An image captured by a McEnearney Associates drone shows the aerial view of a house for sale on Bradley Boulevard in Bethesda. (credit: McEnearney Associates/John Domen All-News 99.1 WNEW)
LANHAM, Md. (WNEW) — The real estate industry is about to go aerial.
Real estate companies are beginning to use Unmanned Aircraft Systems, better known as drones, to give potential home-buyers bird’s-eye views of properties with a quick fly-by.
“It gives a different view to it than you would get otherwise,” says Bret Brown, a Realtor with McEnearney Associates, which sells homes in Maryland, Virginia and the District.
Brown recently used a drone to capture the aerial view of a property for sale on Bradley Boulevard in Bethesda. Flying over the lot, the drone’s camera shows the large driveway, three-car garage, extensive back yard, and outdoor pool that come with the $3.5 million price tag.
“It just shows the landscaping and how the house is situated on the lot. It gives a totally different perspective,” Brown says.
Right now, drones are being used primarily for high-end properties, where acres of land and outdoor amenities such as tennis and basketball courts or a pool can be accentuated to a potential buyer.
“You really have to have a spectacular property,” says Marc Infeld of Coldwell Banker.
But Infeld says he expects the use of drones in the real estate industry to increase as the technology improves and more agents are trained to use it.
“It will definitely become more integrated into real estate” as drone technology continues to evolve, Infeld says.
Still, there could be potential legal issues.
“I think there are some gray area as far as copyright laws,” says Infeld, explaining that people own the rights to all images of their private property.
Also, the use of unmanned aerial systems for commercial purposes is banned by the FAA — although rarely enforced.
“We have to prioritize our safety resources for the area of greatest risk,” Les Dorr, a spokesman for the FAA, told SFGate.