The Real Deal New York

Brokerages’ drones invade luxury market

December 24, 2013 03:28PM

Douglas Elliman, Sotheby’s International Realty and sister brokerages Halstead Property and Brown Harris Stevens are the among the brokerages deploying drones to capture angles of high-end real estate that few can otherwise access.

In the past three years, Halstead has used customized drones in more than 200 luxury properties in New York as well as New Jersey and Connecticut. Brown Harris Stevens and Elliman have largely operated the machines in the Hamptons market.

“We’re not selling $150,000 homes with this technology,” Matthew Leone, director of web marketing at Halstead, told the New York Times. “Multimillion-dollar homes demand Madison Avenue marketing and advertising, not Main Street.”

Sotheby’s listed a $65 million estate in North Haven, N.Y., with a photo of the home shot by a drone. A drone-taken video of a $7.6 million beach house at 24 Brush Island Road in Darien, Conn., has been viewed more than 500,000 times on Halstead’s website. [NYT]Mark Maurer

  • carlo1775

    I love how companies and corporations use technology for the sake of promoting their businesses no matter how inefficient it is. That’s $#itty corporate culture for you.
    The real problem is not the drones but this collusion between Big Business and Big Gubbermint using the drones to spy on, and exploit us. Wake up America, we live in a Fascist State.

  • ErnieS

    I hope they know they are breaking the law. The FAA rules say ANY drone use for business purposes is illegal.

    • abcnewscansuckit

      Yeah, only Big Gubment should be allowed to use drones, no? I mean THEY only use them to “protect” us, right? Pfft! If I can’t use them, Obama shouldn’t be allowed to use them in this country either. Remember, they work for US, not the other way around?

      • Ann

        Leave OUR President out of this argument. The stock market has never done better in more than 16 years and the rich has gotten richer and dishonest irresponsible brokers have grown enormously wealthy. More of these “big” brokerage companies need to be sued for being so irresponsible.

        • Clif

          The rise in the stock market has been fueled by Obama’s
          (and congress’s) insatiable deficit spending and the low interest rates of the resultant quantitative easing. With such low interest rates, investors have no other option BUT to invest in stocks. That is called a stock market bubble. It is the direct result of “OUR president’s” (and congress’s) fiscal policy. Watch what happens when the stimulative effects of the Fed devaluing or dollar by increasing the quantity of M1 ends. And it will end. Anyway, we can’t look to the value of stocks as an indicator of economic health. We can, however, look to the value of the dollar. How’s it going on that front?

    • Clif

      That narrows it down then. If I see a drone, the government is spying on me.

  • Jeebus

    Try that nonsense in some places, Matt-boy, and you’ll get your chit shot down.

  • checkssc

    $10 g’s per offense. I hope they clock them. I fly quads and would love to tam with some local realtors or tourist folks to promote their property but I can’t. Just because you’re trying to sell the Hamptons doesn’t give you the right to break the law.

  • FredTex

    You’ve got to appreciate the entrepreneurial spirit!

  • Clif

    If one of these comes within 500 feet of my house I will capture it only to use for my own evil purposes. Then again, I might just show it my dick.

  • Sunshine1011

    Um, you posters do realize that the homeowners are allowing the realtor to take aerial photos of their property so they can sell it, right???

    • Ann

      But it is the broker that is telling the home owner that if they list the property with this or that broker the price is quite out of the range of reality. Principal brokers with their insatiable greed and egos are reeking havoc on our economy and on our realities. What ever happened to being responsible? Brokers we are causing the rest of the world to be afraid of us especially after the recent “foul play” with mortgages that were unrealistic and nothing more than a balloon of hot air that we now know was nothing but a farce. It is time for some soul searching and bring morality and honesty back to the once respected profession which is seen now as worst than a used car salesman selling lemons. When is the DOS going to revoke some of these licenses for these irresponsible people?

  • David T

    This is not news…We have been sing drone’s for photography of our properties for a few years now, regardless of price.

    • David T

      “using” not “sing”…anyway, we have been doing this for a long time now.

      • Hector C Cruz

        What kind of camera do you use?

  • Joe Sorrenttino

    Another innovation, another law against it. When are we going to tell the government to get out of our lives. Why shouldn’t someone be able to use drones for commercial purposes? BTW, befoe they were called drones, they were toys. I remember getting a small rechargeable helicoptor for my son and flying it around the room. Now the government takes away another freedom. Too much power in government leads to loss of freedom.

    • Clif

      I agree with you about the law. If people don’t like these devices
      they can boycott companies that use them and cause them to stop. We
      don’t need big government to stop them before they’ve even
      started. That said, you flying your toy around your home is not the same thing as annoying predatory real estate pricks buzzing my house for profit. I’ve read story after story now about how companies plan to use these things to deliver packages and pizza, and now this. I don’t want your pizza or your Amazon order or the fact that you’re selling your home to ruin my quiet enjoyment of my property. I envision a world filled with these annoying devices much like the endlessly annoying lit signs on a busy street. By the way, what’s to stop Google (who know what I’ve been shopping for online) from sending these drones to my backyard with targeted advertising on them so I can’t escape their ads even as I grill? As they, meanwhile, capture more closeup images for Google Earth. It should be legal, but like snorting a line of wasabe powder, that doesn’t mean we should do it, or even like it.

      • Richard McCollim

        The next time you need to sell your home, I guess one of those real estate pricks will not be able to give you the class A service they give to the other property owners.

        • Clif

          Gosh I hope not. I value their placing my home on the MLS so terrifically highly. I mean gosh that probably takes ten whole minutes, and it only costs me 6% of the value of my home. I realize that Realtors have other expenses. All that junk mail, and bus bench advertising costs a lot.

    • Ann

      We are a nation of laws because we do not know as individuals how to control ourselves, therefore we cause politicians to have to write laws to make us realize that we have obligations to be honest decent people who do not cause harm to others without consequences. If we used commonsense and did what is the right thing to do we would not be faced with laws. Furthermore, we are not the only country with laws; however, we are the first to want to break the law. Not all of us but a great many of us have no regard for the freedoms we are allowed. With the freedoms our country allows we have the responsibility to use those freedoms with appreciation and respect and with responsibility.

      • Clif

        Bull crap! Speak for yourself!

  • BTW

    soon there will be drones that look up your butt, so please don’t squeeze the charmin

  • Arnold Ripkin

    I’ve seen a few in much cheaper homes. It’s a great idea, especially interior videos. Saves time for buyers.


    Use Google sat view, zoom right in. Then use Street View.

    And they are NOT DRONES. They are piloted. Drone means it flies by iteself with no person involved.

  • elwoodmcgillicuddy

    Realtors. They make politicians look honest.

  • jerseydave

    A 20 gauge with some bird shot should fix them good.



  • Tangair

    Err…. I looked for a date on this “article” since this is ancient news. Heli-cams have been in use for about 20 years now. Oh, I get it: This is a chance for a reporter to use a new buzz-word, “drones”, to have us waste 20 seconds.

  • Ihsan

    are these people for real? Do they have a permit to use such machines? are they endangering our safety using drones? and what happens when the market crashes? Brokers need to stop being so greedy and put the stop sign up. If you don’t think this market is going to crash soon you have no experience being a real estate broker who offers quality property at a price that makes sense. Greed is definitely not a good thing. This new phase broker who really has no regard for their responsibility and obligations to their license are a danger to the brokerage profession. Buyer beware you are being scammed!!

  • LuxryBuyerAgent

    I use a smaller version to record my listings, they are amazing and get great out door pictures. When you have such a large area and some cool features, it is best seen from the air. @MLG_RedRock