Student starts business
Teen creates drone videos, websites
By Angie Landsverk
Noah Lencki’s road to starting his own business began about five years ago.
“It started when my grandpa (Paul Lencki) bought me a drone. It was one of the first drones that came out on the market,” he said. “It didn’t have a professional camera on it, but I had a GoPro (camera), so I mounted that on the drone.”
Lencki was about 12 years old at the time.
It was something he could fly around for fun.
About a year later, a new drone model appeared on the market.
Lencki sold his original one, putting the funds toward that new model.
His grandfather helped with the rest of the cost.
“After upgrading to the second drone with a high-quality camera, I started doing more drone and video work for events around town, just for fun,” said Lencki, who is 17 and a junior at Waupaca High School.
When he was in eighth grade, he used his drone to create a video of the middle school’s Blue and White football game.
Real estate market
The video caught the attention of Shellady Udoni.
She is a Realtor at Udoni & Salan Realty Group, United Country, in Waupaca.
“Noah’s mom Jill had shared on Facebook a drone video of a middle school football game that Noah had taped in the fall of 2015, coincidentally just a few days after I got licensed in Real Estate. I immediately recognized the talent Noah had, and I knew I wanted him to help me market properties for sale,” said Udoni.
His family already knew Udoni through the Chain Skiers.
At the time, the real estate company was the first in the area to tap into the drone perspective within virtual property tours, Udoni said.
They helped Lencki find his niche is the real estate market.
He did drone videos and photos of the properties they had on the market.
After he started doing work for them, Lencki purchased a camera that not only allowed him to film from above the ground with his drone, but on the ground level as well.
In 2016, he started his business, Noah Lencki Design.
“Dad (Tim Lencki) helped guide me through the accounting aspects and overall business culture,” he said. “I come from a family of entrepreneurs.”
The grandfather who bought Lencki his first drone owned a heating and cooling business in rural Waupaca and also started Health and Fitness Headquarters with Lencki’s father.
In addition to video production, Lencki also does website and graphic design.
He is self taught, and has used online resources, including tutorials, to learn more.
The equipment he uses today includes a high-quality video camera and professional grade Gimbal Stabilizer for the camera.
“After getting the professional grade (camera), that started making me more marketable to other Realtors,” he said.
Lencki’s drone videos for Udoni & Salan helped him create a portfolio of work to show other Realtors.
“After 2017, coming into 2018, I had a diverse portfolio of work for real estate, golf course work, events and video of silent sports,” he said. “After having a diverse portfolio, leading into 2018 is when I really started ramping up my marketing and sales calls.”
Lencki did research before establishing his pricing structure, considering what his competitors charged.
Building a business
Last spring, he started calling real estate agents throughout Wisconsin.
“I have over 20 agents I’m working with, both in Waupaca and throughout the state,” Lencki said. “I have traveled as far as Prairie du Chien this (past) summer doing videos and every city in between.”
He is an FAA Part 107 commercial drone pilot and said the busy season in the real estate market is late spring, all summer and early fall.
That works well with his school schedule.
During the school year, Lencki spends the first and last hours of the school day not in school.
The schedule is for his work experience program.
He uses that time for office development, and during the busy season to travel to business shoots.
With drone videos the main focus of his business, Lencki does more web and graphic design work during the winter months.
He also uses that time of the year to find new real estate contacts and learn new technology.
Lencki enjoys traveling throughout the state to film properties and is surprised by how his business has taken off.
“I think it offers a super unique perspective on every day life,” Lencki said of drones.
After he graduates from WHS, he plans to become a pilot.
“Drones are kind of an early way to get me in the air,” he said. “I’ve known that I wanted to be a pilot from quite a young age – 11 or 12 – ever since I visited EAA.”
Lencki runs his business alone, and recently joined the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce.
He is its youngest member.
“I can control how busy I am with the number of clients I take on. I can be as busy as I want to be,” Lencki said. “September was a record month. I was in a different part of the state every weekend.”
He is also a member of the Rotary Interact Club, is the Community Chest student adviser and next summer will be his 13th season with the Chain Skiers.
Udoni & Salan Realty Group continues to work with him.
“Together we have grown from simple fly-overs to film quality, room by room home tours, and now we even have Noah on board helping us with website and advertising design,” Udoni said. “Noah has always had the creativity and detailed eye needed for the job but watching how refined his skills have developed with time is so impressive. I am so proud of him and I feel lucky to have him on our team.“
He has done video of more than 100 properties throughout the state.
In the next year or two, Lencki plans to grow his connections with real estate agents and also expand into working with construction firms to film projects as they progress.
He sees himself doing this work at least until he gets through college.
“After that, I’m not sure,” Lencki said.
People may visit noahlenckidesign.com to see his work, and reach him at 715-513-0193.
Lencki said he did not start his business alone.
People in the industry helped him, and he has a network to turn to when he has questions.
“It can be done. Don’t think otherwise, that just because you’re young, you can’t start a business or pursue your passion at a young age,” Lencki said.