Vacant units are the bane of every landlord’s existence. Every minute a rental sits empty, money is essentially being taken right out of your pocket. A great video tour of your rental property is one of the most effective ways to fill vacancies because it allows prospective tenants to explore rental properties from the comfort of their own home. The trick is to create an effective video tour; all you need is some planning and a little know-how.
The good news is, you don’t necessarily need to pay a professional or buy a lot of expensive video equipment. Today’s smartphones take excellent quality video, and you can create a great video tour of your rental properties by following a few simple tips.
How to Film an Effective Video Tour of Your Rental Property
- Clean up first. Staging your rental property is important, and the first step is to thoroughly clean up. You want the unit itself to be the star of the show, not whatever clutter might get in the way. It’s okay to leave a few key pieces of furniture in place, but anything unnecessary should be removed (especially personal belongings).
- Plan your route. Walk through your vacant unit and plan out the best way to film it that will show every room in the most ideal order. Do a few “dry runs” so you’re comfortable and know your way around.
- Remove any obstacles. The last thing you need is to trip and fall while you’re walking around with your eyes focused on the camera screen. Throw open all the doors, and move any pieces of furniture that might get in your way.
- Shoot in landscape. Videos look more professional when they’re shot horizontally (i.e., in landscape format). Landscape videos look good on a wider range of devices, and also show more of the room, making it look more spacious than a portrait video.
- Start outside. Video tours that begin outside and then work their way into and through the interior of the property are usually most effective. They have a natural flow that’s easy to follow, and they’re great for renters who care about curb appeal.
- Let there be light. Natural light is your best friend. Open the blinds in all the windows before you start shooting to let in as much sunlight as possible. This will make the property appear open and inviting. In areas like halls and closets where natural light is limited, it’s okay to turn on some lights. But use warm, natural light bulbs.
- Time it right. Morning is usually the best time to get good lighting, but you might get a great look during the evening “golden hour” as well. Choose a sunny day, and film during the warmer months when the exterior looks its best.
- Take your time. Prospective renters want to be able to really see the details of rental units, so don’t rush. Linger with the camera in key areas like the kitchen, living room and bedrooms, so anyone watching can really take it all in.
- Keep it brief. Okay, take your time… but don’t take too much time. Videos under three minutes tend to hold people’s attention best and you don’t want folks to get bored and move on to someone else’s video.
- Use voice-over. Narrating your video tour in real time as you walk through the property can be very challenging. You might find yourself fumbling your words and being forced to start over. Save yourself the headache by recording the voice-over separately.
- Don’t over-edit. You want your rental units to look their best, but they should also look natural. Avoid heavy editing and artificial-looking filters and effects.
Contact us today to learn more about filming video tours of vacant rental properties and find out how a professional property management company can help.