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Drones and Virtual Reality Are About to Make Real Estate Much Cooler

Vancouver Industrial

Can drones be used to sell property? Tech geek (and Colliers' local marketing director) Hari Minhas wants to prove they can. After that, he's going to showcase sites via virtual reality—something never done before in Canada.


Drone video is “perfect for capturing large industrial sites as well as larger development sites,” Hari tells us. Colliers is partnering with Vividus, a special effects firm, to deliver the tech. They just finished a drone vid of a 6.5-acre site at 2420 Dollarton Hwy in North Vancouver, home to a private school and boarding facility. And in what Hari (snapped sawing lumber with old-school tech for Homes of Hope last year in Tijuana) believes is a Canada-first, they flew a drone inside Grosvenor America’s Millennium VI, a distribution centre (below) at 1005 Derwent Way in Delta.


The next big step: virtual reality. Wearable VR technology (as seen below) could enable tenants to walk through the space plan of a project that's still in pre-construction, allowing them to ensure there’s the right distance between workspaces, for example, or that the ceilings are high enough. “You have the ability to get a sense of space for something that you physically cannot walk through,” he says. “So you don’t have to guess or imagine anymore.”


Widespread adoption of drone videos is inevitable, Hari reckons. The technology is improving, costs are decreasing, and you can operate a drone on your own (something you likely can’t do with a helicopter). As for VR, “I haven’t seen anybody implement it in the Canadian market, nor have I seen anybody dabbling in it.”