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Entrepreneur GAME OF DRONES Head and shoulders above the competition, Hagen Rottke and the rest of the dynamite staff at Miami Aerial are rewriting the way we think about real estate photography. WORDS BY RYAN JARRELL I t’s an unspoken rule of succeeding in today’s marketplace: More than the right connections, more than A+ graphic design or a killer website, an invaluable attribute for top-tier business leaders that’s perhaps not disseminated enough is agility. New technologies are birthed seemingly by the second, and it takes a bold businessperson to seize ahold of what could trepidatiously fall the way of most trends and turn it into an essential industry. One such innovator is Hegan Rottke, Co-Founder, Technical Director & Pilot of Miami Aerial, providers of high-level ground and aerial photography now considered indispensable when it comes to moving top-tier real estate in The Magic City. A German native with a lifelong fascination with remote- control aircraft and photography, Rottke’s path from Germany to providing pristine services to our city’s top realtors is not nearly as direct as one would assume. The bearer of a Master’s in Construction, Rottke concentrated most of his recent working life on the tech industry, a booming sector when he made his first forays. Having visited our city a number of times on holiday, Rottke followed the path of so many before him when he decided to make his destination vacation a lifelong habitation, a move that was made more enticing by Miami’s economic boom. Soon thereafter, a chance encounter with a drone yielded a professional passion. “I got hooked at first flight,” says Rottke, who, along with Partner & Co- 64 Founder Paul Morris, saw a niche under-utilized in their nascent industry: Real Estate Photography. Aware that they were in the condo capital of the world and that over 80% of all real estate searches begin online, Rottke and Morris made what was initially a hobby into a prime provider of photography to a staggering array of clients across South Florida. “Potential property owners don’t just want to see the bedroom, they want to see precisely where the property is located and get to understand surrounding features,” says Rottke, whose sweeping panoramas and highly defined aerial views give the observer a true sense of what hi-rise living is all about. “You just don’t get that from traditional ground photography.” Gainfully expanding into such areas as TV Production & Advertising, and with drone technology growing by leaps and bounds on an almost daily basis, Rotke and Miami Aerial will undoubtedlhy be gracing our skylines for years to come, ensuring potential residents and real estate investors make up their mind with just one look; MiamiAerial.com.