High-definition drone videos are giving real estate agents the ability to tell clients that the sky’s the limit – and mean it.
The cost of hiring a professional drone pilot – about $300 – can be well below the value the images provide. This will help with securing qualified buyers quickly. Additionally attracting other potential sellers with the high-tech value-added service.
How Drones Help Real Estate Agents
Drones provide panoramic, aerial shots from about 400 feet above the property. These can be used to showcase special features, such as waterways, pools, outbuildings and nature preserves.
Drone imagery lets agents showcase their listings online in a way that gives buyers a view of the community. This exposes the natural surroundings and every inch of the property. The value of seeing this without leaving their own home or office is priceless.
Commercial listings and high-end properties can especially benefit from aerial photography. Since potential buyers tend to be scattered worldwide, this helps visualize the full picture.
Things to Consider
So should you go out a buy a drone to take your own photos? Not so fast. Current FAA laws and regulations generally prohibit the commercial use of drones without a Section 333 waiver. This includes real estate marketing.
The FAA only authorizes using drones for commercial or business purposes on a case-by-case basis. This is under limited circumstances and through a complicated registration procedure. There are stiff penalties for skirting the requirements. Operators must register their drones or face fines up to $25,000 and imprisonment if they are caught flying without a waiver.
Hiring an individual or company that has successfully obtained a Section 333 waiver from the FAA is the safest bet. And of course, make sure that you and the property owner are indemnified in case of property damage or injury from the drone operation.
Don’t Take the Risk – Do Your Homework
According to the National Association of Realtors, real estate professionals could be liable under state law if an individual is injured or an individual’s privacy or property rights are infringed upon as a result of the UAS operation.
The FAA is working with a variety of stakeholders, including the National Association of Realtors, to streamline the commercial drone use permission process. Many expect drone photography to become a standard tool for real estate marketing once that happens.
“Drone technology offers a tremendous opportunity for the business of real estate and the broader economy. That’s why NAR continues to support the integration of drones into the National Airspace and a regulatory landscape that allows for the responsible commercial use of drones,” NAR president Tom Salomone told Fast Company.
So if you decide to go this route, make sure to thoroughly investigate the rules and regulations involving the use of drones. Then assess whether pursuing this option is a good choice for your listing. It’s also advisable to seek the advice of a professional real estate expert before moving forward.