Realtors are at Risk from Unlicensed Drone Operators…and Most Don’t Even Know

Since this is the first post for the blog, I wanted to start it out with one of the most useful pieces of information I know. The thing that’s so concerning, however, is just how many people don’t know it. Rather than going with a long, irritating teaser to pull you through the post, I’ll just cut to the chase.

Hey Realtors – did you know that contracting with an unlicensed drone operator for aerial photos of your listings can put you on the hook for $11,000 in fines from the FAA? 

The person at the controls? Sure – they’ll get hit for about a grand or so. But you, dear real estate agent, you get the honor of an $11,000 fine, and it’s because of a little clause in the way the law is written that essentially makes you the cause of an illegal flight operation. 

Putting it simply – you’re the mastermind. The operator is just an accomplice. The best part is that you also plastered the evidence of the enterprise all over the MLS.

A license from the FAA as a remote pilot is much more than a fee we pay just to be able to charge for services. Our licenses not only ensure that we are operating legally within the National Air Space, but safely as well. Your “guy with a drone” might have no idea about the airspace restriction that might exist as a result of the small airport five miles away from you. We do. And, if we need to fly in it, we know how to get authorization to do so in a way that doesn’t put people’s lives in danger. We read charts, we check weather, we inspect our aircraft to make sure it’s going to function properly. We do everything we do in the name of safety…not just making a buck.

Not to mention we also carry insurance polices – something that can be pretty important when you’re talking about flying an aircraft in the vicinity of someone’s home.

The fines aren’t worth it, but more importantly than anything, the dangers to other people (either on the ground or in the air) that come from working with a “guy with a drone” just aren’t worth it. Sure…we might charge a little more than the other person. But, we can also guarantee that the government’s not going to come knocking as a result of the work we’ve done for you.