The Rise and Rise of the Drone

The Rise and Rise of the Drone

Nigel Blackburn By Nigel Blackburn on 8th Oct 2015,

Rarely has a gadget captured our imagination quite like the drone. They are a topic of conversation with our friends, make headlines in the tabloids and can be a starry eyed curiosity when we are lucky enough to see one flying in the wild.

Apart from the novelty factor, drones are a potential force for good. They're used in Africa to protect wildlife from poachers and will one day deliver our Amazon purchases, pizza and gas bills. Well, perhaps not all drone uses are great, but the list of positive applications for these agile, remotely controlled, aircraft is endless.

One such use is, of course, the marketing and promotion of property. In the USA, the use of aerial video and photography in the real estate industry has become almost as common place as the use of websites for property promotion. The drone is already established as an essential tool in the marketing arsenal for a real estate agent. The same cannot be said of the UK property industry, where there is a general reluctance to adopt the use of aerial video, or in fact, any video, despite compelling evidence that the use of video improves revenue.

There are several factors why this is the case, certainly the ability of agents to easily embed video has been an issue, but companies such as Estate Apps now provide cost effective solutions for getting videos onto websites and it's also very quick and easy to add videos to portals like Rightmove.

The quality, or rather, the lack of video quality, on offer is a serious issue facing estate agents, with poorly produced video reflecting very badly upon agents. There are lots of drone operators and video production companies homing in on the property market with many believing that owning a camera, tripod, and now a drone, makes them a bona fide production company. Unsuspecting agents can also be drawn into an, at times, very expensive web with some operators just providing unedited footage with layer upon layer of additional sky high costs by way of hidden charges and extras.

It's the poor quality of video production that is the single biggest issue affecting the industry wide adoption of video for the property sector though. While the drone industry in the UK is heavily regulated, with pilots and operators requiring a qualification (BNUC-S or similar), insurance and permission to operate commercially from the Civil Aviation Authority, this is not a guarantee of the quality of work, only the safety and competence of the operator. Being able to fly well, does not necessarily translate into beautiful images.

Professional aerial video production is not, despite the skill and technology involved, expensive. Drones are easy and quick to deploy and can achieve stunning images that a vastly more expensive helicopter would find impossible. Drones are versatile, and, unlike pole cameras and masts, a drone can usually take aerial photographs and record video from any angle, providing there is a safe area to take off and land. Thanks to drones, movie quality production values, at a fraction of the cost of a tank of fuel for your average helicopter, are now available to agents.

Drones are here to stay, with their use limited only by our imaginations. Drones and video appeal not only to people selling properties, but crucially, 7 out of 10 vendors consider video of their homes a priority, even if the agent does not. Sellers will, ultimately, seek out the agencies that offer video services, including aerial drone video and photography, over those that do not.

The aerial drone filming business is in its infancy, with quality and skill levels still being defined, and business models developed. This is an exciting time to be at the forefront of anĀ amazing technological revolution, both in terms of delivering aerial and video content and for those using aerial imagery and property videos. To ensure you rise above your competitors,you need to make aerial drone filming and video production part of your marketing strategy today.

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