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Commercial Real Estate
May 1, 2018

The Value of Visual Technology

Sponsored Content provided by Rob Beale - Vice President, Carolinas Division, W.M. Jordan Company

Every business can benefit from advancements in technology. 

Like many industries, in the construction world, we can’t sell our services and experience on words alone. While sometimes numbers will suffice, many times people need to visualize what you are offering. Whether it’s demonstrating how they can personally benefit, seeing numbers on paper, or viewing a video or photo slide, people rely on visual stimuli.

On all of our construction projects across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia, we take advantage of technology to amplify our business services. With enhanced services in mind, 3-D imagery, drone photography and video, virtual reality (VR) and high-quality photography are perfect examples of technology that can add value to a diverse variety of businesses.

Aside from the building industry, advancements in visual technology can help:

  • Educational institutions that are trying to attract more students to enroll
  • Real estate professionals that want to show a property in 3-D without buyers leaving their homes
  • Companies that want to entice investors
  • Industrial facilities trying to monitor site work
  • Hospitality businesses or residential communities trying to generate interest in their properties and amenities
  • Business owners that want to attract more customers with an interactive experience over the internet
  • Health organizations wanting to highlight advanced technologies and offerings
  • E-commerce businesses trying to showcase the appeal of their products
  • Art museums that want to draw more visitors to their exhibits


High-Quality Photography Showcases Business Offerings

In our line of work, photography not only helps us document the status of projects along the way, but it also enables us to showcase our most unique and greatest achievements. However, when it comes to photography, quality is key. 

Even the most beautiful buildings can fall short of a lasting impression without high-quality photography to capture their essence. In a world revolving around first impressions, do you want the first impression of your business to hinge on poor quality photos? We don’t.


3-D And Virtual Reality To Simulate Experiences

Has there ever been a time when you wished you could see something in person in order to get the full perspective? With 3-D and VR you can. We use technologies, such as 3-D Matterport cameras, to capture 360-degree views of building interiors before we install drywall, removing guesswork down the road.

We also utilize VR technology to help our clients and prospects conceptualize spaces by “walking” them through floor plans and work sites before they are built.

With these technologies, we can work together with clients to identify problems early, develop customized solutions and minimize future delays.


Drones Increase Efficiency And Capture Alternate Perspectives

Drones are good for more than just a pretty picture or video. They can capture a unique perspective or illuminate things that aren’t readily visible to the naked eye.  

At W.M. Jordan Company, we use drones in many capacities. While we use them in a traditional context to capture aerial photos and video footage, we also use them to simulate views seen from buildings not yet constructed. To boost project efficiency, we use drones to survey land, determine status and progression, plan site logistics, and conduct existing and installed inspections. Additionally, as part of our virtual construction process, we may use them to perform laser scanning and 3-D modeling.

During our extensive renovations to the historic Cavalier Hotel in Virginia Beach, drone technology played an integral role in the initial restoration process. Due to the Cavalier’s deteriorated condition, the renovation required a detailed inspection of the building’s exterior. We used a drone to take high-clarity photos of areas of the hotel that would have required scaffolding to see, such as chimneys and roofing. Proving to be a cost-effective, timely and safer alternative, this capability and technology is instrumental in saving our clients a tremendous amount of time and money.

While you can outsource drone photography and video to a local company, if you are doing it yourself, be mindful of the FAA regulations, which require a remote pilot’s license for operation.


Mobile Cameras Enhance Visibility

Using heavy machinery on a jobsite can diminish visibility. To mitigate this, we use a detachable digital camera on our tower cranes. Viewable from anywhere by desktop or mobile device, the HoistCam helps eliminate blind spots, increase productivity and efficiency, and enhance safety on our projects. This is particularly useful when we are building in tight urban spaces.

The days of lagging technology have come and gone. With technology rapidly evolving, it is crucial for businesses to stay invested and on top of emerging trends and options as they become available. Although it involves a little give and take, by staying educated, you can try out new technologies and determine what really works for your business. 

Rob Beale is Vice President at W. M. Jordan Company, leading the company’s efforts in the Carolinas region. W.M. Jordan Company provides construction management, design build, development, virtual construction, sustainability and contracting services to a diverse clientele.Rob opened the company’s Wilmington, NC office in 2012 with only five employees. Six years and two office expansions later, he has grown his staff to 34, with a regional revenue of $85 million in 2017. Rob started with W. M. Jordan Company in 1996 as the company’s first college intern. After earning a BS in Construction Management from Virginia Tech, his career at W.M. Jordan Company quickly accelerated, including nearly every aspect of construction service delivery. As a true believer in life-long learning, Rob continues to develop professionally and personally. He is currently completing an Executive Education Program for Leadership Development at Harvard University. Other past pursuits include the Disney Institute’s Leadership Excellence Program, FMI Construction Executive Institute’s Project Executive Course, and AGC of America’s Advanced Management Course. Rob is also on the Board of Directors for the Association of Builders and Contractors (ABC), Carolinas chapter and serves as a member of both the Board of Directors and the Fun Committee for Wilmington Downtown Inc. (WDI).

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