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Imagine being able to take high quality photographs and videos of your real estate listings. In just a few minutes, you can upload them to social media, send them to buyers, and get the property sold faster than you could ever dream. This will become a reality in the next couple of years. Drones are going to change the way you sell real estate.
The Current State of Drone Use in the United States
Drones are considered unmanned aerial systems (UASs) or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). For a long time, law enforcement, the military and scientists were the only ones who could use them legally. The Aviation Administration (FAA) prohibited the use of drones for any other purpose, unless there were exceptions granted through a certificate. The certificate meant the drone user had met all requirements for air safety set forth by the FAA. While some real estate agents sought and achieved this certificate, it hadn’t been until recently that they have been able to gain a permit much easier.
Drone Guideline Changes for Commercial Use
The passing of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 has changed the way people like real estate agents and many small business owners can use drones. This act forced the FAA to establish standards for commercial drone use.
Those standards include, but are not limited to the following:
- Drones must be between 0.55 to 55 pounds.
- Register all drones online.
- Know and follow safety guidelines by organization such as the Academy of Model Aeronautics (AMA).
- Never fly the drone higher than 400 feet.
- The drone should always be in eyesight.
- They should never interfere with manned aircrafts.
- Do not fly drones over people or vehicles.
- It should remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and properties.
- If flying the drone within 5 miles of an airport, notify the airport or control tower.
- Never fly the drone in inclement weather.
- Never use the drone under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- User should know how to use the drone.
- Never fly it near infrastructure such as power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, and other areas that provide resources.
- Inquire about specific laws concerning flying drones over private property.
- Recording or photographing individuals in private settings without permission is illegal.
After the initial act was implemented, the government has made updates to it as cases have been brought before the court. In November 2014, drones were identified as “aircraft” and the statute FAR 91.13 warns:
“No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.”
For more information on the FAA regulations of drones, please review their FAQ page.
How to Use Drones for Your Real Estate Business
Since these standards are easy to follow, many real estate agents have used them to boost their sales and reputation. You can use drones in a number of ways to boost sales of your real estate listings.
Take Aerial Photographs: Aerial shots improve the appearance of properties. Many people believe they make them look bigger. These examples show you how attractive aerial photography can be, which will get more buyers.
Record Videos: As all real estate agents know, location matters. With a drone, you can record the community easily. It’s all done above homes, which helps interested buyers see how far your properties are from the most frequented places, such as schools, shops, hospitals, etc.
Gather Property Survey Information: With the aerial capabilities of a drone, surveying is quicker than the traditional method of property maps.
Help Investors: Investors base their investment on many factors. You can use the drones to help you sell land and existing properties, especially when investors are located in another state or country.
Use It for Marketing: You can use the photographs and videos to show buyers in the area properties. You can upload them on social media, websites, send the files in emails, and even send text messages. The more people you show the technology you have, the more they will be impressed with your skills and commitment to helping people determine which property is best for them.
The Future of Drone Use in Real Estate
As drone technology advances and the FAA evolves with the changes, the future will allow real estate agents to do much more. Consider it for your real estate business. As you know, when you market in ways that impress people, you’re much more likely to sell a property. With drones, you can capture what most people would never see, and that will give them much more to go on when they are making the decision to buy their next home.
RELATED: A Real Estate Agent's Personal Safety Guidelines
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