At a recent REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, industry experts joined forces, sharing knowledge about safely aligning drone technology with video use in real estate marketing.
Who’s Got the Bird’s Eye View?
Jim Williams, manager of the FAA’s Unmanned Aerial Systems Integration Office; Doug Trudeau, associate broker at Tierra Antigua Realty in Tucson and the first realtor to apply for and receive a waiver for drone use (before drone flight certification was redesigned to omit manned flight licensing requirements); and associate counsel for the NAR, Lesley Walker.
What Guidance Did These Industry Experts Have To Offer on Drone Tech?
- Don’t Be Careless
Following rules without paying attention is the drone operating equivalent of texting while driving. Crashes are not uncommon, and overlooking potential dangers could be catastrophic. Batteries can be highly explosive on impact, resulting in serious injury – or even catastrophic wildfire. Don’t be so eager to use drones that you overlook risks.
- Look Before You Leap
Adding a drone to your business isn’t cheap. Equipment exceeds $1,000 and there are continuing costs, including liability insurance, adding another $600-800 per year.
- Avoid Done ‘Spam’
Avoid overusing this latest tech toy. Be mindful to keep videos short (under 2-minutes), with only 10-20 seconds of high-flying footage. And don’t fly so high/far that you lose the home to the surrounding environment. All footage should offer value.
- Know Who’s in Charge
If you notice a realtor operating unsafely, report it to the FAA. The NAR enforces the realtor code of ethics, not flying (or traffic) infractions. Also be aware – governance of drone use goes beyond the FAA to encompass federal, state, and local laws and enforcement. If you mess up – it’s not just the FAA you need to worry about.