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Drones open up opportunities and concerns for property owners

As the popularity of small personal drones grows, commercial property owners in Texas have new concerns to think about in terms of drone use and access at their locations. The devices are not only fun for users to fly and manipulate; they are often equipped with high-powered video cameras that allow anyone to take great aerial shots. Not only do customers and neighbors use the drones, they are being used widely by businesses in sales, marketing, construction, inspection and the real estate industry itself.

Because they are such a great way of providing all-angles views of real estate, they make an exceptional addition to the toolkit of a surveyor or a construction planner or engineer. For marketers, brokers and developers, drone-created videos can be a great way to advertise the best qualities of a property with aerial views and new perspectives. They can even provide a way to monitor the use of equipment and other progress during construction. Their almost unlimited uses even extend to serving as flying, mobile security cameras.

Outside real estate, the small drones have a number of commercial uses. One of the best-known drone options is drone-powered delivery, in which drones bring an item directly to the door of a customer. From food and prescription delivery to major retail package shipping, drone delivery is a growing project. At the same time that property owners are making use of drones, however, other concerns are being raised. For example, privacy rights, liability for personal injuries caused by errant drones and access to private airspace or trade secrets are all issues for property owners dealing with an increased drone presence.

Property owners looking to make new guidelines for the use of drones on-site, the availability of airspace to outside companies' drones or the protection of trade secrets on a commercial property can consult with a commercial real estate lawyer. Counsel can help property owners to create contracts that make the most of the potential of drones while dealing appropriately with challenges.

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