Is Your Practice Ready for Drone Technology?


Drone Technology

Real Estate professionals have started using drone technology to take aerial photos of listings and the surrounding neighborhoods. The technology is especially useful in publicizing the unique features of a property, such as natural features like streams and rivers, outdoor amenities, and lot size. Also, offering clients aerial photographs may give you a competitive advantage over those that do not.

As recently as 5 years ago, the only option for aerial photography was spending huge amounts of money on airplanes or helicopters. However, in August of 2016, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) implemented a rule change to make it easier for businesses to operate small drones. As a result, the technology has become more mainstream and widespread, for both hobbyist and professionals.

The National Association of Realtors reported in 2017, as many as 44% of home buyers initiated their home search online. Technology highlighting a property’s features, with high-quality photographs, videos, and tours, has become increasingly important in marketing listings. Drones can capture far-reaching aerial views of a property and its neighborhood, thereby catching the attention of homebuyers searching online.

Before you implement this technology in your practice, there are some considerations. Like professional interior photographers, there are professional companies that you can hire to take pictures or videos using drone technology. These companies create dramatic high-resolution photos of a property’s exterior, creating a sense of interest and excitement about the property.

As with hiring any professional, it is important that you ask questions first:

  • Can the professional demonstrate that they are compliant with federal law for operating the drone?
  • Are they properly certified with the FAA?
  • Are there any municipal regulations the drone operator must meet?
  • Is the drone operator trained and qualified?
  • Does the drone operator have liability insurance?
  • Will the drone operator indemnify you against any claims against the operator?

Additionally, you will want to establish who will own the pictures and videos once they are taken. If you decide to operate a drone on your own, you will want to familiarize yourself with the FAA’s recreational use guidelines. A National Association of Realtors survey from 2016, indicated that 56% of realtors didn’t yet use drones. Is your practice ready to upgrade to drone technology?

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