Crowd Sourced business models (Dronebase/Droners.io)?

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So I am finding myself a bit put off by these Uber for drones businesses like Dronebase and the new Droners.io (powered by PrecisionHawk). While I have been on 20 Dronebase missions (real estate/insurance) earning $1735 over 8 months and 2 Droners.io insurance missions earning $209.25 in the last 2 weeks and I can't really fault anyone for trying to run a business....I feel like us professional drone pilots are being taken advantage of with the amounts they pay out. Dronebase pays me $80 to go take 10 aerial photos for a Real Estate "Plan-O-matic" https://19216801.onl/ https://routerlogin.uno/ https://192168ll.link/ gig which takes all of maybe 15 mins once on site OR I get $70 for an insurance risk assessment gig that requires 60-80 photos and takes 30+ minutes on site. Why such a pay disparity? I can go to the Plan-O-Matic website and see that they charge $279 for the 10 aerial photo package and while I have no idea what Eagleview pays Dronebase (or what Allstate etc pays Eagleview) I had one instance where Droner.io sent me a "lead" for an insurance risk assessment gig starting at $100 which I declined because I was not available for the date, then the price increased to $150, which I again stated I was out of town that day...the price then increased to $250 which just made my jaw drop because of the disparity in pay out pricing. So in my mind I'm thinking ok, this is what you need to pay me for ALL risk assessment gigs going forward.....how does it go from $100 - $250 in the span of 2 hours? These pay outs are to say the least sketchy. I get that Dronebase and Droners.io have overhead costs but geez there are so many middlemen in this process (I know I know capitalism in action) between them - precisionhawk-eagleview - insurance co etc. These payouts to pilots seem paltry considering travel time, wear on equipment and all the time we put into honing our pilot skills, getting certified etc. Not to mention the training that both Dronebase & Droners.io require before you can gain missions/leads.
I will say that the gigs within an hours travel are worth it IF I get multiple gigs a week but the ones over an hour away just aren't (I've done the math) and I have expressed this to both entities that they need to increase pay outs for those. I realize there are many pilots and some may be closer and I know I can choose NOT to participate but my concern is this:

If you are a pilot for hire make sure that you truly do the math on what it is costing you to accept these missions and realize when you are actually losing money. Travel time, gas, equipment wear and tear. Your time spent gaining skills and certification are the cost of doing business but realize that what you possess is "a particular set of skills" and perishable ones at that. Don't under value yourself and in turn all of us.

I am NOT a hobbyist with a toy that is just going to fly anyway so I might as well make some cash. I am a professional with a substantial investment in time and equipment. I feel we are being strong armed out of making a living with these crowd sourced business models.

I'm curious how others feel about this.
 
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I've flown 70 DroneBase missions. Applying cost accounting standards, I rarely made a profit on any. Mostly, the money funded my drone purchases and provided training and experience for other jobs that were profitable. Just because they offer you a mission doesn't mean you should take it. If the mission doesn't give payback in money, experience, training or just something fun to do, then don't do it. And don't rely on a drone as your primary source of income.
 
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I think the interesting point is the increasing payout when you say no. Try it as a matter of course. If you lose half the jobs, but double the amount you get for the other half, you are way ahead. It seems they are using an algorithm like the airlines use. as seats are almost sold, the price goes up and up. this might not work in a city with 50 pilots vying for the gig, but it sounds like you are among the very few pilots available in your area if they are offering gigs with an hour+ drive.
Let us all know.
 
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I've been on both Dronebase & Droners for about 6-8 months, I know I live in an area that is flooded with Drone pilots (most not part 107), that drive the price of these jobs down. Few job offers require that the pilots be part 107, leaving the risk factor very high. I have been tempted to bid $5.00 per hour to see if I would get an actual offer. I do calculate my drive time (fuel cost) on most of these jobs and the only way to make a profit is to have a transporter (beam me up Scotty). I have chosen to go the direct contact route and build relationships with builders and developers who understand the value and marketing gain for themselves by using drones for the most part.
 
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So I am finding myself a bit put off by these Uber for drones businesses like Dronebase and the new Droners.io (powered by PrecisionHawk). While I have been on 20 Dronebase missions (real estate/insurance) earning $1735 over 8 months and 2 Droners.io insurance missions earning $209.25 in the last 2 weeks and I can't really fault anyone for trying to run a business....I feel like us professional drone pilots are being taken advantage of with the amounts they pay out. Dronebase pays me $80 to go take 10 aerial photos for a Real Estate "Plan-O-matic" gig which takes all of maybe 15 mins once on site OR I get $70 for an insurance risk assessment gig that requires 60-80 photos and takes 30+ minutes on site. Why such a pay disparity? I can go to the Plan-O-Matic website and see that they charge $279 for the 10 aerial photo package and while I have no idea what Eagleview pays Dronebase (or what Allstate etc pays Eagleview) I had one instance where Droner.io sent me a "lead" for an insurance risk assessment gig starting at $100 which I declined because I was not available for the date, then the price increased to $150, which I again stated I was out of town that day...the price then increased to $250 which just made my jaw drop because of the disparity in pay out pricing. So in my mind I'm thinking ok, this is what you need to pay me for ALL risk assessment gigs going forward.....how does it go from $100 - $250 in the span of 2 hours? These pay outs are to say the least sketchy. I get that Dronebase and Droners.io have overhead costs but geez there are so many middlemen in this process (I know I know capitalism in action) between them - precisionhawk-eagleview - insurance co etc. These payouts to pilots seem paltry considering travel time, wear on equipment and all the time we put into honing our pilot skills, getting certified etc. Not to mention the training that both Dronebase & Droners.io require before you can gain missions/leads.
I will say that the gigs within an hours travel are worth it IF I get multiple gigs a week but the ones over an hour away just aren't (I've done the math) and I have expressed this to both entities that they need to increase pay outs for those. I realize there are many pilots and some may be closer and I know I can choose NOT to participate but my concern is this:

If you are a pilot for hire make sure that you truly do the math on what it is costing you to accept these missions and realize when you are actually losing money. Travel time, gas, equipment wear and tear. Your time spent gaining skills and certification are the cost of doing business but realize that what you possess is "a particular set of skills" and perishable ones at that. Don't under value yourself and in turn all of us.

I am NOT a hobbyist with a toy that is just going to fly anyway so I might as well make some cash. I am a professional with a substantial investment in time and equipment. I feel we are being strong armed out of making a living with these crowd sourced business models.

I'm curious how others feel about this.
I agree that the rates they pay are paltry and not worth my time to even take on. However this is how capitalism works, and we have a perfect study case here of supply and demand.

Since pilots (including yourself) take these jobs at the low rates then what incentive do they have to offer higher rates? They are in it to make a profit so if they can fill these jobs at low rates then they absolutely will.

Not saying this in a negative way but if you are looking for the source of the problem then start by looking in the mirror because you are one of the pilots that allows them to keep these rates low. If pilots overall stop taking these jobs at the rates offered then they will be force to offer better rates.
 
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You mentioned alot of pilots without Part 107, (of which I am one, so I don't do pro jobs yet). do these companies require part 107 to be accepted for jobs? If not, they should be turned in as out of compliance with the law. If so, then the pilots that accept these cheap rates are to blame. As a professional photographer, I had to come to grips with letting go of jobs when I was underbid. Eventually, customers would be back as they were only getting what they paid for, not the quality of work they realized they actually wanted.
 
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Capt KO

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Are they even considering the quality of results. The finished product must very considerably. You would think that the end product would change the price paid, not a flat rate for all pilots. Even capitalism has to be flexible. Don’t understand their reasoning once they’ve seen the final results. Even the middle man can’t be blind. Assume that’s why they bid you up, not down. Someone likes your work.

Understand if you’re going directly to the source instead of using the crowd site. They will be the ones that appreciate and understand your quality work. And the high expenses involved. They would never work for peanuts either. Takes time, but seems worth the effort. Hope you have a 2nd job until you get that lucky break. You’re young enough to make this something special, and if you love it, possibly a lifelong career. Did the same at your age as a licensed charter captain. Enormous competition but Loved my job and was better than most. As people realized this, word of mouth kept me busy for a lifetime, in a job I loved. That‘s rare. Millionaire clients were jealous.
Best of luck on your ‘Not Hobby’.
 
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You mentioned alot of pilots without Part 107, (of which I am one, so I don't do pro jobs yet). do these companies require part 107 to be accepted for jobs? If not, they should be turned in as out of compliance with the law. If so, then the pilots that accept these cheap rates are to blame. As a professional photographer, I had to come to grips with letting go of jobs when I was underbid. Eventually, customers would be back as they were only getting what they paid for, not the quality of work they realized they actually wanted.
Why would a company require part 107 if they can get someone else cheaper? When I worked construction in Florida, there were illegals working all around me. Why? They were less costly. They worked hard because they were hungry. The company needed a few skilled workers to do the more technical work. Florida being a right to work state, gave me no protection. If I turned one of the illegals in, I would be out of a job. Period! Never to work for the company again. I almost got fired for yelling in Spanish, the INS is here. (United States Immigration and Naturalization Service).
Everybody is out for the buck and life isn't fair.
If you have a good portfolio and are a licensed professional, you will be called for the more technical jobs. Otherwise, do what it takes to feed your family if flying drone doesn't make it. Hey, it's a great hobby.
 
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