The Drone Debacle

May 20, 2014

Google the word “drones” and you'll find yourself inundated with over 94 million hits. Drones are one of the latest emerging technologies and while not new, the affordability of them has come down so vastly that even the hobbyists are getting in on the fun

When you hear the word drone, you suddenly shift to some crazy CIA op where the federal government is watching your every move. Heck, I'm currently deployed to Afghanistan and if I said I wasn't conscious about the drones flying overhead watching my every move, I'd be lying. But in reality, drones, or Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) classifies them is a great tool to help sell a home that those traditional photos just don't do justice.

Think about it, would you rather see a photograph of a beach front home where you might get a glimmer of the ocean in the background if you position yourself just right, or would you rather have something that shows the entire home with miles of ocean and beach as your background? What about the house that has 5, 10, or even 15 acres or more of land in addition to the home? It doesn't have to only be for large scale homes either. Have a home that might not shine easily by itself? Want to showcase the neighborhood in one of the photos to really make the home pop? Try aerial photography, it's sure to do the trick.

There is great benefit to aerial photography and with the affordability coming down you no longer need to spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars to rent an airplane or helicopter. Additionally, the time you save by using a UAS is substantial. In addition to aerial photography, you can also showcase the home with aerial videography of the property to give it that extra curb appeal. Now that I've talked about some of the benefits, let's take a glimpse of the legal aspects.

According to the FAA in a 2007 policy statement, a UAS used for commercial purposes is illegal. They've upheld this stance by issuing an Order of Assessment on April 13, 2012 where the FAA was assessing a civil penalty in the amount of $10,000 to Mr. Raphael Pirker who was using his UAS to photograph and film the University of Virgina campus and medical center for commercial purposes, which he took to the courts. However, on March 6, 2014 this case was dismissed and the FAA is of course appealing this decision and so The Drone Debacle and legalities of drone usage continues. You can view the court documents here.

What do you think about using UAS technology to capture the homes you market? I would love to hear your comments!


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