There was a time when buying real estate sight unseen was considered a very poor business practice indeed. Relying on the seller’s description, and possibly some photos was foolhardy, in a word, before the technology developed that now makes it a viable option. We look at some property tech tools that can help. 

CRE deals are being conducted without regard for geographic distance, thanks to that technology. Connections are vastly easier, and most transactions can be conducted electronically: from property listing to due diligence to contract signing.

Some specific devices and systems have been particularly useful for buyers who need to get details and clear information on a prospective property but can’t travel there in person.  Using these tools, it’s possible to make a well-informed decision on the purchase of a property you’ve never laid eyes on.


Aerial drones – the FAA calls them unmanned aircraft systems- are coming into use by many industries, and they have great potential for CRE.  Mounted with cameras, these little minions can be sent to gives us a bird’s eye view of a property, as well as an excellent idea of the surrounding neighborhood.  Drones are even used to check structural integrity, squeezing into spaces that people can’t, to show us the state of HVAC systems or gutters.

The FAA is still working on regulations for the use of drones, but has allowed their use in some cases for real estate, and appears to favor taking a less restrictive approach in the future.

3D Mapping

Another very helpful technology in creating an accurate impression of a remote property is 3D imaging. The same ideas that make Google Maps so popular and useful to travelers are applied to CRE, creating 3D versions of properties. An interactive, 3D view of a building –inside and out- is a powerful tool for remote buyers.

This is used with tremendous effect for creating online models and floor plans for properties, like the interactive 3D graphics created by sites like Floored.  3D video tours allow prospective buyers to inspect the listing from any angle, and provide a very accurate impression of reality.  Demand for this type of aid is huge, and in many cases the presence of 3D images online is what makes the buyer choose one property over another.

Video conferencing

For a real-time, responsive look at a property, video conferencing is ideal. A contact on-site can speak with the buyer directly and respond to questions by showing the property features being discussed. If the buyer is curious about noise level at the site, a video conference can provide the needed information. A question about flooring, or windows? These can be shown right away. A video conference is the closest the buyer can come to actually visiting the property, short of making the trip.

With these tools, buyers can seriously consider the option of buying a property sight-unseen without the risk that this previously entailed. Making what basically amounts to a virtual visit often provides the information needed to make the right decision, and saves time and expense in the bargain.

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