Commercial Broker Uses Drone to Deliver Listing Agreement to Client

You’d probably send a listing agreement to your client by email or give it to them in person. But Russ Russell, ALC, CCIM, broker-owner of Russ Russell Commercial Real Estate in Huntsville, Ala., decided to deliver one by drone.

In the video above, Russell sends the agreement to his client, Army Commander Dean Anderson of a local Veterans of Foreign War post, which is now up for sale, by rolling the agreement up into a tube, securing it on a drone, and flying the drone six miles from Russell’s office to the VFW post. The drone lands safely in front of Anderson, who is waiting at the post to grab the listing agreement, sign it, and send it back into the air.

Russell’s inventive deployment of his listing agreement comes at an appropriate time: The Federal Aviation Authority finalized its long-awaited rule for commercial drone use Tuesday, a move the National Association of REALTORS® supports. The rule, which takes effect in August, will clear the way for the real estate industry to start investing in drone technology for listing photos and videos, among other purposes. Russell’s video was filmed June 6 — on D-Day, to commemorate his military clients — and he used a professional drone operator who had a waiver from the FAA at the time allowing for the use of the drone.

Russell claims this is the first instance of a real estate professional delivering a listing agreement by drone.

“We are a military city — we’ve got a 38,000-acre military arsenal that drives our economics — there are a lot of drones and drone research being done here, and I wanted to be on the cutting edge of this technology,” Russell says, explaining his motivation behind making his video. “I just create things. I’ve been doing it all my life.”

Graham Wood

Graham Wood is a senior editor for REALTOR® Magazine. He can be reached at

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