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Marketing Update: Aerial Photography and Video

Marketing Update: Aerial Photography and Video

The use of drones to take videos and photographs isn’t new, but they continue to present exciting opportunities for marketing properties, carrying out property inspections and surveys. So how can Watsons achieve the most from affiliating ourselves with a CAA registered drone pilot?

Prior to our Home & Lifestyle Show (held at The Forum in June 2019) Watsons were looking to showcase different ways to market properties. Several vendors had their properties photographed/videoed and we used these to promote the service. Using stunning aerial photographs and videos can differentiate Watsons from our competitors and make us more attractive to homeowners. Drones allow us to not only market the property, but really sell the setting and community that the property is in. We’re not just focusing on the property itself, but selling a potential lifestyle at the same time – offering perspectives towards the coast or countryside, it puts the property into context within the area the house was originally built.

From November 2019, drones weighing 250 grams or more MUST be register and pilots must take an online safety test. Using an experienced pilot/photographer is essential, both behind the controls of the drone and in the post-production studio, in order to achieve the highest quality images/video.

There has been a lot of discussion recently about unregulated flyers. Autumn 2017 saw a Bill go through the House of Commons granting police greater powers against those using drones unlawfully or do not follow the strict rules. You can find out more details by taking a look at the Drone (Regulation) Bill 2017-2019: https://services.parliament.uk/Bills/2017-19/droneregulation.html

Agent Advice

We’re always looking for new and innovative ways for our property marketing to stand out from the crowd and increase brand awareness at the same time. We are also keen to offer another perspective – and this can really be an instruction winner!

But what makes using a drone different? What are the benefits of using a drone over other forms of photography? Firstly, a drone has versatility and once off the ground, the drone can virtually be placed anywhere you like.

Risk Assessment

The drone operator would carry out a simple property inspection, prior to agreeing to carry out the photography. Unfortunately, not all properties are suitable for this type of marketing – consider proximity to other neighbouring properties, power lines, light, weather etc. If given the go ahead, vendors do not even have to be at home, as the entire service is performed outside in the grounds of the property or estate. This also avoids any disruption to the owner.

A drone is considered an aircraft, exactly the same way as a Boeing 747. In order to fly a drone, you must have a PfCO from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). When flying commercially, every person, vessel or building needs to be within the pilot’s control. Risk assessments must be carried out, insurance must be held, data protection statement made, flight logs kept for the drone, batteries and pilot – all of which must be submitted to the CAA on an annual basis.

So if you’re looking to put your property on the market and keen to organise some aerial photography or video of your property/land, why not get in touch and see if your property is suitable. You can call us  now on 01603 619916 or email: enquiries@watsons-property.co.uk

UK Drone Laws – The Latest Changes

Preparation of a new Drones Bill (November 2019)

Due to disruption caused by drones at both Heathrow and Gatwick in late 2018/early 2019, the UK has extended the ‘no-fly zones’ area around airports and runways (in which drones are banned from use). As of March 2019, it is now illegal to fly a drone within 5 km of an airport (up from 1 km previously).

From 30 November 2019, drone operators will have to register their devices with the CAA and take an online safety test. Anyone who fails to register or sit the tests could face a fine up to £1000.

November 2019 – Police will be given extra powers to enter or search a property (with a warrant) where there is reasonable suspicion of it being involved in the commission of an offence.

Police to issue fixed-penalty notices (FPN) for up to £100 for minor drone related offences, as a way to immediately and effectively enforce as a deterrent to offenders and reduce pressure on the Magistrate’s Court.A drone user can be given an FPN for carrying out any of the following:

  1. Not producing registration documents, and/or proof for drones weighing over 250 grams and up to 20kg in mass.
  2. Not producing evidence of any other relevant permissions required by the legislator.
  3. Not complying with police when instructed to land a drone.
  4. Flying a drone without a valid acknowledgment of competency.

The Government is also pushing to have geo-fencing to be brought forward. This is where technology is built into the drone itself and uses GPS co-ordinates to prevent devices from entering specific zones e.g. airport air space, prisons etc.

What more can we expect?

A UK Drone Registration Scheme is set to launch on 1 October 2019, and will be a legal requirement under the Air Navigation Order (ANO) from 30 November 2019. It’s also possible that drone users will one day be required to use a FINS (Flight Information & Notification System (in the form of an app) to notify authorities and other drone users, that they’re going to fly a UAV at a particular location, at a given time – ahead of time!

 

 

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