RE/MAX broker Scott Gerami of Naperville, Ill., is a self-described “gadget guy.” So about a year ago, when he saw a YouTube video taken by a tiny video camera mounted on a drone, he was fascinated.
“My first thought was, ‘What could I do with that?’” said Gerami. “It occurred to me that a video camera on a drone would be an unusual way to show off the homes I list for sale. It might attract more attention to them, which is exactly what you want in this business. Plus it would give buyers a different perspective on each home and its surroundings – something they couldn’t easily get otherwise.”
That started Gerami, who is the managing broker of RE/MAX Professionals Select, 2272 95th St, Naperville, down the road toward becoming a drone builder, flier and now perhaps the first real estate broker in the nation to make use of this intriguing technology in his business.
His first decision was that if he was going to use a drone, he would build it himself, so Gerami began ordering parts and flew his first drone in April.
“I had to learn how to fly it and how to use it effectively for getting good video footage of a home,” he said. He soon built a second drone and then a third. And there were mishaps. One drone crashed. On another, the GPS system malfunctioned while it was in flight, and it headed straight north.
“I chased it for a while in my car, but lost sight of it and never saw it again,” Gerami recalled. A thousand dollars worth of equipment had vanished, but he wasn’t discouraged.
Gerami is now flying his fourth homemade drone, a four-engine, battery powered quadracopter that is roughly 2 feet square, and is building his fifth. His current model incorporates a gimbal system that keeps the video camera steady in flight, delivering better images.
His current challenge is mastering the art of editing the footage his drone captures to create effective 40-second videos that highlight his listings.
Gerami has also learned to capture individual images from the drone videos that he uses in the listings he posts on MLS.
“It is an attention getter at this point,” said Gerami. “The videos draw people to my listings and bring traffic to my website. I’m sure as time passes I’ll find even more ways to make good use of this exciting technology.”
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