As I mentioned in a recent blog post on my real estate blog, the use of UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) has been strictly scrutinized by the FAA . Essentially, until regulations go into effect in 2015, REALTORS cannot hire people to use RC helicopters, drones or other UAVs to take aerial pictures and videos of their listings. Well, let me correct that… they CAN but when they do and post them on the web, the government will shut those companies down as they did in the case of a Minnesota aerial photography company last month.
Yes, some people say that you are safe in using one of these helicopters and doing these photos for yourself, but it is not that simple. The FAA has used local law enforcement to find and shut down any of these businesses that are using UAVs for commercial or business purposes. So there is a lot of gray area and the FAA does not have a legal remedy for this for another two years in 2015. Meanwhile,what would be a great tool for REALTORS to market their lisitngs is held in limbo for an extended period of time.
As I noted in my blog post on the subject, if Eddy Kicker wanted to hire someone to use a UAV to take a video of some luxury homes in Greenville SC (for example) that he wanted to list, he currently cannot do that, but rather has to wait for the FAA to get around to deciding how to handle it. Even then, a company doing this could face prohibitive costs as government gets its tentacles into the aerial photography game.
Why does this take so long? I am not sure. While there are a number of considerations to be weighed, one would think that it would take less than 2 years. Our industry deserves better service from our government than that.
Just my .02