It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane; No It’s A Drone To Market Your Real Estate

The unique beauty of the Outer Banks is breathtaking from the air.  Drone videos of real estate for sale reveal the exquisite beauty of the barrier island.  It astonishingly reveals the fragile nature of the island we live and vacation on.  Even more surprising from the air is how much is undeveloped.  Increasingly, hobbyist have used drones to share this view around the world.  While many have committed no harm, and only have admirable goals; still others have done much to annoy the neighbors. 

When-you-should-use-a-drone-to-market-your-property-for-saleAs of Dec. 21, 2015, the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) requires all owners of drones (small unmanned aircraft), weighing between 0.55 and 55 pounds to register online before taking to the skies.  This applies to all recreational users. 

Drones that will be used for commercial purposes or those that weigh more than 55 pounds have additional restrictions and need to be registered using an older, paper-based system. Commercial users must also apply for an exemption. 

Realtor & Commercial use of drones

Anyone using a drone for profit, including a realtor, wedding videographer, or any other for-profit purposes, needs to apply for an exemption under Section 333.

Does Your Broker Have an Exemption?

If your agent or broker does not already have an exemption to use a drone, beware that it could take months for a new exemption application to be approved by the FAA. Applying for the exemption is no guarantee the FAA will even approve it.  Renting a registered drone is not a legal method to comply because one would still need the exemption to use it for commercial purposes. Even a hobbyist homeowner who used a drone to photograph their own property may come under the scrutiny of the FAA for using it to market the property.  The details for the new law are not entirely clear. 

In addition, in NC a Department of Transportation license must be obtained before using a drone and the user must pass a test before using it for commercial purposes.  Other states have similar regulations.  It is an evolving industry with laws and regulations trying to keep up.  Currently, the FAA is pressing to control the skies and over-ride any state regulations.  Having one set of rules will certainly make it easier to comply and quickly increase the use of drones for commercial purposes, like Amazon and other deliveries.

The FAA has issued a more than 500 commercial licenses across the country.  They estimate that around 7,500 commercial drones will be in operation within five years. The Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) estimates drones will generate more than $13.6 billion in revenue and create more than 70,000 new jobs in the next three years of integration. It projects that tax revenues to states will exceed $482 million in the first 11 years of integration.  Clearly, drones are here to stay.

Hire an Approved 3rd Party

Ask your Real Estate agent if they have an agreement with an  experienced drone videographer  like Drones I Vu (3rd party) to provide the service. Obtaining an FAA approved company is the only legal way to comply with the new rules.  Ask the approved company to provide it’s FAA authorization number. 

When Should You Use a Drone to Sell Real Estate?

There is no doubt the video shot by drones is captivating.  Resembling a Hollywood movie, the sweeping views can be quite a sales tool.

Videos are increasingly being used across all channels to increase customer engagement.  Drone videos have the advantage of showcasing a property from the air.  This is especially effective for showing wide expansive views for a very large property, enticing waterfront views, unique elevations or relative proximity to attractions nearby.  As you can imagine, it is quite a dramatic tool for the Outer Banks to illustrate the proximity of the sound to the ocean and other attractions nearby.

Drone video can also be quite effective for a commercial facility or large tract of rural land that are difficult to appreciate from the ground.

Another advantage of having access to drone photography for real estate is for insurance purposes.  Should a storm event or hurricane occur, video from a drone could be used to begin the insurance claim process or to assess damage for a specific property and verify the access points are safe to travel to it.

How to Create a Great Drone Video

While some Realtors have a drone and the FAA exemption in house; it is important to use professional production techniques for a high quality finished product – worthy of an academy award.

Cast of Characters

Staging the right actors to play the homeowners or neighbors can provide the ascetic you are trying to capture for the finished video.  You want potential buyers to be able to see themselves in the home, relaxing, entertaining and just making the space their own.

Create a Script

The most effective use of video includes a compelling script with clear objectives moving from scene to scene.  You should try to touch an emotional chord with the audience.

Use a Cinematographer

While direction and having a story line is important to show the features of the house; it is even more important to find an experienced expert to shoot the video.  The expert will have experience and know-how for finding the right perspective and lighting to create a unique experience for the viewer.

Use Editing Software

One doesn’t just shoot and publish or upload.  To get the best results, edit with transitions, adding music and other effects to create a polished, finished piece.

General Rules for Drone Use: 

  • Fly no higher than 400 feet and remain below any surrounding obstacles.
  • Keep your drone within your sight range at all times.
  • Remain clear of and do not interfere with aircraft operations.
  • Remain at least 25 feet away from individuals and property.
  • You should contact the airport and control tower before flying within five miles of an airport or heliport.
  • Do not fly in adverse weather conditions.
  • Do not fly when under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  • Make sure the operating environment is safe and the operator is competent and proficient to fly the drone.
  • Do not fly near or over power stations, water treatment facilities, correctional facilities, heavily traveled roadways, government facilities, etc.
  • Check and follow all local laws and ordinances before flying over private property.
  • Do not photograph persons in areas where there is an expectation of privacy and without the individual’s permission.

Contact Eillu to visit the new homes under construction or recently completed to learn more about the benefits of owning an Outer Banks vacation rental or relocating for your retirement years.

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