These are funky times, eh? What strikes me most about this incredibly quick change in our collective lifestyles is how well most folks are adapting.
People are working from home and learning that it is actually quite effective. Kids are being homeschooled and parents are re-learning algebra. We are a resilient people and we will come out on the other side of this smarter, stronger and with cleaner hands.
As part of this change, real estate professionals are adapting to find new ways to highlight and "show" a home. I'd like to offer a few tips on "walk-through" videos. Since we can't walk through your home in person, here's a few ideas of how to show your home virtually.
Of course, many of these tips are the same for pictures as well as video. The basics apply here and should not be overlooked. Remove all the clutter from every surface you can see. Close closet doors and put down the toilet seats.
Take down pictures of the current homeowners. Get the pets to another spot. Smooth bedspreads and blankets. And tidy up the couch pillows and throws. All the normal rules of showing a home apply here. The benefit is you only really need to do this once, so make it count.
It makes some sense to do a little planning ahead for your big shoot. A partly cloudy day is best for lighting. If it is dark and gloomy, move the date.
"I recommend agents walk through each room and pre-plan where they will be shooting from," Badger Realty agent Michele Jordan said. "By standing in the spot you will set up the tripod it gives you a chance to see any trouble-spots before you begin."
You are not going to be doing a non-stop video so you can simply plan where you will set up in each room. Then it will make the process go far more smoothly.
As Jordan noted, one of the more important pieces of equipment for the process will be a tripod. Seriously, do not attempt to shoot a listing video without one. Chances are your broker or someone you work with already owns one. You can get a little fancy and use a "slide" as well which provides some movement to the shots, but does so in a very controlled, stable manner.
The tripod will also allow you to "pan" across the room taking in (maybe) all of the space without having to shoot it twice. One note of warning: Do not simply add a "slow zoom" or the "Ken Burns effect" to your still photos. We get it. You're too lazy to do a video.
Since you're savvy and you are using a tripod, use this tool to get yourself on the video first. It adds some personality to the whole project and will "brand" the video with your mug. This makes you the "go-to" for anyone who sees it and is interested.
If you are already doing videos for other things (town events, snow days, mountaintop views) then your viewers already "know" you and this continues to build that brand. Nice work!
If you are just starting out, please do yourself (and your sellers) a favor and take way more video than you will ever use. Practice really does make perfect and trying to nail this on the first take is simply unrealistic.
Shoot a room (or a single shot of a room) and then watch it. Or, if you are short on time, shoot the room three or four times and you can figure out the best one when you get back to your office (or your home, in this case).
Open the windows and turn on all the lights. I know we mentioned the basics above, but the lighting is truly critical. If you have played around with video at all on your camera, you know that the auto-adjusting lens can vary widely based on the amount of light coming in. By doing practice runs, you can see the issues and correct them for the next try.
Keep it short and sweet. Yes, you are going to have loads of video to go through and edit. Don't hurt your shoulder patting yourself on the back and think that all of it needs to be shown to the world. Keep this thing to under four minutes or you've lost us. Unless your video is of skiing, mountain biking or some other fun, exciting activity, we're not going to watch the whole thing.
Since you do have limited time, be sure to add the most important features of the home to the video in a text block of some sort. All video processing tools have this ability, even the online one at YouTube.
You want to convey the address, beds, baths and any other big highlights in a way that the viewer will see and understand but without blocking any of the content of the video. You need to also include some way to get in touch with you such as a phone number or clickable email link. That's the whole point of this thing anyway, right?
Making a listing video is a fantastic (required?) idea when selling your home. Obviously, right now, we can't come to your house so provide us a way to walk through from the comfort of our own homes. This experience will sharpen your video production skills and will go a long way to generating interest in the property.