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New FAA drone use rules will benefit real estate agents

Posted by Jeff Edberg on October 22, 2016
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The use of drones to show real estate is becoming increasingly popular, and the Federal Aviation Administration recently made it easier for real estate agents to take advantage of this technology. The FAA relaxed regulations on drone use by real estate agents, and the new rules take effect in August.

Colorado Realtor Margshutterstock_637545881aret Stapleton of RE/MAX Alliance discussed drone technology on the NALA’s North American Speaker Series, and excerpts of her presentation appear in the article “Realtor Margaret Stapleton Utilizes NASS to Discuss Drone Technology in Real Estate” on

“Without a doubt, drone technology is revolutionizing the industry,” Stapleton said in the article published June 24. “It can effectively be used to show houses to potential buyers whose free time is limited, or for people relocating that do not have the time to travel far to see a house.”

Stapleton specializes in luxury homes, and she said in the article drone technology is perfect for her clients, many of whom want creative ways to see the best features of a home quickly and easily. Not only does drone technology give agents an advantage over their competition, it also is becoming the standard of excellent Realtors, Stapleton said in the article.

That will become especially true when the new FAA regulations kick in. The FAA no longer will require a Section 333 waiver, which will make it easier for real estate agents to legally fly unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), according to the article “New FAA regulations loosen drone rules for real estate agents” by Britt Chester on

The Section 333 waiver is described in the article as “a bottleneck of commercial applications on the FAA website, many of which were targeted toward real estate professionals and production companies working with real estate agents.”

The article, citing an anonymous source with the National Association of Realtors, stated the NAR has been working out how it can help agents who are using aerial photography ever since the FAA called out Realtors in 2014 regarding UAV use.

“We’ve worked hard to strike a responsible balance that protects the safety and privacy of individuals, while also ensuring Realtors can put drones to good use,” said Tom Salomone, broker-owner of Real Estate II Inc. in Coral Springs, Florida, and NAR president, in a news release quoted in the article.

The article also reported NAR wants to focus on the category of drones known as micro UAVs, which weigh less than four pounds and do not pose the same threat to public safety as larger drones, according to NAR.


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