Drones

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Real Estate Drone Randy Pench/Sacramento Bee/MCT
Real Estate Drone Randy Pench/Sacramento Bee/MCT

Benny L. Kass, a Washington and Maryland lawyer, writes in the Washington Post today, “Drones — also known as “unmanned aerial vehicles” — are everywhere. Our military uses them in warfare, archeologists scan ancient Peruvian ruins to avoid damage, and others survey hydroelectric dams. One even illegally landed early Monday on the White House lawn.

“Currently, commercial use for drones — including real estate marketing — is prohibited unless an exception is issued by the Federal Aviation Agency (FAA).”

Imagine building a seven story condo project. You want to give potential buyers an idea of the views of the city from each floor. Describing the views isn’t the same as an actual picture. Enter drones! Marketing of real estate in the near future (maybe weeks) will fly a camera mounted drone to the level of each floor, rotate the camera 360 degrees, and film the views. Perfect! Now your buyers can see for themselves what is so wonderful about your condo and its views.

Kass writes that “Associations should consider this new drone technology to take advantage of its many beneficial applications, such as providing images depicting conditions of roofs and common ground,” said Marvin Nodiff, a Wisconsin condominium attorney and author of “The Dark Condos.”

Already there are legal challenges. The right to privacy is a big one. A drone mounted camera is not something you want to see outside your bedroom window. “Law firms, anticipating lots of legal questions and lawsuits based on drone use, are even setting up “drone practice” groups so as to get a head start when the FAA issues its final authorizations.”

There is something unique about showing videos of houses for sale from the air. That’s what realtors are counting on. When so many prospective homebuyers start shopping on line, a video or a bird’s eye view of a house is eye-stopping. Expect to see more uses of drones.

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