opened the door to more use of this technology.
Agents should be sure to inform neighbors when taking aerial footage. Depending on the area, drone usage regulations vary; however, as a courtesy, the surrounding public should be informed when taking drone footage. Another issue with drones is liability. Drones do crash, so the NAR suggests having insurance for the drone and pilot.
Drone use moving forward
Another significant reason drone use has increased in real estate is the price has come down quite significantly. Before drones existed, aerial footage was costly, making it more of a luxury. However, the cost of drones has dropped, which is why many real estate agents can afford to add this to their arsenal of tools that attract buyers and sellers.
The commercial and residential real estate market has been hit by changes due to COVID-19, making agents more reliant on technology to solve these new challenges. Drone use is one way to safely show a property, making it an accessible technology.
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