Barrington Drone Photographer

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Corinne Guest, REALTOR® | Barrington Realty Company License: 471.000044

Barrington Drone Photographer  - The Right and Legal Way!

I own a drone. It's the DJI Phantom 3 Pro. It has a stabilized Go-Pro 12 megapixel HD camera mounted on the underneath and I use a mini Ipad to see where I fly. Truth be told I have not yet flown it yet, my son has. The control is like a game controller so for him, being a gamer it was as easy as pie. We had some fun with it last year with one thing in mind. Add it to my real estate tools to provide great aerial photos of homes and land.

Phantom 3 DJI

The FAA were aware people were using these lightweight drones in business and at that time a pilots license was really needed to fly one for business purposes. That requirement was a little extreme; given they are remotely controlled and small and you cannot sit in them! I had a professional photographer do my aerials for me but he was not interested in complying with the FAA requirements, stating that he could essentially wiggle out of the rules. Well I am not a wiggler, I am a complier. As a Drone flying hobbyist as long as you register yourself as a drone flyer with the FAA you are free to fly. Up to this point that is what I have done.

The FAA have amended their drone flying rules to make it more sensible. Now it's time to comply so I can use the Drone in my business. That means I have to file a petition with the FAA against needing a pilots license. The petition is about 100 pages long to cover all that the FAA requires and if any Realtor wants to use a Drone in their business, to comply with the FAA it must be done. Flying must wait until your petition is granted. This takes about 8 weeks from submission to approval. Fly without and be prepared for some hefty fines!

In general the FAA will grant your petition based on the size of the drone and what you will be using it for, in my case real estate. I must petition why I am safe, why it's in the best interests of the public and why I don't need a bonafide pilots license.

My petition has been filed, so I should be compliant and ready to fly for business by spring, perfect for new real estate listings and photography. Of course I have yet to learn how to fly so it's time to try it out in the basement. The weather outside is not really the best, winds need to be calm and I cannot go ice-skating in my yard to retrieve it. So I'll use the training platform first and then see how well I do in real life. Once the weather is better I shall take it outside. Hopefully my son will help me.

What Do Drone Photos Look Like?

The camera is both a still camera and a video camera. It feeds all it's data into the Ipad mounted on the controller so you can literally see where you are going, see what is being recorded and click to take photos or video. Very cool! When my petition is granted I have to keep it under 400 feet, that's not going to be an issue. 100 feet up can give some very good perspectives of properties with their land especially in the country areas I serve. The battery packs allow a fly time of about 20 minutes at a time. When the battery starts to fail it comes home all by itself, now that's clever. OK back to those photos.

This first photo of a country Barrington home on 2+ acres was taken from the street, the idea is to get buyers to see how much yard space there is.

barrington il homes with aerial photos

Barrington Country Home. This photo is much closer to the house and taken from about the same height as the house and from an angle gives a buyer a great view and a great perspective. Taken with the drone camera flying just in front of the house, we aren't really getting aerial shots but they are much better than standing directly in front of the house.

presentation of barrington il homes for sale

 Here is a photo of the front of another home. It had just rained and you might think photos taken in gray skies and rain would not be good. Actually it's quite the contrary. As long as there is sufficient exposure photos appear better than in bright sunshine. There's no bright sun or reflection to deal with.


Now let's go aerial! The house in the center below we had listed for sale, now buyers can instantly see what the neighborhood was like and that the property was waterfront.

Barrington Real Estate offers homes on acreage in all villages in 60010

And finally some snippets from our first flight. Remember this one was just as a hobbyist, we weren't too worried about anything other than seeing what the quality was like and how well the Go-Pro camera recorded while in flight. 


I think this is an awesome way to showcase country properties. Of course your permission is required and we'll be taking photos and video of your property only. It's not a loud machine but the drone hovers like a mini helicopter and with a whirring noise, we do have to be careful about spooking either your or your neighbors horses, dogs and even little kids.

Posted by

Corinne Guest

Realtor & Managing Broker
Barrington Realty Company

Call me today 847-363-3686. 

Barrington IL Real Estate


 Realtor and Equal Housing Logo


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Real Estate Best Practices
Illinois Lake County Barrington

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Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Corinne, This is truly fascinating to me.  I feel there is a right place and use for drones and drone/aerial photography.  Using them legally is the only way to go.  Country properties … YES. Love the photos and test videos.  I know you like working with buyers … yet with this kind of marketing sellers will want you to list their country homes and horse properties. 

Jan 19, 2016 01:45 AM #2
Marie Haydock
Evergreen Global Homes & Land | RSVP Real Estate - Redmond, WA
Simplifying Real Estate

Fantastic, Corinne.  The new, professional, and creative marketing you're providing with drone photography and videos will really help sellers get top dollar for their Barrington homes on the market.

Jan 19, 2016 02:02 AM #3
Petra Norris
Lakeland Real Estate Group, Inc. - Lakeland, FL
Realtor, Lakeland FL Homes for Sale

I just love how you integrate this very imformative blog with awesome pictures gearing towards anyone interested selling their Barrington home.  Well done!

Jan 19, 2016 02:04 AM #4
Denise Hamlin, Broker/Owner
Cardinal Realty ~ 319-400-0268 - Iowa City, IA
Helping Happy Clients Make Smart Choices

Very nice post with lots of useful information for both would be drone owners and future sellers in Barrington. You're right. Pictures do tell a compelling story. 

Jan 19, 2016 02:41 AM #5
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Corinne - this is a great post and your Drone Video is gorgeous!

Several years ago I hired a photographer to take photos of one of my listings and he used his drone. From the looks of things, they have improved the quality of Drone Photography by 100%! It now takes aerial photography to a completely different level!

Jan 19, 2016 02:42 AM #6
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Video is an awesome way to showcase your property and aerial adds to the information transfer delivery. Weave in your plat maps, surveys, and let the audio fill in 40% of the video too! We've had a video a couple years and all registered, legal.

maine farm photo

Jan 19, 2016 03:10 AM #7
Tammie White, Broker
Franklin Homes Realty LLC - Franklin, TN
Franklin TN Homes for Sale

While the majority of the agents in our area are using this technology for rural properties, I'm also seeing agents use it in densely populated areas. It definitely helps remote buyers get an idea of the neighborhood and the amenities offered there so I think there are lots of applications for this technology.

Jan 19, 2016 03:14 AM #8
David Jones - Aliso Viejo, CA

Very good article Corinne. I enjoyed the photos and your comments on how different ones, reflected different information for the potential buyers.  Dave

Jan 19, 2016 03:32 AM #9
Corinne Guest
Corinne Guest, REALTOR® | Barrington Realty Company - Barrington, IL
Barrington Lifestyles

David Jones thank you and thanks for stopping buy.

Jan 19, 2016 03:34 AM #10
Alan May
Coldwell Banker Residential - Evanston, IL
Helping you find your way home.

I love the idea of adding aerial photography to a listing... even if only the high-front image...

care to share who you aerial photo company is.. 'cause I'm willing to wiggle.

Jan 19, 2016 03:55 AM #11
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Real Estate

See in your area that would be great to show the extra land & location. Pretty boring stuff looking over a Schaumburg subdivision. Can you say 'cookie cutter'?

Jan 19, 2016 04:28 AM #12
Marney Kirk
Cummings & Co. Realtors - Towson, MD
Towson, Maryland Real Estate

Corinne, this is a great post. I misunderstood and thought I would have to get a pilot's license, no matter what. I need to read more about this, and consider getting a drone and adding this to my to-do-list. Thank you!

Jan 19, 2016 04:55 AM #13
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker
RVA Home Team - Richmond, VA
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.

Hi! I came over after Kathleen had so many wonderful things to say about you, and after reading this post I can see why! Love that you are a rule follower and are taking the necessary steps to take your photos legally. Very cool photos!

Jan 19, 2016 08:52 AM #14
Karen Fiddler, Broker/Owner
Karen Parsons-Fiddler, Broker 949-510-2395 - Mission Viejo, CA
Orange County & Lake Arrowhead, CA (949)510-2395

Love Drone pictures, such a huge plus with a listing. Glad they are regulating who can have one, though. 

Jan 19, 2016 09:02 AM #15
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

This is one toy I wish I had for hobby purposes only, of course.

Jan 19, 2016 09:14 AM #16
David Alan Baker Laveen & South Phoenix Realtor
Keller Williams Realty Phoenix - Laveen, AZ
Your local Expert

Can be a fun toy, and useful for some photos.

Jan 19, 2016 10:23 AM #17
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

I remember the time when you had to pay serious $$ money to get an aerial shot

Jan 19, 2016 10:43 PM #18
Nicole Doty - Gilbert Real Estate Expert
Zion Realty - Gilbert, AZ
Broker/Owner of Zion Realty

I'm really going to start getting back to marketing land owners this year so drone photography will be a great asset to me. I just need to go get one and follow the compliance rules. 

Jan 19, 2016 11:42 PM #19
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

This is amazing.  You've learned so much, and shared so much.  Thanks Corrine!

Jan 21, 2016 02:02 AM #20
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Serving Scottsdale, Phoenix and Maricopa County AZ

Corinne Guest, Managing Broker "The FAA have amended their drone flying rules to make it more sensible. Now it's time to comply so I can use the Drone in my business. That means I have to file a petition with the FAA...Fly without and be prepared for some hefty fines!"

Always be legal!  

Since August 29, 2016 the way to go for most is the FAA Part 107 license.

Right on target - and - re-blog!


Jan 04, 2017 05:48 AM #21
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