Robert is Founder & CEO of Aerial Look, a service & technology company changing the way people experience real estate utilizing drone, 3D and VR technologies.
Aerial Look has been in business for five years; they got into drone business early in game. They were developing hardware and software until he realized that, from having been in the real estate business, it would be a good tool for that industry. From 1-2 real estate videos per day, they quickly began being asked to do 5-10 per day. Keeping customers happy was taking time away from research and development on the drones so they had to pivot. They soon realized that the drone could be used to for content creation. Robert wants to be in the place in the market that he is the best product for the most competitive price. In real estate, no one wants to pay fees, so they had to change the way people experienced real estate. A drone operator needed to be able to do a drone video in under one hour. They went from drone exterior video to interior video. They took some high-priced US properties to get business in China. They now work with different builders and developers across the globe.
When in manufacturing and research, he had a genius CEO who made a lot happen. They thought of many different applications and each application had to be scalable. They knew a rotor on the drone would help them go further. Another drone had a scanner that could be used for security certificates. They decided a few of these applications could be used for agriculture. This could be used to analyze the field in terms of watering, planting, etc. They then came up with a drone that could also go to disaster areas. All these areas were popular, but they were also expensive. They kept trying to find new ways to use the drone.
As they got into drone services vs. drone research, they began focusing on real estate. As they became more involved in the industry, they saw themselves as not just a drone company, but a content creation, media or marketing company. The drone business is really a service business.
“If you can build a service, then you build a market. If you start the service first, you don’t have to spend as much money to get the business because you offer a valuable service. With that, you build market share. With market share, you control things.”
Robert implies that as soon as you take out a drone, people are interested, they want to know what you’re doing…that means you are constantly in front of a client base. Robert says he had to utilize the market to build the business. By building partnerships, he built his name. He utilized the drone to build a market of new services for realtors. He then saw a market to do business with builders and now he rarely takes out a drone, yet it all came from the drone. Basically, he used the dron to get market share and then used marketing to get revenue streams outside the basic drone industry. Robert believes you must hustle but you don’t have to try so hard—if you have business skills, you are ahead of the game. If you see development, you shoot with the drone, you go home, do video and send it to the developer. You have to be creative.
His business now has in-house deployment and they subcontract. They have added drone deploy and 3D services. They can also take on work anywhere in the world, because their drone operator network is large and they have exclusive rates. In his opinion, it’s a waste of time to go to a realtor, and ask what they need, he says he tells them what they need. Robert’s company also works on minimum deals and gets paid by a firm…sometimes on retainer. Robert says that even if you think what you charge is expensive, the truth is the firm is paying more than that in marketing—you just have to convince them that you can do it cheaper and provide more value. What Robert says works for him is that he finds the value of the service, then break it down to a per listing rate. From there, it’s easy to decide what to pay a subcontractor, he pays them more and then he has an ongoing valuable and stable relationship…what everyone wants.
Robert has set up his company to get paid from conception, i.e. when a developer is buying land. He gets a pilot to fly a drone over the land and sends them video, which almost always turns into a deal. Then before models come in, they do CGI animation, virtual reality sales centers, etc. At the end the drone comes in for a final fly over of the community. In between, everything is being done on computer. They do 3D tours, neighborhood profiles, etc. and he uses all of this to help the client market the home, community, neighborhood, etc.
“If you’re going to shot video and hand off to client, you will not stay relevant and you will not scale up because not everyone knows what to do with it.”
He started the drone company because he didn’t want to rely on other people. He knew he could do much better by putting the controls in his own hands. As a pilot, he would go into meetings, and help potential clients by telling them how this would change their market. He says doing it with confidence and providing the data creates opportunity and value. By thinking of how to enhance your business, and telling that to the client, they will pass on the information to look good to others. That’s another way that when you help people, that can be used to help you and them. He says he builds 10 times the value of something before he asks for the value of the service. The drone captures attention and he figures out how to use that.
After a while of doing drones, Robert had to think of things on a different level. He knew there was value, but with scalability he knew he could turn hundreds or thousands into millions. In his opinion, people who get there have knowledge and determination. He would sell a meeting and figure it out as he’d go—not fake it as you make it—but figure it out as he went along. By doing that, he became better and more knowledgeable. He was forced to learn, and it became easy to give REAL value.
For a new person entering the drone industry, Robert advises “Go To One To Reach 1000!” Anyone can be an influencer. Robert says, at an elementary school, he can see opportunity galore—athletics, drones in class, new school photography—people would be interested in seeing it. Robert would go to builder of school and give drone video as a gift. Then, Robert would ask how many more schools he is building. Then he would advise how to use the drone in other projects. He can come up with many ways to show how much money they could save with 3D maps, video, etc. Robert sees opportunity everywhere.
As a businessman, Robert believes:
“This is all common sense. Being a businessman is about being hunting to feed yourself—not just with nutrition, but financially, emotionally, and physically. It’s in all of us, you just have to want to go do it.”
Connect with Robert
- Website: www.aeriallook.com
- LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com
- Aerial Look Email: [email protected]
- Vimeo: www.vimeo.com/aeriallook
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/aeriallook
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/aeriallook
Have a Drone Business? Want to be Interviewed for Season 2?
- Complete this questionnaire: Drone to 1K Business Owner Application
Training from Drone Launch Academy
Other Places to Listen
00:00 Okay, cool. Recording. So I’m going to actually have an intro and an extra that I’m gonna record separately so we can just like jump kind of right into the interview. Um, so get it going. All right, so everyone welcome to the podcast. I Have Roberts, um, on the line with us today. Robert, thanks so much for joining us. Why don’t you tell us kind of who you are and a little bit about yourself and your work.
00:25 No problem. David, thank you so much for having us. Um, so my name is Robert Koda Camp and CEO and founder of aerial. Look, we’ve been in business for five years. Come January of this year. Yeah. And you know, we got into the drum business free early in the game and we really started as kind of a drone manufacturer, research developer. We were developing software and hardware and in order to fund that, I had been in real estate years prior and I thought that this would be a great tool for the realtors to show off real estate. So we had these drones were building and they had cameras on it, like go pros. No. Gimbels but no cameras. So I started flying around to houses, charging like 100 bucks for a video and kind of took off, um, no pun intended. And um, it went from, you know, just doing a couple of houses in a week to getting, you know, five or 10 houses in a day to shoot and doing that weekly.
01:16 And so it was great because I want it to generate revenue though, know continue our research and development. Um, but at the same time it, I was a bit of a problem just because you started to take resources away from that research and development because we had to keep customers happy, you know, so we saw a business model, so we had to pivot. So we basically pivoted in to doing drone videography, photography. Okay. You know, we started to find that, yeah, this is awesome. I said, you know, we could take this drone because it has the gimbal on it because of the visit, you know, the views that it can get. I mean, this can help reduce the cost of content creation for so many different industries and individuals that we just need to figure out a way to make it affordable to implement. Because a lot of drone operators, you know, in the beginning who got a thousand, 1500, 2000, $5,000, I mean, you name it, people are getting ridiculous amounts of money to fly a drone.
02:06 But just being in business for as long as I have and understanding the economy and ecosystems, you know, I said, hey, you know, I always like to be, I’m at a place in the market where I don’t want to come in too high, nor do I want to come too low. I want to be the best possible product and service and quality for the most affordable price. Um, and I feel like technology allows that to be, implement that method or mythology it be implemented, um, more now than ever. And so with that, I said, okay, well we’ve got these drone videos, but in real estate, you know, no one wants to pay the, the fees that they, um, you know, the NFL or CNN or any of those larger organizations will pay to fly drones. And so we were really at a point where if we want to changed the way you experienced real estate, and that was kind of the goal from the beginning was how do we utilize this technology to enhance how you experience real estate?
02:57 Then we said, okay, you know, let’s try and make it an affordable drone video. Let’s create processes that streamline the process so that, you know, a drone operator could show up and within 30 minutes have photos and a video and beyond to the next one. And by doing that, we could scale up in volume, we can onset of pay by the job, pay salaries, and we could just utilize that, you know, business model. We’ll see what other industries work for it. And so over the years, um, you know, we started with drum, but then I said, hey, we’ve got to get into the interior. So the drone is great for the exterior, but what about the interior? And we used to, we shot some drone stuff with an interior, like the one of the first houses we shot completely with [inaudible] the phantom four or phantom three pro.
03:34 It was a $50 million listing in Bel Air. Hmm. Cool. And just shot the whole entire video with the drone. And they had somebody who already, they spent about 13 grand to have a video shot beforehand. But what we wanted to do was we were, we started the company in China, um, so that it would help, you know, there was a few reasons starting the company in China, one being able to help us acquire more business because people want it to get access to China. So we felt like, hey, if we can be the business that offers you access to China, you’re more inclined to do business with us. And so we started this company in China and we came back to the states and we got a bunch of big clients like Michael Jackson’s Neverland ranch and Michael Jordan’s, Chicago state, and Tommy Hilfiger, his penthouse in New York City.
04:16 And we took those houses and got a bunch of publicity over in China and started to sell real estate in China via drones and virtual reality. And so, um, we went to that house and as a drone and I was like, hey man, I want to get this in China and, but the video that you got shot, and I was bullshitting. I didn’t want them. I wanted them to use my own video, not a video that they’ve given me that somebody else shot. So I was like, well, you know, I’m going to shoot it a different way. It’s for the Chinese consumer, so it has to be done differently. And so they said, okay, come in there and shoot it. So I went in there and not really knowing what I was getting into. Um, and not flying drones for too long, but, um, I got there. It was a beautiful house, man. I spent all day and night there just shooting video with the drone, flying through the house, you know, using it as a gimbal and we produce a great video. And so after that moment I got to see how powerful the drone could be in just cinematography.
05:04 Um, we started to focus on streamlining that, but as well as adding an interior 3d and virtual reality. So that’s kind of where we’re at now is, you know, we do a lot of different things. You know, we work with a lot of builders and developers and we have several different sectors that are going to go into different verticals. But, um, you know, that’s the base of it. It’s drones and virtual reality and the drone can be done. You can create virtual realities in addition to the cameras that we
05:32 now, um, let’s, I’m curious now at the beginning you were saying that you guys started off as kind of a drone, a manufacturer and research almost. What was that like? How long did you guys, uh, mess with that and take your with that for, and what was, what was going on there?
05:48 So we have a genius CTO. Sam Is James and you know, James has worked with American Express, Dale out roof, um, a lot of banking security, but he’s like, he’s the best hacker. Right. And you know, he has all these good ideas and we have these ideas and he’s like, you know, the guy who can make it happen. So we were sitting around thinking about all the applications for drones and I was like, Hey, you know, I think that would be very valuable to have a drone with the tool belt and the toolbox could be switched out per use. So we would have like a tool belt for law enforcement, a tool belt for agriculture, tool belt for real estate and so forth. Um, and we were more along the lines of like we were watching precision team cause they were in the game at the same time and you know, they were, we’d go, we actually shot some video for them so we would see how they operated and see how they’d have to have a, a flyer and um, you know, I watched her go out and you know, we saw like only baker fly the drones and we just didn’t see any scalability [inaudible] at all.
06:41 We said, hey listen, you know, the only way that this is going to be scalable is if you get a go to oh rotor rather than the fixing six weeks. And that’s what they started out with. And so, you know, we were like, hey well [inaudible] with four rotors on is going to go a lot farther and longer in terms of and lower to the ground than what we need. You know, the, the fixed wing, you have to do a lot of maneuvering to get it to fly at certain angles and to get it to operate the way that would make sense for the, for the application. And so we said, all right, so for the agriculture we were using, um, James had some experience with the Cognix, which is a commercial camera, smart camera. And um, you know, basically it scans documents as they pass by and it, with utilizing machine learning it’ll tell you, oh, this document, the bad like for American Express would use it for billing statements or Microsoft who use it for their security certificates.
07:33 And so we said this is great technology and James knew a lot about it cause he was implementing it for Microsoft and they allow ruin American Express. And so of they were like, hey, how can we bring this over to, you know, agriculture. And so we said, all right, well you know, we know what a, um, you know, plant looks like at every stage of a disease. So if we can upload all the different plants that we would focus on at the stages and the disease that they were experiencing, then you know, we can create machine learning algorithms that would allow the drone to fly over the, the field and analyze the fields. And based off of the imagery, you want to tell us what’s going on, where are we, should water more, where water lasts, what kind of diesel we’re going on. And so we got into that and then we built a drone for, we were talking to bandwidth at the time, which was like a, a wireless company.
08:14 And we came up with like a calm stone, which would go up in the national, you know, FEMA disaster area, and it would basically provide, um, the cellular tower, like a flying cellular tower. I’m 40. And so we did that as well, and it was really cool. And this was all fun, but it was all very cash intensive. Yeah. And at the time, you know, I have other companies, what year was this? They’re like, Whoa, this was in 13. Okay. 2014. Yeah. And, um, you know, so it was a matter of we always wanted to do what we could do and we always, we were very scrappy and we got it done, but it always become very expensive at the end of the name. So that’s why we’ve kind of switched over to the, you know, drone videography and utilizing the trunk, right. Yeah. Utilizing it to do videography, utilizing it to, you know, okay, fly and look for people. I mean there’s so many different use cases as I know you’re aware.
09:01 You guys are planning for those use cases, which is very smart. So
09:04 very that, yes. So as you guys get into, okay, you know, we’re going to just work on, you know, doing more drone services instead of on the research and kind of prototyping area. Um, so you’re focusing, are you guys focusing, sounds like you’re focusing pretty strictly on, on real estate, or at least you were kind of towards the beginning of that pivot.
09:25 So to be honest with you in, yeah. So this is where it’s at. It’s, um, the drone in the beginning was useful. We just shoot real estate. That’s what it’s for. You know, take it out, shoot real estate, charge money for it. But then as you become more enamored into the industry, you start to see that, oh wait a second, the drone is just a part of the toolkit. You know, you can call yourself a drone company, but really it’s a media content creation company or a media company or an advertising company and you’re just utilizing these tools in your tool set to benefit your clients. Right? You know, I’m a big service business guy. I feel that if you can build the service, then you’d go to market. And what a lot of hot times happen to software developers develop a software and they don’t have a market yet.
10:08 So all that money is spent in marketing and trying to get users where you start to serve as first, you don’t have to spend as much money to get the business because you offer a valuable service and as long as you provide customer service and it’s a pure quality product, they’re going to come to you and they’re going to continue to utilize you. And with that you’re building a market share and with that market share you then control things. So you think that as a service, you know, let’s say you’re, you’re just starting to drunk and you’re like, aw man, you know, I want to be with those big guys. I want to be up with precision tuner, you know, drone deploy or whatever it might be. And they, they don’t think it’s possible cause like, well I’ll never get that. I’m just shooting drones.
10:43 You know, I’m flying houses and so forth. And the fact of the matter is is that entering the drone market in the housing industry is probably the best place to enter it, not financially or profitability wise, but for the simple fact that you’re going to build a market, you’re going to meet people, the realtors are going to tell their friends about you. You know, the realtors have more friends than that are not in real estate. And everybody talks about the drone. You know, when, whenever you take it out, we can all agree that everybody’s walking up to, you asked me what you’re doing.
11:08 Yeah. Like, Oh, let me tell me about that. Oh, exactly. Let me look, let me look.
11:12 Oh, let me get your number. Yeah. Or Hey, would you find my kid’s soccer game? Or Hey, we have an event going on out at SAS. Would you come out and fly it? You know, stuff like that. I mean, so many opportunities have come just being out with the drone. So doing it in real estate allows you to get out with the drone more.
11:27 Right. Yep. Yeah. And then I’ll put you in front of a larger client base. Yeah. And so you’re constantly in front of a client base that’s always growing and then you’re building a market share. Then let’s say GoPro comes out with the Karma and they failed miserably. But let’s say that you were, you know, holding market share. Well, you could say, well everybody uses DJI, but I used the Carmen, I could probably get the same, um, you know, quality out of the Karma. I may not like it cause I’m brand loyal to DJI, right. If I go to and say, hey, Karma, you know, we’re aerial. Look, we do business all over the world. We have operators all over the world and we want to utilize your drone. I think I could probably get a partnership with Karma and I think that I could boost my name and the company up to the levels that you would hear.
12:06 When you think about precision tune in, drone deploy and all those other ones. Right, and so you utilize the service industry to build the market. Once you have the market, you control things and everybody thinks that you have to create the technology to control things and it’s far from it. So utilize the drone industry to create a market. Well, I utilized the drone industry and I created a market for builders and do developers. They got introduced to me because we can fly drones, but then I started to see the massive amounts of money that was on the table and I started to come up with all these products and services that were tailored, fitted to the builders and new developers. Now we do business with the biggest developers and builders in the world, in Dubai and China, in the US. And your Europe. Yeah, that’s great. And, and best belief. Very rarely we’ve taken out the drone anymore. Okay. Yeah. Most of the products were taken on. I’m sending, I’ve got teens and render houses and we’re just doing renderings and CGI animation, but it all came from that drone. Yeah. So I use the drone to go to market share, then I utilize it.
12:59 Robert Opportunities.
Speaker 1: (13:00)
Hey Robert, sorry I you cut out for just one second that he said, I’ll piece this back together. But you said you use the Germany market share and then it cut out.
13:09 Oh yeah. So I said we use the drone to get the market share, but once we acquired the market share and lead the future opportunities that you know, revenue opportunities that were outside the drone industry, it’ll take you places you never thought you would go.
13:21 Yeah, no, that’s all.
13:22 Even the drone industry now is very smart because it’s going to take them places that they would never have gone before, depending on how hard, how hard they want to hustle. And this industry is so cool that you don’t even have to hustle that hard. And you can still do well.
13:33 Yeah. Well I think that’s just a misconception. A lot of people have their, they’ll say, oh, this, you know, you hear a lot of times people complaining, Oh, the drone market is just so flooded with pilots and blah, Blah Blah and this and that. I mean, yeah, there’s a lot people with one oh seven but that doesn’t mean there’s a lot of people who know what they’re doing in the drone industry. You know what I mean? So, so much of the other products, I mean, success boils down to actually being able to have a viable business and having business skills rather than just being, knowing how to, you know, turn on a drone and put it in the, in the air. Anybody can do that honestly. So, um,
14:03 the joy of having a drone is, is that you have it in your trunk or your passenger seat and you’re driving around and you see the development. You take the drone out, it takes you 15 minutes to shoot to development. You go home, you take another 15 minutes, pulled together some clips, throw a logo up, put it over some music, you send it as a gift to the builder or developer. I’ve done that so many times in the span of five years and it’s led to so much business. So having that drone, you don’t have to try hard. You literally could not have any clients. You just have to be creative. You have to say, hey, you know, this is development. It’s going up. These guys could definitely appreciate, you know, progression developments. Right. And I could probably sell them for two 75 a month and I could probably add grown to point and do three d maps for another 150 a month. Then next thing you know, I’ve got one developer’s got 10 developments going on and they all last a year or longer. No, I’ve just set myself up with a revenue stream that’s paying me x dollars month time development and it’s one customer.
14:53 That’s awesome.
14:54 Yeah. We have tons of clients. We take one pilot, he goes out in the week and he makes $1,500 or $2,000 shooting six or seven or eight different properties and maps. It takes them about an hour to two for each property. And they’re all pretty much in the same environment, in the same area because it’s all new construction development. So you’re just focused on growing areas.
15:12 No, that’s awesome. Yeah, that’s great. That’s great idea. Now now, so you guys, so are you, it sounds like you guys are pretty decent sized company now you have multiple pilots. Like how big are you? Like you have several different pilots flying for you. Like tell us a little about your company now.
15:27 Okay. So we kind of do things a bit differently. We have, you know, we do things in house and then of course we subcontractor, you know, and so we’ve got our in house. So in our, our in house markets are in Miami to Palm Beach, Charlotte, Raleigh. Then we have DC and we have Connecticut, Jersey in New York City.
15:47 So you guys are all,
15:49 yeah, well to an extent. So, and then we have an office, you know, Hong Kong sends then and then Dubai. And so yeah, and that’s where our operations span in house. But out of, you know, outside of that we can take on work anywhere in the world because we’ve strategically built a network of drone operators in 3d operators that span in the thousands across the world. So a lot of these people, we set up preferred rates, waste. And so, um, which is not an easy, I do because a lot of times you talked to a drone operator who hadn’t seen what you’ve seen and they’re just, you know, interested in, hey, you know, I’m my rate’s 500 bucks or it’s 1000 bucks or I only do half days or full days. And that mentality is great and it works, but it doesn’t work in every industry. And so I tell you, if you’re in real estate, get out of that mentality.
16:33 Never going to work my work for a little bit. You could focus on the big houses. But I mean even the big, I’ve worked with all the big realtors on million dollar listing and the real estate industry is not great to be in. So I say start in the real estate industry, but work your way to get out of the real estate industry. Literally, you set up a scalable opportunity.
17:11 Yeah. It’s like I almost, almost every person who we’ve, who we’ve had on the podcast so far has said almost exact same. They know like, well, real estate is really easy to get into, but you know, it’s hard to work with realtors sometimes and you know, they get paid. So good opportunity to start off, but then you can kind of transition, transition out of it into things that are a little bit more, uh, you know, a little bit more value. I don’t want to say more value add, but just seem to work a little bit better for everyone involved. Yeah,
17:38 exactly. You know, but I don’t want to know, talk too bad about real estate because a lot of our revenue generated from real estate and this is what we did to make it so it was valuable for us. We said, okay, we’re not going directly to the realtors. I will not go directly to a realtor. Yes, we have some realtors that call us stuff. They’ve been clients for us for four or five years and they’re going to get our service. But best believe you’ll never catch us marketing directly to one realtor because that’s a waste of my time. I don’t want to go talk to that realtor and ask them for money. Don’t, I have time to negotiate with them and I don’t have enough time to deal with their bullshit. So what I do is I go directly to the firm, you know, so the chief marketing officer and I say, listen, you guys need this content.
18:12 I don’t let them ask me for it. I told them if they need it. That’s the best way a lot of these people don’t understand is that, you know, we’re a younger generation. We get to see things that they didn’t, they get to see things that we didn’t. When you combine that, you create a hybrid, but you have to go in and create that hybrid because they are already thinking in their own minds. So they’re not accepting what you call on to say unless you come with, you know, you have to be, you know, very pushy about it. You have to say, listen to you exactly what you got to have the confidence and you got to tell them, hey listen, you know, we’re in a content driven marketplace with society and the only way to stay relevant is, you know, create content. Um, and real estate people are looking for the best user experience.
18:45 Whoever provides it, it’s gonna win. So if you provide the best user experience by providing drone photos and videos, and that’s more information than any other listing that provides just photos on the ground, then there’s your add value add. And Hey, listen, you know, I know that you’re spending 150 bucks on photos from now on, you’re going to get five drone photos because that’s all you really need from the exterior. And we’ll do three d tour and pull the photos for free from the 3D store. And then you’re going to do, you’re going to give me a minimum of 50 listings a month. Okay. And those are the types of deals I work. Yeah. So I get minimums and we don’t, Hey, I get paid by the realtor. We get paid by the firm. Yeah. And their checks come within 30 days and no one’s quibbling about dollars or nine, you know, and it becomes a very good profitable opportunity and scale.
19:25 So we have some firms across the country that pay us. We have $10,000 retainers with them. So certain, you know, and I’m doing this in smaller markets in New York and Miami, so if you live in a smaller market, don’t think that there’s not a firm out there that’s spending 10 grand or more in marketing. They’ll find out how much they’re spending by not how much more value you can add and do it for cheaper and use that as a scalable client. Don’t think of like, Oh, I’m underselling myself. No. Think of it as, okay, if I can go get this one client, that’s enough work to keep one person busy and at the end of the day, $10,000 after my expenses, I’m making three or four or five depending on how much you pay.
19:58 You’re saying you’re getting the client and then you’re getting somebody else to kind of go fly the properties and do that. Is that what you’re saying? Then you end up,
20:05 yeah, that’s what you do. You, you started out like if you’re doing it on your own, you go get those clients on your own. You drive around every day, you shoot as many as you can, but you look for those clients as an opportunity to grow your business. You say, okay, where can I go get 5,000 or where can I go get 3,500 and where can I go get 10,000 and wherever you can go get that, go get it filled, all the value, take the money and then break it down and say, okay, well I know that 50 listings a month, that’s three listings a day, five days a week or whatever it comes out to be. And that being said, um, I know that one person can do that and I know that the going rate is 30, 3,500, I’m going to pay 4,500 to be nice and I’m going to get a valuable, um, you know, employee or contracts and you know, then you, then you, you’ve, you’ve given them enough work to, they don’t have to go look anywhere else.
20:48 You can now invest in growing with them because a lot of people, what happens is in this contract industry is that you have to give up work and then they take your work and then when you’re not, you know, valuable to them anymore and they’ve created their own revenues and they’re not working with you anymore. And so that’s what you have to avoid in this contract, um, driven marketplace, contractor driven marketplace. You have to say, listen, I want to, you know, I want you to be a contractor because that’s how I pay you. And you can tell me what jobs you don’t want to go and do and what you want to do. But I want to create a baseline for you. I want to create a minimum of a work that you can guarantee yourself every month so that you know you have stability. And when someone has stability, it’s a better situation for everybody involved. When they don’t have stability, everybody’s always looking for the next dollar and that doesn’t help you.
21:27 Yeah, no, absolutely. That’s fine. Yeah, that’s great advice. Now. So now are you guys focused mostly on, you said you’re kind of, you have some of the contracts with the like larger uh, you know, brokerages and you’d go straight to the, kind of had the top of the brokerage. Are you guys doing a lot of, you said you are working with developers and builders. Are you guys doing progress photos for them or are you guys doing, uh, like some, some of the modeling and mapping kind of what kind of work are you doing there?
21:55 All right, so I like to call, my strategy in that industry is from conception to final sale. I want to give you getting paid from the time that ground breaks to the time that the last sale happens. Okay. So I set myself, our company up in that, in that equation. And I say, okay, where’s conceptions will conceptions when they’re buying the lens? Right? So I find developers that I know move land, they’re developers, you know, you can call an ARD developer, but when and builder they do develop, don’t get me wrong, but I’m just trying to break it down. You know, you have a builder who builds homes and you have a developer who develops that land and sometimes you have the developer is the builder, but most of the time the developer development moving the dirt and then entitling it and selling it to a builder. And so what I do is I go to the developer and I and I established relationships with you to spell first and most of the time it might be, Hey Ian, go fly that development, send me the video. When we get done, we’re going to send it off to that developer. We’ve never met him before, but he’ll appreciate a drone video of his community and not one person to this day has never not appreciated nor turned that say that, that gifts into a business opportunity.
22:56 Hmm. I highly suggest anybody a hundred percent success rate as you can. Yeah, exactly.
23:01 Percent success rate if you don’t do it for the wrong industry. Right? Right. So what I do there is I say from conception to final sale, so I’m going to make money from flying over doing the flyovers. So doing the three d maps, doing the progression development, you know, letting them send to the builder, you know, how much dirt they’re moving every day, you know, week or month and making sure that they’re staying on track and helping the development company stay on track. And then once the road is in and the first model’s built, we come in and we do the drone, then we do the 3d, but before the models, but I’m sorry, we do three d animations. Should we do CGI animation? We’ll, we’ll create a CGI animation of a whole neighborhood or just the house. Then we’ll do three d walkthrough. Yeah, I have a house that’s not built yet. You know, we can do virtual reality sales centers. We do that for developers know,
23:45 I’m just saying that’s even
23:46 like kind of what you’re saying before. That’s a little bit, that’s kind of an even beyond drone related stuff. You have lexical like another section of skills, right? Doing that kind of, that kind of, so the drone comes out for the, uh, conception, like from the flyover, the development, and then it goes back in and then it comes back out maybe to fly over the community when it’s finished and then the rest of it’s done, you know, remotely [inaudible] you know
24:10 the computer. Yeah. I gotcha. That’s great. No, no, no, it’s fine. You don’t have me anytime, Bro. So I say get the, you got the a, so, so you kind of fly over, you get the, you know, while they’re moving dirt and stuff, making sure they’re staying on track and grading everything. Right. And then they, you kind of give them some three d renderings of what the community looks like when it would be built, you’re saying.
24:34 Exactly. And I use drones for that because we do take a drone photo and we use that aerospace perspective to build out the, the community. Gotcha. Um, so that, that, and then, and then once that’s done, you know, then you have the first model going home and then, you know, we do the neighborhood profile or the 3d tour with the Walkthrough Matterport. Um, and then we start to help them market it. So here’s another valuable piece of information for anybody in this industry. If you’re going to just shoot drone video and hand it off to the client, that’s fine and it’s always going to be accepted, but you will not stay relevant and you will not scale up to where you could scale. And the reason being is because everybody doesn’t know what to do with it. Okay? We as a younger generation or the video is what’s needed to be able to be taken serious, to build a brand to sell.
25:18 And you know, but they don’t know that. So we had them a drone video and then you may never even see it go up. They’ll be like, this is great, this is awesome. They show us to their clients, they showed it to their executive team, everybody like, awesome. You got the email that says this was great work, you’d probably use it in your, you know, um, referral program or whatever, or your testimonies. And in reality, they never even used it. But if you give them a drone video and say, okay, here’s the drone video, but I want to come into your office tomorrow or the next week and I want to tell you how you’re going to implement it. First of all, you’re going to be creating exponential value at secondly, everybody else isn’t doing it. Okay. And thirdly, you’re going to create, you’re going to position yourself as the authority.
25:57 So can I tell you something? And no offense to people who fly drones, but you know, I have four companies or five companies, I’m sorry. Um, and they’re there all around the world and there. And I focused on automotive and housing, but I’m used to building companies and I’m used to doing business with billion dollar companies and walking into the board rooms and talking to the CEOs and consulting with them and telling them what they should be doing and being confident about it and getting that attention. And then you go put that all behind you. You go pick up the controllers, have a drone and go fly, and then you’ve got like a, a copper or a mom yelling at you,
26:25 treating me like you just want a kid. Withdrawn. Right? Yeah. Yeah. And so
26:30 don’t be the drone guy. You be the drone guy to get to where you’re going. But understand that you can utilize that, that, that job to create so much more of it. So I used to be the drone guy, even though I came into this industry after I started companies, I’m the CEO and chairman at other companies and on outline drawings, because I get my hands dirty. I have an auto repair company, it’s a mobile auto repair company. We operate in North Carolina, Florida. And you’ll see me out there in my suit with the guys bringing them food, jumping on wrenches under the cars because no one was available to help them. Whatever it takes. Right. So when I got into drone industry, exactly. But I started the droning companies because I said, hey, I’m so tired of having to rely on other people. What can I do with my own hands that I can rely on myself.
27:11 I don’t get sick. I don’t come up with excuses because if I did, I want to be where I’m at today. But then when you’re relying on people, you have to rely on them and their excuses and the bullshit that they come up with every day to tell you why they couldn’t make it to work or why they screwed something up. Yeah. But you know that most of the time you can do a better yourself. So I was like, I’ll start a drone company and that’s why I started it, because I can put the controls in my hands and I can fly it. I wouldn’t have to worry about somebody getting sick or whatever excuse they come up with. So I started as a drone pilot, but then I would go into these meetings and I tell people, this is what you need to be doing with it.
27:43 You’re doing it wrong. Hey guys, we’re going to come in. I don’t let them order. I tell them what they’re going to order. No, they don’t call me up and say, Hey Robert, I think we want to drove you. I say, Hey, I want to come in and tell you how this is going to change your marketing. Come in and say, okay, you need this, this and this. [inaudible] you do it with confidence and you provide the value behind it and the data that says you need to do it. They do it. So you walk into a meeting and you just create $1,000 worth of revenue because you want it to, not because they want it to. And you’ve got to have that mindset. So you have to look at every opportunity cause they’re never going to look at it as deeply as you do. They get paid a salary, they have their stability, they get up at nine, they go home at five, they get off on the weekends and that’s the end of it. They’re not thinking about all the great things that they could be doing to implement, enhance their business. Okay. If you do and you tell it to them, they’re going to be more than happy to go tell their boss and look good. Yeah. And regardless if anybody finds out,
28:30 go ahead. No, no, go ahead. Go ahead. Keep going.
28:33 I was going to, regardless of anybody finds out whether you were, you know, where that information or that you know that strategy was derived from, you’re still top of mind to someone in that organization and you will be the next call that day that they get when someone needs something else. Yeah. So I go around building value. I built 10 times value before I even asked for one. And sometimes I don’t even ask for one. You know, I’m always looking into things. I sit down and I, you know, I might be, you know, meeting with them, an auto repair client and the next thing you know, I’m selling them drones or I’m telling them 3d or I’m telling them virtual reality, whatever it might be, because I go into a situation or I say, wait a second, Oh, you’re marketing. Well, what are you doing for your marketing? Oh well a drone video would definitely capture people’s attention. You know, a drone video of a dealership can capture people’s attention. Know that’s what the drone video is used for is to capture people’s attention.
29:17 Yeah. So when your, you’re real quick, I just, so when you’re going in you said, hey, cool, you got this drone video, um, you know, let me show you how to use it. Are you like, what are you telling? Are you actually going in there and implementing that for them or are you just kind of giving them the advice? Are you guys like turn it turned into Oh, on marketing company or how are you charging? Are you talking to
29:37 yeah, yeah, yeah. So we turned into that in beginning though. It was just like, like it’s going to happen to all of us as we grow in our careers. You’re going to pivot and you’re going to realize certain things. So you know, you start to do drones and you’re like, oh, I’ll just fly drones. This is great. I’m getting paid, I’m having fun. And then you start to think of it on a different level. And that’s when everything changes. That’s when you say, oh wait, this is great. I see the value here. But where can, where can we, where’s the scalability at? Right? Where are the billions of dollars, not the thousands of dollars, not the tens of thousands of dollars. Hey, I might be happy with millions, but where are the billions? Because that’s scalability. Yeah. And so you have to apply that mindset and it makes people will be like, oh, that’s crazy. You know, you want to think like that. Well, it’s mathematical. Ask anybody who’s very wealthy and most of them will tell you that if they worked hard for it, that it was mathematical. Okay. They were saying it’s an equation. It’s like if I tap this industry in, this industry is worth x dollars, and if I take point and people do it in their pitches all the time, oh, this is a $5 billion industry. And if I take a percentage of it, you know, we’ll be $1 billion company. That’s cool.
30:38 But it’s a place, it’s a good place to start. And the ones that actually get there, the ones who you know, have the wherewithal and the knowledge and the determination,
30:45 you can see where the value is to implement it. Right, exactly.
30:49 So yeah, we started like, I would walk in and I tell him, you need to use it more. Yes. Just test it out. And he be like, yeah, please come in. And I’d be like, Oh shit, I don’t really know how I’m going to tell him to use that more. Cause then I would have to go do research.
30:59 But a lot of it conjured out. Yeah. Yeah.
31:02 I figured out as you go now, it’s not fake it till you make it, it’s figured out as you go. Okay. There’s a big difference between, you know, like tell somebody, okay, I’ll see you tomorrow. I’ll come in tomorrow and tell you how to use that video. I may not know how to use that video, but that’s the joy of the Internet and jump on the Internet. And you’ve talked to a bunch of, you know, um, people who know what they’re doing and you go in there and next day and you, you quote them and utilize some terminology that you know is a buzzword in their industry and it just takes off from there and then you become better at it and then you become more knowledgeable and then you don’t have to read it anymore. It’s just comes off the top of your head because it’s there.
31:34 Right. Well, with that model, what’s nice is it’s like forcing you to learn something. Hey, I’ve got to force myself to figure out how to give them some value right now. And if you just, if you’re just full of it, people will figure that out pretty quick and it won’t last that long. But the way you’re doing it, it sounds like you’re actually forcing yourself to learn real value for them. And then they’re going, oh wow, that’s actually is great. Continue, continues.
31:55 I’m not faking it till I make it and I’m figuring out as I go along.
31:58 Yeah, yeah. That’s awesome.
31:59 And you and you and you just taught me that. So thank you.
32:03 So, um, so for, for jobs now, so like if you were, if you were giving some advice for someone kind of coming in, um, you know, we’ve talked about it a little bit already, you know, saying hey, real estate is a good place to start just because of exposure and experience, not necessarily that you’re going to get rich just shooting, you know, real estate videos. Um, Kinda if you were going to say, hey, let’s, if you’re a one man show, right? Or let’s say somebody is doing this on the side, you know, what would be, what would be your piece of advice to them? Like, Hey, here’s a good path forward for you to be able to make some money. Even if it’s just, even if they are just wanting only, you know, hey, I just want to make a couple thousand bucks on the side. You know, what’s a good way for me to get started? Like what would be your,
32:48 okay, it’s called the one go to one ration thousand mentality. All right. So it’s so hard to market to a thousand people separately, but it’s not hard to market to one person who will then take your messenger. So I guess in the new day and age they call it influencer marketing or whatever you want to call it. But you know, the pastor of a church or the principal of a high school, yes. If you want to call him an influencer, they are because they influence the people around them. Um, and so I would say, let’s just come up with a business case there. So I’m actually walking my dog right now and in front of a school that’s outside of my neighborhood until elementary school. So I know looking at this elementary school as we speak right now, I can see several different opportunities. So I could see, okay, well I’m sure they have sports events, PE class.
33:33 That’s definitely something cool that parents would love to see their kids in drones and so forth. Um, I know that probably soccer kids there, you know, people who play soccer, um, see the school, you know, maybe this is not the newest school, but let’s say it was a new school. Tell me when I’ll show it off. So like, and, and as I’m talking about the school, I was thinking, okay, well my use case will be with the school and now I’m going outside the school. Now I’m going to like, well, how many schools are built every year? Right? Wait, the developer, there’s no sign of, not really here, but there’s a developer sign who develops these schools. I’m like, okay, I’m going to do a drone video of this school. I’m going to go to the developer, give it to them as a gift from find his email address.
34:15 And when he reengages, which most likely he will because you just gave him a diff. Uh Huh. Um, that’s my opportunity to say, hey man, how many schools are you building in this area? Or how many are you doing a month or a year? Right? Yep. And once his answers there, then I start to say, Hey, well listen, I wanted to tell you, you know, I did this video for you because I think it’s great and I think that as you scale your business and try to go out and get more schools to build, it’s a great showcase piece for you to showcase your school. But as well, it’s a great gift to give to the school when you’re done. So now I just use two different strategists that, hey, let’s make this a sales tool one and then tool. Let’s, let’s make it a gift. I’ve done that with real estate agents, real estate. I just don’t want to pay because it hasn’t sold yet. So I said, okay, well cool. Well why don’t you call me when the house sells? We’ll come to a drone video and that’s your gift to the buyer. We’re going to put your logo on it, we’re going to give it to the buyer. The buyer’s going to say, look at my new home on social media and your logo will be all over it and we’ll get all that free advertising.
35:06 Yeah, that’s great.
35:08 Same thing applied here. So now I said, hey, not only do you need it in the beginning, he needed them yet he needed to. And Hey, wait a second, you probably would help you save money and resources. If I came out and did a three d map every month that you’re building these schools, and then I’d show them the actionable data, the actual insight that you could take from the data that we create. And He’d be like, oh, this is great. He’d give it to us, you know? Um, for men on the job in the form will be like, Oh man, I can definitely see how much time and money we could save by having access to 3d massive our jobs as we go along. Yeah, no, that’s how I would do it.
35:38 I love it. You just like, oh gee. Seeing opportunity everywhere. Yeah.
35:43 Oh, that’s all that this life is full of opportunity. Walk out your door and it’ll hit you in the face.
35:50 I mean, well, a lot, but you put on, you don’t think like that though. A lot of people, they just, they get into a routine. They just, you know, they got, got blinders on or they’re just scared to try something new. I mean for you, obviously you know you’re an entrepreneur. Like I said, you started several companies, so for you your decide you’re in it for a lot of people there, there they don’t, go ahead. Go ahead.
36:12 Well W W business like I hate the word entrepreneurship, do I, I’m sorry I can’t stand entrepreneurship glean startup method, all that bullshit that people try to, it’s human nature. It’s common sense and people want to monetize human nature. So they say, okay, well let’s take this common sense because not everybody uses it. And then we’ll put it in a book and then I’ll sell it. Or let’s put out a Forbes article and tell you the 10 ways you can be an entreprenuer. So everybody who reads it that doesn’t meet the 10 ways automatically thinks that they’re a failure at life and doesn’t become an entrepreneur. You know, entrepreneurship, being a businessman or woman, it’s in your DNA called the hunter gatherer. You get up, you go hunt and you gather and you eat and feed yourself. Just so happens that we have to gather more of these days to feed ourselves. And we, it’s not just feeding ourselves nutrition, it’s also feeding ourselves emotionally, physically, financially. So, um, you know, human, it’s in all of us. You just have to want to go do it.
37:03 Yeah. Mean definition. [inaudible] is a person who organizes and operates a business, I mean according to the dictionary. So that’s kind of what else? Oh, of course.
37:11 No, and you’re 100% right. I was just giving you my feedback because got a 15 so I may be 30 years old, but I move out of 15 and I had to start really young and my friends are 50, 60 and 70 years old bro. Like I do have younger friends, but most of the people that are younger, they just work with me. And you know, we’ve established that relationship. But I’m a very like old school way of thinking. I apply, well, let’s call it the millennial mindset because I am a millennial. But at the same time, you know, when I came when I was 15 and 16 on the streets, I had to figure out a way to be valuable to the [inaudible], okay, 30 and 40 and 50 year olds doing business. Right? And so I had to start to consume and understand what’s valuable to them. Why did that, yeah. You know, I thrive in that environment now. Um, but what happens is like people get on social media and talk about, oh well if you’re not creating video, like Gary v will tell you, you know, you’re going to fail. You know, why are all these big billion dollar companies going under? And a lot of it, there’s some truth there, but a lot of it’s just scare tactics. Yeah. And um,
38:08 no, I know there’s a lot of hype around that.
38:11 Yeah. It’s all just use your common sense. God gave it to you. You have free will and God given common sense. You can utilize your freewill to implement the common sense. And once you do, you’ll see things differently and you act accordingly. But as long as you don’t implement your common sense, you always look at things through society’s division because that’s what you learned and you’ll just stay complacent. You’re like, Oh, I’ve got my nine to five. Yeah, got my stability. Yeah, go don’t work nine, come home at five hanging out, do the same, you know, hang around on the weekends and go back and then I’ll retire one day. So I mean, and that’s cool. There’s nothing wrong with having that mentality, but anybody who’s going to start a drone business or any kind of business can’t have that mentality. Otherwise you’re just better off taking your skill set and applying it to some stability that will pay you good enough for your effort.
38:53 Absolutely. Dude. Well Robert, I’m not going to keep you any more. I really appreciate your time, but real quick before we go, if people want to find out more about you, where would be the best place to go? Like social media website where? Where’s best place for people to read more about you?
39:08 I’ll tell you what I am on social media. I don’t really like social media. I don’t have time for it, but I do have time to give back and help people. So I am on Facebook and I’m on Linkedin and you’re more than welcome to request me as a friend or connection and I will accept it and you can ask me any questions you want. [inaudible] I’ll either get to it right then or very soon after.
39:26 Cool. And what’s your website for people who just want to find out more about your company? Reo looked.com. Aerial looked.com. Awesome. Cool. Well we’ll link all that stuff, uh, in the show notes to the interview. But again, Robert, thank you so much for chatting with us and your time and just, um, just given all that awesome. Just advice and just story about how you got started. I know a lot of people will, uh, you know, get pumped up about it and, and really appreciate it. So thanks man.
39:53 Hey David, thank you for all you’re doing. I think it’s a blessing to the community. And again, like I told you in the beginning, a lot of our policies have used your course and have passed the test because we’re the first time. So anybody out there that’s looking for, you know, a very thorough, um, testing. Okay. I don’t know what you call it, the [inaudible] program. Yes. Is it? So I appreciate what she’s done for the community, and I appreciate you having me a part of the show.
40:15 Thanks dude. I appreciate it.