10 Tips for Real Estate Agents Considering Drones

Rosemont, Ill.-based VHT Studios, a photography and image management services provider, is offering a top 10 list of tips for real estate agents and brokers who are thinking about implementing their own drone to market residential and commercial listings.

The company says it is welcoming a new real estate marketing era with yesterday’s start of Part 107, the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) rules for commercial drone operations in the U.S.

Seeing as the new FAA rules may prompt real estate professionals to consider getting a drone, Brian Balduf, CEO and co-founder of VHT Studios, is providing 10 insights:

1. Know your strategy. To grow your business, make sure you wow clients by shining the best possible light on your listings.
2. Though today’s requirements include a lower point of entry (no need to get a $10,000 pilot’s license), an FAA certificate is required to verify your aeronautics knowledge (a $300 course fee).
3. Learn the rules, such as flying within your line of sight or notifying air traffic control about flying within five miles of an airport.
4. Follow local regulations. Learn which state and government entities are crafting drone rules, and get on their email lists.
5. Buy insurance. The FAA doesn’t require it, but brokerages need the added liability protection in case of accidents.
6. Prepare for a learning curve. Crashes are common, even for experienced drone pilots. Allow about a year behind the wheel before that drone floats like a butterfly above your listings. Until then, drone video may appear unsteady or feel like a jerky roller coaster ride.
7. Know your budget. Commercial drones can cost significantly more than hobbyist drones.
8. Learn to use video editing software to produce a beautiful finished product.
9. Be knowledgeable and prepared for video distribution. You’ll be uploading and managing your clients’ listing videos so that they’re live on all streaming sites, such as YouTube and Vimeo, and removed once a home is sold.
10. Consider the time and upfront costs required. It may turn out that hiring a professional pilot/photographer with years of experience may be a better option for capturing aerial views of distinctive real estate listings.


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