If you run a real estate business, collect some supplementary income from your properties, or are a property manager, you know how much of a difference first impressions can make. And increasingly (especially in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic), most of your properties’ first impressions will happen online. Really – almost ALL of them.
Unfortunately, this means that your properties might not have quite the same impact of potential customers are only seeing them in images. Luckily, there are other ways for you to make your properties stand out to people who are searching online: the most impactful way to bring renters or buyers in is a simple virtual tour video. Even if you've never produced video content before, you can put together a stellar virtual tour in just a few minutes.
Why make virtual tour videos?
The best way for a prospect to be introduced to a property is, of course, in person. Ideally, every one of your prospects could take an in-person tour. But realistically, this isn't possible, and in-person property tours can take a whole lot of organization, administration, and time.
Philadelphia realtor Jerome Lewis puts it this way:
With virtual videos and tours, you gain quality in several areas of business: time, scalability, and safety. This is even more important in today’s environment. People are being a lot more cautious about making unnecessary and unsafe trips in 2020.
Share the Virtual Tour Link
If you have a virtual tour video and need a link to share on a MLS, Kapwing is a fast, free hosting service that you can use to share. Go to Kapwing.com and click the "Sign in" button to create an account. Then, click "Upload" and upload the Virtual Tour video to the Kapwing Workspace.
After the file finishes uploading, click the "..." menu and "Copy Link." Now, the URL is copied on your clipboard. You can share or send out this URL on the web or send it to potential buyers who express interest.
How to embed them in your site
The best place for your prospective customers to watch your virtual tour videos is right where they see the listing. If you have a site for your real estate listings or a profile where you prefer to list your properties, you probably want as many people to browse through your properties as possible. Luckily, digital impressions can be shared and spread faster than physical impressions. Lewis explains:
"Think about users and their experience in digital media – a client enjoys a website or video, and they’re able to share that video with close friends and family. This gives you more organic reach as a real estate professional. You can’t do that with a physical tour. It’s much harder to share a physical experience."
In order to embed your videos in your site, you'll need to upload them somewhere on the internet that allows embeds. I recommend Kapwing, so you can let your prospects view your videos without having them linked to your whole account, like they would be on other platforms like YouTube. Once you make your tour video in Kapwing or upload your tour to the Studio, you can hit "Publish" to process your video. Once it's ready, just hit the "Embed" button and use the HTML code to embed your video directly in your site's listing!
Tips for making your virtual tour videos
Now that you know all the perks of adding virtual tour videos to your listings, you'll need to know how to get started making them. Here are just a few tips to get you on your way.
Add titles and labels for every part
A virtual tour can never do everything that an in-person tour can accomplish, but there are a lot of things you can do to bridge the gap. One of the easiest ways to add tons of additional information to your virtual tour is to add text to your video. You can list measurements, materials, and amenities, and add a title for every new room or outdoor area as you move through the property.
Using Kapwing to add your text, you can add as many text boxes you want, and customize every aspect of them: size, position, timing, font, color, background, and even animation.
Add a music track
It's hard to convey the full atmosphere of a property through a virtual tour video, so you should use all the tools at your disposal to give the video the best atmosphere you can. The easiest, most effective way to do this is to add a music track to your video.
If your virtual property tour includes a lot of narration, you can still add music to the background. Using Kapwing, you can add several different audio tracks to your video and adjust the volume level of each one. This way, your audience can hear everything you have to say, while your background music ties the whole video together professionally.
Use some visual filters
If you're filming your virtual property tour videos with professional-grade video equipment, you might not have to worry about how beautiful your video looks. But you don't need to break out your wallet to make a professional-grade virtual tour to bring in more viewers to your properties.
- Adjust the brightness to emphasize the natural lighting
- Increase the contrast to give more defined edges
Using a free webapp like Kapwing, you can add visual filters to your tour videos in under a minute. Select your video layer when you're in the Studio and choose "Adjust" in the right-hand menu. Here, you can adjust the brightness, contrast, and saturation of your video. If you want more preset filters, you can go to Kapwing's video filter tool to choose from 18 different video filters to enhance the aesthetic of your virtual tour video.
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