A Fresh Angle
Aerial property images play
a key role in commercial real estate marketing. They provide a wealth of
information about the nature of a property and the surrounding area. And the
right kind of imagery not only facilitates the sale of properties, it also
enhances business development opportunities for property owners and brokers.
Many commercial real estate
professionals still rely on orthogonal aerial images. Often captured by
satellite cameras, these images present a flat, two-dimensional top-down view
of properties. Easy to find on the Web, they also are perceived to be free,
although user license agreements often restrict their use. When commercial real
estate professionals capture images from the Web with screen grabs, they get
muddy, low-resolution pictures instead of high-quality marketing images.
The top-down orthogonal
view also is a limiting factor, because it fails to capture dimensional details
that reveal so much about a property and its environs. In fact, the human brain
has difficulty making sense of this flat, unrealistic view. In an
image-conscious, information-dependent world, orthogonal images may not be
dynamic enough to serve as the centerpiece of a marketing program.
Because of these
image-quality problems, many professionals commission custom flights to capture
high-resolution aerial images at an oblique angle. This angled view provides a
more realistic, dimensional representation of a property and the surrounding
area. As a result, it dramatically improves the quality and value of the visual
With oblique images,
• identify buildings and structures at a glance;
• validate key features such as loading docks and building
• clearly see small dimensional details and vertical
elements such as utility poles, facades, and walls; and
• quickly assess the condition of a property — even
hard-to-inspect areas like roofs.
Oblique images also have
the dynamic, full-color, 3-D-like quality that captures prospects’ attention.
However, custom aerial
photos typically cost about $500 per property, so they’re expensive to use for
every listing. In addition, companies may have to wait weeks — even months — for
the right weather conditions for flying and photography. That kind of
unpredictable delay can have a negative impact on a marketing timeline. Plus,
even though these images are vastly superior to orthogonals, they are “dumb”
images, because they aren’t automatically linked to important property data.
A New Approach
Pictometry offers a more
cost-effective way for real estate professionals to access high-quality oblique
aerial property images, with its online database that includes multiple images
of more than 120 million parcels. The online tools help people view properties
from 360 degrees, perform precise measurements, determine exact latitude and
longitude, and highlight parcel boundaries.
Because Pictometry builds
dynamic intelligence into the images, subscribers can identify addresses,
determine property ownership, and find Assessor Parcel Numbers. Subscribers
also can overlay Pictometry images and maps with their own proprietary data
using the built-in KML-file import/export function.
All of these capabilities
add value and intelligence to the images and expand the number of useful
applications. Along with marketing packages, the images also are helpful for
property management and maintenance, property pre-qualification, and zoning
Here’s an example of how
commercial real estate professionals use Pictometry Online.
To win a new listing for an
industrial property, a broker uses Pictometry to develop a PowerPoint
presentation that includes dynamic images and information about the property,
the surrounding area, comparable properties, and the historical development of
Next, the broker develops a
series of printed and digital marketing materials featuring maps and orthogonal
and oblique aerial images, which present the property in the best possible
light. With Pictometry Online and the broker’s own templates, an entire
marketing campaign can be produced literally overnight. While the marketing
campaign is underway, the broker also uses Pictometry’s informational
capabilities to research other properties in the area and identify qualified
In combination, the
presentation and marketing campaign highlight the broker’s leading-edge
capabilities, which help the broker to mine the territory and grow business.
Vele Galovski is vice
president of Pictometry International Corp. For more information, contact Rosa
Basile at email@example.com or visit www.pictometry.com.