It may sound like something out of a science fiction flick, but tech savvy real estate agents are adding on more cool function to their Droid or iPhone. Count the functions on the phone and you can add a new one, thermal camera. For as little as $250, real estate agents may find the price small compared to the benefits. How can owning your own thermal camera be useful?
The technology of thermal imaging is not new, but the application of how many professional real estate agents are choosing to use this technology is. Why is it beneficial for real estate agents to use a thermal camera during an initial walkthrough of a property?
What thermal cameras ‘See’
Thermal cameras have been in use since 1927. A Hungarian physicist developed the first infrared-sensitive television camera. At first, these thermal cameras were for military applications, such as scanning for a signal. Thermal cameras showed promise they could be used for other possibilities. In the 1990s, civilians began using this infrared radiation technology.
Thermal imaging is helping real estate agents find water damage, loose wiring, electrical shorts, and loose insulation. It may help them find the air leaks in houses that are put up for sale. How could these thermal cameras give real estate agents an advantage? Real estate agents may be able to negotiate lower closing costs, if there is water damage. Agents may find problems that need fixing before a house showing. For example, a thermal scan can detect an air leaking that is making a room feel cold to guests.
There will be more call for thermal cameras in the future
Real estate agents have not had the opportunity to use these cameras in the past because they used to be expensive. A good thermal camera used to cost between $3,000 and $5,000. Today, it is possible to turn your iPhone or Android into a thermal camera for $250.
Real estate agents have more to learn about how things can are seen with infrared radiation. It is important for real estate agents to understand this technology, so they won’t be victim to others claims that this camera ‘sees’ though walls. Thermal cameras cannot see inside the walls. This type of camera simply does not have the knowledge to ‘see’ what is beyond the differential. It may be coming in the future. Real estate agents can relax knowing they do not need a degree in infrared cameras. To use one, agents need a 32-hour course and a field operation before they can power up their camera.
Laura A. is a professional journalist, who love writing about real estate issues worldwide. She writes about other topics too, but thrives in real estate technology and marketing.