Real Estate Agents and Drones (UAV’s)

Is your estate agency using unlicensed and therefore illegal drone operators?

Real Estate Agents and Drones

Many real estate agencies are employing the services of drone operators these days. The viewpoint that aerial photography and video lends to a property has been proven to increase the chance of a sale. However, some agencies are using illegal operators or simply doing it themselves. Are you?

You are being watched! – Ever since I got my UAV license in 2015, I have been telling real estate agents, land developers and property/land surveyors that using unqualified, unlicensed and uninsured drone operators could land you in a spot of bother with the CAA.

Real Estate Agents and Drones

That “bother” could be as simple as a £5000 fine for breaking the rules.

However, that could raise up into the hundreds of thousands or higher should you cause an accident, injury or death as a direct result of flying the drone illegally. 

Oh, and that applies to the company knowingly hiring a drone operator that has none of the above requirements.

It is so easy for a business to think “no-one will notice all the way out here in the sticks” and use anyone to fly their drone or even fly their own drone. However, it has been noted that the CAA are now approaching real estate companies displaying aerial images and videos on their websites and marketing material to ask how they obtained those images…beware.

What are the risks?

Amazingly, even the wealthiest and most successful developers are still unaware of the risks. Only last week I was with a couple of developers who admitted that they used a child with a small drone to take photos of a high rise property in a built up area.

Man, that is illegal on a number of levels (6 stories to be precise : )

Once I pointed out to them the cost of hiring a legal drone operator for a few hundred pounds as opposed to the possibility of a hefty fine or worse, the message was received and understood (I hope). After all, us pilots doing it the right way have spent many thousands of pounds on:

  • Professional equipment
  • Training
  • Insurance
  • Experience

…so surely it makes sense to do the right thing from the start?

Anyway, you can read more on this in the following article and please, if you or someone you know is thinking of hiring a drone operator commercially, ask them to get in touch with me.

Aviation Safety Chiefs Warn Estate Agents Over Drone Photographs

About the author

Nick Stubbs is a professional photographer, filmmaker and drone pilot with over 35 years experience in the imaging business. Still as passionate about his work as he was aged 13. Married with two kids and living in the beautiful town of Weymouth in Dorset.

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