Real estate investors in the market for new properties have likely begun to come across aerial photos and videos of homes accompanying listings. While these images add tremendous aesthetic value to the marketing efforts of these home, it is likely that the investor is less impressed with the drone as a sales tool, and more excited about the implications of UAV on property management.
This possibility begs a few important questions that should be considered by anyone thinking about employing a drones to aid in their operations as a real estate investor.
First, how does one distinguish a drone pilot from a plain photographer? Which is more cost efficient? Which is more effective, and finally, when should these services be enlisted, if at all?
Photographer or Drone Pilot
Drone pilots do more than just aerial imaging, though there are some that specialize. That said, there are also photographers who do drone piloting as an add on service.
With a regular photographer, it is important to make sure that he or she has their drone piloting licensure in order, as failing to do so could put you in a compromising situation with regards to liability should something go wrong.
As our customers know, all DroneBase Pilots are Part 107 certified and professionally vetted, so the assets captured and delivered are high-quality and in compliance with local airspace laws.
When to Use
As a landlord, certainly you will want to use your drone as a marketing tool. The best statistics in support of the positive effect of drones in business belong to residential real estate agents for their use of aerial imagery in listings.
Great listings attract great buyers and renters, and homes listed with drone footage turn over exponentially faster than those without. Nonetheless, there are some more practical tasks associated with property management for which UAVs can be employed.
You cannot be in two places at once. The ability to monitor remotely using a drone allows you to seamlessly connect with your various properties.
You can also use drone imaging to monitor your properties for damages, much in the same way insurance companies use drone footage over time to create history reports for their clients. A landlord can mimic this function in order to keep more precise records concerning the state of rental properties at move in or upon tenant changes, ensuring that security deposits more accurately reflect damages, updates, or alterations to various apartments.
Surveillance is also vital to your property’s ability to make money long term. A safe home is far more attractive to potential buyers or renters than one where there is a history of break-ins or vandalism, or where the security system is questionable.
Drones are commonly used for surveillance in industries like construction and development to protect build sites in between phases of a project or when work is not steady. While this may not be the soul reason you invest in a drone as a landlord or property manager, improved overall security will quickly become one of the biggest benefits to your drone purchase.
When considering the return on your drone investment in property management, it is important to analyze financial expenditures versus cost saving benefits by categories of implementation. In other words, in which facets of your business operations would see the most potential drone use and what advantages are brought on by that use?
For instance, in monitoring your properties remotely, you would need to weigh price of licensed drone pilot against the benefit of employing this convenience. As a landlord or property manager of many properties, your time is valuable. Time spent driving from property to property just to examine damages, or assess a problem seems wasteful and inefficient.
It is also likely that you are only making that trip when a client has reached out, and that this call was not the first sign of the problem. Worse still, on one of your routine scheduled trips you discover a problem yourself, and have no way of knowing when the issue began or how long early signs persisted before reaching their current state. Drone monitoring allows you to be more proactive in this type of maintenance so that you are not spending on large repairs that could have been quick fixes if caught earlier.
As a property owner or manager, you must surveil your properties to protect your livelihood, whether by standard security system or through a high-end stationary imaging system.
Drone surveillance provides better functionality than the latter, but if weighed against other means of surveillance for this singular use, it is easy to get caught up on the expense. Instead, consider all the other ways in which one drone can cut costs as well.
In this way, using your drone to surveil your property becomes part of one overarching cost for the entire scope of drone use.
Finally, drone imaging can be used as a means of advertising, as it has been with unparalleled success in residential and commercial real estate for the better part of the past decade.
Statistically, listings featuring drone footage are occupied faster than those without. This is the bedrock of your cash flow as a landlord or property manager. Keeping your properties filled with credible, responsible tenants means consistent cash flow and years of future success.