Table of Contents
- FAQ About Real Estate Drones
- DJI Phantom 4
- DJI Inspire 2
- Yuneec Typhoon H Pro
- DJI Mavic Pro
- The Best Drones for Real Estate
Using drones for real estate has become something that we’ve seen quite often recently. It’s the latest way to show off properties to their full potential using a bird’s eye view, giving your prospective buyers the complete size, layout, and area of the estate.
Not only that but as a real estate agent, we know you’re constantly looking for a way to get the leg up on the competition. Using a drone for aerial shots of your properties is the best way to lay everything out to your clients and give them an interesting perspective on what’s being offered.
To sum it all up, drones for real estate photography are the next big thing in the industry. The property is shed in an entirely new light and, especially when you’re taking a video of the area, gives you a sense of what you can really expect besides just basic pictures of what your prospective buyers will be investing in.
FAQ About Real Estate Drones
If you don’t see your question listed below in our FAQ section, get in touch with us and we’ll help you out!
How do real estate agents use drones?
Real estate agents use drones for a wide variety of things for their clients. For example, an agent will use a drone to show a client any problems with the roof from a distance and areas of a property that are difficult to see properly from the ground.
Overall, however, they use them to show prospective buyers the entire land area they’ll be purchasing. It’s also great for showing local improvement districts and/or civic developments that could contribute to buyer’s property taxes.
Is it legal to use drones for real estate purposes?
As long as you are following the rules and regulations put forth by the FAA and any local and state laws and regulations for the state they are being used in, yes, using drones for real estate purposes is entirely legal!
What should I look for in a real estate drone?
When you’re shopping around for your real estate drone, there are a lot of key features to look for. The quality of the camera is extremely important and should be used as a starting base. 1080p or 4K resolution quality comes highly recommended for obvious reasons.
The battery is also important, as well. Just think of it this way – the bigger the property, the more battery power you should have. Will it take 10 minutes to film the entire property, or will you need a 20-minute battery to do it?
You should also think about certain drone features, as well. For example, a flight path feature that allows you to map out a flight path for the drone is definitely beneficial here. It’ll ensure that you don’t actually have to fly it and that it will do the job itself.
Best Drones for Real Estate
Now that we’ve covered the introductory aspects of real estate drones, let’s take a look at what you’re options are when it comes to using drones for real estate!
DJI Phantom 4 Quadcopter
The Phantom 4 by DJI is everybody’s favorite classic. It’s sitting at $1000 and is no doubt one of the best drones you could use for real estate purposes. The camera alone is enough of a factor, but we’re about to give you the total rundown on it entirely.
Listed below are the specs and features:
- – Uses both GPS and GLONASS
- – Camera capabilities with 4K Ultra HD video at 30 FPS, 1080p at 120 FPS, and 12MP photos
- – Included 3-axis u-frame camera and gimbal stabilization technology
- – Features Hover, Auto Takeoff, Auto Return Home, Sport Mode, Vision Positioning, Visual Tracking, Active Track, Obstacle Avoidance, and more
- – Total flight time of up to 28 minutes
- – Able to hit speeds of up to 45mph when in Sport Mode
- – Includes a 720p HD transmission with a range of up to 3.1 miles or 5km away
- – Weighs 8.8 pounds with a total size of 15”x8.7”x12.8”
The biggest pro that the Phantom 4 by DJI has to offer is the amount of features you’re getting. They make shooting videos and taking pictures an absolute snap. There are multiple features that focus on certain aspects of aerial photography that make it a great real estate drone.
One of the biggest cons, however, is that it can have some bugs that DJI won’t really tell you about and may never actually fix. For example, the gimbal calibration may not work or will fail between 71% to 72%.
DJI Inspire 2 Quadcopter Bundle
The Inspire 2 by DJI is another drone favorite, which stands at around $3000 when bundled together with a 64GB UHS-I microSDXC memory card, a card reader, and a MicroFiber cleaning cloth. The price of the bundle no doubt seems pretty steep, but we think you’ll agree with us when they say it’s definitely worth it after you check out what it’s capable of.
Listed below are the specs and features:
- – Able to accelerate to speeds up to 50 mph within 4 seconds flat
- – Uses a dual battery design
- – Features Advanced Obstacle Sensing
- – Includes a 2-axis stabilized FPV camera
- – Supports CineCore 2.0 image processing and both ProRES and CinemaDNG recording
- – Has a maximum velocity of up to 58 mph
- – Has full compatibility with 5.2K gimbal cameras
- – Total flight time of up to 27 minutes
The biggest pro that the Inspire 2 by DJI has to offer is the fact that you can combine the drone with the X4S or the X5S gimbal cameras for better imaging based on your personal preferences. By switching between the two you can get bit rates at the highest degree when using either the H.264 or the H.265 formats.
The biggest con, however, is the obvious fact that it’s priced at $3000. This can, unfortunately, be a problem for people who are looking for a budget drone or something within that ballpark.
Yuneec Typhoon H Pro Quadcopter with Intel RealSense
The Typhoon H Pro with Intel RealSense by Yuneec will run you up to $1400, comes as an RTF model, and has a bunch of extras that make it all well worth the price. We all know the Typhoon line from Yuneec, but this package brings Intel RealSense to the table for an added beneficial punch, great for using a drone for real estate.
Listed below are the specs and features:
- – Uses the ST16 Ground Station controller that has an integrated receiver, transmitter, and an Android platform for all-in-one use with a 7” screen
- – Features 8 different flight modes, GPS stabilized flight control, Auto Takeoff, Auto Return to Home, Auto Land, Sonar Collision Prevention, Orbit Me, Point of Interest, Curve Cable Cam, and more
- – Includes the CGO3+ 4K UHD camera with 12MP photos
- – Has retractable landing gear with 6 rotor safety and 5 rotor fail-safe
- – Total flight time of up to 25 minutes
- – Uses the 3-axis anti-vibration CGO3+ gimbal for steady shots and videos, able to rotate 360 degrees with a 98-degree FOV
- – Weighs 12 pounds with a total size of 17”x21.2”x12.5”
The biggest pro that the Typhoon H Pro by Yuneec has to offer is the Intel RealSense technology. It’s capable of detective and intelligently avoiding obstacles to ensure that collisions are avoided as much as possible. It does this by building a 3D map of the world and enabling the drone to make a choice when an obstacle comes into play on what route it can take to avoid it.
Paired with the Follow Me feature, for example, you won’t have to stop and manually control the drone to ensure it won’t hit anything, giving you more battery time for what you’re doing.
The biggest con, however, is that it will take up to 8 hours to charge a single battery for this drone for real estate. With this in mind, if you have multiple properties you want to shoot in one day, this may not be the drone for you unless you invest in a handful of extra batteries.
DJI Mavic Pro Quadcopter
Who doesn’t love the Mavic Pro from DJI? Even though some time has passed since it’s initial release, we still get excited over it. We definitely couldn’t leave the Mavic Pro out of our review for the best real estate drones because, let’s face it, it’s perfect for the industry.
Listed below are the specs and features:
- – Folds down into the size of a water bottle for ease of transportation
- – Uses the new OcuSynce transmission system that gives up to 4.3 miles or 7km or transmission range
- – Able to hit speeds of up to 40 mph or 64kmh
- – Total flight time of up to 27 minutes
- – Features TapFly, ActiveTrack, Obstacle Avoidance, Vision Positioning, Flight Autonomy, Sport Mode, Gesture Control, and more
- – Uses both GPS and GLONASS for both indoor and outdoor flying
- – Includes a 4K camera with full HD 1080p video streaming and able to shoot RAW for both videos and photos
- – Uses a 3-axis mechanical gimbal
- – Weighs 1.6 pounds with a total size of 11.4”x7.1”9.4”
The biggest pro that the Mavic Pro by DJI has to offer is no doubt the fact that the arms are 100% foldable and retract to turn the drone into the size of a water bottle. Transporting drones can be an issue at times, but thankfully it isn’t in this case!
The biggest con, however, is that you’ll find it difficult to have the Mavic Pro and other drones paired with your phone at the same time. If you are only planning on using the Mavic Pro for the job and no other, you won’t have to worry about this issue.
The Best Drones for Real Estate
Yes, we have no doubt favored DJI for this review, but for regular dronethusiasts, you can see why we’ve done so. They have features and camera specs that will knock anything else out of the sky when it comes to using a drone.
Best Drones for Real Estate was originally posted at https://www.dronethusiast.com/best-drones-real-estate/ by
8 tips for flying a drone in cold weather
Drones whiz and whip through the air at breakneck speeds. Unfortunately, these cool machines weren’t designed for cold weather. It’s not the friendliest condition for them, but with some preparation beforehand, you can capture the beauty of rolling winter landscapes from a bird’s-eye perspective.
Before flying, read your drone’s user manual. Most quadcopters are designed to fly in a temperature range of 32 degrees Fahrenheit to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Flying outside that range may put your drone at risk. But if your drone can handle the cold conditions, then read on — then get flying!
1. Beware of ice
The arch-nemesis of all helicopters and planes, ice endangers drones too. Ice accumulating on the propeller blades, alters the weight distribution, hurting the drone’s ultimate aerodynamics. Cold air over warm water causes evaporation, and this evaporative fog will refreeze on surrounding surfaces, including on the drone’s surface.
2. Know how cold affects battery life and sensors
Colder temperatures shorten the flight time of your drone by slowing the chemical reaction with the LiPo batteries and lowering the battery capacity. A fully charged drone that typically will last between 20 to 25 minutes in flight, could fly for just 10-15 minutes in colder weather. Extreme cold weather can cause an unexpected power drop, and while it’s rare, there have been cases where batteries fail completely.
Cold weather dulls the drone’s sensors which can cause the drone to drift or have less response from the control input. In addition, cold fingers or gloves make controlling the input more difficult.
3. Practice good battery health
When flying in cold weather, understanding how to make your battery go further can be to your advantage.
Keep your batteries warm. Hover after the takeoff. Maintain a full charge on your batteries. Go light on the throttle. Bring a portable charger for the mobile device.
After takeoff, hover between 10 to 12 feet for 30 to 60 seconds to bring up the battery temperature, giving the motors and batteries a chance to warm up. The ideal battery temperature for a drone is about 59 degrees Fahrenheit. Most drones provide you with a method to check the temperature of your batteries.
Related read: How to care for your LiPo batteries
Be aware of how heavy control inputs will tax the battery life of your drone. Full throttle demands a heavy battery current, which can cause a drop in voltage. In general, don’t tap the full throttle button until the first few minutes of flight have passed. In addition, lower the heavy control inputs because this extends your flight time. Finally, never drain the battery. Normal weather conditions mean you try to maximize your flight time. When it’s biting cold, however, this practice risks your drone. You will want to fly it until the battery has dropped 30 or 40 percent. After that, you will want to bring the drone back to earth. If you want more air time, pack a couple spare batteries.
4. Watch out for precipitation
Most drones cannot withstand precipitation, and the moisture can damage or short out the motor, gimbal, or camera. If rain or snow occurs while your drone is in flight, land as quickly as possible, then dry the propellers and the body.
5. It’s not just cold — it’s climate too
It’s not just about cold — but climate too. Flying in Vermont where the winters are cold but “dry” means you don’t have to worry as much as if you were in a cold and wet climate with more humidity, like Minnesota. If that’s the case, check for icing regularly and try not to fly through winter fog.
Moisture within the gimbal becomes problematic when you add ice and snow and melting. As the props start to spin and blow slush and snow, launch the drone from a sheet of plastic or from the carrying case.
Also, condensation can arise when you take your drone from the outside to the inside. To alleviate that problem, let it warm up slowly in the basement or in the trunk of the car.
6. Use hand warmers on your drone
To keep the drone’s batteries warm, consider putting hand warmers on them. NEVER put them directly against the battery as it lets off heat. Instead, wrap the batteries in a scarf or a glove and put the hand warmers around the batteries.
7. Understand altitude
In areas of increased altitude, propellers have to spin faster to keep flight, which means the battery will drain itself faster — also contributing to shorter flights.
8. Don’t forget about you!
While it’s important to keep the drone safe from the cold, don’t forget yourself too!
Buy specialized gloves for flying in the winter to keep your movements with the controls limber. Spyder gloves are consistently ranked among the best gloves designed with conductive material for handheld touch screen devices.
-By Jake Carter
8 tips for flying a drone in cold weather was originally posted at http://thedronegirl.com/2018/01/02/drone-cold-weather-tips/ by Guest Post
How fire departments are using drones to save time and money
The following piece is a guest post from Dronefly’s Alex Netto.
From burning buildings to brushfires, firefighting drones equipped with thermal cameras can see through smoke and darkness to identify where the hotspots are and where the crew is.
With a drone, a Battalion Chief can quickly make an assessment of a situation from all angles with optical and thermal cameras from which the best decision on how to proceed can be made. Drones are the future of assisting public safety officials do their job more efficiently and more cost effectively.
Drone site Dronefly has put together an infographic highlighting the top firefighting drone use cases.
Here are some of the use cases for drones in fire departments:So what do fire departments or other public safety agencies need to do to operate a drone? Here is some of the most popular gear used by fire departments:
-By Alex Netto
Alex Netto works on the marketing team for Dronefly.com located in Los Angeles, California he enjoys drone photography (instagram @bradthedrone) and running marathons. He hopes to see the fast adoption of drones into industries ranging from public safety, inspection, agriculture, surveying, and mapping.
How fire departments are using drones to save time and money was originally posted at http://thedronegirl.com/2017/12/28/fire-departments-using-drones-save-time-money/ by Sally French
Drone Laws in Colorado
Paying attention to everything the FAA has put forth since their rules and regulations were initially put into full effect is crucial for all drone fliers. Are you aware of the laws and regulations related to drones in your state, as well?
Flying Over Colorado
Unfortunately, it would seem that the only areas drone users in Colorado are able to fly legally are up in the mountains and smaller areas. A lot of areas are unclear as to whether or not drones are allowed.
Thankfully for drone enthusiasts living in Colorado, it’s legal to fly your drone in the Colorado Rockies, specifically in the highest point. Mount Evans is a whopping 14,240 feet in the air and one of the best places in the entire state to get some footage.
White River National Forest’s own Hanging Lake area is legal, apparently, as well! It’s a beautiful mountain lake that offers crystal clear waters flowing from the incredible waterfalls. Perfect for quick shots!
The Registering Process in Colorado
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) requires that all Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) owners follow strict regulations and laws. You will need to file your name, home address and your email address as a start.
From there, you will receive a Certificate of Aircraft Registration and Proof of Ownership. These will include an identification number for your aircraft. You must have this number displayed on your drone at all times. The number will be valid for up to 3 years.
All aircraft that weighs more than 0.55 pounds, or 250 grams, and less than 55 pounds, or 25 kilograms, must be registered. This also includes any added payloads, such as an onboard camera.
You must be at least 13-years-old in order to register and, effective December 21st, 2015, all newly purchased or made drones must be registered before their first flight. You are able to register through a paper-based process, but you can also do so online by clicking here.
Proximity to Airports in Colorado
As a general rule of thumb, and in accordance with the law from the FAA, you may not fly within a 5-mile radius of any airport. In 2012 the FAA enacted the Modernization and Reauthorization Act which requires hobbyist drone operators, meaning residential, to contact air traffic control and/or airport management if they are operating within a 5-mile radius of any local airport.
This is enacted nationwide, not only in Colorado, under Part 101 of the Act, being Special Rule for Model Aircraft, to ensure that drone operations under unsafe conditions are disapproved before the drone can be launched.
Regardless of the local airport you will be flying near, and possibly breaching airspace, you will need to contact either the airport air traffic control tower or the airport operator.
You will need to establish an agreed-upon operating procedure with airport air traffic or the airport operator and answer a couple of questions. For example, questions relating to how long you are going to be flying for.
Unique Drone Laws in Colorado
At this time of writing, all of the legal information listed below is deemed as accurate as possible and fully in effect.
Code of Colorado Regulations 406-0 #004 – AIDS IN TAKING WILDLIFE
C. It shall be unlawful to use a drone to look for, scout, or detect wildlife as an aid in the hunting or taking of wildlife.
For the purposes of this regulation, drone shall be defined as including, without limitation, any contrivance invented, used or designed for navigation of, or flight in the air that is unmanned or guided remotely. A drone may also be referred to as “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle” (UAV) or “Unmanned Aerial Vehicle System” (UAVS).
Municipal Law – Town of Telluride
During a recent council meeting, the Town of Telluride adopted multiple regulations regarding drone use. As of April 18th, 2017, the proposed ordinance has been put into place as a law.
Any drone users looking to fly must first have approval from owners of private property where the flight will take place or from the town itself. Endangering both people and wildlife and operating a drone in a reckless manner is strictly prohibited. They must also keep their distance from any wildlife or people who are not involved in the flight operation directly.
Drone users must also ensure that they are not under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, or any controlled substance in general. They must also not have any preexisting physical or mental conditions that may interfere with flying safely.
Municipal Law – Cherry Hills Village
Cherry Hills Village has enacted a law that requires all drone users to follow guidelines and regulations set in place by the FAA and by registered with the FAA.
Drones are prohibited from flying over public buildings, trails, public parks, public streets, and any area that is deemed to be city property.
Drone Ban in Local Ski Resorts
There are a number of ski resorts located across Colorado that have placed a ban on drone use, which you can inquire further on by clicking here.
Other Legal Issues With Drones in Colorado
At this time of writing, there are currently a number of bills in circulation within the state of Colorado surrounding drones.
Municipal Regulations – Town of Breckenridge
The proposed ordinance would allow local authorities to enforce FAA regulations and address interference with firefighters and local law enforcement, voyeurism and reckless operation. It also includes having a deadly weapon or firearm equipped on the drone, interfering with any government emergency operations whatsoever, and using a drone for surveillance that has not been permitted by law.
Drone users will be unable to takeoff, land, or operate in general on any property owned by the town. Prohibited by law, if approved, annoying or harassing wildlife, in general, will also be included.
Further, it would also ban drone flight over restricted areas, such as the Carter Park Dog Park, Cucumber Gulch Preserve, the local golf course and the Nordic center if golfers and/or skiers are present.
HB 15-555 Trespassing & Harassment
A BILL FOR AN ACT
CONCERNING PRIVACY IN REGARD TO EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced and does not reflect any amendments that may be subsequently adopted. If this bill passes third reading in the house of introduction, a bill summary that applies to the reengrossed version of this bill will be available at http://www.leg.state.co.us/billsummaries.)
A person commits the crime of first degree criminal trespass if he or she is not a peace officer or other agent of a state or local government agency acting in his or her official capacity and he or she knowingly and intentionally uses an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) to observe, record, transmit, or capture images of another person when the other person has a reasonable expectation of privacy.
A person commits harassment if he or she is not a peace officer or other agent of a state or local government agency acting in his or her official capacity and, with intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she uses a UAV to track a person’s movements in or about a public place without the person’s authorization.
The bill amends existing law concerning the retention of passive surveillance records by government agencies to contemplate the retention of records that are obtained through the use of UAVs.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Colorado:
SECTION 1. In Colorado Revised Statutes, add 18-7-802 as follows:
18-7-802. Criminal invasion of privacy by the use of a device – penalty.
EXCEPT AS DESCRIBED IN SUBSECTION (2) OF THIS SECTION, CRIMINAL INVASION OF PRIVACY BY USE OF A DEVICE OCCURS WHEN A PERSON KNOWINGLY AND INTENTIONALLY CAPTURES ANY PHOTOGRAPH, SOUND RECORDING, OR OTHER PHYSICAL IMPRESSION OR DIGITAL IMAGE OF ANOTHER PERSON, WITHOUT THAT PERSON’S CONSENT, IN A SITUATION WHERE THAT PERSON HAS A REASONABLE EXPECTATION OF PRIVACY, THROUGH THE USE OF ANY DEVICE REGARDLESS OF WHETHER THERE IS A TRESPASS, IF THE PHOTOGRAPH, SOUND RECORDING, OR OTHER PHYSICAL IMPRESSION OR DIGITAL IMAGE COULD NOT HAVE BEEN ACHIEVED WITHOUT A TRESPASS UNLESS THE DEVICE OR ANOTHER DEVICE WAS USED.
SUBSECTION (1) OF THIS SECTION DOES NOT APPLY TO A PEACE OFFICER OR AN EMPLOYEE OR OTHER AGENT OF A FEDERAL, STATE, OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY ACTING IN HIS OR HER OFFICIAL CAPACITY.
CRIMINAL INVASION OF PRIVACY BY USE OF A DEVICE IS A CLASS 3 MISDEMEANOR.
SECTION 2. Act subject to petition – effective date. This act takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on the day following the expiration of the ninety-day period after final adjournment of the general assembly (August 5, 2015, if adjournment sine die is on May 6, 2015); except that, if a referendum petition is filed pursuant to section 1 (3) of article V of the state constitution against this act or an item, section, or part of this act within such period, then the act, item, section, or part will not take effect unless approved by the people at the general election to be held in November 2016 and, in such case, will take effect on the date of the of the official declaration of the vote thereon by the governor.
At this time of writing, this bill is still up for enforcement.
HB 16-1020 No Drones Near Airports or Jails
A person commits introducing contraband in the first degree if he or she knowingly and unlawfully operates any unmanned aircraft system (UAS) within 5 miles of a detention facility with the intent to introduce or attempt to introduce a dangerous instrument, alcohol or an alcoholic beverage, a controlled substance, or marijuana or marijuana concentrate into the detention facility.
A person shall not operate a UAS:
Within 5 miles of an airport unless the person is authorized by the airport’s air traffic control tower;
In a manner that interferes with the operation of manned aircraft;
More than 400 feet above the earth’s surface;
In a manner that is prohibited by any federal law or rule;
In violation of any temporary flight restriction (TFR) or notice to airmen (NOTAM) issued by the federal aviation administration (FAA); or
In the airspace directly above any detention facility.
A person who violates any of these prohibitions commits a class 1 misdemeanor. These prohibitions do not apply to the operation of a public UAS operated in compliance with any current and enforceable authorization granted by the FAA.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)
FAQ on Colorado Law and Drones
If you do not see your question, or an answer to it, listed below, feel free to get in touch with us and we’ll gladly give you one.
Is a drone/UAS considered the same as a model aircraft?
The United States Congress has defined and concluded that a model aircraft is only considered a drone or a UAS when the following points are met:
It’s flown for recreational purposes or as a hobby and not for any business or commercial reasons
It’s flown within visible distance, meaning being able to see it at all times, of the individual operating it
It’s capable of sustaining flight within the atmosphere, meaning that it can fly
If your model aircraft, regardless of whether or not you acquired it pre-built or built it yourself, meets the above points to your knowledge, it’s considered a drone/UAS.
What is the Small UAS Rule?
The Small UAS Rule requires those who have unmanned aircraft systems, or UAS, that weigh less than 55 pounds, payload included, to register their aircraft with the FAA. This only applies to recreational or hobby fliers and not commercial drone use, however.
Is the FAA’s Small UAS Rule still in effect?
Yes, it has been in effect from August 29th of 2016 and is still in effect at this time of writing.
Do I have to carry my Certificate of Aircraft Registration while flying my UAS at all times?
Yes, you must have the registration certificate from the FAA at all times during flight operation. In accordance with federal law,
Drone Laws in Colorado was originally posted at https://www.dronethusiast.com/drone-laws-colorado/ by