Each industry is led by certain pioneers. Henry Ford did the job for the automotive industry and Steve Jobs was and still is synonymous with the PCs, smartphones and digital music world. And the drone photography market in real estate is proud of Douglas Trudeau.
Trudeau works at Tierra Antigua Realty (Tucson, Arizona) as an affiliate broker. He became the first ever Realtor to file an application and get a waiver, Section 333, by the Federal Aviation Administration for using an aerial system which is unmanned, also called drone, to undertake real estate photography for property listings.
Commercial use of drones
Even though UAS has been popular among video and photo as well as aviation hobbyists for recreational purpose use, the Federal Aviation Administration Modernization and Reform Act of 2012 prohibits the use of multi-rotor or single-rotor aircrafts for any commercial purpose, including marketing for real estate, unless an exception is made by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The law got passed some years back, but the FAA unveiled a translation of this law in June 2014 where it specifically highlighted the implications for the real estate industry. After this, Trudeau contacted an FAA lawyer and explores the steps involved in becoming legal.
Trudeau has worked as a realtor for fifteen years and depends on his entrepreneurial background in a big way for all real estate transactions. He says that when he was getting his MBA, he focused a lot on marketing. This is the reason he markets the way he does.
New way of real estate marketing
When the concept of digital photography became popular, he made sure that spent sufficient amount of time as well as money to learn and adapt to the trade. He wanted to photograph properties on his own, without having to employ an external photographer, whose pictures he was not very satisfied using. Trudeau has also gone ahead to take pictures for his fellow agents for their property listings.
But photos also have their limitations. Trudeau says that he was never happy with a slideshow or virtual tour as seen on Multiple Listing Services. That is why he started focusing on video.
He observes that a house which uses video wins 400% greater attention as compared to a home that doesn’t. Trudeau started flying mini helicopters, operated by remote controls, about 7 years back. The hobby slowly became an important part of his real estate business.