Get Your Local NAR Involved In Your State’s Discussion About Drone Legislation

February 24th, 2014

NARlobbyforUAVsIn a post last week I suggested pointed out that: Anyone interested in commercial use of RCMA in the future should be tracking legislation in their state and be giving regular rational input to their state legislators on the subject to counterbalance all the irrational input they are getting. Because states are under pressure to act because the FAA has been so slow to act. If nothing is done many states my ban RCMA use.

Within 24 hours of when I did the post I heard from Tom Tezak on Maui who had just gotten wind of Hawaii’s SB2608 that is under consideration and threatens to shut down RCMA use in Hawaii. Tom had come to the same conclusion that I did and has a great suggestion on exactly how to do it. Here is Tom’s suggestion:

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has one of the largest lobbying constituencies in the country, and I would encourage PFRE readers to encourage their Realtors to reach out to their respective boards and make them aware of the drone legislation that is starting to pop up around the country and get them involved. The real estate associations have a strong voice and more importantly a lot of votes.

Tom is right on! According to the NAR website:

NAR is the “Voice for Real Estate” and a lobbying group to be reckoned with. In fact, Fortune Magazine has ranked NAR among the 25 most powerful lobbying groups in the nation.

Most Agents are members of the NAR and will quickly appreciate the value of RCMA use in real estate marketing. So, make a point to discuss this issue with your clients. And for those of you that are Realtors talk to your local NAR government affairs representative and let them know how valuable RCMAs can be in marketing real estate.

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11 Responses to “Get Your Local NAR Involved In Your State’s Discussion About Drone Legislation”

  • Hey Larry, I just want to make your readers aware the picture you posted along side of this entry is not me…I don’t wear long pants 🙂
    As for the local real estate boards and National association of Realtors they really are a great resource and your readers would be wise to make them aware. But it was interesting when I went to my board they were barely aware of the aerial possibilities to our industry, so it may take some educating

  • As the local REALTOR association executive, I just sent a message to the Texas Association of REALTORS political affairs director requesting some time to discuss the impact of this legislation on real estate.

  • Lee, Texas HB912 was to take effect September first. According to it, you can capture images if you’re a licensed real estate broker for the purposes of marketing the property as long as there are no identifiable people in the image. You can also capture images with the permission of the property owner. Here’s the full text:

  • I found this:

    Looks to be a good starting point for people to find out the laws in their own state.

  • Don’t let Tom fool you… That’s a photo I took of Tom about a year ago when he bought me lunch at the Wailea Golf Club:)

  • It’s easy to see Hawaii’s concerns. I can imagine 2 dozen operators on Waikiki beach offering to record people learning to surf. Even if only a couple of companies were permitted to operate an RCMA at a given time, the beach is often very crowded and the risk of injuring somebody will be high.

    The Texas bill is a little strange that there is a provision requiring a property owner or occupant’s to consent and another provision allowing a broker to use an RCMA. The property owner’s consent seems like it would encompass both provisions. Of the brokers I know, I have a hard time visualizing them standing outside in a 3 piece suit flying a RCMA. Other provisions allow for an outside contractor, such as with law enforcement. The bill looks like an outline done quickly by somebody with only the fear of peeping toms and Big Brother on their minds.

    @Lee Jinks – The best approach might be to convince the TAR to form a small working group to draft a better bill (or the portion relating to RE needs). The group should included a person with RCMA or R/C experience, a photographer/videographer and an agent. Lawmakers are often too busy negotiating their bribes to spend much time crafting legislation and most are happy to have it all typed up for them in a neat package. Ever wonder why oil companies are exempt from clean air, clean water and other environmental regulations even though they are often the most polluting entities? I’ll wager that they wrote the exemptions and sent them to their favorite pet politician. Yes, I’m rather cynical when it comes to the suits feeding at the public trough.

  • The TX promulgated listing agreement has a catch all language authorizing the listing broker to market the property. Although I doubt the poo-bahs on the RE Comission in Austin know what a radio controlled vehicle is, one could argue that the broker has the property owner’s permission.

  • @Fred – Be sure to read Peter Sachs response to the FAA myth statement at: the FAA debunks myths with more myths.

  • Through a few emails between the Texas Association of REALTORS Director of Legislative Affairs and me, I found that TAR was involved in getting the two exemptions added to the aforementioned bill (HB912), namely permission from the owner and for the purpose of real estate marketing (as long as no one is identifiable in the photos). So it looks like we are covered in Texas for the moment.

    My concern is with future FAA regulations. There seems to be some question as to the jurisdiction of the FAA. Generally the FAA controls aircraft above 500 feet. Does this mean the FAA has no jurisdiction over aircraft (manned or otherwise) below 500 feet? I would think the FAA would argue that they do have jurisdiction. If so, do FAA rules trump state laws concerning unmanned aircraft? As you can see, I only have questions and no answers.

  • @Lee – As Peter Sachs argues persuasively at there are no enforceable laws governing below 400′ only guidelines.

    Peter also points out that there is a 1946 supreme court decision ( United States v. Causby, 328 U.S. 256 (1946)) that establishes that you don’t control the airspace above your property… but that will likely change some due to UAVs.

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