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Unlicensed Realtors

Realtors, what are your thoughts on individuals selling property without a real estate license? Does it aggravate you? Does it make you mad? Is it taking money out of your pocket? The answer to all the above should be an astounding “YES!’

So why would you hire a drone pilot that’s not FAA licensed?

You say “Oh well that’s different,” and you would be right it is different because it’s not illegal to sell property without a real estate license but it is against federal law to fly a drone to capture real estate photos or videos without a license.

So let me answer just a few questions I get quite often concerning this topic:

As a realtor can I be held responsible if I hire an unlicensed pilot?

-       Yes and No, The FAA will more than likely not hold you responsible (unless you are also the pilot) but if an investigation occurs you will get subpoenaed by the courts which will negatively affect your business. Also, if the pilot does damage the home or property you will be responsible along with the pilot for the damages.

How much is the fine for flying without a license?

-       The typical fine is $1100.00 per event. Therefore if the unlicensed pilot fly’s 4 batteries on a real estate shoot, that is 4 events. ($4400.00). Also, in some recent news articles unlicensed pilots have been jailed for flying in an unsafe manner.

Is the FAA really going to be out patrolling for unlicensed pilots?

-       Probably not but in all honesty they don’t need to be. All they need is the video or photos off your website, YouTube, Facebook, etc.to raise suspicion, then prove that whoever recorded the media was not licensed, and that is a very simple task.

Can I just go buy my own drone and get licensed and take my own real estate videos?

-       Sure you can, but remember just because you buy a hammer and a tool belt you’re not a home builder. It takes training, practice, additional tools, experience, etc. You are selling a house not filming, little Johnnies baseball game.

So please make sure you are using an FAA licensed and insured drone pilot! 

If you’re interested, C4 Media STL can also come to your office and provide more in depth knowledge and answer any additional questions you may have.

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