Drone Tech Gives Lift to Land Projects

Pluses include efficiency and cost-effectiveness.

Drone technology has taken off with commercial and land real estate professionals. Many contractors and developers find it especially valuable when determining the feasibility of a new project. Aerial images deliver a better perspective of the land, and the technology can generate various image types ranging from stills to video to 360-degree panoramic views. Real estate investment firms, commercial real estate agents, land acquisition companies, and developers who’ve worked with drone technology have realized that these aerial images offer much more insight into a property than ground views and maps with limited details.

For example, the images and video provided by drones can help clients and agents better identify issues and explore dense areas more effectively. These details are vital to anyone seeking to build on a particular location. The technology also enables real estate agents to gather and provide this information more quickly and reliably.

“We work with multiple commercial drone pilots to take a bird’s-eye view of the properties we manage and sell,” says Randy Hertz, ALC, a REALTORS® Land Institute member. “We recently hired a full-time video editor to manage the shooting, editing, and sharing of clips to properties on the market. We do 360-degree aerial video tours of land listings that help to optimize our business.”

Drone and remote sitting on a table

© Randy Hertz

More Reasons to Use Drones on Land Parcels

Commercial real estate firms that use drone tech can see a significant improvement in listings and closings. The technology attracts prospective clients and serves as an effective marketing tool, changing the way potential land buyers and developers interact with a property listing.

With land surveys and mapping, drone technology is not only more efficient but also more cost-effective. This is especially true when attempting to survey an area with unsafe terrain. Working with professional drone pilots saves money on equipment and helps individuals avoid higher-risk areas. It also streamlines time management of early-stage development because the data is acquired more quickly.

Always Go with a Pro

Land professionals should be aware of a few important considerations, however. First, drones can be legally operated only by commercially licensed drone pilots who have passed an exam administered by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The pilots need to be aware of local restrictions and ordinances that prohibit flights in certain areas. In addition, special insurance is required, primarily because of the potential for drone crashes, which could damage property or injure people. The National Association of REALTORS® provides information to help agents interested in working with drones.

Given that drones have already been a major game-changer for the land industry, drone tech developments will undoubtedly pave the way for more advancement and wider use.

Editor’s Note: This article was adapted from “Drone Technology Use in Real Estate,” published as an RLI blog post.

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