Using Drones for Appraisal Inspections
by Administrator on Dec 29, 2016
With the wide proliferation of quality drones I have begun using them for some of my properties. When properties are large, roadways sparse, topography rough and there are some special characteristics about a property I may have a look at it with a drone. My first looks have been via third-party contractors. I put an ad on craigslist.org and got about 10 firms offering me their services from $ 80 to look at a vacant parcel to $ 250.
Since I require high-density still photos and a HD video I picked someone from the list who had the capability of producing the aerial views that I was looking for. I was surprise by how quickly the drone pilot was available and "flew" over the subject property. I agreed on a price and they were ready to take the footage the next day.
When I received the files from the company following their flight I was disappointed. The clip provided was about 20 to 30 seconds long. Yes it did the job as far as viewing the property but when you are looking at land you don't want a peek, you want to be able to look at the surface for a while, get your bearings and note features and landmarks. By the time I figured out that the flight was over the correct property it was over.
Another negative regarding the service was the fact that they flew it at sunset. Yes, the snow covered mountains in the background with the orange sunset were beautiful. Again, what I need are utilitarian flights that are over a parcel of land or a building and its site in the bright sunshine. Having a great back drop might be ok for the artistic users but for those of us who are interested in physical features they are already becoming obscure when the sun is going down.
I asked for 6 to 12 still photos and they were delivered, but again they were dark to very dark due to the time of day. Not exactly what I would call a successful service. I give them credit for being prompt, for driving a considerable distance to find the property and with having a short turnaround time. I would give them negative feedback (although I didn't) for doing the work at sunset and for the aerial being so short.
The next time I pay for a drone flight I will be a bit more specific about my needs. I know that I can't expect a drone company to read my mind but there are some things I just assumed and clearly I was wrong.
I know there are a number of appraisers who have purchased their own drones and decided that "do-it-yourself" is the way to go. I have to admit to looking at drones and especially the DJI Mavic Pro that is coming out in February of 2017 and thinking twice. I haven't ruled out dropping the $ 1,000 plus extras on a drone but I'm not going to jump in. My needs are however at this point modest and at I think just having someone go out and do it for me is for now the way to go.
While being a drone "pilot" sounds like fun I really need to use my time working on the reports themselves and not preparing another piece of equipment with batteries and maintenance. So, for now I'm standing down on the drone purchase.
For more appraisal information contact Glenn J. Rigdon MA, MRICS, ASA is a Las Vegas / Henderson Nevada based appraiser who can be contacted via email or via his business website known as Appraiser Las Vegas (http://www.appraiserlasvegas.com), or you can also click on “Contact Us” on the home page of this website or visit my public profile at LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/glenn-rigdon-ma-mrics-asa/1a/30b/879/
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