Technology is omnipresent these days, and each and every industry has risen to new heights through its innovative powers. The commercial real estate industry is no exception; professionals have come to embrace new technologies and devices, using them to further expand their business and market their projects.
Among these innovative devices is the drone – although it’s not really a new invention, it’s not been available to the masses until about a decade ago. Yet, thanks to technology advancements, drones have expanded their aerial perspective and made their way into a diverse range of industries, from archaeology and agriculture to construction and insurance.
Commercial property managers, owners, developers, brokers and investors have all seen the value of these eyes in the sky and embraced drones. These days, they’re used in construction surveillance, building inspection and maintenance, troubleshooting and marketing. If you’re looking to enlist the services of a drone company but don’t know where to go, check out the list below, featuring drone companies that offer services for the commercial real estate industry right here, in New York City.
Drone 55 is headquartered in Los Angeles, California, but their services cover the entire country, and they’ve worked on quite a few projects in New York City, as well. They are approved by the FAA, and they offer services such as aerial and panoramic photography, aerial cinematography, and also consulting. They were established back in 2013, and over the years, they’ve worked up a solid clientele, including NASA, Brookfield Partners, DJI, Related, JLL, CIM Group, AECOM, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill. All of their photographers are FAA Certified Remote Pilots and have the required FAA waivers to fly drones, even in controlled airspace. They’ve also got plenty of experience providing services to the real estate industry, so you know your project will be in good hands.
Kanin Howell, Director at Drone 55, shared with us what he considers to be the most important piece of advice to give those looking to use drone services for their business: ‘Don’t step over a dollar to save a penny by hiring cheap. Hire a skilled professional with aviation insurance. Just because someone purchased a drone doesn’t mean they are qualified or (legally) allowed to call themselves a commercial pilot.’ Howell says that one can always tell a pilot’s skill level by how well they fly an orbit. ‘Manually flying a rock solid orbit is one of the hardest manoeuvres, and that difficulty is accentuated when the clip is being used for 3D animations, because even the slightest hiccup causes major problems when the animator/editor is tracking.’
The company was founded in 2009 and offers drone and ground photography services for various clients, including commercial real estate professionals throughout New York, Long Island and New Jersey. Combining still photography from the air and ground with 360-degree virtual tours and video production, Sky View Pros can create a full range of media, which, if you wish, they can use to create in-house, mobile-friendly websites. In addition, with Google Business View, they can create interactive 360-degree virtual tours of any location, which can be embedded on your company’s website and become integrated with Google Maps and Street View. Google Street View Virtual Tours are available for businesses, residential buildings and commercial real estate locations such as indoor/outdoor shopping malls.
Anthony and Orsi at Sky View Pros offered some tips on how to tell a real professional from a not-so-polished amateur, when looking to hire a drone specialist: ‘Carefully review their portfolio to insure videos and photos are high quality and professional looking, check their client list and portfolio, ask for a direct reference (especially for larger projects), and compare pricing, as amateurs tend to charge significantly less. Last but not least, real professionals also provide ground-based photography and video services.’
The two also shared the most requested services that clients hire them for: ‘Typically still images/photos from various altitudes/angles. Regarding video footage, we get a mix of requests for both raw, unfinished footage and completely edited final products. We also specialize in ground imagery, so we get requests for traditional photography and video quite often, to include 360-degree virtual tours.’
Based in New York, Drone it for you is a production company specialized in drone services catering to customers in various industries, ranging from entertainment and travel to the real estate and sports industries. All of their pilots are certified to work with drones, and they’re fully insured and approved by the FAA in different airspace classes. They have over 20 years of experience in marketing, content creation and branding, so they can take you real estate project to new heights, offering a full-service package. They specialize in video production, photography, editing, marketing, branding, in industries like entertainment, travel, hospitality, fashion, real estate and sports.
Arnaud LeCamus, CEO & Founder at Drone it for you, shared some tips for people who’ve never considered drone services in the past, but are thinking about joining the industry and offering services to clients: ‘Make sure to study the industry and its trends, know your area of work, don’t spend your capital on expensive drones from the very start, grow with your clientele’s needs and desires, and last but not least, make sure you know how to operate drones professionally and in correlation with FAA rules.’ LeCamus also advises that ‘a real professional will take the time necessary to make an assessment of the situation and location prior to providing any services.’
Xizmo Media is an owner-operated, Brooklyn-based, award-winning, full-service production company specializing in heavy lift drone cinematography and live TV broadcasting. It was co-founded in 2008 by Edward Kostakis, who has logged thousands of hours on set piloting for live TV broadcasts, feature films, commercials and music videos, following eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps as an Air Intelligence Officer for a helicopter squadron. Kostakis is now a Senior Pilot for DJI, one of the largest manufacturers of commercial and consumer drones in the world.
With 10 years of experience in the industry, Xizmo Media have the ability and expertise to lift any professional camera set up with secured permissions to shoot in some of the most difficult places in New York City. By constantly pushing creativity and what is possible with their drones, Xizmo Media has been featured in The New York Times, Popular Mechanics and Jalopnik, and is the highest-ranked by customers on Google Business Review.
Besides filming for Live TV and Major Motion Picture Film, Xizmo also offers panoramic (360-degree) still photography, lifting and stabilizing of professional grade VR cameras set ups and 3D animation/rendering. In some situations where drones cannot be flown because of Federal Regulations, Xizmo Media also has the ability and professional gear to film from a helicopter.
The company handles projects from all across the country, handling real estate, construction, energy and custom projects. Operating at a large scale, they promise fast turnaround times and the elimination of any travel fees and expenses otherwise supported by the client. They’ve got plenty of experience working on commercial real estate projects, and they know how to showcase you project or property in the best light. The team aims to help you attract new tenants with aerial imagery that highlights a building’s location and surroundings, and they retouch all the images to make sure the project is presented in a professional way. If you’re a drone aficionado yourself or you’re curious about how it works, their website also has a multitude of tips and tutorials that you might find helpful.
An award-winning video production company, Sky Tech One is specialized in real estate development, architecture and film, with headquarters at 41-26 27th Street in Long Island City. They offer both aerial and ground systems, 360 cameras, and 3D animation and rendering. Additionally, they offer helicopter videography and photography using the proprietary Skybox 360, which allows for 360-degree panning. The client has their own monitor to view the live footage right from on board the helicopter, to ensure the best imagery.
Mainly covering the East Coast, the team at SkyDroneUSA has been flying drones professionally for more than 10 years, offering aerial photography and aerial video, as well as close-range type of aerial media for clients in various industries. For real estate clients, the firm usually handles real estate surveys, infrastructure and solar array inspections, construction progress photos, as well as marketing materials. They shoot not only in 4K, but also in 5K and 6K using multicopters, without requiring helicopter rental.
With offices in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Jersey, the team at Photo Flight Aerial Media offers professional drone photography, aerial video and video production services to various industry professionals. Their offer includes full marketing, corporate, educational and documentary video production services, as well as commercial and residential real estate marketing, business and product commercials, and golf course and sport facilities marketing videos. They also provide Live drone broadcast services to news media organizations.
Drones.io is a two-way platform that connects people who need aerial videography with drone pilots who specialize in different types of events. Basically, whatever your specialty is, here you’ll find the right pilot for the job. It’s the type of place where you can get insight where you want it and when you need it, in a safe and compliant way. Clients get matched with local pilots who are capable and interested in capturing the footage you need, after which you can compare prices and portfolios and select the best pilot for your project. The client will only pay once they’ve received the footage, and they’ll only be charged for the pilot’s work – Droners.io doesn’t charge any additional service fees.
The folks at Vermeer pride themselves on eliminating ‘the guesswork between clients and drone pilots, ensuring that users get their desired photos, video, and data every time.’ How it works is that clients can design their aerial shot in an augmented reality environment, and then submit it through the Vermeer portal. The recorded flight path is then sent to a drone (they work with most DJI drones), which executes it autonomously, and the final video is sent to users within five business days. For enterprises, Vermeer can provide custom 3D models of a project or a development site, they can equip drones with flexible telephoto lenses or infrared cameras for inspection, and more. The costs depend on the location and the length of the video; clients will receive an estimated price within one business day after submitting the desired recording through the portal.
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