Estate agents use unmanned aircraft to market historic property

The Northern Echo: HIGHER LEVEL: The drone Skyvantage uses to produce bird's-eye-view films of properties HIGHER LEVEL: The drone Skyvantage uses to produce bird's-eye-view films of properties

WHILE many estate agents say the days of posting details to prospective buyers have largely been ended by the digital revolution, one firm has taken the use of technology to a higher level.

To market £4.6m Firby Hall, near Bedale, North Yorkshire, Harrogate-based Strutt and Parker has commissioned a bird's-eye-view video tour of the 57-acre estate, filmed by an unmanned aircraft or drone.

It is understood to be among the first properties in northern England to be filmed by a drone, usually used for military special operations, policing and security work, such as surveillance of pipelines.

Previously, to provide perspective on unusual or larger properties, estate agents have used still cameras on masts, where drones can take footage from up to 400ft .

The move follows the increasing use of drones, which can only be flown in Britain by Civil Aviation Authority-approved pilots, to sell property in the United States, where estate agents say it has proved a good way to interest potential buyers.

A spokesman for Strutt and Parker said the drone footage of Firby Hall, would provide potential buyers with a more realistic idea of the grade II listed building's architectural and historical importance, as well as the scale of the estate.

The property was constructed in 1788 by Colonel Thomas Coores, who on his return from fighting in the American War of Independence demolished much of the village of Firby to build the hall and improve the views from the house.

The estate features woodlands, a walled garden, lakes and open fields.

The spokesman said the film had been welcomed by potential buyers from around the world as it enabled them to make an accurate assessment before travelling to North Yorkshire for a viewing.

He said: “We decided to use a drone because of the size of the estate, which has 57 acres.

“It gives people a feel of the vastness and beauty of the countryside.”

Toby Pocock, of Skyvantage elevated cinematography, said a growing number of agents were seeing the benefits of using drones to market properties such as Firby Hall, but the cost of producing the films could run into thousands of pounds.

He said: "The tricky thing is who pays for it, the seller or the estate agent.

"The results go well beyond those previously offered with helicopters and dolly rails and creatively it opens up many more options and gives the viewer a very different experience to static cameras filming at ground level."

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