This post originally appeared on tBL member blog SVN Southland Commercial Blog and is republished with permission. Find out how to syndicate your content with theBrokerList.

If you’ve read my two previous blog posts about drones, Tech Tools for CRE Agents: Visual Marketing and Drone Photography: Is it Feasible?, I’m sure you’re convinced that drone photography is the wave of the future for commercial real estate marketing.

air-monitoring-211124_1280In fact, you may have even browsed eBay for drone cameras, because having a drone camera in your CRE office would surely save you the cost and hassle of hiring a drone photographer. Not necessarily. I’ll admit I would love to own the Lily flying camera, but I don’t plan on using it for commercial real estate photography anytime soon.

We’ve all heard the Abraham Lincoln quote about attorneys, “He who represents himself has a fool for a client.” Practicing law on yourself is not something you want to do. Likewise, there are several reasons why drone aerial photography is not a do-it-yourself endeavor for commercial real estate firms. Here are a few:

Purchasing equipment is a hefty investment

A good camera drone does not come as one, all-inclusive package. High quality photographs are taken with expensive and sophisticated cameras that were purchased separate from the drone. You will need to purchase at least one drone, and a still camera and a video camera that are compatible with the drone. You will also need photo and video editing software. The price on these items can add up quickly. Plus, you have to remember that, when it comes to quality, you get what you pay for.

Learning to use the equipment well can take time

You must learn to use the still and video cameras before you even try to send them into the air. You must learn to fly the drone smoothly or photos will be blurry and video will be shaky. Finally, you must learn to operate your photo and video editing software and use techniques that are tasteful and effective. All of this takes lots of practice. Most drone aerial photographers were ground photographers long before they took to the air.

Getting insurance can be expensive

You will need a liability insurance policy with a minimum coverage of $1,000,000. This policy should cover you, your employees, your equipment, your customers, any property you might damage, and fines for any Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) rules you might break.

Understanding FAA rules and regulations can be difficult

Because of the dangers of collisions with passenger aircraft, you must take courses provided by the FAA and become certified to operate an unmanned aircraft. All companies that fly drones for commercial purposes are required to have an FAA 333 exemption. In addition, there are often changes to FAA and legislative rules about drone usage that you will need to keep abreast of.

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As a commercial real estate firm, taking up drone photography is not your core business. Is it worth spending your resources on these items just to save money on hiring a professional drone photographer?

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Advisor Top BarAbout Stephanie Gilbert – Stephanie has been working in commercial real estate since 2003. Although she has done a variety of deals, her focus and passion, when it comes to commercial real estate, is leasing and selling office space, primarily in the Pensacola, Florida area. If you would like to contact her, you can call her at 850-434-7500, or email her at [email protected] You can follow her on Twitter at @StephanieGSVN.

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