Real Estate Drones… Yes, It’s Happening

There was major news in the world of real estate today. Drones are now being allowed for marketing purposes within the real estate industry. Douglas Trudeau of Tierra Antigua Realty in Tucson, Ariz., today became the first real estate agent who can legally use a drone for real estate photography. So, why is this a big deal?

Well, the photos you typically see on a real estate search engine site or app are typically illegal if they are posted from an bird’s point of view. Under the FAA’s strict definition, all commercial use of drones to take the air shots of homes is illegal. In fact, it actually is still illegal to take these types of photos.  However,  the FAA today announced today that Trudeau is authorized “to fly a Phantom 2 Vision+ quadcopter to enhance academic community awareness and augment real estate listing videos.”

According to, “Today’s new exemptions bring the total number of companies allowed to commercially operate drones in the U.S. to 13.” The exemptions, all though for educational purposes and with a lot of restrictions on the permits (such as having a medically knowledgeable on the ground pilot), can change the face of real estate… literally!

There isn’t much data in the way of knowing how many sales are actually generated from the use of drones in commercial and private real estate sales. A picture is worth a thousand words, but most of the staging that garters real estate potential buyer attention doesn’t come from outside photos.

Am I excited about Douglas Trudeau’s venture into leading the way for drone use within the real estate market. Yes! Do I see this technology being readily available to every agent and broker in the US? Not any time soon.