Drone-in-a-box for real estate? How Drones Are Transforming Real Estate Marketing

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Real estate has become the number one industry in North America that uses drones for marketing purposes. And the numbers projecting the growth of the drone industry are staggering:


  • 10 million drones were sold worldwide last year, that number is expected to nearly triple by 2021
  • Drone industry value was estimated at $3.3 billion in 2015; by 2025, it’s expected to be $90 billion
  • NAR reports that the interest in using drones for marketing is already pervasive: 44% of members either use drones for marketing (14%), report that someone in their office uses drones for marketing (12%), or plan on using drones for marketing (18%).
  • CREA is also monitoring the development of drone use in real estate.


Drones have transformed real estate marketing when it comes to listing a property. Overall, the impact of drones has made aerial photography commonplace. Soon, most sellers may request it for their property listings.


What’s driving this trend?


Increase accessibility:

We wrote about the 2016 FAA drone guidelines in the U.S. that were favorable to real estate, and now 770,000 drones are registered with the FAA. In Canada, rules are currently stricter than the U.S., but the popularity of power of aerial footage has not slowed down the desire to use them in listing videos.


Lower costs:

Greater competition and advances in technology that makes it easier to operate a drone have driven down costs. There are online services to hire pilots throughout North America. And more professional photographers are offering drone footage as part of their listing photo services.


The “wow” factor is still a factor:

Drone footage is still novel enough that you can “wow” sellers when you show them a neighborhood aerial footage during a listing presentation. It has nearly the same impact as a 3D-video tour, like Matterport. For agents in many markets, offering drone marketing can still be a competitive differentiator.


It helps you sell homes:

Not every property can benefit from drone marketing, but those that can, do. Video is a very powerful tool for marketing. Drone video footage can provide dramatic views of the entire property, increase video traffic and video sharing, provide spatial perspective, property’s setting, show the proximity to key local amenities (water – playgrounds – parks – schools) and nearby services (stores – hospitals), let the viewer see the entire neighborhood from a whole new perspective, and create an emotional connection.


What’s next?


Is a self-flying, autonomous drone taking aerial shots of your listings in your future? Since we often see the applications of advanced technology in military, industrial and major commercial applications first, we have a clue that this concept may not be so far-fetched. A company based in Israel, Airobotics, recently received the first certificate in the world to fly a fully automated drone, with no human operator. It operates fully automated drones. They are contained in giant boxes for industrial solutions (video is here). They serve energy and mining industries for maintenance, security, mapping, and surveying. These drones can even change their own batteries!


The day could come when you order a drone from your smartphone that would arrive in a box at the front door of your new listing. All you would have to do is open the box, and move the drone inside to the middle of the yard with a clear view of the sky. You would open the app you pre-loaded on your phone when you ordered the drone and follow a few instructions. Your app would power on the drone. You would step back and let the automated software fly around the property. It would shoot and store the footage you need, and land the drone safely back where it started. You would package the drone back in the box, ready for return.


The only question is will Amazon be delivering that future drone-in-the-box to you, with another drone?