Professional Drone Services of Texas is among the top 50 aerial photography websites and blogs, according to Feedspot Blog Reader.
“We’re excited to have been included in this list, alongside some very well-known sites, like the Dronestagram blog, the DJI Aerial Photo Academy blog and the Reddit and Google News blogs for aerial photography,” says PDS owner and founder Wayne Franks. “What’s even better is that we actually rank in the top 20, since all the sites are ranked from 1 to 50, and we’re Number 19.”
Winners were chosen from the thousands of aerial photography websites in Feedspot’s index, using search and social metrics.
These blogs are ranked based on following criteria:
Google reputation and Google search ranking
Influence and popularity on Facebook, Twitter & other social media sites
The world’s largest multi-sport festival for businesses, organizations and institutions, the World Corporate Games will be held Nov. 17 through 19 at the Marriott Marquis Downtown, Discovery Green and other locations throughout downtown Houston.
“This is the first time the event will be back in the United States after a three-decade hiatus,” says PDS owner Wayne Franks, “and we’re proud to be providing dramatic aerial imagery of it for the community.”
Hosting the event will be the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority. The HCHSA is a government agency that maintains and oversees the bond debt service on the county’s professional sports stadiums, as well as assists with the sports marketing for the destinations.
“We’re very much looking forward to hosting 10 different countries here in Houston, and the help we’re getting from volunteers like PDS is pivotal to us being able to accomplish that,” says Chris Massey, director of events for the HCHSA. “It’s a great opportunity for Houston’s organizations to showcase what they can do along with Houston’s excellent spirit of hospitality.”
In the World Corporate Games, competitors wear the colors and logos of their organization and build confidence, loyalty and team spirit. Medals and Corporate Awards are presented to winning athletes and organizations.
The celebrations, parades and parties are all integral components of the Games experience.
Among those being documented by PDS are:
The opening parade at Discovery Green park (6 p.m. Nov. 17)
The outdoor block party by Lucky’s Pub Downtown and BBVA Compass Stadium (1 p.m. Nov. 18)
Competitions at the Houston Sportsplex (all day Nov. 18)
5k/10k at the T.C. Jester Park running trail (morning hours Nov. 18)
Dragon Boat at Buffalo Bayou, with a launch point at Marron Park (Nov. 18 and 19).
PDS and its wholly owned subsidiary, Drone Wear™, will also be at a sponsor booth from 4 to 9 p.m. Nov. 17 at the Health and Wellness Expo. Both businesses will be offering giveaways – a free photo and/or video session from PDS and a T-shirt and hat of your choice from Drone Wear™. So come on down to any one of these places during the event and say hello!
The one-day event, held Oct. 17 at Kingdom Builder’s Center, allowed local high-schoolers to use skills such as creativity, critical thinking, teamwork and communication while participating in activities related to STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
What is STEMFest?
StemFest is sponsored by the U.S. Army and offered by Ten80 Education, a Saratoga Springs, NY-based STEM education developer and publisher that also trains STEM educators.
PDS, a local drone services provider specializing in aerial photography, video and 3D mapping, specifically volunteered its time helping kids who chose UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles) as one of the four event “paths.” The other paths at the STEMFest were computer science, leadership and design.
“We truly enjoy helping kids and having fun,” says PDS owner Wayne Franks. “This was the perfect way to accomplish both.”
Profession Drone Services of Texas at STEMFest
Specifically, PDS pilot Hayden Franks flew his DJI Phantom 4 drone for the kids, answered questions, helped them build their own rudimentary drones out of paper airplanes with Bluetooth propellers, and helped them fly simple SYMA drones.
Since drones are such a hot topic and popular hobby , Franks sees them as a great way to introduce young people to STEM careers.
Terri Stripling, Ten80 Education’s president and CEO, was glad students at the STEMFest are getting that introduction from local drone professionals .
Careers With Drones
“Even though we offer this event throughout the country, everywhere we go, the professionals are local,” says Stripling. “That way, we can point to local companies the kids could intern with.”
This is the first year UAVs have been a part of STEMFest – a “smart move,” according to PDS pilot Hayden Franks.
“Drones are revolutionizing business in so many ways – new careers are popping up all the time,” he says. “The world of drones is producing so much innovation and creating new jobs that haven’t even existed before. It’s a young industry, so it seems appropriate to introduce it to young minds.”
This homeowner in Fulshear (just northwest of Katy), for instance, contacted us for aerial photography that documented (for insurance purposes) the washout of a canal behind their house leading from the Brazos River:
The canal, normally 10 to 15 feet wide, with no flowing water, became a dangerous 30-foot drop and sinkhole that eroded almost half-an-acre into their property and now threatens the structural integrity of their foundation.
This documentation could not have happened by anyone with a camera on the ground, because of the danger of the sinkhole and the need for an aerial view over the trees. The turnaround on this project was 6 to 8 hours after receiving their call, with digital images emailed to them that they could view and edit.
“It was pretty scary standing on the edge of that sinkhole,” says Hayden Franks, the Professional Drone Services pilot on that job. “I’m just glad we’re able to provide this kind of service to the community and feel like we’re helping in some small way.”
Houston-based Professional Drone Services of Texas has been pitching in with Houston flood rescue and relief efforts after Hurricane Harvey, assessing flood levels around the Harris County sheriff’s constable’s office and courthouse in Spring, TX.
Specifically, PDS was taxed with flying the intersection of Cypresswood Drive and Steubner Airline Road to survey residential flooding along the notoriously flood-prone Cypress Creek area.
Hayden Franks, drone pilot with Professional Drone Services of Texas, helps survey flooding at the local sheriff’s office and courthouse in Spring, TX Aug. 30, 2017 in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. More at www,droneservicestx.com
“We were able to do this because of our airspace waiver for David Wayne Hooks Airport – even with a temporary flight restriction in place” explains Professional Drone Services of Texas pilot Hayden Franks. PDS also has airspace waivers for George Bush Intercontinental Airport and William P. Hobby Airport.
Here are some shots of the flooding devastation captured by our drones:
This Aug. 30, 2017 drone image of Meyer Park in Spring, TX shows the devastating flooding in Houston after Hurricane Harvey. The image, of Meyer Park, taken by Professional Drone Services of Texas, looks directly down Cypresswood Drive towards Texas State Highway 249. More at www.droneservicestx.com/blog
This second picture shows the same view, but 100 yards further back:
Commercial drone services are required to get such waivers around airports and other areas where unmanned aerial vehicles may collide with other aircraft or compromise public safety or security (for instance, they weren’t allowed to fly anywhere near President Donald Trump when he came to Texas to show support for Hurricane Harvey flood victims.)
“Our hearts go out to all our neighbors in this tragedy, and we want to help in any way we can,” said PDS president and owner Wayne Franks.
If you need aerial imaging services to assess flood damage – or for any other reason – please don’t hesitate to contact us!
Aerial images, video and 3D mapping are revolutionizing the way Texas golf courses are conducting maintenance and marketing.for an industry with declining membership and climbing overhead costs.
And that’s great news for an industry with a decade of declining membership and climbing overhead costs under its belt.
“There are two ways you make more money – you either cut costs or boost profits,” says Wayne Franks, owner of Professional Drone Services of Texas. “With drone technology, golf courses are quickly realizing they’re able to do both.”
“Golf course owners are working smarter to manage resources like water and labor more efficiently,” said Davis in an interview with Forbes. “We are innovating at a rapid pace, and using technology and data as never before to make smart decisions.”
Better Maintenance for Less
“Aerial photos, video, data and mapping are certainly helping golf courses boost profits via maintenance, in that they’re helping to retain and build new membership,” explains Franks. “In today’s increasingly competitive market for new members, with 25 to 30 percent of club costs eaten up by maintenance, it helps management more easily maintain their course to high standards – for less.”
For instance, color-coded elevation (topography) maps show low-lying areas, which are more prone to flooding and fungal disease and the highest areas, which are most prone to drought and burning). “By only watering and treating the areas that are most likely to need it, you’re saving significantly over time when it comes to irrigation and chemicals.”
Texas drone services like Professional Drone Services of Texas are providing aerial imaging, videos, 3D mapping and data that are revolutionizing maintenance and marketing for golf courses. More at www.droneservicestx.com/blog
The drones used by Professional Drone Services of Texas can also generate maps with color-coded NDVI data. The red areas indicate plants under the most stress (then orange, then yellow, then green, respectively). “By doing this on a regular basis, you’re not only preventing plants from reducing watering to only the most stressed areas.
Professional Drone Services of Texas can provide NDVI data for golf courses that help cut maintenance costs. More at www.droneservicestx.com/blog
With enterprise software like Turf Solutions, meanwhile, improvement plans can be set up, shared with maintenance teams and management and tracked and reported over time.
Proven cost savings over time via such reports, can be presented as part of financial projections to a bank for a business loan (for equipment, real estate, renovations or other capital projects to attract new members).
“Banks typically shy away from loaning to golf courses because they’re considered high-risk,” notes Franks.
The other half of using drones for golf course maintenance, of course, is boosting profit.
With aerial imaging and data from drones, golf courses can retain membership & attract new members (thus, more membership fees) by maintaining the course to a high standard.
And that’s significant, considering that according to the U.S. National Golf Foundation, the number of players has almost steadily declined from over 30 million in 2005 (pre-recession), to 24.7 million today. 680 courses have closed. This means greater competition for members among those left.
Getting More out of Marketing
The other side of the coin is using drones for marketing.Promotional videos/online marketing can capture immense beauty of the course.
Promotional videos taken by drones can capture the immense beauty of a golf course, clubhouse and surrounding countryside.
Hole-by-hole elevation maps, meanwhile, can give prospective members feeling of familiarity with the course.
And 3D models of each hole give prospective members familiarity with the course and help current members improve their game.
“And of course, you’re also saving money by hiring a drone for hundreds of dollars a project versus thousands for a helicopter – not including the camera, the production team or editing,” says Franks. “Drones are so affordable and can turn around the information and images for golf courses so much more accurately and quickly, they’re going to be the rule, not the exception.”
Did you know home listings with aerial images sell 68 percent faster than those with standard images (according to MLS statistics)?
And what if we told you that, according to the National Association of Realtors, 73 percent of homeowners say they’re more likely to list with a real estate agent who uses video to market their home?
“So why wait to use a drone services provider for eye-catching aerial images and videos that’ll help you market and sell your listings faster?” asks Wayne Franks, owner of Professional Drone Services of Texas. “The potential increase in your annual profits is significant”.
Agreeing with him is Lisha Maxey – a PDS customer and a Realtor® associate with Keller Williams–The Metropolitan in Houston. “It’s basic math,” she says. “The faster you sell, the more deals you close and the more money you make.”
Maxey also likes the 4K, ultra high-definition flyover footage we can produce, as well as the rotating, 3D modeling of homes and their surrounding landscapes.
“I can quickly and dramatically show potential buyers the home’s features from every angle,” says Maxey. “I can even zoom in and out for crystal-clear close-ups.”
PDS can also provide real estate agents anywhere in Texas with a geo-referenced, annotated 2D or 3D map of the listed property. In laymen’s terms, that means we can create custom maps measuring and highlighting aspects like distances to work or nearby schools, areas, volumes (i.e. pools), topography (i.e. slopes that could affect drainage) and particular points of interest (perhaps a nearby grocery store or doctor’s office).
Still, you may be thinking, “Is it really worth it to hire drone services for aerial photos or video of my listing?”
“Let’s keep things simple and assume that the price of the average home you sell is $350,000 (the approximate average as of October 2016), the total commission is 6 percent, your brokerage gets 3 percent, and you end up with 1.5 percent (half of the 3 percent),” says Young. “That’s $5,250 for you per transaction. Let’s also assume that you close 11 transactions per year (NAR average for 2015). That’s an annual salary of $57,750.”
Now add aerial images and videos to your listings, and you’ll find that salary number has jumped quite a bit.
“If we go off of the statistic that homes sell 68 percent faster when using aerial imagery and that 73 percent of homeowners prefer to list with an agent who uses video, we can be conservative and say that you could attract 50 percent more listings and close 50 percent more deals,” says Young. That would push the 11 transactions to about 17, “which would result in an annual income of $89,250 in our scenario, an increase of $31,500.”
But what about the money you just spent on the drone imagery? The average cost of hiring a drone services provider to shoot and edit (according to this article on drone photography for real estate by RIS Media) is about $200 to $500 for a small residential project and from about $500 to $1,500 for a large residential or commercial project.
Let’s choose a figure in the middle – $500 – and go back to Young’s numbers above. It would’ve cost you $8,500 for each of those 17 listings – but you’re still looking at an increase of $23,000 per year compared to not using aerial photos or videos at all. That’s an ROI of 270 percent!