Legal drone photos available: let’s show buyers a bird’s-eye view of YOUR home or cabin

One of the many advantages of listing your lake home or cabin with me is that I provide ALL my sellers with professional, magazine-quality real estate photography that helps their property stand out from the crowd. The difference isn’t just artsy or technical, and it’s a difference that really matters.

And… I’m also providing aerial photos and video. A year ago my husband Al passed his Part 107 test, and he’s now an FAA-certified Remote Pilot who can legally fly small Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) for commercial purposes.

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That’s why the title of this post began with the words “LEGAL drone photos.” As of August 29, 2016, a Realtor or photographer must possess a Remote Pilot Certificate before they can legally use a drone to capture aerial photos or video that will be used to market your home. It doesn’t matter if no money changes hands; the FAA defines real estate photography as a “commercial purpose,” and even uses it as a key example of the difference between commercial and recreational flight. Liability for unauthorized operations can fall on both the pilot and the person who hires the pilot.

Although aerial photos and video still have novelty value, it’s no longer enough to send up a drone and press a button. This isn’t a job for your neighbor’s teenager who loves drones, phones, and video games. It’s a job for a skilled real estate photographer who occasionally uses a camera that happens to be mounted on a flying tripod. Just as with terrestrial photography, there’s more to this than just buying a camera and clicking a button.

Now, it is possible that your property may not benefit from drone photos. If it’s closely surrounded by dense conifers, for example, then the only available angle might show nothing but shingles. And if the houses on either side are a little too close, we may not want to emphasize that visually. But for many homes and cabins, a drone’s-eye view can add a tremendous amount of extra drama and excitement.

That’s why we’re willing to fly the extra mile for our clients, and that’s why I’m so excited about this new capability. For more examples of drone shots (and also of other great photography that’s helping my sellers’ listings get noticed and get sold), please follow the link to my blog and website.

And finally, if you’re thinking of selling, please give me a call or drop me an email. I’ll be happy to provide a free, localized and fact-based comparative pricing analysis. Or, if you know anyone else who might be interested in buying or selling, please give me a call at 218-590-6634.

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