There are a number of articles hovering around the internet about brokers wanting to use drones for commercial real estate. I decided to write this post to help bring some of the articles together, in a few paragraphs, to help give a more aggregate perspective of what the current drone buzz is.
FAA Issuing Permits for Real Estate Drone Use
In this article by PBS, it was announced that the FAA has issued permits for real estate drone usage. There are, however, a number of requirements that come along with the permit. For example, the pilot of the drone must have a couple FAA certificates and there must be an observer present during the flight. There are other restrictions mentioned in the article, but the good news is that exemptions for commercial drones are being made.
Fined $10,000 by the FAA
Nobody wants to get in trouble for using a drone. So, what happens if a “commercial drone operator” gets hit with a fine by the FAA? Well, in this article by The Verge, author Chris Welch tells the story of a photographer who was given a $10,000 fine by the FAA because he didn’t safely operate his drone. If you’re in commercial real estate and interested in using a drone without approval by the FAA (not certified), or maybe taking a risk to get some interesting coverage, you might want to keep that story in mind. There is a whole lot more to that story, and I encourage you take a look at all the details, if you’ve got the time for it. It’s an interesting read. Matt Swinden provided the following link as well, which talks about drone laws and mentions this article: www.dronelawjournal.comPhotographer fined $10,000 after operating a drone Click To Tweet
National Association of Realtors Talking to the FAA
Commercial real estate professionals are eager to be granted the right to use drones for marketing properties. An encouraging update for commercial real estate professionals is that, according to this article by Realtor.org, the president of the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has proposed rules to the FAA for the use of drones. There is no telling how long it might be before the FAA sets a standard of rules for drone usage in the real estate industry, but it’s good to see that the NAR is doing their part to get the “ball rolling”… or should I say, the “drones hovering.”
Benefits of Using Drones for Commercial Real Estate
When will commercial brokers be able to freely use drones? The answer is unknown, but we can certainly speculate the benefits of drones being used for CRE. Stephanie Gilbert, an advisor and blogger for Sperry Van Ness | SouthLand Commercial, wrote an article that covered some of the values of drone use in this industry. She said that drones make aerial imagery more affordable, they can show off listings that are in desirable locations, and they take trademaps to “a whole new level.” I’m definitely inclined to agree with her on all three points.
Interesting Predictions About Commercial Drones
The Apto Marketing Team published an article on their blog, which was also featured on theBrokerList. This article talks about commercial drones and 2015 CRE Legislative Trends. There are some great updates about the FAA in that article. I’m optimistic about the future. If you want some more reading on this topic, their article would a good place to start.
The future and timeline of using drones for commercial real estate is a bit uncertain, but this is without a doubt something to keep an eye on. Exciting times are coming. If you have a CRE drone story, please send an email to me and let me know about it. I’d love to get more perspective on this topic.
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About Sonny Granger – Sonny has more than 15 years experience in the real estate industry, with a special passion for commercial brokerage and development. Sonny is based in Pensacola, Florida, with broker licenses for Florida, Georgia and Alabama. He is also one of four partners for SVN | SouthLand Commercial. Click here to view his full profile, or if you would like to contact him, you can call him at 850-434-7500, or email him at [email protected] You can also follow him on Twitter at @fisheye33333.