Real Estate Shutterbugs Await FAA Rules To Post Drone Shots

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By Vittorio Hernandez | September 5, 2014 12:03 PM EST

Until the Federal Aviation Authority releases its final rules on the use of drones, Michigan real estate photographers that use them to collect photos of listings can only marvel at the beauty of their shots and would have to hold out in publishing them online, according to a report on Michigan Live Web site.  

REUTERS/Mike Segar
A camera drone flown by Brian Wilson flies near the scene where two buildings were destroyed in an explosion, in the East Harlem section in New York City, March 12, 2014. Two New York buildings collapsed on Wednesday in an explosion believed to be caused by a gas leak, killing two people, injuring at least 22, and setting off a search for more feared trapped in the debris, officials said.

Taylor Blom, Front Door Photos owner, told MLive.com that while he is dying to use drones for his West Michigan business, he does not want to ruffle the FAA's feathers. He flies a DJI Phantom 2 Vision he bought for $1,500 to take aerial photos and videos of properties in Grand Rapids, only to keep them in his mobile phone's album.  

Kevin Cole, another local owner of a photo studio, Image Michigan, also owns a drone which he uses to take high-resolution images and videos. His business specialises in aerial photography, but for now, he can only resort to shooting photographs from cameras he has installed high up on towers or from within airplanes he rents.

The two shutterbugs said they are practicing with their drones for now just in time for the rules. "We're trying to be the first in the business," Cole told MLive.com.

Being first is a priority for the two, as they believe the landscape would certainly change after drone photography has been legalised.

"It's an expensive business that will be dramatically changed once drone photography becomes legal," Cole said. "The drone is the absolute perfect platform for us; we can do it for half the price."

"Every indication is that in the next 10 years, it's going to be a $10 billion industry," Blom said.

The FAA warned that it would penalise professionals from real estate photographers to news and wedding photographers who use model aircrafts like drones to take photos and videos for commercial purposes, i.e., marketing homes, until it has published its new rules governing drone use before Sept 30, 2015.

"There are no shades of gray in FAA regulations. Anyone who wants to fly an aircraft-manned or unmanned-in U.S. airspace needs some level of FAA approval," the Web site quoted the FAA as saying in its memo "Busting Myths about the FAA and Unmanned Aircraft."

Real estate professionals can create virtual tours out of property photos to showcase their listings to potential buyers as an alternative to using drones. Realbiz Media Group, Inc. (OTCQB: RBIZ) develops proprietary video marketing software that agents and their brokers can use to create professional virtual tour listings for online marketing. The company offers a Virtual Tour Program that allows real estate sellers to create virtual tours and presentations that are optimized for mobile viewing and could be syndicated through social media for only $29.95 a month.

The program is equipped with a video search engine optimization (VSEO) tool that automatically generate meta tags and descriptions for virtual tours and listings agents have uploaded to the platform so that they would be found easily by consumers online.

The program also has tools for creating QR codes, e-flyers, and seller reports as bonus features.

To learn more about Realbiz Media and its products, contact sales@realbizmediagroup.com or call 1.888.REAL.BIZ (888.732.5249).

To contact the editor, e-mail:

(Photo: REUTERS/Mike Segar / )
A camera drone flown by Brian Wilson flies near the scene where two buildings were destroyed in an explosion, in the East Harlem section in New York City, March 12, 2014. Two New York buildings collapsed on Wednesday in an explosion believed to be caused by a gas leak, killing two people, injuring at least 22, and setting off a search for more feared trapped in the debris, officials said.
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