Drone photography could soon play a significant role in the marketing of real estate listings, says Realtor Magazine’s Jon Boughtin. Photos taken by drones collect information about home appraisals, property inspections after disasters, and construction projects, all at a lower cost than current forms of aerial photography.
“Many structures are not well-suited for conventional photography due to their size, height, or unconventional shape or location,” said National Association of REALTORS® 2015 President Chris Polychron. “The technology will allow the real estate practitioner to safely, quickly, and affordably obtain images that would otherwise be dangerous, difficult, or expensive to capture.”
Perhaps drone photography’s most influential use will be in strengthening the appraisal process. Drones can easily access high-level property information that’s currently difficult and expensive to acquire.
Property appraiser Greg Mays, of Midlothian, Virginia, is a licensed pilot with a waiver to operate drones commercially. Mays specializes in using drone photography to appraise properties with significant acreage, especially where forestation, topography, and power lines, are a consideration. “The perspective you get is unlike anything we’ve ever done before,” Mays says. “It gives the lender assurance that what you’re saying in your report can be validated with images.” He says drones are useful when appraising property for the Federal Housing Administration and other entities with strict minimum requirements pertaining to property conditions.