CoStar takes to the sky in South Florida – and beyond

Two pilots and an aerial research photographer may be flying above your head right now.

Since June, the CoStar research fleet has flown over about 80 major real estate markets in the United States, spending up to five days canvassing commercial properties in one market.

The grid the CoStar crew covers in South Florida

The grid the CoStar crew covers in South Florida

This week, CoStar is in South Florida. The Real Deal flew with photographer Amber Surrency and co-pilots Chris Swanson and Mark Beauchamp on an aerial tour of Broward County in the CoStar Group’s Cessna Grand Caravan, a seven-seater plane. They spend an average of 10 days on the plane, and 10 days off. It’s flown about 1,018 hours since June, Beauchamp told TRD.

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On Tuesday, CoStar took off from Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport and flew west through Broward. Surrency spotted a handful of properties, including the industrial buildings at 3700 126th Avenue, which is a flex property available for lease in Coral Springs, according to Loopnet. (CoStar bought Loopnet in 2011 for $860 million, and in 2014 paid $585 million for Surrency controls the plane’s Red Epic Dragon camera, downloads the files at the end of the day, and uploads them to CoStar’s database.

Surrency, who spent five years as an intel analyst in the U.S. Marines, has been to Virginia, Pennsylvania, California, Oregon, Washington, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Georgia and more with CoStar. She’s one of two aerial research photographers with the company, which plans to expand the program to cover all 368 markets where CoStar operates.

While the plane can fly up to about 21,000 feet high, it typically roams at 2,500 feet at 120 knots (or about 138 miles an hour). More recently, the plane spent about six days covering the Dallas market.

“In one day I did 125 buildings,” she said.