The real estate industry is competitive, as agents work very hard to generate leads and get a competitive edge in on other sellers in the area. The world of technology has brought in many niches for agents, as SEO, social media, and apps have all been shown to put an agent’s name in front of interested eyeballs. One new technology though has been relatively untapped, and it has the opportunity to sell your property faster. That technology is drone photography, and it has some real benefits if you choose to use it correctly.
MLS statistics reveal that home listings that utilize drone photography and video footage are likely to sell 68% faster than their competition that doesn’t. This provides a lucrative opportunity for agents who want to get a competitive edge over other agents. Drone footage allows users to see the property in whole, along with surrounding properties and features that a location on the ground simply cannot match.
Do it Right
If you want to use drone photography to boost your real estate sales, it’s important to do things the right way. The FAA has seen that many real estate agents were flying drones without a license, crashing, and causing damage to properties they were trying to sell. Because of this (and the growing number of drone sales), the FAA implemented laws to prevent unsanctioned flying. If a real estate agent is caught using an unlicensed drone pilot, they face a whopping $11,000 fine from the feds. The pilot themselves is liable for a $1,100 fine. If the agent is the one flying the drone, they are liable for both fines!
The important thing here is to make sure you comply with local and federal laws. In Michigan, the drone laws apply to reasonable privacy and give way to federal laws for the rest. This means that if you want to hire a real estate drone pilot in Midland (where we’re located), you need to make sure that you take care not to shoot anything that violates someone’s reasonable privacy, doesn’t violate airspace laws, go higher than 400 feet AGL, and many other rules.
The best way to comply is to hire a drone pilot to do your shoot. The pilot should carry an FAA Part 107 license to allow for commercial flight, which will put you in compliance. Make sure to ask for them to share their license! You also want to ensure that the pilot has insurance, as this protects you and them should something go awry and the pilot crashes into the property, causing damage. Once again, make sure to check for the proof of insurance.
The other option for you to comply with laws is to get your own Part 107 certification. This means that you get to learn the federal laws and do things on your own. It’s also a large time investment, as you have to put hours of study in, then pay $160 for the test, as well as hundreds of dollars for a drone.
Seeing as how we’re a drone operator, we obviously recommend the former. ;-)
There is a huge opportunity for you to grow your real estate business by incorporating professional drone photography. If you go this route, make sure you do things the right way, either by hiring a drone pilot or getting licensed yourself. Doing either will make sure you save thousands in potential fines and help sell properties faster.