A pair of local businesses are teaming up to give customers of other companies a whole new perspective.
James Reeves of the Sequim-based Precision Drone Solutions LLC is working in cooperation with Mike Pritchard of Pritchard Websites — also Sequim based — to develop video clips, photography, websites and other internet media.
Reeves, a former pilot who spent years in the aviation industry, creates aerial drone footage and images to package with Pritchard’s websites.
“I grew up wanting to fly,” said Reeves, a Sequim resident since 2018.
By 17 Reeves had a pilot license and after a stint with the U.S. Air Force ROTC was a commercial pilot for 10 years. Medical reasons moved him from the cockpit to aviation management.
“I got to do my dream — can’t complain about that,” he said.
His work took him around the world, including South Korea and across North and South America.
By 2015 Reeves was looking for a change and got interested in real estate. At the same time, he got interested in drones and found that pairing his aviation skills and new career path melded seamlessly.
“I always loves photography and videography,” he said. “Drones just came naturally with real estate.”
Reeves started Precision Drone Solutions with a number of services, from aerial inspections and mapping to infrared thermography and more.
“I am trying to be a jack of all trades (initially),” Reeves said, before backing off to focus on footage for real estate sales.
Drone footage, he found, has a variety of uses for the landowner on the peninsula; an overall view can help them decide on planning for future development, while a geo-tagged flight (with the same flight pattern) taken six months apart can show how the land is shifting on a property, he said — particularly useful for those who live on the bluffs and are concerned with erosion.
Reeves had donated some services for a Sequim Community Church fundraiser, where Mike Pritchard — of Pritchard Websites — bought it.
The company as it is now has been around since 2003, and Pritchard has based Pritchard Websites in Sequim since 2010.
Along with website design, his company helps businesses with web hosting, domain names, consulting, search engine optimization, social media campaigns and the like.
While Pritchard Websites is based on the peninsula, it does business with companies across the country.
“People (usually) ask for a website, but usually what we do is talk to them find out what they want to accomplish,” Pritchard said.
“Sometimes that’s not the best place for them to start on their budget, especially in Sequim.”
Instead, Pritchard and his staff look at each individual business’ needs and strengths, and then coordinate a plan from there. With the number of tools to promote a business, he said, that can be daunting for the small business owner, so Pritchard Websites looks to start simple and focused, and build from there as the business owner gains confidence and interest in expansion.
In Sequim, typically with a small profit margin, many businesses simply want an updated, refreshed website, Pritchard said. Working with his team, business owners can update their own rather than hiring out each time they need to update.
Reeves’ recent drone work for Pritchard met with approval. The two joined business forces in the summer 2019, offering services not only to commercial entities but churches and nonprofits.
“His work is insanely phenomenal,” Pritchard said.
“We’d been thinking about video (and) we’ve seen it used on some websites before; it’s difficult to do well,” Pritchard said.
“Jim is very good at it.”
To put it simply, Pritchard said, video tells a more compelling representation of a business than text or stills can. Aerial footage gives potential customers a sense of what a business looks like; drone media can even mimic a customer walking in through the front door.
“It has great synergy one feeds off the other,” Reeves said.
Combined with a website, Pritchard said, drone footage “gives huge advantage over competitors.”
That, he said gives even a small business a proverbial leg up on some large corporation websites.
“That’s who I want to take on,” Pritchard said.
Pritchard said his interest in websites was more of a hobby; he used to be a meat cutter and union representative for grocery stores. Eventually his hobby grew into small jobs for people before blossoming into a new line of work.
He said he’s excited by the challenge of search engine strategies and emergence of social media — and, for his customers, helping their business get the quickest exposure the most amount of times.
“Video,” Pritchard notes, a nod to his partnership with Reeves, “plays into both of those in a big way.”