Thursday, February 11, 2016

Camera Drones - A Cool Gadget But It Comes With Potential Liabilities

  As with many things if life these days, real estate is an ever changing entity.  Shifting economic and market conditions, revised legislative requirements and the changing whims of buyers and sellers all play a role in impacting how we market and sell properties. 

  Perhaps the biggest change of all in our industry however has come from advances in technology.  One of the latest technological breakthroughs has been the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV's) commonly referred to as drones.   Much the same as the GoPro camera craze that hit the market a few years ago, drones are quickly becoming the rage with photo enthusiasts looking to take their picture taking creativity to new heights and they were one of the hot gift items this past Christmas.

  Myself along with others in my office were some of the early adopters in using drone photography to market properties.  The picture on the header of this blog site was shot with a drone and the accompanying photo is a drone hovering in the yard of one of my listings.  Drones are excellent way to not only showcase a home, but they also serve to show the home's neighbourhood and surrounding area which is especially effective in a rural setting.  There is a dark side however to using drones commercially and this comes in the form of potential liabilities for property and or other damages resulting from the improper use of drones.

  If you are thinking about purchasing a drone here are some things to consider. First Transport Canada requires that any person(s) using a drone for commercial purposes such as aerial real estate photography must apply for a Special Flight Operations Certificate and these are apparently not easy to get.  Transport Canada also requires that you have a minimum of $100,000 in liability insurance which in today's world is a pittance, $1 million in liability insurance would be better.  As REALTORS® we are required by law to carry Errors and Omissions insurance and this does not cover drones.

  Even if you are thinking about getting a drone for recreational or pleasure use, don't be taken in by all the hype, online videos etc.  There is a new drone coming to market available for pre-order now by the name of Lily.  To launch the Lily drone you simply toss it into the air and it will follow you down a ski slope or trail on your dirt bike.  It sounds cool right? The only problem is, most ski resorts including our own Blue Mountain has strictly banned the use of personal drones on the property and commercially flown drones require their consent. 

  Camera drones open up a whole new world of picture and video taking possibilities. Our real estate brokerage Royal LePAGE Locations North has decided that drone photography is best left to the experts, those that adhere to all of the legislative and insurance requirements that have been established governing this new device.

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Royal LePAGE Locations North (Brokerage)

330 First Street, Collingwood, ON L9Y 1B4


Direct: 705-443-1037

Office: 705-445-5520 ext 230


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Rick relocated to Collingwood from Toronto in 1985 through a transfer with Goodyear Canada. In 1987 Rick was recruited by a major client of Goodyear’s, managing their Canadian business based in Barrie before moving to Chicago in 1992 as Vice President of Sales & Marketing. Upon returning to Canada in 1996, Rick ran an industrial products manufacturing company in Stratford, Ontario. In 1998 Rick returned to Collingwood with his two children. Rick is a licensed real estate Broker with Royal LePAGE Locations North in Collingwood and holds his MVA designation (Market Value Appraiser-Residential). He is an active volunteer in the community serving several years on the Board of Directors with the Collingwood Chamber of Commerce as Treasurer, 6 years on the Board of Directors for the Southern Georgian Bay Association of REALTORS® of which he is the Past President (2008) and currently serves on a committee with the Ontario Real Estate Association. Rick is a diverse executive manager with extensive experience in strategic planning, manufacturing, finance, human resources and quality assurance management.