Wow! Great responses. I was just reminded of this blog on @Alan Perlman community update email. I have notifications on now so let the responses continue!
@Uaviator53 I definitely agree. 9/10 agents aren't interested because they do it part time. These are the same realtors who take pictures with their phones. Overall, making a profit is fairly easy as long as your work is half decent. It may take a while to get in the green but it shouldn't take more than a couple months as long as you keep your costs low.
@Alan Perlman I swam upstream accidentally. In the midst of contacting realtors I found the top dogs and they are the ones have used me for a couple of jobs now. I have a shoot for a golf course in May once everything greens up. I'm 1/1 on golf courses but have a list of 23 I am going to talk to. I have started with construction using drone deploy. It's awesome technology and very useful in construction.
@RTV, Inc. - Jay Great advice!
@PLKetchum Me and you need to talk some more. I would love to start offering matter port, interior, and exterior photos. I feel as if I am under cutting myself my only offering aerial photos and videos.
The agents I currently work with on a regular basis are the high end real estate agents. They are full time and understand the value. To build up my portfolio and obtain connections I offered aerial photos and videos for free for first time clients. This worked great. However, even though some of them loved my work and one realtor even got a showing because of the video getting shared on Facebook, they don't always return. I may go back to offering it for free for first time clients.
Overall, the best thing to do is offer low prices and be damn good at what you do. Also be qualified. Be sure to be the professional in the area, not the guy who owns and drone and knows nothing about photography. Flying a drone and cinematography are completely to different skills sets.
Which brings me to another point, there is a HUGE market for selling photos to local tourist shops as postcards and greetings cards. I live in Floyd, VA and I took pictures of Floyd early morning after a rain when the fog was lifting and sun was rising. The Floyd Country Store is buying 500 copies of 3 photos (1500 total) for postcards, another 1500 for greeting cards, 30 8x10 and 6 11x14. Plus they want me to take pictures through out the year as seasons change. If you guys aren't doing this, you should look into it. It's a continuing income as the pictures sell.
I have one question- how do we get rid of the people who are offering the same services as us with no license? Theres guys like that in my area and its a real bummer cause my work is better and I am qualified, licensed, and have obtained 1 year waivers to fly in Roanoke VA and Blacksburg VA airspaces all but within 2NM of the airport and not to exceed a certain height. I just feel as if its unfair that the guys who aren't licensed are taking jobs from those who have went through the hurdles to become licensed.
Thanks for the replies! Keep em coming. This is very helpful.
PS my notifications are on now.