Fast forward to day, where using drones (unmanned flying vehicles - UAVs) has become a popular hobby and, inevitably, made its way into the commerce of real estate.
Photos and videos taken from drones can provide a unique perspective on individual properties and their neighborhoods. Since almost every prospective real estate buyer starts their search on-line these photos and videos can help make a property stand out from its competition.
The current problem is that the FAA allows the use of these devices only for hobby or recreational use -- not for commerce. Congress has mandated the FAA to come up with rules for the commercial use of these devices and the FAA bureaucracy is moving in that direction but, at the moment, these devices may not be used in the marketing of real estate.
However, even while the FAA has subpoenaed information from some real estate agents regarding their use of drones, the government has done very little actual enforcement.
One way or another, expect to see more and more of these devices buzzing around properties about to come on the market -- and not just "high end" properties. Just like earlier technologies such as virtual tours that migrated from high end to most properties, UAV photos and videos will make their presence felt in a wide range of real estate.
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