agl (above ground level) started as a drone only company. As an avid photographer and a long time remote control hobbyist, the melding of the two disciplines was a natural fit.
After receiving my part 107 certification I began to look for commercial work. I have done television commercials, tower inspections for Eversourse, construction progress and proof of materials delivery, golf course mapping, conservation, land trust surveys and real estate.
Real estate proved to be the most steady work. Although, not the most lucrative. I started with the subcontractor DroneBase that paid between $50 and $75 for a house. I did it to gain experience. Eventually, I got to meet quite a few realtors and began to pass out my own business cards to call me direct. The realtors loved my work and my enthusiastic and accommodating attitude. I also met a few of the photographers and they mostly were subcontracted through Plan-o-Matic and were quite unpleasant and the realtors were not very happy with their work.
I had a realtor say, I wish you did interiors and as I looked at the work done by following the listings I knew I could creatively do it. I researched the world of HDR and did my first house with her, then a second then a third...
I got out my stack of business cards and contacted my past aerial contacts and began to get more jobs.
/what we do
Now agl marketing, llc is a nearly full-service real estate media service. I have not brought in 3D tours as demand doesn't warrant equipment cost to the price charged is not enough to justify.
I focus on excellent customer service, good product, prompt turn-around, and availability. When I came across Norman & Young our business ethics matched and it helped me fine turn my services.
I use HD PhotoHub for delivery and the marketing kit (I love the pay-as-you-go aspect and the offerings are good). I use Cubi Casa for floorplans, Mavic 2 Pro and Inspire 1 for aerial work, Canon M50, Ronin SC, Beepec and most recently CloudPic (great work and less expensive firstname.lastname@example.org). I use HD PhotoHub, Stripe and Wave for accounting. Wix for website and Canva for social media ads.
I recently started looking for new business outside of my current contacts. I have done Facebook Ads targeted to realtors, realtor groups and brokers. I have had success using the email marketing tool that is part of Wix. Running First one free ads using business cards of those who have not responded and contacting local realtors in a personal non-spam fashion. Lastly, I have been trying Instagram. I was doing the cold sell approach but have since been more tactful.
For the winter I am going to try free seasonal re-shoots of exterior shots if the house doesn't not sell during the winter. The goal is to take out that concern of having to have someone reshoot or delay listing because of bare trees and snow on the ground.
/what agl is
/values and strength
The business is in a state of controlled growth. I have to balance my full-time job with my new found love for about two more years.
Ideally, I will have time for both and eventually bring in others and expand that way.
Fortunately, I have the other income and the free time to plan and execute the managed growth.
One of my strengths is customer service. Whether it came from my years in the restaurant industry, my time in sales, or my marketing career, the fact is I excel in service.
I can also take a pretty good photo. I look at a house and shoot the features that would lead me to buy this house. When there is little to feature, I spend as much time finding uniqueness and angles to make the worst house as appealing as possible.
Lastly, I am a marketer which helps my outlook and understanding the product, how to package it and who/how to reach the customer.
You can learn the most about what make you different by asking others.
My clients like the fact that they can leave me with clients. My availability (which may be a bad thing for me, that I'm always available). They also love my work. They enjoy the fact that I don't complain. I don't mind moving things around. Running out for a quick reshoot. Fixing and arranging items to get that better shot.
There are better photographers, perhaps cheaper, perhaps more, but in this business, if you provide an enjoyable experience and a good product. You will get called.
professional photography taken with an eye for the details that sell
Short Term - (Inside 3 Mos) Increase Instagram efforts. Use the group to become more familiar and increase my presence. Expand Wix emails. Offer seasonal exterior reshoots
Three Months - Have enough new contacts to line up more work for the spring. Record tutorials on using the HD PhotoHub Marketing Kit in hopes of getting realtors familiar with all the features at there disposal.
Six Months - New Camera and Cam Ranger setup. Incorporate flash to gather higher-end jobs.
Year - Build a business that generates $50,000 in additional income. At that time explore the next steps of bringing in one of my kids.
Beyond - Explore the feasibility and demand for a full-service realty agency with complete marketing solutions including targeted media and advertising.