By Lisa Daiss | Marketing Manager
For a Millennial, entering the commercial real estate industry is like taking a ride in Doc Brown’s DeLorean to a time in the distant past, where paper is still prevalent and social media is in its infancy. Let’s face it, the industry is years behind the technological curve. But in recent years, one particularly (in)famous and dare I say it, fun, piece of technology has taken the real estate world by storm. Enter: The Drone.
2D is Dead
Visuals are extremely important in marketing, especially in commercial real estate. They’re the first thing eyes are drawn to on a listing, the first impression to hook a prospect. For decades, the industry’s main marketing efforts have relied on brochures, digital or printed, as the centerpiece. They featured photos taken from eye-level, providing little dimension and perspective. Flat and uninspiring, 2D photos render it difficult for a prospect to visualize the full potential of a property. But until recently, it was all there was.
And Then Came Drones
A Millennial myself, I was over the moon when I walked into my new office on my first day at Beck Partners and saw a DJI3 Phantom Advanced drone sitting on my desk. Imagine the scene in Dr. Seuss’s Grinch (the old school cartoon, not the Jim Carey version) when the tree in the town square grew a glowing halo and sounds of a heavenly angel choir emerged from thin air. It was kind of like that. The drone has a three mile range. Automatic flight logs. GPS-assisted hover. Insanely hi-res photo and video [insert drooling noise]. It was love at first sight.
Now, drones are taking the world by storm. Consumer drone sales are expected to reach four million this year, and quadruple to an astonishing 16 million by 2020. Hobbyists and wannabe Top Guns aside, the exploration of the commercial potential for drones began a few years ago, from delivery services like Amazon and Domino’s to farmers surveying their acreage remotely.
Drones in CRE
For marketing purposes, there are few industries that can benefit more from drones than real estate. What better way to effectively capture the entirety of a building, neighborhood or lot, in one shot? And while drone photos increase the level of dimension and perspective of a property, drone video ups the ante tenfold. The drone we use at Beck Partners shoots 12 megapixel photos and 2.7K videos. Translation: Extremely hi-res. Translation part deux: Marketing gold. For Beck Partners, 2016 will be the year of drone video. Check out our pilot (pun intended) footage here.
As with the emergence of any new technology, legislators are racing to figure out how to properly regulate drones for privacy and liability purposes. If you decide to invest in a drone for your marketing efforts, be sure to familiarize yourself with the latest FAA laws, become a licensed operator and register your new toy (er, I mean tool).
My prediction for the next technology that’s going to blow the lid off CRE? Virtual reality. Give it 10 years.
Filed under: Insights