Welcome, Commercial Drone Pilots!
Join our growing community today!
Sign up

Clients wants aerial Real Estate pics for $1.42 each

Kristina Fowler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
83
Reaction score
32
Age
68
Just ran across yet another absurdly insulting post on a well-known dispatch service by a client wanting 60 images for $85 (this is actually up from the low of 80 cents each a couple of months ago). I'm not a big Union fan, but this sure moves me one step closer. What is going on in the minds of the general public (real estate agents are the worst!!) in regards to a value proposition for aerial photos, licensing, equipment, experience, and all the rest that goes into delivering quality content to clients?

Invariably, they'll use terms such as "just this" or "just that" to minimize their expectations of cost, showing their ignorance about what goes into getting licensed, equipped, insured, and trained. I've never closed on one job with these sites. I think there is an inherent responsibility with these dispatchers to safeguard the integrity of the industry and impose some sort of minimums for jobs. Imagine Uber/Lyft letting riders establish their own rates. This really concerns me.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mauiavian

BigAl07

Administrator
Staff member
DSAR Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
1,112
Age
48
Location
Western North Carolina
I find it hard to fault the "Aggregate" company (Dronebase for instance) for offering low rates. Keep in mind they are also competing with other "Aggregate" companies for the same $$. The price is low because we have a whole society of bottom feeders who will take the job for pennies just to get some work.

Keep in mind that if the Aggregates have higher prices (And I think they should but...) they won't get the work because someone will come in and gobble up the job for next to nothing just to make some beer money.

Aggregates are not a business model most of us can (or should) maintain. They may help fill in gaps but utilizing the low ballers is only cutting your own throat.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Grumpy

MapMaker53

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 7, 2018
Messages
197
Reaction score
167
Location
Long Island, NY
Website
www.zazzle.com
I think the only thing we as an industry can do is ignore those postings. It's low-hanging fruit for the neighborhood hobbyist who doesn't care about Part 107 rules if the realtor doesn't care. Nothing else we do is going to convince realtors to spend more money on aerials because they can always sell a property without them. In my opinion, the only way that industry is going to change is if the FAA cracks down on them for using a non-107 operator for their photos -- but I doubt the FAA cares to investigate realtors.

Companies like Dronebase just want to provide a service and take a cut and are willing to just sit back and see how the industry develops, IMO. Takes no real effort on their part and they make money from it.
 
Last edited:

clolsonus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2019
Messages
53
Reaction score
36
Age
51
I haven't looked at these dispatcher services, but do they have a rating system? It seems like that would help the better quality operators flying better quality equipment to sift up to the top, and clients could do a better job of picking a price point where they get what they pay for.
 

Kristina Fowler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
83
Reaction score
32
Age
68
I think the only thing we as an industry can do is ignore those postings. It's low-hanging fruit for the neighborhood hobbyist who doesn't care about Part 107 rules if the realtor doesn't care. Nothing else we do is going to convince realtors to spend more money on aerials because they can always sell a property without them. In my opinion, the only way that industry is going to change is if the FAA cracks down on them for using a non-107 operator for their photos -- but I doubt the FAA cares to investigate realtors.
I agree, except I give the FAA the benefit of the doubt (walk a mile in their shoes), but it is nonetheless aggravating. I'd love to see the FAA put the hammer down on shade-trees, but I think the sad reality is that they have higher priorities to tend to vs the manpower to dedicate to 107 enforcement.
 

R.P..R

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
135
Reaction score
60
Location
NorCal
Website
www.rprsolution.com
Los Angeles UAV Filmmakers has combat this problem by forming a union, and it is not through AOPA (I will try to provide the name) Can this also be done in our industry? Create a union?
 

TreeLineView

Well-Known Member
DSAR Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2018
Messages
83
Reaction score
60
Location
Southeastern Massachusetts
Its no different than hiring the tree removal service in your area that is offering to do work for 50% less then everyone else. chances are he is probably not properly licensed and does not have Workers' Comp for his employees. Eventually it will catch up to the customer. Tree falls on worker and they sue you, or unlicensed/uninsured pilot crashes and customer learns the hard way.

I did seasonal Real Estate for three years and saw business dry up when the bottom feeders moved in. It took me time to put together a good business plan using best practices, solid safety guidelines, and delivering a superior product. Thanks to many who shared their good advice on this site. I still get some calls occasionally from old Real Estate clients of mine. Similar line they are all using now. They can get someone to do it much cheaper. I used to try and explain about licensing, insurance, safety. Now I just politely decline.

If you stick with a solid business model, and provide a quality product, you will be successful. Like I said it took me 4 years. I now have more thermal work now then I can keep up with. If the only the rain would stop.

Don't be a bottom feeder or you won't last long!
 

R.P..R

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
135
Reaction score
60
Location
NorCal
Website
www.rprsolution.com
Its no different than hiring the tree removal service in your area that is offering to do work for 50% less then everyone else. chances are he is probably not properly licensed and does not have Workers' Comp for his employees. Eventually it will catch up to the customer. Tree falls on worker and they sue you, or unlicensed/uninsured pilot crashes and customer learns the hard way.

I did seasonal Real Estate for three years and saw business dry up when the bottom feeders moved in. It took me time to put together a good business plan using best practices, solid safety guidelines, and delivering a superior product. Thanks to many who shared their good advice on this site. I still get some calls occasionally from old Real Estate clients of mine. Similar line they are all using now. They can get someone to do it much cheaper. I used to try and explain about licensing, insurance, safety. Now I just politely decline.

If you stick with a solid business model, and provide a quality product, you will be successful. Like I said it took me 4 years. I now have more thermal work now then I can keep up with. If the only the rain would stop.

Don't be a bottom feeder or you won't last long!

Amen to that! You have to stick to the plan, nothing is for free, and your rates should reflect the work that you do.....
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigAl07

aerialimagery

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
294
Reaction score
62
Why is it presumed that the people who do these jobs do not have their 107 license?

Most of the jobs I've done have been for more than $500 but I would do a small local job for $85. To take 60 images takes about 5 minutes longer than taking just 1 image, and I could do the entire job in 15 minutes. If I were a part-timer, I wouldn't mind the extra "pin money" for 15 minutes of work and having some fun with my drone.

Realtors don't want to spend the money. They'll do it themselves if they have to or will go without. Look for other better-paying markets.
 

BigAl07

Administrator
Staff member
DSAR Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
1,112
Age
48
Location
Western North Carolina
Why is it presumed that the people who do these jobs do not have their 107 license?

Most of the jobs I've done have been for more than $500 but I would do a small local job for $85. To take 60 images takes about 5 minutes longer than taking just 1 image, and I could do the entire job in 15 minutes. If I were a part-timer, I wouldn't mind the extra "pin money" for 15 minutes of work and having some fun with my drone.

Realtors don't want to spend the money. They'll do it themselves if they have to or will go without. Look for other better-paying markets.

That's a multi-faceted reply... I'll delve in for a moment...

Why is it presumed that the people who do these jobs do not have their 107 license?
Most of the Aggregates do require Part 107 so that might have been a stretch for @MapMaker53 although Realtors very often use Non-Part 107 operators which is very hypocritical of them. In their line of work with the Ethics & Standards they are supposed to be held to a higher standard. It's usually the "Local" scene where jobs are being done by non-Part 107 and not via Aggregates like Dronebase etc.


Most of the jobs I've done have been for more than $500 but I would do a small local job for $85. To take 60 images takes about 5 minutes longer than taking just 1 image, and I could do the entire job in 15 minutes. If I were a part-timer, I wouldn't mind the extra "pin money" for 15 minutes of work and having some fun with my drone.
Sometime you should check out the "Required Shots" from the shot list on these listings. It's not just snapping 60 random shots but very defined and specific shots from various angles, heights, and locations. When I read some of their required shot lists I just laugh because the person writing the script has no clue what the job site looks like or will allow.
 
  • Like
Reactions: MapMaker53

LUIS MARTINEZ

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
675
Reaction score
485
Age
66
Location
CASA GRANDE, AZ
Website
www.martinezaerial.com
Just ran across yet another absurdly insulting post on a well-known dispatch service by a client wanting 60 images for $85 (this is actually up from the low of 80 cents each a couple of months ago). I'm not a big Union fan, but this sure moves me one step closer. What is going on in the minds of the general public (real estate agents are the worst!!) in regards to a value proposition for aerial photos, licensing, equipment, experience, and all the rest that goes into delivering quality content to clients?

Invariably, they'll use terms such as "just this" or "just that" to minimize their expectations of cost, showing their ignorance about what goes into getting licensed, equipped, insured, and trained. I've never closed on one job with these sites. I think there is an inherent responsibility with these dispatchers to safeguard the integrity of the industry and impose some sort of minimums for jobs. Imagine Uber/Lyft letting riders establish their own rates. This really concerns me.
Do as Nancy said and just say NO.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigAl07

Kristina Fowler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
83
Reaction score
32
Age
68
Los Angeles UAV Filmmakers has combat this problem by forming a union, and it is not through AOPA (I will try to provide the name) Can this also be done in our industry? Create a union?
This is interesting. Although a union would not force prospective clients to use members of the union (or professional group), it would at least give your credibility a shot in the arm. An interesting concept would be to create a "certification" process whereby member would need to surpass Part 107 qualifications and exhibit certain skills (verified) that set you apart from "the other guys". A "Drone Masters" society of sorts. Not quite sure how you'd pull it off, but I'd like to at least see a prototype. Borrowing this for context: "As part of its mission to enhance knowledge of standards and standardization, SES - The Society for Standards Professionals has established a certification program to recognize people who have demonstrated a high degree of professional competence in different areas of standards."
 

aerialimagery

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
294
Reaction score
62
"Sometime you should check out the "Required Shots" from the shot list on these listings. It's not just snapping 60 random shots but very defined and specific shots from various angles, heights, and locations. When I read some of their required shot lists I just laugh because the person writing the script has no clue what the job site looks like or will allow. "

I stand corrected. I didn't see the required shot list.
 

R Martin

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2018
Messages
412
Reaction score
264
Location
Denton, Texas
This is interesting. Although a union would not force prospective clients to use members of the union (or professional group), it would at least give your credibility a shot in the arm. An interesting concept would be to create a "certification" process whereby member would need to surpass Part 107 qualifications and exhibit certain skills (verified) that set you apart from "the other guys". A "Drone Masters" society of sorts. Not quite sure how you'd pull it off, but I'd like to at least see a prototype. Borrowing this for context: "As part of its mission to enhance knowledge of standards and standardization, SES - The Society for Standards Professionals has established a certification program to recognize people who have demonstrated a high degree of professional competence in different areas of standards."
You can let someone else decide what you will charge and be paid. I choose to reserve that decision for myself. My experience with unions is that they are great for collecting dues and selling you out in bargaining. Enough said on that....
 

Kristina Fowler

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 20, 2018
Messages
83
Reaction score
32
Age
68
You can let someone else decide what you will charge and be paid. I choose to reserve that decision for myself. My experience with unions is that they are great for collecting dues and selling you out in bargaining. Enough said on that....
Per my previous remarks, no way have I ever caved to these ridiculous prices - nor will I in the future. I agree about Unions - don't like them - abusing their original intent. I prefer that hypothetical Professionals Standards group I mentioned.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LUIS MARTINEZ

Avocet

Well-Known Member
DSAR Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2018
Messages
110
Reaction score
42
Age
62
Location
Maine
Website
www.kestrelsolutionsuav.com
For now, the precedent has unfortunately been set. The service provider middle men control pricing based on what their customers will pay and what bottom dwellers with cameras will accept which is just about anything. The latter is mistakenly thinking that they will be paid more as they acquire experience or a portfolio when in fact the exact opposite is already a reality. Walk away, sell your goods based on your best quality. It was inevitable.
 
Last edited:

BigAl07

Administrator
Staff member
DSAR Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2018
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
1,112
Age
48
Location
Western North Carolina
For now, the precedent has unfortunately been set. The service provider middle men control pricing based on what their customers will pay and what bottom dwellers with cameras will accept which is just about anything. The latter is mistakenly thinking that they will paid more as they acquire experience or a portfolio when in fact the exact opposite is already a reality. Walk away, sell your goods based on your best quality. It was inevitable.

^^^^ Words of wisdom there :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Avocet

R.P..R

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2019
Messages
135
Reaction score
60
Location
NorCal
Website
www.rprsolution.com
DJI own operators used to dominate Hollywood until a union was established and DJI is now part of it. Thus their operators are now establishing a business for themselves just to take part of the union, because it was no longer DJI who calls the shots.
In construction, I don’t know how the industry goes in your neck of the woods, but here in California, we have a union called NICA, a brotherhood of workers, from pipe, cement, electrical, name it NICA controls it, and this gave equal job opportunities.

There’s a lot to go around in our drone industry services, but if there’s no proper direction, and control, the industry that we at present enjoy reaping the bounties, will one day become saturated.
 
  • Like
Reactions: BigAl07

aerialimagery

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 10, 2018
Messages
294
Reaction score
62
There’s a lot to go around in our drone industry services, but if there’s no proper direction, and control, the industry that we at present enjoy reaping the bounties, will one day become saturated.
The free market will take care of that. We don't need any more "controllers" in this business or any other.
 

New Threads

Members online

Forum statistics

Threads
2,030
Messages
19,069
Members
3,239
Latest member
Yooper