This past summer, our blog discussed how commercial real estate developers and brokers were becoming increasingly tech-savvy in their efforts to land potential buyers, employing the Oculus Rift, GoPro cameras and 3-D modeling software to provide virtual tours of incomplete buildings.
As it turns out, this isn't the only technology trick that these parties have up their sleeve, as recent reports indicate that drones are now being used rather frequently in real estate marketing and that Florida is leading the way.
For those unfamiliar with drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, they are essentially flying robots that can be outfitted with high-definition cameras and controlled via remote control.
While they can be used for everything from law enforcement searches to agricultural surveys, in the context of real estate they can be used to provide prospective buyers with stunning birds eye views and landscape shots of property for sale or under construction.
As you might have already guessed, drones are highly restricted by the Federal Aviation Administration, which only last year started issuing exemptions to drone operators in possession of a pilot's certificate, and who agree to only operate their machines in their line of sight and during daylight hours. In addition, the FAA requires all drones to weigh 55 pounds or less, and not exceed 400 feet while in flight.
Statistics show that while Florida is second in the nation for drone exemptions with 97, trailing only California, it actually comes in at number one for drone exemptions relating to real estate with 45.
What makes all of this so interesting is that this increase in the use of drones is now popping up on the radar of many parties and not necessarily for the right reasons.
Indeed, reports indicate that many homeowners associations in the Sunshine State are becoming increasingly alarmed by the potential privacy invasions and overall interference posed by these flying devices, with many instructing owners to call police in the event of any problems.
It will be very interesting to see how much drones become a part of the real estate sector in the coming years and, by extension, any legal matters that arise as a consequence of their use.
Remember to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional who can explain the law, outline your options and handle all of the details regarding any potential residential or commercial real estate transaction here in Florida.