Drones: a lot more than just toys
Remote control airplanes and helicopters have been around for many years and have traditionally had a cult following. While often very high performance, they are cumbersome and require extensive experience to use effectively, and an ensemble of support equipment. Due to their inherent instability, R/C aircraft were seldom a viable option as anything other than a hobby.
Fast forward to recent years and the “quadcopter” movement. Modern drones are readily available to the masses which are essentially “a smartphone with wings” as a close friend explained. They couple tremendous cameras, generally 4K on commercially used models, with ultra-stable platforms that are stabilized by the use of microprocessors, and cameras mounted on a 2- or 3-axis gimbal.
This brief background is important to understand why drones are revolutionizing the marketing landscape of realty, agriculture, weddings, and really anything else in which visual media is desired.
Realty is a natural marriage of the capability of drones with the requirements of selling properties. Drones provide visual imagery which cannot be provided by any other medium. Drones operate in a three axis world where they provide stills and video from any angle desired. The listing agent now has the ability to provide a tour which can be taken from a ground level “walkaround” to aerial overview seamlessly. Since drones are so stable and also very small, they even have the ability fly inside of homes and buildings to give an aerial view of the interior.
Still photos and aerial videography barely even scratches the surface of the capabilities of drones. Like all smart electronics their capabilities are ever expanding, faster than we can really process. Drones have the capability to conduct aerial surveys and provide 3D mapping to customers at prices which were once completely out of the reach of many people. Drones are usurping helicopters in a lot of aerial imaging tasks for literally pennies on the dollar of the cost of renting helicopters.
The potential market for drones in industry is just being tapped. Low-cost drones give telecom professionals the ability to inspect towers without putting anyone at risk climbing towers for routine visual inspections. This goes double, maybe triple, for wind farms where a drone can go from unit-to-unit much faster than a worker can climb a unit, inspect, and dismount. Using a drones poses practically no risk to anyone and will save many man hours in just transit alone.
Drones offer agriculture professionals capabilities which were previously unavailable. Drones offer the ability to monitor enormous swaths of land in real time, identifying problem areas as they occur and potentially identifying future problem areas before they occur. This information can save farmers thousands in damages, or conversely, produce a lot more revenue by identifying strengths not visible by other means.
Choosing to implement drones into your business plan can change the trajectory of your work. It can open up doors that were previously unavailable. They provide the imagery which can make your listings move in terms of days rather than weeks. Drones provide images for tens of dollars which previously would have cost thousands of dollars. The capabilities and usefulness of modern drones are limited mostly by imagination at this point in time.