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April 25, 2016

Are You Using Drones For Real Estate Photography Yet?

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If you haven’t already noticed, using drones for real estate photography is quickly becoming a standard-operating procedure for any agent or broker worth his salt. OK, it’s not that prevalent yet, but we predict that by the end of the year it will be. You can get better still images and videos of the properties you need to showcase. And in fact this can be much cheaper in some ways than, say, renting a helicopter for the job.

The practice of using drones for real estate purposes is becoming so commonplace that the National Association of Realtors recently put out a field guide to doing so safely. Maybe you’ve already seen it. If you haven’t, and you’re thinking about using drones, then you should probably check it out. Because the other thing you probably know about amateur use of drones for commercial and personal purposes is that it’s getting a lot of people in trouble. Recently in London, for example, somebody flew their drone into the side of an airliner, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing. With heavy jetliners rumbling over South Beach airspace, it’s not a bad idea to brush up on the basics:

First, you need permission from the Federal Aviation Administration before you start flying your drone around that new Miami condominium. What you need to get is a Section 333 waiver. They’re not easy to get because, basically, everybody in America is trying to get one. But you can get in line and find more details about it on the FAA website.

Second, it might be easier for you just to hire somebody who does have a Section 333 waiver. That’s something you can easily find through a simple Google search. Just make sure you ask them to provide you with a copy of their waiver so you know they’re not full of it — and so you don’t end up on the wrong side of an argument with federal law enforcement agents.

For more information about using drones for real estate photography, check out the NAR FAQ.

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