Proptech trend: drones

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The property market is innovating more than ever before, and Sorbet is proud to be a part of the proptech revolution. But what do we mean when we talk about ‘proptech’? In a new series, we’ll look at the different ways estate agents, buyers and renters are changing the market.


Drones have been everywhere for a few years now – literally flying over our heads and into properties, whether they’re on construction sites, taking conveyances shots or producing marketing images.

While drones sometimes come with a bad reputation, they can give developers and agents the opportunity to manage projects and show off their properties like never before.

Safety, studies, selling

When they’re involved in the early-stages of property development, drones offer health and safety benefits for developers and construction teams. Need to get up onto a roof to check something? Get a drone to do it and save on the worry of sending someone up there.

Not only can drones offer improved health and safety to workers, they also make things more efficient.

Projects can be monitored in real time, meaning time is saved and costs are lowered due to the reduction in heavy machinery and man hours.

The benefits of drones in conveyancing are probably the most obvious.

Getting into nooks and crannies to spot problems that would otherwise go unnoticed is no trouble for a drone, unlike the average human. Need to go down a cellar or basement? Send a drone and they’ll do all the hard work.

This leaves conveyancers to spend more time on other innovations and on providing better customer service.

Selling a property can be easier with a drone.

Estate agents have long used aerial shots to sell and rent their more luxurious houses. With access to drones, this practice can be expanded to more properties where it may not have been justified before.

Illegal flying

The popularity of drones means that the technology is getting more and more accessible, but that doesn’t mean the use of drones is easily available to the average agent.

Drones for commercial work cost around the £1,000 mark, and require a high-spec camera to take the necessary pictures and videos.

As well as buying the tech, if you want to operate a drone you’ll need a licence. Add this onto the cost of the courses you need to learn how to operate a drone and you could be looking at a hefty sum.

Some agents use drones without a licence – flying them illegally, or paying someone else to do so – which can land them into trouble with the Civil Aviation Authority. The body has issued guidance for what you should and shouldn’t do when flying a drone with a camera.

The future of drones

Autonomous drones are the future. Now estate agents are limited in how they use drones by cost and licences, but in the coming years self-flying drones will become more sophisticated and easy to operate from your office.

This can open a whole world of opportunities, not least live drone tours for clients from the comfort of a sofa.

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