I speak from knowledge here having set up propertyonvideo.co.uk a few years ago and then filming property with my tripod and hand held digital video camera mostly in and around London. Back then it was a good business, though limited due to estate agencies understanding of video and the lack of dedicated URL fields on the property portals to enable videos to be shown – Nowadays not the case anymore I am pleased to say. One thing which has changed big time is the ability and ease to record video content where nearly everyone in the UK will possess a smart phone and will have a very high standard of video recording capability in the palm of their hand.
I am not saying that estate agents should dismiss professional video production companies to carry out their property video tours, but what I would say is that with just a little bit of investment and time, you could be producing high standard property videos for your agency for a fraction of the cost.
You do not need to purchase an eBook, nor would I say go on any courses and you will not be required to have a degree in marketing as using your mobile phone to record video is very much set out in a simple for stupid method so that all smart phone users can get to grips with it from children to seniors.
Here are some vital tips to consider if you wish to venture in to filming your property listings:
- The better quality mobile the better quality film: Do not expect all smartphones to offer the greatest quality cameras so do some research when you order your next contract phone, what are the review like for the camera. I usually check reviews on Youtube when many gadget reviews will showcase the quality of the filming / photography a smartphone will offer.
- Landscape vs Portait: You will know what I mean by this from some of the videos you may have watched on Youtube which have two ugly black bars down each side which is where the user has filmed in portrait mode rather than in landscape. Nearly all smart phone allow for landscape recording so make sure you hold your smart phone this way when you are filming!
- Keep your hands and fingers clear of the lens: Remember to keep the lens and the mic area free of fingers and hands and when you are filming that no part of you is in the picture to include clothing! Remember to clean the lens also before filming to make sure you get the best footage.
- Steady hands, tripods and cages: The difference between a professional video that is shaky and one that is still / smooth is very noticeable. Shaky videos are annoying and a real turn off and especially if you are showcasing fine property. When filming remember to use both hands on your smartphone, think about using the likes of a smartphone tripods, selfie sticks and cages which will enable smooth panning.
- Do not forget lighting and settings: It is vitally important that when you film you have good lighting as you will otherwise end up with mostly likely too dark video footage. Make sure rooms are bright with lights on or at least natural light coming in through doors and windows (not forgetting to avoid filming directly in to strong lights which will again darken what you are filming). Outside if the day is a dark cloudy one then use your settings on your phone which will enable you to change filming mode from sunlight to cloudy or even nighttime if really needed. I would also suggest a small investment in to lighting equipment for those days where lighting internally isn’t the best, some great lighting sets are available on the likes of Ebay and will cost no more than £75.
- Editing: Many smartphone will allow you to edit videos and stitch them together so to have a complete and edited property video tour that you can then directly upload to the likes of Youtube. You can also purchase cheaply many video editing apps for your smartphone that enables you to have even more functions like adding text and watermarks, adding music, adding voice-over audio and more.
Author: Christopher Walkey
Founder of Estate Agent Networking and an internationally invited speaker on how to build online target audiences using Twitter and LinkedIn.