Drone Invasion

Drones are opening up the skies as more PMs and landlords embrace the ‘rise of the machines’ to help manage properties.

The property industry is pretty quick to capitalise on available technology – think Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) for virtual tours. So when the commercial use of drones became an option, the early-adopting agents were ‘on to it’.
While photography and video shot with drones has become more common in real estate marketing, the need for a licence kept many from ‘releasing the drones’. That could be about to change.
From 29 September 2016, a new category of commercial remotely piloted aircraft operation, or drones, came into effect. The new category means those operating a drone with a maximum take-off weight of two kilograms no longer need a licence from CASA.
Larger drones still require the operator to have a remote pilot licence and it may be better to engage a qualified commercial operator than take to the skies yourself.
Operators of very small drones now simply need to notify CASA (online) before their first commercial flight and abide by a set of standard operating conditions.
Using drones could present more marketing opportunities with photos and videos showcasing a property and its surrounds. With small drones on the market for under $100, it could prove a good investment – and not just when it comes to marketing a rental.
It’s much easier, and possibly safer, to have a drone hover in the air than to climb up a ladder and balance precariously on the ledge to inspect a roof – opening up possibilities to use the technology to supplement other management functions such as maintenance inspections.
For anyone looking at deploying drones, there are a number of insurance issues that you need to consider. These range from safety and damage to privacy, and you’ll need to make sure you have any liability covered. Our general broking colleagues at EBM would be happy to discuss any insurance needs with you.