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How To Use Videos to Achieve More Leasings

by Richard Monheit
October 21, 2021

property management companies

The COVID-19 lockdown has continued, and we have been forced to address the challenge of finding new tenants for our vacant properties whilst being unable to give people the opportunity to personally inspect them.

As the COVID-19 lockdown continues, we find it impossible to give people an opportunity to inspect the properties personally, making us realize the need for addressing the challenge of finding new tenants for our vacant properties.

Potential new tenants have shown wariness in applying for uninspected properties. As lockdown has continued, we have successfully produced online videos to advertise properties, and we have nailed the formula of videos that draw in applicants.

Of course, the most important thing is to ensure the videos that show off the properties are as professional, informative and trustworthy as possible. Here are the elements of a successful property preview video that allow property management companies to go on with the job of signing new leases.

Honest, uncut footage

The main concern of lease applicants regarding video tours of properties is whether or not the videos are trustworthy, whether they genuinely show everything the applicant would want to find for themselves.

It is essential to avoid any of the features of videos that would make your audience sceptical. If a video tour features edited or cut footage, a viewer may cynically assume that the reason for the video to be edited is that it is hiding visible flaws present in the property. It is important to value transparency, honesty and neutrality when creating the footage. Instead of leaving bits out of your footage, you should publish the video as a single, long take showing all the property corners.

The Long Shot

Even with the extended, uncut footage, your video can still end up frustrating the viewer if the camera’s movements are unplanned, random or without a touch of craftsmanship. Our team at Besser & Co thinks through the process and plans ahead of time, considering the sequence of the camera shots that the uncut footage will transition through.

This plan aims to:

  1. Give the audience a clear sense of space and depth perception by showing key landmarks of the properties from multiple angles and distances (key landmarks being kitchenets in apartments or fireplaces in lounge rooms).
  2. Avoid moving the camera in and out of the same camera position to avoid redundancy in the video.
  3. Give the presentation a kind of cinematic flair.

We find that a great way to begin a video is by starting with a long shot of the property’s front door. A long shot is a camera position at least a few metres away from whatever object the camera focuses on. A long shot allows the audience to see the overall environment that the focal point rests inside. Scenes in movies often begin with long shots because they are a great way of introducing a new environment to an audience.

Next, we slowly and steadily traverse to a new location in the property, tracking both sides of the hall along the way.

Option 1 – The goal is to smoothly take the audience’s point-of-view to a long-shot of a new room as seen when first entering it.

Option 2 – The goal is to smoothly take the audience to a long shot of a new room as seen when first entering it.

Once a new room has been presented, we lower the camera briefly to look at the floor at our feet. We are not afraid to show blind spots that aren’t covered by long shots.

With slow, steady camera rotation and traversal, we make sure that we get several different long shots of the key landmarks of property and sweeping, tracking shots of all of the spaces in-between.

Our videos give a full 3D breakdown of the interiors and explore the properties just as an inspector would.

Proper Lighting

We do not begin to film until the property’s interior is brightly lit in all sections. Natural or strong interior lighting is essential for making the interior visible, beautiful and reflective.

It’s common knowledge that dark lighting can make things invisible, and any footage that ignores the fact will surely invite the sceptics. People will ask questions about the possible flaws that one might be hiding in the shadows.

It is not advisable to make a video of a property with the blinds down, lights off, or during a dull, overcast day.

If the house is not connected to electricity, we often find it worth connecting the power to film better-lit interiors of our properties.

Steady Cam

People have high standards when it comes to professional videos. It is not a good look if the footage is shaky. It gives an impression that a real estate agent has done a hack job, waving their phone through a property without a single care for how cheap or rushed it looks.

We invest in steady-cam equipment for our recording devices. If you use a high-resolution smartphone camera, you can ensure that filming is steady by inserting it into a gimbal.

Today when anyone can make a high-quality video using home equipment, there is no excuse for low-quality videos from esteemed property management companies.

The Results of Video Tours

We have successfully leased properties despite the lockdown laws that prevent prospective tenants from inspecting them by making high-quality and trustworthy videos.

Our videos draw attention to the properties. In one month, we have had 2,600 views across our videos. It is a much higher number than the number of people we could’ve possibly invited to inspect properties personally. One of our favourite success stories so far is the leasing of one apartment in Prahran.

After uploading a video tour of it one morning, we had three applications for it by that afternoon, and within 24 hours, we leased the apartment to one of the applications.

Indeed, should video tours remain a part of our strategy post-lockdown, we could see properties inspected quicker and leases being signed onto faster!

As we have seen in countless other industries, the power of giving people access to services via mobile devices has increased the pace of interaction with the services.

The longer COVID-19 lockdowns last, the more people will accept the use of video tours to conduct property inspections.

Are video inspections the future for property management?

We feel it’s too early to say because had it not been for the circumstances, people interested in renting would have preferred to inspect homes physically.  We do not think that videos are necessarily here to stay.

However, giving potential tenants an option to inspect properties via easy to access, objective, transparent and professionally shot videos is frankly a “must” during the lockdowns. Leasing during COVID-19 would be much harder without them!

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