S2/EP 8: Jeremiah Oschwald from Beardhouse Media
Jeremiah Oschwald owns and operates Beardhouse Media, a real estate marketing business, and Overland Pioneers, an outdoor lifestyle marketing business.
David: “Why don't you tell us who you are and what your company is? How did you get into real estate marketing? When did you first mess around with drones?”
Jeremiah has been in the real estate marketing business for 4 ½ years, drones for about 3 ½ yrs. There was a big boom in drone popularity but there weren't a lot of people licensed. Jeremiah took the DLA Part 107 class, saying it was great for him because he’s a visual learner. He began Overland Pioneers out of a desire to do more with his life than 5-7real estate listings a day 7 days a week. He wanted to see and film things and get paid to travel. He started with wanting to help small businesses and began going to restaurants and shooting seven small short social media videos that they could post on Facebook. Then, he shot the parents’ house of a friend—Josh Shepherd with the Kentucky Life Real Estate Property Management (see link below)—who later introduced him to team leaders of a large Keller Williams office in Lexington.
Jeremiah was invited to talk in front of their monthly sales meeting of 65 or 70 agents. He was terrified but went in having done some research on real estate videos and knowing he needed to build a case. 15 or 20 people came up to let him know they had a listing coming up and would like to use him so he instantly got a lot of clients. Jeremiah feels he lucked out because Lexington was an underserved population in central Kentucky with 3000 agents in one MLS area. He started packaging the videos and, last year, he did over a hundred videos for agents, auctioneers and car dealers.
In order to figure out what to charge for real estate walkthrough videos, Jeremiah felt that what people described was too complex—even after hearing a long explanation, he still didn't know what they were charging. They’d say they charged $3,000 to $4,000 per listing but were only getting listings 2-3 times/month—with drones being a very small portion of that. So Jeremiah decided to go to a flat rate system...he says agents use him on every listing.
“I don't care if it’s an 1100 square foot house or 6,000 square foot house--it's $125 for just the walkthrough video, if I add the drone, it’s $200.”
These are homes that are going to be sold within 24 to 48 hours, and the videos are 50% of their selling package. Jeremiah says that by doing professional photography AND video, they will definitely hire him because he’s a better marketing and listing presentation tool for them.
David: “Can you talk about managing client's expectations? How many jobs are you doing per week during your slow and busy seasons?”
Here is the past week’s schedule, as an example: Monday: one re-shoot for a new agent. Tuesday: five cabins about 40 miles from Lexington. Wednesday: three local shoots. Thursday: it was raining outside so the job was cancelled. Friday: one auction video. He’s averaging three per day / 12-15 per week--weather permitting in the busy season. Even though that's a typical day, many times, it’s very dependent on weather; there are always reschedules.
David: “Would you be comfortable giving us a range of business income for 2019?”
Beardhouse Media made over six figures, 40% of that was drone work.
“Even when I discount work, I make more money because beforehand they wouldn't have used drones at all. I have relationships with people I actually WANT to work with; one of the biggest rewards for me is when someone calls and I can say I don't have time.”
David: “Tell me about Overland Pioneers—what it is and how it came about.”
Overland Pioneers is vehicle-based adventure travel. Overlanding is when the travel is the goal, the destination is getting there, i.e. cruising through trails and camping. They got a trailer from Xventure Trailers and went to Prince Edward Island, driving all over Nova Scotia for three weeks. Then they put a series on YouTube showing all the beautiful places.
David: “Are you doing Overland Pioneer to work with certain brands and travel for free? Do you end up taking home money on top of that or is it just a side fun hobby?”
For Jeremiah, the goal was to replace income that would be made if he were at home, but then also being able to see the world during the warmer months. Last year was close to 70 days of travel; the Overland community is awesome for networking and jobs.
David: “Are you starting to shift away from real estate and doing more commercial video work for content marketing with different companies?”
Jeremiah says he’ll always keep the real estate because he enjoys the work and his regular clients, but if he can pick up one or two fun, big-paying jobs... he absolutely will.
“It’s not about you, it's about your client and everything you do for them. I'm not trying to take the kudos...I'm trying to give my clients even more value.”
David: “If you were talking to somebody who's thinking about starting a drone business or had just started one—what would be your biggest piece of advice?”
Jeremiah laughs, saying that everyone wrecks their first drone. He suggests finding a crappy, older drone on eBay and practicing flying above trees without coming below the horizon line. He says to stay in line of sight, get your drone license and get insured. Drones are a tool...a way to make money. The camera, computer, editing software and drone are the only overhead besides car maintenance and gas. If anyone has the money, it’s great to invest in something like a Mavic 2Pro. Jeremiah now flies a Mavic 4 Advanced with a few polar pro filters. He’s shooting real estate marketing for mobile devices and speed is important in order to show the whole house and how it flows.
“If you're doing the video for views, that's an act of vanity. If you're trying to sell the home, people shopping for that size home in that area will watch the whole video, and only about five people are most likely shopping for homes.”
Jeremiah admits that he wants to be at the best of what he does. He cares about what he’s doing—if he didn’t, he says, it would show in his footage and to his clients. He takes pride in his work and not getting discouraged is the hardest part. Jeremiah has walked into a real estate office and asked for a meeting with the team leader asking, ‘What would it take to have walk-in privileges? Do you want me to do recruitment videos? I'll do four/year just to be able to walk in and say hi to the agents when I’d like.’ Every time he walks into an office, he walks out with two or three more things on the calendar.
Jeremiah says that everyone knows a few real estate agents who they can contact to ask to shoot their next listening. His first ones took a lot longer so he made a lot less money and he did a ton of free stuff starting out. After having done five or six these listings, he could then say he was their local expert. Then he could also can show the other five listings as B roll or extra footage. He reminds people to provide a lot of value upfront, 24-hour turnaround time, and affordability.
Connect with Jeremiah:
- Facebook: @beardhousemediaky
- Instagram: @beardhousemedia
- Kentucky Life Property Management
- US Forest Service Unmanned Aircraft Systems FAQs
- Music Bed Music
- Audio Jungle
Have a Drone Business? Want to be Interviewed for Season 3?
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Training from Drone Launch Academy
- Part 107 Exam Prep Course ($50 off)
- Aerial Photo Pro Course ($50 off)
- Aerial Video A to Z Course ($100 off)
- Aerial Roof Inspection Pro Course ($100 off)
- Drones 101 Course ($20 off)
Other Places to Listen