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The Dobbins Company – Drone real estate inspections

Drone Real Estate Inspections are becoming more common

We reached out to the Dobbins Company upon seeing their Section 333 Exemption approval on April 17th.  Drone Real Estate Inspections are a part of their services now, read on.

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Q. How long have you been doing real estate inspections and what got you interested in using drones as part of your service?

I have had a consultancy business for over 30 years working exclusively for the commercial banking industry. We have been involved with hundreds of bankruptcies & foreclosures over the years, many involving commercial real estate. One of my banking clients expressed interest in obtaining aerial images of a bank owned property. Being a private pilot and having become interested in UAV technology, I decided the time was right to begin offering this service. In addition to our bank clients, we now offer our aerial imaging services to residential & commercial real estate brokers, construction contractors and insurance companies.

Q. Your exemption was approved on the 17th, have you done any drone real estate inspections yet?  If yes, how did your customers react to drones in the sky?

Yes. There is definitely a Wow Factor. But customers quickly get passed that and focus on the end product which is the data (video & still images) and how that data is packaged and delivered.

Q. We noted in the exemption that you are going to use the DJI Phantom 2 and DJI Phantom 2 Vision drones, why are they the right ones for you use?

Currently the Phantom 2 seems to be the most cost effective platform to collect the type of images our customers are looking for. Cost for the end product is the major sale driver for most real estate agents.  The P2 seems to strike the proper balance of cost of equipment along with quality of imaging the GoPro camera with 3D gimbal delivers.

Q. What training have you taken and are there any local schools we should add to our list of Drone Training Programs? /uas-training-programs-across-the-globe/

I am a 600+ hour private pilot with an instrument rating that has owned Cessna aircraft. This has given me the training and understanding of the national airspace system that I believe is the most important consideration for safe UAV flying.

Q. We believe that safety is paramount to public acceptance of drones, having proposed our own set of hobbyist drone guidelines (/2015/04/14/hobbyist-drone-guidelines-and-faa-regulations/).  Are there recommendations you would make to others performing commercial drone real estate inspection about how to safely operate their UAVs?

At the moment, it seems the FAA is mandating a private pilot license or higher in order to get a 333. That training is a very good basis for safe flying of any aircraft. However, if the proposed FAA rules come to fruition, a PPL or higher will not be necessary for visual line of sight UAV flying. But some kind of ground school will be required along with recurrent training. I hope the GS will require sufficient training in airspace & safety as I think these are the areas problems most likely will occur in. Being able to cite licenses, certifications and/or training is what I think will generate positive media reporting and overall acceptance by the general public.

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