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BROKERS BEWARE: Do You Use Drones for Your Listing Photography?
When we were at our homeschool convention in Orlando we took Tristan to his first “rock concert”. It was a Christian rock band playing for the attendees of the convention. I noticed a photographer at the front side of the stage controlling a drone with his remote.
I was amazed at this technology as I watched the drone flying above the crowd taking video. I thought about how many agents use this same technology for taking images of their listings. The fly over drones take very good photos and you get a great in depth perception of the lay out of the land. I also of course, being me, thought about how everything that is invented can be used for good or evil. I thought about the intrusions in our personal lives and privacy by governments using drones. There is ying and yang.
Now, the FAA ( Federal Aviation Administration) has issues subpoenas to real estate brokers for using drones to take images of their listings. The FAA just went after several New York City brokers. The FAA is issuing fines for unlawfully using drones as drones are considered flightcraft NOT model airplanes.
The FAA does not allow the use of drones for commercial uses. Federal law outlaws this. As with most government rules, they fall behind the times and technology advances so the best thing to do for now is to stop using your drones until the FAA creates the rules for commercial uses of drones.
They do allow hobby drones and have also given police and first responders some rights in using drones.
The National Association of REALTORS® has warned real estate brokers and agents to NOT use drones for getting pictures of their listings until the FAA releases rules about using the drones. The FAA is expected to release their rules in the later part of 2015.
If you use drones in your real estate business you take the risk of getting fined by the FAA if they find out. How can they find out? Of course, your listing’s neighbors can call them:). Be careful out there!
Photo credit: By Clément Bucco-Lechat (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons with permission to alter photo.