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  • Writer's pictureJamie Goodwick

5 questions Realtors should be asking their drone photographers

ATTN: Realtor friends.

Having worked in the real estate world for several years, I've had the opportunity to work with all different types of clients. I've run across a lot that have said they have found a more affordable option - which is always great! They're saving money!

However, I've had the same folks come back to me distraught with an incomplete project, as they failed to ask the following questions.

Whether PORTLANDRONE® can be a resource for you or not, make sure you ask these questions before you contract your next aerial photographer. Hope this sort-and-sweet reference is helpful!

1) "Are you insured & registered with the FAA?"

Is your aerial photographer insured, registered with the FAA, hold a current and valid Part 107 license?

These questions may seem silly, but apart from insurance, they are all mandatory. Did you know, in order to operate a drone for commercial purposes, that operator must be over the age of 16? Be sure you ask for proof of a valid license. A full list of requirements can be found here:

Drone operators have to go through rigorous examinations - and even after that, they have to be responsible pilots. Which leads to the next question:

2) "Is it legal to fly at this property?"

This might be one of the most important questions you should be asking.

There are strict rules and regulations when it comes to flying in close proximity to airports, events, and other areas. Be sure to ask your operator if flying at your property is legal, and have them explain to you why. Educate yourself. More information can be found here:

3) What's your turnaround?

What's your photographer's turnaround for photos? Do they hold photos hostage until payment?

You have so many other responsibilities to do when selling a home or property, the last thing you need is a hiccup with a photographer. Be sure you check their policies and turnaround times before booking.

4) Do you have references or samples?

Just because an operator has 'sample photos', doesn't mean that they have actual experience in the field. It's easy for operators to go out and take photos or other homes - but it doesn't mean they've worked with any clients. Be sure your drone operator has a list of credible clients and work. You should also ask what their equipment is. Be sure you're getting the high quality resolution photos or videos that you expect. There's lots of drones and cameras out there, and not all are created equal.

5) When can you start?

Make sure the photographer is not overcommitting. Many are very busy with many clients. Obviously, you want beautiful clear day pictures - so are they loaded up on the next clear day? Be sure to also specify your exact needs for the project, so they have an understanding of if, when, and can they do it.

Hopefully these questions will help you find a reliable, flexible, and professional aerial photographer. You might be able to guess what the answers are if you ask a PORTLANDRONE representative.

Of course, if you're looking, check out the services we provide realtors at

Jamie Goodwick

(503) 908-3050

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