Drone technology takes off in real estate industry

CALGARY- Technological advancements, from pagers to smart phones, have changed the way realtors do business. Now they’re starting to use something the military utilizes, camera-equipped remote control drones.

“We were a little goofy and I named the drone Iginla,” says Kelly McKelvie of the Calgary Real Estate Group. “So it kind of stuck.”

‘Drone Iginla’ is a camera-equipped quadcopter which is operated by remote control. It can be connected to a smartphone to capture stills or video.

Drone Iginla is put through its paces in a test run in Calgary on June 10, 2013. Global News
The q. Global News

The McKelvie Calgary Real Estate Group decided to get one to help showcase their clients’ homes.

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“If we can take the drone and essentially get on a really big ladder and get up and over, then we can really show what the home has to offer,” says McKelvie. “It’s a different perspective.”

Using the drone, the company can get shots you would normally get from a helicopter.

It’s a new application for drones, which are best known for their use by the military and more recently by police in Alberta for surveillance purposes.

Transport Canada strictly regulates their use. The McKelvie Group will have to fly through some regulatory hoops before it can start offering the service.

“We have to see what we’re allowed to do and what we’re not allowed to do up here, but we’ll make sure we’re doing it right,” explains McKelvie. “It sounds like sometimes flight plans have to be registered so we’re certainly looking into it.”

Client Janelle Donaldson believes it’s worth the effort if it helps sell her house.

“I think it’s fantastic; I’m just so excited by the new technology – anything that can help us market our home, that’s all good.”

The McKelvie group paid about $2,000 for ‘Drone Iginla’ although some models retail for as little as $350.

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