12 Tips for Sellers Shooting Listing Videos
Here, in Michigan, and many other states, Real Estate has been deemed non-essential during a stay-at-home order. The snowball effect is that Realtors and photographers are also not allowed to visit your home. But there’s good news! Home owners can shoot a video walk-through of their home for marketing purposes….and it’s working! Listings are going under contract, despite the challenges.
Even if you are not a professional photographer, the goal remains to show your home in it’s best light. So here are 12 tips for sellers shooting listing videos to help make them a pleasant experience for potential buyers to view. This could be your only chance to make a lasting impression. The one and only impression!
- Timing: Most Real Estate Listing sites like Zillow will only allow a 2 minute video. Unless your home is a one room studio, 2 minutes will not be enough time to shoot the entire space. You can shoot one long video that can be posted on a digital marketing platform and be edited for a shorter version if necessary. Shooting several shorter videos means you don’t have to completely start over if you make a mistake. I find that it takes between 1.5 minutes and 2 minutes to effectively shoot 1-2 rooms at a time. This is also a good time length for videos that will be sent to your Realtor from your phone. Taking a break between shoots will allow you to regroup and plan angles for the next space. Keep an eye on your timer!
- Clean it up: Before you begin, be sure to clean and tidy up inside and out. Turn on all your interior lights and make sure doors are unlocked so you don’t waste precious video time fumbling with a lock.
- Curb view: Start at curb with a full view of the home. Make the approach to the front door with a slow steady walk. Slowly pan to areas of interest like a new driveway, roof or pretty flowers. Walk to the front door and go inside just like a buyer would.
- Move slowly: Remember to move the camera slowly. Buyers will be straining to see everything on their screen as the camera moves. You don’t want to make them dizzy!
- Don’t try to hide anything: Don’t avoid trouble spots like old carpet. They will see it in person eventually so it might as well be now! In addition, if you intentionally avoid trouble spots like floors, they will wonder why and what you are hiding?
- Hide yourself: Make every attempt to stay out of the shot. Reflective surfaces like windows and mirrors can be hard to avoid but you don’t want yourself in the video anymore than your family photos should be in a listing photo. A good way to avoid mirrors in the bathroom is to focus on the vanity or floor until you have moved into a position where you can show the mirror without YOU in it. Have glass doors already open when you make the approach with the camera.
- Video during the day: Professional photographers prefer to shoot a home before 3;30 pm so they can take advantage of sunlight. You should too! Shooting during the day will also eliminate black windows which basically become mirrors and hard to avoid catching your own reflection.
- Pan the room: When entering a room, stop at the doorway and pan. Continue shooting while slowly moving around the perimeter of the room. If closets or storage areas are properly organized, show the inside. From the entry, pan left and right, move to the opposite corner and pan again. Pan up to the ceiling and then down to the floor. Continue shooting the floor as you leave the room. Raise the shot up to the doorway as you leave.
- Keep it smooth: Don’t walk up or down stairs while you are shooting. Show the stairs in the direction you are headed and then pick up from the top or bottom destination. Shooting while trying to maneuver stairs can be risky and will make your video shaky.
- Show the view: If there is a pleasant view out a particular window, shoot the view at some point while you are in the room. Avoid bad views, like the neighbor’s unkept yard or side of their house. Also avoid showing parked cars. Rural locations often provide nice countryside or water views. If you have one, show if off as often as you can but don’t linger too long.
- Time to pause: While shooting a kitchen and bath, pause on appliances and countertops. Zoom in a little on granite and fixtures like new faucets. Pause and highlight recent updates.
- Silence is golden: Make sure it’s quiet! No dogs barking or kids yelling in the background. Turn off the TV and don’t talk. It’s not necessary. Allow the buyer to walk-through with their own thoughts.
I hope these tips help you produce a successful walk-through video! Try a dry run to learn the best route through the home. Mind your steps and don’t worry, you can always shoot it over!