Biz Talk with Melissa Keck of Keck Drones & 3D Imaging

Melissa Keck of Keck Drones & 3D Imaging joins the Fusion One Lounge to talk tech! Join us as we discuss the immersive experience that 3D imaging provides & how this revolutionary technology is changing the way many industries are doing business.

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Read the Full Interview Below

Sarah: Hey, good morning, everyone! Welcome to Biz Talk! We have such a great guest and we are going to see some really cool stuff today. So let’s get started.

Glyna: Good morning, ladies!

Kelsi: Good morning!

Sarah: Good morning!

Melissa Keck: Good morning!

Glyna: Hey everybody! It is a great day in the Fusion One Lounge and wow, that was pretty cool, Sarah. I like that. I’m Glyna Humm and over here around the square, we have our marketing gurus, Sarah Gilliland and Kelsi Munn. And at Fusion One, we specialize in getting companies more calls and more business. And we started Biz Talk to highlight those same businesses that we love, but to get you guys some tips that you can use for your own business. Before we get started, Sarah, let’s put up our broadcasts.

Sarah: All right, guys, as you know, we go live on Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. We want you to follow us on Instagram and LinkedIn, and do not forget about our awesome podcast Marketing and a Mic!

Glyna: Yes. Awesome!

Sarah: Do not forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel. Do you want to know why? Because we post great videos all the time to keep you updated.

Glyna: Yes. And that channel is really getting busy. We have so much great stuff out there, so definitely go check it out. And today we are so excited about our special guest. Let me tell you, this lady has some cool stuff and I can’t wait to start diving in and hear more about it. So I want to introduce Melissa Keck with Keck Drones and 3D Imaging. Good morning!

Melissa Keck: Good morning. Thank you so much for having me!

Glyna: We are so excited to talk about what you do, so I’m going to just jump right in and let’s get started about talking about your background a little bit.

Melissa Keck: Well, it’s a diverse background. Actually, I have an environmental science degree, which is not really what you think of when you think of drones and 3D, but I spent a lot of time around entrepreneurs when I was growing up and just really wanted to find something that was a niche industry, that was just for me.

Glyna: Perfect. Awesome!

Sarah: That is great! So let’s dive right in and we’re going to break it down a little further as we go, but tell us about all the services that you provide with Keck Drones.

Melissa Keck: Gosh, it’s a long list right now. So, the top two things are professional drone work. So, on a commercial level, I’m a licensed and insured and which means that I’m capable of making money off of drone work. Just because not a whole lot of people are licensed these days and it’s something extremely important. But the one really big thing that I do is 3D, which is making a 3D space out of a physical building or area.

Kelsi: Okay. So we know you use a very advanced piece of technology called a Matterport…

Melissa Keck: Yes.

Kelsi: Can you tell us what that is and what capabilities it has?

Melissa Keck: Yes. So this is my Matterport Camera. It’s a 3D camera and it has infrared sensors on it that can, it basically puzzles a space together. So, as I move the camera around a space or a room, it collects all of that data, including measurements, and then pieces it together when it’s uploaded to create a complete virtual reality space online.

Kelsi: That is so cool.

Glyna: So neat. Stuff that I’d never even, never thought about. I’m just not that techie, but it’s so interesting to hear about somebody that is and can do all this neat stuff. So let’s talk about a scan. What is a scan and what can it do for space?

Melissa Keck: Okay. So a scan is the creation of that puzzle together to make that online digital replica of your space. So, a scan is of a business or a museum or a home or an industrial area. And you’re able to duplicate that space online and use it at your leisure to help either people who are visiting your business, preparing to visit your business or training facilities, help people train onsite. So, you’re not actually in the machinery. You’ve got a safe place that you can sit with your coffee and listen to your training.

Glyna: It’s so cool. So it’s like virtual reality. You can walk through the space. It’s like you’re in it. It’s so neat.

Melissa Keck: You can even get your Oculus goggles on. It is that cool.

Glyna: That’s way too cool for me. I don’t even have, do you have Oculus goggles? I have to ask.

Melissa Keck: No. I’m so afraid to run into a wall.

Sarah: My kids do.

Glyna: Sarah, your kids do?

Sarah: My kids do and yeah, Melissa, they have run into walls it’s pretty hilarious. They have it on and their heads’ just like…

Melissa Keck: Not for me.

Sarah: Oh my gosh. So, there are so many industries that your services could be beneficial for. So, can you tell us different ways that this could be applied to various industries, all these services?

Melissa Keck: Sure. So, on a very base level, people always think Matterport and they think of real estate. So that’s the least, you’re using the least amount of the technology at that point. So you’re just using it to show a house, which is great! And it’s also temporary, but some of the cooler ways you can use it are more industrial settings or for businesses. And I think the businesses part of it is really cool because you a personalized experience and you’re seeing it the way the owner wants you to see that business and experiencing it that way.

Kelsi: Awesome. Well, we actually have an example of what you’re talking about with one of the local businesses that you worked with, Tint Pro. Sarah’s going to show that in just a second, but as we walk through it, can you explain to us what Mattertags are, and how you hide little Easter eggs throughout your virtual reality spaces.

Sarah: And I’ll pull up the video to kind of help piece it together.

Melissa Keck: Matt Russell was super cool to work with. He’s actually opening a new location too. And he was like, “I have to have this to let people know all the things that we do in our business.” So this is the Google Street View and there you see his cars outside. He was so prepared. And then when you pop inside, you can actually see my camera a little bit there. And it just shows you how he wants his business portrayed. So you’ve got videos that’ll pop up. Those little red circles, include video and information about, say like, “Oh, Hey, we have free coffee, but if you’re not a coffee drinker, come have a look at, we have a whole selection of drinks for you while you wait.” And he really tries to make it as comfortable as possible. So, you can see some more information about his tint and the company that he uses and the quality of that. So you’re really getting the full experience from him and there he is, introducing his business himself. So, I think it makes it really personal.

Sarah: So those little white dots with the red circle around it, those are what are called the Mattertags?

Melissa Keck: Mattertags. Correct. Yeah. And so you can embed videos, you can embed photographs and you can just explain a little bit more about your business.

Glyna: Oh my gosh, it’s endless. The things that you could do with this.

Melissa Keck: This is a really good one. He was really open to everything that we could do. He wanted all the tools, he said, “Do it all.” So we did it all!

Sarah: I had a lot of fun recording this. You’re only going to see a two-minute version of it, but I spent a lot of time exploring this space, probably more time than I should have, just because it was so interesting.

Melissa Keck: Well, it actually took me longer than your average larger space scan because I got in the car and he wanted to show off how well he took care of his clients’ vehicles. And so I was like, “We’ve got to get in the car, let’s do it all.” So, it probably took me about two and a half hours just to get through this tiny space, which seems silly, but it was really worth the time.

Sarah: Absolutely. So those white circles on the floor that you go, is that where the Matterport, each time where it’s set up?

Melissa Keck: Yes it is, and even some of them, I had to turn off because he didn’t want people to navigate over that area. But the nice thing that you just move it around and that’s everywhere the camera’s been. And then it spins 360 degrees and collects all of that photo data, which is called photogrammetry.

Glyna: Wow.

Kelsi: So cool.

Sarah: It is.

Kelsi: I love the dollhouse view as well. It’s really neat.

Melissa Keck: That’s the nerdy favorite thing. I love that. A clean pretty dollhouse is the optimal joy when you’re loading one of these spaces.

Glyna: Gosh, I’m just running through my head all the different kinds of businesses that need this. And so they take those videos, this may be a dumb question, but what do they do with those videos? They could use them for anything.

Melissa Keck: You can embed it on your website. Embedding on your website is very popular. Another thing is social sharing, that’s something that draws people in and shows how much you care about your business. And I think it really sets you apart from your competition in a lot of cases, but other people choose to keep them completely private and password protected. That’s another thing. There are clients that I can’t even talk about. They’re like, “This is top secret. We’ve got information that we can not share with the public.” So it’s really interesting to see the different levels and the different client expectations.

Glyna: Oh, I bet. Well, we have some people saying good morning. We have some early birds, I call them. We have Lavon Chaney. She says, “Good morning.” Andy Entrekin. We had Andy on and he just about broke the internet, but he was a previous guest, they both were actually. And Cindy Edmunds, she’s on this morning. You want to say, “Good morning.” So, good morning to all of you. Well, I’m looking at this space, Melissa, as we were going through it, and it looked so perfect. I’m sure that on the customer side of things, what do they need to get ready to even be able to shoot something like this?

Melissa Keck: It can be a lot of work and sometimes it can be a little bit of shuffling. We pray that that doesn’t happen, the shuffling, day of, makes it a little complicated, but really as many lights as you can get on so that space is beautifully lit. I always say that the camera gives you about a 20% glamor filter, which is kind of nice. And so everything looks a little extra shiny, a little extra pretty, but lights on, and definitely the way you’d want to present your business to the public on an ideal day, let’s just say opening day. And that’s, you just have to organize everything.

Glyna: That was the cleanest space that I’ve seen for a, not really garage-type situation, but pulling cars in and out, that looked really pretty.

Melissa Keck: Oh yeah.

Kelsi: Very orderly. All of their materials were nicely stacked.

Melissa Keck: I think that’s to do with Matt. He’s pretty meticulous.

Sarah: You also said too that you don’t want anything in motion because that could interfere.

Melissa Keck: Yes. Absolutely. If you have anybody walking through or if you have a pet, all of a sudden you’re going to have maybe two or three of those. So when you move from one space to be other, you might catch a cat on a sofa or you might catch a pet walking by. So it can be a little creepy. We call them ghosts, so it’s not ideal.

Kelsi: Makes me think of those panoramic photos where the cats or dogs are really long.

Melissa Keck: That’s exactly it.

Sarah: Oh, gosh. Yeah. Those are the ones where you’re like, “Redo,” because you look like you’re this wide.

Melissa Keck: Well, when it takes 20 seconds to spin every time, those redos are really taking a lot of time. So we just try to make sure everybody’s space is super prepared and then we check them as we go through.

Sarah: Yeah. That prep work is important. Let’s move on to your drone services because that’s another part of your business. What are all the capabilities of your drone technology? And I actually want to put up this video that you sent us because it is so cool, as you talk to us more because this is really fascinating to me.

Melissa Keck: So, the drone capabilities are just as diverse. It’s actually wild. One of my first drone jobs was mapping. And so this one, in particular, was advertising for a job site. And so they had done this huge project with Cleary Construction and they really wanted to show how expansive that was. And so that was, the one way to do it was by drone, but you got to be really careful because a lot of times you’ll need FAA clearance to do some of these things. And that’s why you’re going to need to have a professional to do it. Even downtown, all of downtown requires FAA clearance, so you need to have a license in order to be able to do all of that.

Kelsi: And just for our viewers to know, we are streaming this video. So, it is not glitchy when you watch it on the Keck Drones social platforms.

Sarah: Yeah.

Melissa Keck: It’s a little choppy, but it’s really limitless. I get calls for photography just to see what level a building is going to be and what the view will be from that balcony or when it’s constructed. I’ve gotten calls for mapping a private property to see what they had when they purchased the land. It’s really quite diverse. It’s limitless the amount of things that people need for drones.

Glyna: It is, and you just wouldn’t think about it. For the land piece of it, I can totally see that. If you’re out looking for land and it’s 20 acres, you don’t want to be walking through snake-infested…

Melissa Keck: Yeah. You want me to do that. I’ve done it. I keep snake boots in the car.

Glyna: Oh, gosh.

Melissa Keck: Yeah. Hardhats, snake boots. I’ve got all the PPE.

Sarah: Wow.

Kelsi: You’ve got several drones and you already touched on how that technology can be applied in a few various ways, but can you talk to us about the differences between your drones and how those may be applied across different industries?

Melissa Keck: So, this one’s actually really small and people think of it as really cute, but they don’t actually understand that the camera on it is amazing, but it’s folded up the size of a rotisserie chicken, which is kind of funny and it’s a consumer drone. So, you can actually buy this online yourself and it’s just a matter of knowing how to utilize it. But that one specifically is great for photography and video because the frames per second is excellent and the other one is a lot better for mapping. So, it actually works with the software that works for mapping. So this is like a lower-end consumer drone and the other one’s a little bit bigger, meatier, and has a lot more capabilities.

Glyna: Fantastic. And I know you mentioned some of the different ways that you can use the drone technology, but from an architectural standpoint, how can your technology be used for design and renovation and even safety precautions?

Melissa Keck: Interior, exterior, getting point clouds is extremely important for architects, especially when they’re redoing a building. And one of the things that I work with is people who maybe don’t have a floor plan or they want to have something pretty accurate to present to an architectural committee. And so being able to have these measurements from the inside, with the 3D camera, and from the outside, with the drone, having even a basic point cloud without having to be on-site is fantastic. So, I can take all of this data and send it literally across the world and come back and have beautiful architectural renderings and in less than a week. So all of this is extremely fast and efficient technology rather than sending an architect out on site with a ruler and a notepad.

Kelsi: Didn’t you say that the measurements are 99 point something percent accurate?

Melissa Keck: Yeah. It’s extremely accurate. You wouldn’t want to be ordering pipes based on it. So, we like to say double check your measurements, but it’s extremely accurate. And for laser measurement, it’s great. And the more dense you scan, it’s definitely more accurate. So, we’re getting close. It’s right up there in the high 99’s.

Sarah: That’s incredible. So you said that’s why they call it the cloud points and they are able to create a vector image from it?

Melissa Keck: Yes. So, it creates a point cloud and then I send that off and it comes back as this great, it is a point cloud. You put it into CAD and you’ve got all your files there and it’s absolutely fantastic. This is the tool that people want. And it’s nice is that it’s so easy to use.

Kelsi: So, if I wanted to remodel my home, I could bring you here and have you do a whole point cloud in my house and I can go, “Honey, we can move this wall here and this wall here. And we can…

Melissa Keck: Well, I can’t tell you where the pipes are, so you need a couple of extra people there. So don’t tear it down or anything on my advice, but we could definitely get you started.

Kelsi: For ideas. Absolutely.

Melissa Keck: Absolutely.

Glyna: Perfect. We have a few more people joining us. We have Kirk Edmunds and Gayle Mason joining us this morning. And Cindy has a question for you.

Melissa Keck: Sure.

Glyna: She’s a realtor with Arc Realty. And she said, “For real estate purposes, do you provide still shots as well as the drone shots and 3D imaging?”

Melissa Keck: I can, the nice thing about how beautiful these spaces are is that you can take snapshots. So, if you’re on a budget, it’s an easy way to go and do snapshots out of the 3D space. And I also have a still photographer that works with me who’s fabulous. And he does all of my interior photography if I need a professional to do it. So, say you have a higher-end property and you really want those beautiful, still images, that’s the way to go. But right now, since real estate is really only about 10% of what I do, I just hire out the photography portion of it.

Glyna: Yeah. So, that’s not your main thing.

Melissa Keck: Nope. I’m mostly with the hardhat and my boots on.

Glyna: That’s very good to know.

Sarah: Yes. So it’s very evident how much goes into just the precision and the accuracy and being insured and all those things to properly, yes, to properly do what you do. I can’t stress that enough. And I think what’s interesting is, you had a blog that I read that was called, “My Nephew Has a Drone”, which is essentially saying, “Hey, I have a neighbor who has a drone.” So, why is it important to hire a drone operator that’s actually licensed versus my neighbor down the street that just got one for Christmas?

Melissa Keck: I know. And that’s the hardest part. It’s like, “Oh, well I know somebody with the drone.” I’m like, I get that, but what you really don’t understand is that you’re in a restricted area. This area, this space, you have to be able to read all of the FAA maps and be able to report your flights. So, I have to keep flight logs and I have to hold proper insurance, not just for being onsite at people’s homes or businesses, but also specifically for my drone and making sure that we have even anti-terrorism insurance for a drone is extremely important. So, I spend upwards of $2,000 a year making sure that I’m in compliance so that you don’t get sued. And the nice thing is, well, actually the worst part is that realtors, the fine is closer to $11,000 versus for the actual person who is operating the drone is only like $1,000. So you’re using drone pictures that come from somebody who’s not licensed, that’s a huge liability, but nobody’s enforcing it yet, I don’t think. So, I haven’t heard anything awful. I think you have to be reported and I’m not in that business.

Kelsi: Well, we know you help educate realtors on all the ways that they can affordably utilize 3D and digital tools to impress their clients. Do you have any workshops coming up that realtors should be looking out for?

Melissa Keck: Well, I actually privately schedule workshops. So, usually, brokerages will hire me and I’ll come in and do a private class for about 10 realtors. And I really want to give them everything that I can. So, if you need to be able to make a floor plan by yourself, I’m giving you the tools to do that. If you would like to be able to make a 3D space that’s maybe a little less high-tech, but want to offer that technology to your clients, I want to give that to you. I grew up with a broker and I just love realtors, so that’s my happy place, is working with realtors. And it’s just so great to be able to see them have that and be able to give that to their clients, even if I’m not the service provider. I think it’s a joy to see people use technology well and let it help them win business.

Glyna: Well, there you go, Cindy. So, I think you need to go visit ARC Realty.

Melissa Keck: I’d love to, they’re great to work with.

Glyna: Yes, they are. Especially her. All right. So, we’re all in the business of referrals. So, who would be a good referral partner for you? People that can bring you business or more opportunity.

Melissa Keck: Architects, engineers, if you work in any business pretty much, and I’ll tell you straight forward, if this is a good fit for you or not, because I don’t want to waste anyone’s time, but great referral partners are people who work in an industry who could see this helping their training and that’s really the best thing, but we’re 90% word of mouth and absolutely love getting referrals. It doesn’t matter what kind of referral it is.

Glyna: Perfect. So do you have a free consultation or?

Melissa Keck: Absolutely! I love to talk about it. Clearly, I love to talk about what I do!

Glyna: I think you like what you do, just a little bit.

Sarah: We want to make sure we get your contact information out and we’re going to go ahead and put it on the bottom. And before we jump into our hot seat segment, is there anything else that you want to mention that we didn’t cover today?

Melissa Keck: No. I really just love to work with new businesses and new people. And I would always say, “Just give me a call if you think it could work for you. And if it doesn’t, it’s still a good conversation. You still get the information and you end up in a better place knowing what’s out there, technology-wise.” So don’t be afraid of just picking up the phone. I’m happy to chat!

Sarah: That’s great. Well, it’s Melissa Keck with Keck Drones and 3D Imaging and you can contact her at And her website, if you want to check out all the cool stuff that they do is

Glyna: I’m laughing at Harry. Harry Slagle is quite the character. He said, “Good morning. Guess who’s awake?” We have a little incident yesterday in BNI, I’m not going to say anymore. Well, good morning, Mr. Harry. And Cindy said, “Wow, we can make that happen.” So you might have an in there for ARC Realty. So that’s an awesome thing. So, Alrighty. Well, I think that it’s time for the Hot Seat.

Melissa Keck: I’m so nervous!

Glyna: Don’t be nervous. We’re not too hard. It’s just really fun. So, just relax and say the first thing that comes into your mind.

Sarah: Oh yeah. These were innocent.

Glyna: Yeah, they’re innocent for the most part. All right. Does somebody have 60 seconds? Because that’s all it is, it’s 60 seconds.

Kelsi: I have it, but my phone’s blowing up. I don’t want you to see all of my notifications.

Sarah: I got you. We should probably communicate that, shouldn’t we? Okay. Hang on. Give me one second. Okay. I’m ready.

Kelsi: Okay.

Glyna: All right, Melissa, here we go. What app do you use most on your phone?

Melissa Keck: AirMap.

Glyna: Are you a cat or dog person?

Melissa Keck: Neither.

Glyna: Would you rather go hang-gliding or whitewater rafting?

Melissa Keck: Hang gliding. Yeah. I’ve already done the whitewater rafting.

Glyna: What’s your favorite day of the week?

Melissa Keck: Mondays. Is that weird? Is that super weird?

Glyna: Not at all! Are you usually early, on time, or late?

Melissa Keck: Always early, 100%. Unless something is desperately wrong. I would have crashed my car rather than be late.

Glyna: What is your favorite color?

Melissa Keck: Pink.

Glyna: Okay. Would you rather cook or order in?

Melissa Keck: Order in. Every day.

Glyna: Do you like drama or comedy shows better?

Melissa Keck: Drama.

Glyna: Alabama, Auburn or don’t care?

Melissa Keck: I care! Baylor all the way, green and gold. Baylor forever!

Glyna: See, that wasn’t hard at all.

Melissa Keck: Okay.

Glyna: It went so fast and you did so well.

Sarah: For sure.

Glyna: Oh, wow. 30 minutes, I can’t believe how fast it’s gone by, but we really want to thank you for coming on. We had a great time!

Melissa Keck: Thank you so much for having me. This was so much fun to wake up for!

Glyna: We’re early, but we get it done!

Melissa Keck: I love it. Well, I was up at 5:00, so this is just about three hours into my day.

Glyna: Yeah, really. I was going to say you’re halfway done. All right. Well, thank you so much for joining us, everybody. We had such a great time as always, and don’t forget to join us Tuesday mornings at 8:00 for our Marketing Mix. And then next Friday on Biz Talk, our special guest will be us. We’ve got a big announcement. We’re going to be changing the format up a little bit on Biz Talk and Kelsi and Sarah and I will fill you all in next Friday morning. So until then, have a great week.

Sarah: Bye.