What Do You Do When Everyone Flies a Drone? Buy an iGUIDE!

When Tracy Sample started GoFly Media in Dayton, Ohio, USA, in 2015 he specialized in shooting drone video for a varied list of clients—commercial and residential real estate, construction, private parties, sports, and other events.

Tracy has been a photographer all his working life. First, taking school pictures, and later doing portraits. In both jobs he worked for national companies. But Tracy always wanted to own his own business.

So, he started a company for real estate and architecture photography. He’s a pilot, so GoFly Media offered photographs and video from drones or planes among other services. As drone technology dropped in price, more and more competitors got into it.

“I needed to separate myself from everybody else in the business,” says Tracy.

That’s when another photographer told him about iGUIDE, and Tracy liked what he heard.

He checked out iGUIDE online—it quickly produces 360° virtual tours and laser-accurate floor plans with square-footage measurements and room dimensions. Clients receive all that content in an email attachment, usually the next day.

The back-end support, and traffic analytics help clients market properties. Clients can monitor online traffic for a particular property and drive more views with adjustments to social media content and other changes.

Tracy recognized that iGUIDE’s method for navigating in a 3D tour was unique with the floor plans displayed on the left of a screen and the 360° panoramic visuals on the right. Someone shopping for a home clicks on the floor plan, and they can zoom in and out of the pictures, see everything in a room and even measure the size of the windows or the length of a mantle.

He asked his 37-year-old daughter — who looks at a lot of houses online – to check out some iGUIDEs. Afterwards, he asked his daughter to click through an online listing that used another 3D technology—Matterport.

“She picked the iGUIDE. She said it’s much easier to navigate, and she said: ‘I understand it better.’ And the other key thing was it only took a third of the time to scan a house compared to Matterport,” says Tracy.

Next, he called Planitar Inc., maker of the iGUIDE camera. Tracy was told about the continual support for users of the leading-edge technology. He was impressed by the polished, professional online video tutorials that demonstrated the company’s commitment to professional development.

“I thought we had a common goal, number one.  And number two, I thought iGUIDE had a wonderful team behind them. It wasn’t: ‘You are going to give me a camera and not support me?’ There is going to be support there. That was big for me,” says Tracy.

He thought hard about everything. After working as a photographer for decades, Tracy had never come across something like the iGUIDE camera. He realized it was only a matter of time before another real estate photographer in his market bought one.

“And I thought: ‘I have to do this, because if I don’t, I’m going to kick myself because somebody else is going to do it if I don’t. Why not be the one?’ So, I am the one. I did it, and I never looked back. Best decision I ever made,” says Tracy.

He picked up new clients right away in Dayton, Columbus, and Cincinnati, but the real measure of iGUIDE’s impact occurred when Tracy moved to Louisville, Kentucky months after he acquired the new camera. Tracy knew nobody there. He booked appointments with the top brokerages in that market and made presentations about iGUIDE.

“I led with that because that was the one thing that made me different than everybody else,” says Tracy.

They called him back.

“I showed them the sales report, the floor plans, and just the nuts-and-bolts of the platform, and it sold itself. I got two big accounts just from the iGUIDE. That would not have happened if I were just a photographer with a camera, or even with a drone because everybody’s getting into drones,” says Tracy.

The iGUIDE camera generates 80% of his business. He has the biggest market share among the real estate photographers in his area. His clients receive an Analytics Report on the online engagement for individual listings.

“So it shows the seller: ‘I am working for you, this is why you spend the money with me and this is what we are doing and this is how it is working,’” says Tracy.

Tracy advises his clients to watch the Analytics Report, if they are not getting engagement, then something needs to be changed—more social media, or other marketing.

“Not every agent understands that, but it is my job to educate them how to use the tools inside the platform to their best advantage,” says Tracy.

He has big plans for growth in 2021.

After recently acquiring his real estate license Tracy affiliated with a broker who has more than 500 agents. He will roll out iGUIDE with a couple of teams there.

“And I think it is going to take off. Once they see the engagement, once they see the results that I can get with this, I think that more and more will come on board. In fact, my plans are to hire a couple of operators, maybe get another camera,” says Tracy.

He also wants to develop new services and products using iGUIDE  – tours of gardens, outdoor, and indoor sporting events. The technology is limited only by the imagination of its users.

“We did a house once and there was a garden, they had this wonderful walk-through garden, and we just went to town. I just did panoramas of the whole garden space. We never did publish that one, but it was cool, and the photo scans were cool. I would like to explore that though. I think there are opportunities that I haven’t explored yet.”