This month we are featuring the business and work of Allen Newland, owner of A Shot Above of WNC, LLC. Allen and his wife run the business together and I’m excited to tell you about who they are and some of the exciting work they are doing. They are from the mountainous western region of North Carolina and have an awesome and unique setting which also presents some unique opportunities. So without further ado, let’s jump on in.
- When I first started corresponding with Allen, I was intrigued by his email name, flyguy2010, so I had to ask how he got the name and what it stood for.
Answer: FlyGuy has dual meanings… I’ve always been “involved” with aviation in one form or another. I started flying R/C planes at 4y/o (1974) and I never looked back. I’ve been lucky that my wife has allowed me to remain “a kid” and I still buy and fly R/C aircraft for fun. I started flying “manned aircraft” in 1998 as a Private Pilot. We started our drone company in around 2013 which later turned into “not just drone photography”. Also, I’m an avid (doesn’t mean I’m good) Fly Fisherman. Here in the Smoky Mountains of NC, we have a LOT of natural/native trout waters so it’s a great fit for my passion.
Response: Wow, such an interesting combination and well-deserving of the name FlyGuy! Flying R/C planes at 4 years old had to be super awesome. I was just learning to fly paper airplanes. LOL
- I also live in North Carolina but was a little jealous of the territory Allen and his wife live in, the beautiful Smoky Mountain region of Western North Carolina. This led me to ask about the adventures of the mountains and some of the fun with drones in this area.
Answer: In addition to taking pretty pictures & videos for clients with drones we also do & teach Search and Rescue (SAR) with Drones. Western NC (the Great Smoky Mountains) coincidentally has a large # of searches each year so it’s a very good fit in that respect. In many instances, we can cover more ground, more quickly and more safely than “boots on the ground” can and help free up other resources to concentrate where a drone might not be the best search tool. I am credentialed on the local, state, and Federal levels to perform Drone SAR. I teach it to departments and Orgs across the southeastern US and I’m on the board for DSAR (Volunteer Drone S.A.R. Pilots. (HOME | Dronesar ). I love Emergency Services/Public Safety and any time I can combine passions it’s a WIN for me.
Also, because of the steep mountain terrain here, there are a lot of homes where you simply can’t get a good shot of the home from any other means. We do Residential buildings, commercial buildings, and land listings and use one of our drones on just about every single listing. We’ve flown drones for Disney, The Travel Channel, and several others over the years so we do more than “just” Real Estate.
Response: I absolutely LOVE the search and rescue work that you are doing. So impactful and such a powerful way to help others.
- With such an interesting territory, I also wanted to know how they have used floor plans to service real estate sellers and those with short-term rentals?
Answer: Some of my clients have really latched on to getting Electronic Floor Plans from us. We have one client who orders them for every single listing, and it’s been a huge bonus to our business in general. Some use them for “marketing” to help new clients visualize the layout of the home/building without the clutter of furniture/decorations. Some use it for actual measurements or to “verify” measurements when there is a discrepancy. Having a highly accurate and detailed floor plan delivered in 24hrs is a HUGE plus to our business.
Floor plans make such a big difference in so many ways.
- I already mentioned the Great Smoky Mountains, but I wanted to know about the parts of WNC that aren’t super popular so I asked what would surprise people who aren’t from the area?
Answer: The best parts of WNC are the vast areas of unchanged Wilderness Areas. Being able to get out in nature and see it unspoiled is such a huge pleasure and blessing. The county I live in, Haywood County, is especially pristine. All of our water here originates here (no water runs into Haywood County) so the water is pure, fresh, and perfect for us and the wildlife to enjoy. My wife (of 30 years) and I love to get out into the wilderness and enjoy nature as often as we can. We love hiking the trails and seeing nature at its finest. Of course, we have tourist attractions and lots to do here but the Great Outdoors is where it’s happening in WNC.
Response: I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to put the hiking boots on, grab my camera and take a hike. I also think it’s super cool to know that all of the water is fresh and pure, originating from right there.
- My final question for Allen is one that many of us probably get asked from time to time. What makes A Shot Above stand out from the competition?
We are a small husband & wife operation, and we concentrate on great Customer Service. We treat every project as if it’s our own and pour our heart and soul into it. If it’s not the best we can do, we don’t charge for it. We are a One-Stop-Photography shop (for Real Estate) providing Aerials, Ground, Interior images as well as Floor Plans and Virtual 3D Tours (not just a slide show of images, an actual virtual tour where you can move around and interact with the home). We put Customer Service as the basis of our business and always try to exceed all client expectations in every aspect.
Response: Well said Allen, it sounds like you all are truly A Shot Above (pun intended).
I absolutely love hearing from photographers just like Allen from all across the world. Knowing that we all have a common thread in real estate photography and floor plans (drones for many of us), but also finding out the nuances that exist in different regions. In addition, hearing about the cool aspects like search and rescue and the beautiful and mountainous terrain of WNC provide such an interesting perspective. Special thanks to Allen for taking the time to share with us.
Are you next?
If you’d like to be featured please reach out to Tammy Dwight or me and we’d love to hear about you and your business. Connect with like-minded real estate photographers on our FB community! Stay safe and have fun!