An award-winning South Australian agent has imported drone 'quadricopters' fitted with cameras to take aerial photos and footage of properties.
According to Anthony Toop, managing director of Toop & Toop in Adelaide, the drones have been the single best investment he has ever made.
"This is a space that's going to be huge," Mr Toop told Real Estate Business. "We've been taking video flythroughs of our rural properties, and photos of some of our bigger suburban blocks and it's yielded some of the most incredible images we've ever used.
"We've had unbelievable reaction so far from both buyers and sellers. It's the best product that we've done.
"We've done ToopTV, we've done 3D video, we've got our own live streaming radio station, we've done all these new things but in terms of bang for your buck, this has given us the most incredible results."
Mr Toop claims the new ToopAir is possible thanks to two recent innovations.
"The cost of the quadricopters have dropped to $750 from the US," he explained. "They have a lot of smarts stuffed into them like GPS and magnetic field, so they're super easy to fly.
"And the Go-Pro cameras are such high quality and so light, as well as being able to be controlled by iPad via bluetooth. So all up, it's cost us a thousand dollars and we're consistently getting images that would usually cost us $10,000 not that long ago."
The drones are smaller than a normal radio controlled plane, weighing in at 750 grams and just 350mm across.
"The only snag we've run into has been that the Civil Aviation Safety Authority haven't caught up with the new technology and we're currently required to have a licence to fly them. As soon as you put a camera on it and use it in a commercial enviornment, you need a licence," he said.
"So while they're working on updating the laws, we're outsourcing the piloting."
A demonstration video of the quadricopter can be seen on YouTube.