Tampa, Florida -- When it came to marketing a Tampa warehouse at 5601 Airport Boulevard recently, the real estate brokers at Cushman and Wakefield called photographer Michael Blitch to shoot video of the 39,000-square-foot space with his Unmanned Ariel Vehicle, also known as a UAV or Drone.
The video, according to Cushman & Wakefield's Julia Silva Rettig, affords potential buyers, or lessees, the next best thing to being there if they're from out of town.
"Now what I can do is show geographic location and the advantage of that to a user, I can bring the drone into the building and span through the warehouse, show my column spacing, so it shows functionality," she explained.
Rettig also said a drone can be used to show the proximity a property is to things like major roads and an airport. Things that could be critical to a potential customer.
But drones are also starting to be used by realtors selling homes, it's just not everyone is ready to see the use of the technology take flight.
Mike Pheneger, the American Civil Liberties Union Greater Tampa Chapter Chairman, says the gray area surrounding commercial use of drones raises many unanswered questions and can make some people feel like big brother may be watching.
"If a drone suddenly flies over your house and you're in your backyard sunbathing or something like that you don't know what the drone is doing and you have only the word of the drone operator that they're not doing anything illegal, (or) immoral… and that's a real problem," Pheneger said.
Blitch says he doesn't charge for any outdoor video and, according to the FAA, hobbyists are allowed to fly UAV's for recreational use up to 400 feet high. Blitch says he only gets paid for video taken inside warehouses and buildings.
Rettig believes the use of UAV or drones to market and sell properties will take off. She says soon Cushman & Wakefield will be posting videos for potential buyers.
"It's a very successful professional toy, I mean business tool," Blitch added.