Drones 101 for Real Estate AgentsLet’s talk terminology. We all call them drones but they are in fact really called UAV‘s, or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. If you do decide to use drones you’ll become familiar with the term UAV because that’s what the FAA calls them. We know drones can do awesome stuff so let’s begin with an awesome virtual tour video using drone footage. There are a lot of real estate agents and video production companies across the United States which are putting together some really cool videos and virtual tours using them. Here’s another cool video using a drone from Real Estate Sales Force. These guys are very cool and serious about using Drones for their real estate business. CLICK HERE to check them out. Drones are just another form of technology. In this case a drone can mount a high definition camera on it’s base so that it can capture stunning aerial video and photos for your listings. But like all other technologies, it can only work if you know how to use it correctly. When used correctly, an agent can position themselves as a true expert in “listings marketing” by using aerial photos and video AS PART OF an overall Listings Marketing Plan. Notice that I capitalized the words “AS PART OF” a Listings Marketing Plan. Drone videos and photos alone are not going to make impact most agents desire, which is, more listings. Rather, a real estate agent needs a complete listings marketing system, which includes the following:
- Professional real estate photography.
- Professional real estate video/virtual tours.
- Professional single property webpages (both branded and non branded).
- A system for managing buyer/agent feedback.
- A plan for managing the listing over the first 30 days on the market.
- A system in place for keeping the sellers in constant communication with buyer feedback and all marketing efforts.
- A plan in place for all other marketing activities for marketing the listing (which begins on day one).
Drones, Real Estate Agents, and the FAAEvery real estate agent should be aware that there are legalities, rules, and certifications for complying with if a drone, or UAV, is to be used in a “COMMERCIAL” application. In real estate, we are using drones in a commercial application because the photos and videos taken with a drone are used for marketing a property. This a commercial application. Therefore, you should become familiar with the FAA, the Federal Aviation Administration. They have taken a very direct stance on regulating how drones (UAV’s) are used. The FAA breaks it down like this. If you “Fly for Fun” there are some very simple and practical rules for how, when, and where you can operate your drone. If you “Fly for Work”, then the following requirements listed next are needed. You also go directly to the FAA website on the page regarding drones to get this info CLICK HERE to access.
The FAA Guidelines for using drones (UAV’s) in a commercial application
- Pilot Requirements: You must have a Remote Pilot Airman Certificate and pass a TSA vetting test.
- Drone/Aircraft Requirements: The drone must weigh less than 55lbs. And you must undergo a pre-flight check before flying. (if the drone weighs more than 55lbs then it must be registered with the FAA)
- Location: Must operate within Class G airspace.
- Operating Rules: You must keep the drone within your line of sight. Must fly at or under 400ft. Must fly at or under 100 mph. Must NOT fly over people unless you have a waiver. Must not fly from a moving vehicle.
- Legal/Regulatory Stuff: Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulation (14 CFR) Part 107.