Amazon isn't the only company to use new technology to set themselves apart from their competitors. Real estate agents are starting to use drones to enhance their listings. Technology has advanced to a degree that small, remote-controlled drone helicopters are more affordable than they once were, making aerial photography and video captured using drones an increasing phenomenon in a number of industries, including real estate. Video's have been used in real estate for some time now, but the use of drones for aerials brings a new perspective to the industry.
There are still many unanswered questions regarding the legality of drone usage for anything other than military needs. The commercial use of drones in real estate and other industries has picked up in the last year despite the fact the FAA's ruling in 2007, that said commercial use of drones is illegal. The FAA, which currently shuts down commercial drone operations when it learns of them, is expected to clarify rules for using drones that weigh less than 55 pounds sometime in 2014 and broader rules for drones in 2015. Currently the FAA permits recreational, personal use of drones, but they are not supposed to fly higher than 400 feet or near airports.
Increased use of drones for business is a concern to groups like the Electronic Privacy Information Center, a Washington, D.C., a group that focuses on the civil liberties and privacy issues raised by emerging technology.
Matt Murphy, founder and president of Boston Virtual Imaging, will ask the question 'what do drones mean for real estate?' at the Real Estate Connect conference in New York City on Jan. 15. He will be providing a demo of drones and share the latest news about their use.