Drone Photography for Real Estate—Get the Latest!

Drone flying at sunset

Drone photography has already made a huge impact on real estate marketing, and now that the FAA has finally released guidelines for commercial drone use, the aerial photography market is poised to take off.

What is drone photography?

A drone is a small Unmanned Aircraft System (also known as a sUAS, UAS or, alternatively, as an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle/UAV). In real estate, drones are used as a low-cost alternative to helicopters or planes when obtaining low-altitude aerial photography of a property on the market.

Agents are taking advantage of this technology to show off a home’s curb appeal, its location within the neighborhood, and even community attractions like this amenity center at the Shearwater masterplan in St. Augustine.

The National Association of REALTORS® has developed a FAQ here (PDF) to help real estate agents understand the new FAA guidelines (effective August 29, 2016). It’s a great resource if you’re…

  • Interested in adding drone photography to your own range of services, and would like to know the certification requirements.
  • Ready to hire a drone photographer, and need to know the right questions to ask about their qualifications.
  • Confirming that your current drone photography vendor is compliant with the latest federal guidelines.

In addition to the new operational rules, the FAA’s website has helpful safety tips, equipment registration guidelines (PDF), privacy best practices (PDF) and other resources.

Remember, your municipality may have additional regulations regarding drone use. Be sure to research your area’s HOA rules, local laws and other restrictions before operating this technology!