The Benefits of Drones in Commercial Real Estate

by Measure Australia

Drones and other unmanned systems have become increasingly popular in recent years, both recreationally as well as commercially. Commercially, drones are used in many industries including the commercial real estate sector for both marketing and comprehensive asset management. Commercial property owners or building managers have also found that drones simplify their property inspections by way of building façade and rooftop height safety inspections.

Benefits to Potential Buyers

When purchasing undeveloped land, it helps to look at the terrain and land contours so as to check for features which may effect proposed developments. Drones can cover far greater areas than traditional surveying means, for a fraction of the cost, clearly showing nearby features and hard to access places while giving the potential buyer an overview of the surrounding land, adjacent structures and access routes.

Measure Australia’s mapping software designed for drone technology can be used to calculate lengths, heights, areas or volumes without resorting to expensive ground surveys. Features which would otherwise be obscured by vegetation, including anomalies in the terrain, may be revealed by means of LiDAR laser mapping. Depending on the sale of the property, aerial survey can be as completed in as little as one hour; far less time than a traditional ground survey, besides being more cost effective and of higher calibre and coverage.

Commercial real estate exterior - drone capture - 2000

Benefits to Sellers

In the past, property owners used aerial helicopter photography or video in order to market their properties with impact, although this has proven to be expensive. By using a drone, a property may be videoed from every angle, allowing owners to showcase their commercial listings in an impressive manner. Drones can offer a potential investor perspectives from a development not yet built, such as high resolution panoramic view lines from the every level of a multi storey building of an upcoming office or residential block.

Real estate advertisements show photographs of the interior and exterior of a building, but with the use of a drones they may show marketing clips of the surrounding area, the immediate environment, property boundaries, access routes or other important features. The technology is such that high resolution videos or photos are of superb clarity and accuracy with Measure Australia offering composite images in excess of one gigapixel (1000 megapixels).

Benefits to Commercial Property Managers

The use of drones for the purpose of maintenance inspections, in particular roofs or high-rise buildings, has proven invaluable. Such an inspection via traditional rope access can be a dangerous task, however, using drones programmed to record and capture every angle and area regular checking, this high ropes risk is removed while also increasing the quality of the deliverable. Programming the same flight path for regular inspections will allow the manager to assess levels of deterioration, providing clear photographic evidence of the condition of the asset. Regular inspections can also record changes in the condition of the property, alerting the owner to possible latent problems which may then be dealt with before they constitute a major crisis.

Regular inspections using a thermal camera will show which areas of a building may be losing or gathering heat in the course of a day, potentially due to inadequate insulation. This allows the owner to install preventative measures to reduce the need for excess heating or cooling of the property.

Drones can work any hour of the day or night, and are proving effective for security patrols over large commercial or industrial properties, securing the safety of the business as well as the staff.

Drones have multiple benefits for commercial real estate. Be it as a marketing tool, for surveying undeveloped land or for the purpose of maintenance inspections. Drones will be invaluable in reducing the amount of manpower, time or costs required to carry out traditional processes.