Drones and Real Estate

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What you NEED to know about Drone Photography?

The FAA has many requirements as can be seen here for drone pilots, as a real estate professional, brokerage or just a person selling his/her home! Gone are the days in which any person that has a drone can take it to location and shoot.

Imagine this…

You just received drone aerials from your real estate photographer, you thought it was a good deal so you went with them. Likely with the recommendation of a friend or family member and uploaded them to the MLS, zillow or realtor.com. You’re getting phone calls left and right because the aerial photos shows off the real estate property so well! You’re incredibly pleased and go to thank your real estate photographer for the great job that they’ve done.

Then the unexpected Happens.

You get a pleasant phone call from the FAA and/or MLS asking if you are part 107 certified and have the proper license to commercially produce a photograph of that nature.

You Better hope that

the professional real estate photographer you hired is actually part 107 certified or else you and the real estate photographer are liable to paying some hefty fines.

Here are the Facts:

What is a commercial use of UAS?

  • Any commercial use in connection with a business, including:
  • Selling photos or videos taken from a UAS
  • Using UAS to provide contract services, such as industrial equipment or factory inspection
  • Using UAS to provide professional services, such as security or telecommunications
  • Using UAS to monitor the progress of work your company is performing

That’s Right.

Selling aerial photos from a drone can only be legally done so if the user of the drone or Remote Pilot-In-Command is Part 107 Certified.

BOOM! At this point it hits you,

Why haven’t I been asking my real estate photographer if he or she is part 107 certified through the FAA.

Let’s not Forget..

Just because someone is a part 107 certified pilot does not mean he/she are following the correct protocols. All sUAS must follow certain airspace guide lines.

It seems simple, but it isn’t, here are some facts about Drone flight regulations you should know

  • The only airspace that doesn’t require authorization from Air Traffic Control is Class G Airspace.
  • Must fly under 400 feet above ground level (AGL) or, if flying at an altitude higher than 400 feet AGL, stay within 400 feet of a structure
  • Must keep the UAS in sight (i.e. visual line of sight), either by the remote pilot in command or a visual observer
  • Must fly during daylight hours or civil twilight hours (30 minutes before official sunrise to 30 minutes after official sunset, local time) with appropriate anti-collision lighting
  • Must fly at or below 100 mph
  • Must yield right of way to manned aircraft
  • Must not fly over people
  • Must not fly from a moving vehicle unless you are in a sparsely populated area

So it all adds up to this:

Ask your real estate photographer if he/she is part 107 certified by the FAA. Ask them general questions about the facts you have learned here in order to test their competency as you the amount of knowledge they actually retained. And lastly know all of your facts prior to hiring any real estate photographer.

So go ahead, Leave a comment and Let us know what you think!