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How are drones used in the commercial property market?



How are drones used in the commercial property market?

Drones have emerged as a game-changing technology in the commercial property market and are a tool we use frequently when conducting building inspections and surveys. However, that’s not the only way commercial drones are being used. 

In this article, we’ll take a quick look at what commercial drones are and discuss why their use in the property market is really taking off. 

What are commercial drones?

A commercial drone is a small, unmanned aerial vehicle that can capture still images and videos from the sky. They typically fly at higher altitudes than hobbyist drones and can create a live video stream using ultra-high definition 4K digital cameras. This provides an exceptional level of detail and allows us to collect accurate information on hard-to-reach areas. 

Despite understanding the benefits of having a bird’s eye view of a commercial property, until fairly recently, the costs of using manned flights to gather aerial images made it prohibitive. Commercial drones have given us an affordable and safe way to produce detailed digital aerial images quickly, which is they’re becoming such an important tool across a range of sectors

How drones are revolutionising the commercial property market

3D Mapping

Even before the construction process starts, new builds need a comprehensive understanding of the lie of the land. Drones fitted with high-resolution digital cameras can feed back information to the ground to create 3D maps that provide the level of detail developers require.

Once the construction phase starts, drones can be used by architects to form the basis of any 3D rendering they might want to use in marketing material. In a refurbishment project, images obtained by drones can be modelled and included in planning applications to give a powerful and realistic visual representation of what the finished project will look like.

Maintenance inspections and building surveys

Commercial drones can be used as the ‘eye in the sky’ for maintenance teams and building surveyors to identify repairs and areas of structural concern. A drone can be a quick and safe way to conduct visual inspections on inaccessible areas of a building such as roofs and facades without the requirement for ropes, ladders or scaffolding towers. 

As well as visual inspections, drones can also be fitted with specialist thermal infrared cameras to spot issues such as faults with heating systems, ineffective insulation and water ingress. Regular drone flights over time can also identify changes and developing problems, so you can then target those areas for maintenance and repair. 

Property marketing

As well as being an easy way to inspect the finer details of a property in inspections and surveys, commercial drones can also be a great way to get big-picture images that provide an attractive property overview for marketing purposes.  

Aerial video footage and images captured with a wide-angle lens can set a building within its environment and create engaging marketing material. Prospective buyers and renters can then quickly assess whether a building meets their needs before they spend time visiting the property. That makes it an effective way to simplify the commercial lease and purchase process and reduce wasted time. 

Construction monitoring

Against a backdrop of labour shortages, supply chain issues and increasingly expensive materials, drones can save time and produce efficiencies in the construction industry. They are regularly used in construction site monitoring, verification, documentation and logistics planning and can provide complete images and videos in just a few hours. 

More specifically, drones are effective at capturing millions of data points quickly and effectively while improving safety. The data can be combined with photogrammetry software to produce accurate area and volumetric measurements. Drones can also be used in the pre-construction phase to highlight any issues on site and identify access and egress points. During the construction phase, they can track progress and monitor the entire site, without having to inspect areas that put employees at risk. 

Site security

Maintaining 24-hour security on large construction sites can be expensive and put security staff at risk. Drones, when fitted with night vision cameras, can be a cost-effective alternative, providing a risk-free monitoring service for materials and equipment as well as alerting security staff or police to any intruders. 

They can also provide aerial images and real-time footage, which allows security staff to assess the level of danger and provide an appropriate response. 

Safe and efficient commercial property surveys

At Eddisons, we regularly use drones in our building surveys to provide better data, inspect hard-to-reach areas and survey sites with multiple buildings quickly. Find out more about our building condition surveys and get in touch to request a free quote or a call back from one of our RICS-approved building surveyors.   

Get in touch with the Eddisons team

Please contact us for more details and information

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