Drones in the real estate industry

What can drones be used for in the real estate industry? We show you typical areas of application.

9
min read
by
Dimitri Wolf
14/6/2022

Drones are becoming increasingly widespread, especially in the real estate industry. What can drones be used for in this complex industry? What are the advantages compared to alternative work tools? And how can you use these advantages for yourself? We answer these and other questions in the following article.

The areas of application for drones are numerous and wide-ranging. One frequently requested area of application is in the real estate industry. Drones can play out all their advantages and strengths here and can be used for a wide variety of purposes. In this article, we summarise all the advantages, provide examples from various applications and show what you should look out for when using drones or looking for suitable drone pilots.

Table of Contents

The different areas of application of drones in the real estate industry

The real estate industry is very extensive and encompasses a wide variety of fields and professions. This includes, for example, real estate agents, construction managers, architects, project planners, local building supervision and many more. In all these areas, drones can be used for a wide variety of purposes. Here we would like to present a few selected ones and show you how drones can help in these areas.

Real estate marketing

When marketing real estate, the right presentation is particularly important. By using drones, properties, land and the surrounding area can be better captured and presented. First and foremost, of course, photos are suitable for this purpose, which can achieve a completely different effect through the new perspectives than photos taken from the ground. In addition to simple photos, videos can also be used. With dynamic flights around or inside the property or over the entire property, all the details of the object can be captured and staged in a targeted manner.

Everything you need to know about the use of drones in the real estate industry

Another way of capturing the surroundings as well as the actual property is to take panoramic photos. With their help, important points in the surroundings can be marked, so-called "points of interest". These include places of interest, shopping facilities or public transport connections. These images give potential customers a better overview of the location of the properties and the immediate neighbourhood.

In order to create an interactive possibility to explore the property, 3-D models of the object can also be created. For this purpose, specially produced drone images are used as the source material, from which a 3-D model of the property and the landscape is then generated using additional software. This 3-D model can then be viewed and explored virtually.

Together with interior photos of the property, a virtual tour can be created. In this way, the property can be viewed in detail before an on-site appointment. Modern drones are also suitable for interior photography, as their stabilised camera technology allows for smooth camera movement and safe flight.

Maintenance and servicing

Drones can show their potential especially in the maintenance and servicing of existing properties. The use of drones is not only cheaper, faster and safer than conventional methods such as scaffolding or lifting platforms, but can also be automated. Flight plans prepared in advance on the computer can be flown automatically by the drone on site. This makes follow-up inspections not only faster, but also comparable with previous recordings.

Regular Roof and façade inspectionsRegular inspections of roofs and façades, such as those required for traffic safety or as part of the obligations of the policyholder, can be carried out more efficiently. In addition, inspections can be carried out more frequently in this way in order to detect possible damage to objects at an early stage and thus minimise subsequent costs. It is irrelevant whether the property in question is residential or commercial.

Modern drones also have thermal imaging cameras that can be used to fly over an object. The images produced by thermography can be used to detect heat losses in objects. This information can be used, for example, for modernisation work or help to detect defects at an early stage during the construction phase. In contrast to images taken from the ground, drones also provide a better overview from the air and reach otherwise inaccessible or difficult-to-reach places.

Planning and construction

Drones can also be used for the development of new plots of land for the construction of real estate. The resulting images help to get a better overview of the property. Furthermore, with the help of the images and suitable software, precise surveys can be carried out and 3-D models of the landscape can be generated. The digitisation of the objects facilitates the evaluation of properties and the planning phase for the construction of new properties.

The areas of application for drones thus also extend to the actual construction phase of new properties. Regular aerial photography allows the progress of construction to be documented more cost-effectively and with less effort. Photos and videos as well as the creation of suitable 3-D models during the construction progress are suitable for this. Time-lapse videos can also be created from the regular recordings, which show the entire construction process in fast motion.

Regular documentation allows deviations to be detected early on during the construction phase, which can prevent high follow-up costs. Here, aerial photography with drones enables the entire site to be captured from different and otherwise difficult-to-reach perspectives and therefore offers a much better overview than shots taken from the ground or from a limited number of permanently installed cameras.

Advantages of drones in the real estate industry

The advantages of using drones in the real estate industry can thus be summarised as follows:

  • Versatile in use
  • Less expensive than comparable alternatives such as scaffolding, lifting platforms or helicopters
  • Enable shots from unique perspectives
  • Different recording types such as photos, videos, panorama, 3D models, thermal images, orthophoto, etc.
  • Quick and safe to use
  • Can be automated

In this way, drones can contribute to optimised planning & execution, successful marketing and efficient management.

Drones allow you to record a property or a plot of land from almost any conceivable perspective. The recordings are not limited to simple photos or videos, but allow the source material to be further processed into 3-D models or orthophotos. These images can be used for marketing as well as for inspection or new construction. The use of drones is also attractive because of the lower costs compared to comparable alternatives such as lifting platforms, scaffolding or even the use of helicopters. The use of drones also involves less effort and is significantly safer than the alternatives mentioned.

The targeted and creative use of drones can generate more attention, higher prices and faster sales, especially when marketing real estate.

Example images and videos

The following selection of aerial photographs in the real estate sector is intended to illustrate the possible applications with practical examples. Convince yourself of the versatile possibilities that drones provide in the real estate industry.

Facts and figures

The advantages offered by drones for use in the real estate industry also result in concrete, measurable facts and figures.

According to MLS statistics, properties whose listings have aerial photography sell 68% faster than listings without such photography.

The American Real Estate Trade Association, National Association of REALTORS, states that 73% of homeowners would be more likely to work with a real estate agent who uses video to market their property. However, only 9% of agents create videos for their listings. In addition, an Australian real estate group states that they have a 403% increase in traffic for listings with videos compared to property listings without videos.

In the area of inspection, maintenance and repair, time and cost savings result above all in comparison to the erection of scaffolding or the use of lifting platforms. Drones can reach almost any part of a building without significant time expenditure. In addition, the use of drones is safer and occurs entirely without endangering people.

Regardless of the specific area of operation, drone missions also benefit from digital flight planning, with which the most important features of the drone flight can be analysed and planned in advance on the computer.

Services and costs

Different applications require different types of recording. The following list is intended to show you an excerpt of the types of recordings that modern drones can deliver today.

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • 360° panorama with Points of Interest, Hotspots
  • 3D models of objects and surroundings (with additional software)
  • Thermal imaging
  • Orthophoto

In addition, there are the following optional services, which can usually be booked in addition to the recordings:

  • Evaluation of the recordings, marking of the damaged areas
  • Editing the raw material - image editing and video editing for ideal marketing
  • Music integration
  • Necessary permits for drone flight (see section Legal aspects)

The costs for a drone mission can vary and depend on the area of operation, the booked services and possible permits that have to be obtained in some areas for drone flights by the corresponding drone pilot. Unfortunately, a blanket statement on the costs of a drone mission cannot be made. However, you can contact us at any time for a non-binding enquiry. We can then provide an initial estimate based on your information.

The sequence of a typical drone mission

The process of an assignment usually differs somewhat and depends on the exact type of assignment. However, most assignments can be broken down to a common basic structure, which we present to you here as an example.

  • Planning - What is to be included, to what extent, when and in what form?
  • Find adrone pilot - Search for a suitable drone pilot
  • Implementation - The drone flight is carried out
  • Post-processing (optional) - The recordings are processed according to the specifications
  • Transfer of the data - Transfer of the desired recordings
  • Final report (optional) - Supplementary submission of a final report on the completed assignment

The planning phase is also an important point when using drones and should be given sufficient attention. Because only with proper planning can the drone flight be carried out in such a way that it delivers the results you want.

When searching for a suitable drone pilot, the objectives of the drone operation worked out from the planning phase should already be available. This facilitates the search and simplified the actual planning of the flight execution. The search itself requires a sufficient amount of time and attention to find a suitable drone pilot. We go into this point again separately below in a separate section of this article. There you will learn how to find the right drone service provider for you quickly and easily with the help of skyzr.

The execution of the actual flight is the core element of any drone operation. This is also where possible gaps in the planning phase become apparent. However, if the drone pilot is well informed and has mastered his craft, nothing stands in the way of a successful execution.

The optional post-processing of the recordings is sometimes more or less extensive, depending on the desired result. If you only need pure raw footage, at most the selection of the most suitable shots will be necessary here. However, if extensive post-processing and background music is desired for marketing videos, for example, this phase of the project can be more extensive than the actual drone flight. Of course, there is also the option of separating the filming and editing of the footage and commissioning different service providers to do this.

Finally, the results of the drone flight are transmitted to you. Optionally summarised in a detailed final report. Depending on the scope of services booked, the material consists either of the pure raw images, a post-processed version or also a comprehensive report in which, in the case of inspection flights, annotations and analyses have already been carried out on the damaged areas. For the selection of the correct results, these must, as mentioned, have already been discussed to a sufficient extent in the planning phase or at the latest when selecting a drone pilot.

Legal aspects of drone flight

In addition to all the advantages and organisational points, there are also, above all, the legal aspects of a drone flight that need to be considered. But don't worry, you as a potential customer of a drone service don't have to worry or worry about this. A well-trained drone pilot is well aware of the current legal situation and will take care of all the necessary permits. Likewise, an appropriate service provider will point out problematic spots in the planned flight route and show you alternatives.

If you still want to look into the legal aspects, you can read the following four sections. Alternatives take you to the next topic, which deals with the criteria for suitable drone pilots.

EU Drone Regulation

The most important regulations can be found in the EU-wide drone regulation in force since the beginning of 2021. EU Drone Regulation which has been in force since the beginning of 2021. Numerous requirements for drone flights of all kinds are already defined here.

These points are additionally supplemented by country-specific and thus local regulations in which, for example, additional GEO zones are defined and which specify the locations in which drones cannot be flown or can only be flown under certain conditions. In some of these zones, flights are then only possible with a Exemption possible.

Permits

Obtaining all relevant permits that may be required for a specific drone flight is the responsibility of the drone pilot in charge. However, this may involve additional costs. For this reason, the planning phase is important so that the drone pilot in question is able to give an assessment in advance. The decisive factor here is above all the location where the drones are to be flown. If this is in a no-fly zone, higher costs for the mission are to be expected. With drone pilots from the region, the probability is higher that a corresponding permit has already been obtained.

Privacy

Drone flights open up completely new perspectives. However, these often lead to the privacy of other people being violated under certain circumstances. Especially in the case of residential properties, this can quickly become the case depending on the size of the property. Depending on the location of the property and the planned flight route, it is therefore possible that the drone will provide views of neighbouring properties. However, this is problematic. It should therefore be clarified in advance how exactly the flight will take place, because it may be necessary to obtain permission from the neighbours or a general exemption.

Copyright and rights of use

The question of copyright and rights of use is also an important point in drone photography. It should be clearly defined who owns the rights to the footage and who may use it for what purpose. It often happens that drone pilots would like to retain the right to use their own recordings in order to be able to use the material for further customer acquisition. If this is not desired, this point should be clarified in advance.

You can find further important legal points in our article on the EU Drone Regulation.

How do you find a suitable drone pilot?

The search for a drone pilot can prove tricky. Where do you start the search? Who is best suited for the job? Depending on their own level of knowledge regarding drone flights, clients often find it difficult to find suitable drone service providers for a project.

But there is a solution for this too. Our skyzr marketplace offers an ideal platform for tendering projects. With the help of our guided process for posting orders, you can publish your requirements on our platform without any prior knowledge. You will then receive comparable offers from our registered and skyzr-approved drone service providers. You select the best offer for you and can contact the drone service provider directly, whereupon they can start planning and implementing the project straight away.

Summary

The possible uses of drones in the real estate industry are many and varied. Drones are therefore not only suitable for real estate agents, property managers and housing associations, but also for private property owners, roofers, surveyors, architects, construction managers or companies in the construction industry. In all areas, drones can effectively play out their advantages and thus make numerous jobs considerably easier, reduce costs or be carried out with less risk.

Thus, when used in real estate marketing, drones can capture special features of a property from unique perspectives. Aerial photographs give interested parties a comprehensive overview of the properties and land, including the nearby surroundings. Drone images also generate significantly more attention, which can contribute to properties with corresponding images being in demand more frequently and selling more quickly.

When used for inspection, maintenance and repair, drones are able to reach hard-to-see areas and detect damage more quickly. Thanks to digital flight planning, the operation can also be planned in advance on the computer and repeated regularly. This helps to make drone operations in this area faster, cheaper and safer.

In construction, for example, drones can help to document the progress of construction from clearer perspectives. In this way, deviations during the construction phase can be detected more quickly and easily and subsequent costs can be reduced.

For all these areas of application within the real estate industry, modern drones offer numerous different recording modes. From simple photos and videos to panoramic shots or detailed thermal images. In addition, the source material can be processed into realistic 3D models with the appropriate software, which can also be used for various purposes.

Our skyzr marketplace is ideal for finding suitable drone pilots. Send us a non-binding enquiry today.

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