Forty-five percent of all home purchases include the use of some form of website or smartphone app, according to Realtor.org. And with 65 percent of all realtors using social media to market their properties, you have probably noticed that if you don’t have incredible property pictures, a virtual tour and an online presence, you’re officially outgunned.
The good news is that buyers are becoming more savvy and the technology you have right at hand is following suit. Even big name music video producers are filming professional videos on GoPros and iPhones. But whether you have a new iPhone 6 Plus or you use an older smartphone, most smartphone cameras are capable of surprisingly professional results that may not be fit to print, but are certainly a great addition to any online listing. You can’t ignore how cheap, easy and effective multimedia marketing is at converting to real-world sales.
Accessories for Professional Photos and Videos
It’s incredible how affordable and effective accessories for smartphones have become. For less than the price of a pair of movie tickets, you can get easy snap-on or magnetized mini lenses. The most popular and affordable ones are usually sold in a set of three: a fish eye lens, a wide angle lens and a macro lens.
A macro lens is excellent for capturing small, ornate details that can really put your listing over the top, like crown molding, granite countertops and the stone work in the master bath. The fisheye is more of a stylized lense that won’t have much practical use.
The wide angle lens will be the most useful for photography and videography because it makes rooms look much bigger than the dimensions of a traditional camera and is much more professional than the panorama feature on your smartphone’s camera. If you’ve ever tried it out, you know it is almost impossible to take a steady even picture. That’s why you should also invest in a tripod and remote control, which you can find for less than $20 online.
Pro Tip: Don’t forget that lighting is everything. The best time of day to take pictures and film is at sunrise and sunset when the lighting is warm and soft.
Paying for virtual tour production can really eat away at your commission, not to mention the frustration of outsourcing such an important part of any online listing. According to Realtors.org, 74 percent of home buyers found a virtual tour to be somewhat to very useful. You can make professional video tours that will stand out from the rest with a few extra tools and tips.
First, stabilize your camera. Even though the iPhone 6 Plus comes with a fast autofocus, taking one more step to stabilize your camera cuts down on human error and saves you time and frustration in the long run.
There are stabilization apps that can help, but if you want to stand out above all the other shaky videos, you need to get serious; that means waiting for your coffee buzz to wear off so your hands are steady and investing in a little bit of time and money into some stabilization gear. Simple and professional style steadicam camera mounts are available starting at just $40 or if you’re feeling handy, make one for $15 with this DIY tutorial.
Editing these videos into professional products is easier than you may think with online tools and apps, many of which are free. If you’re a Mac user, iMovie comes standard on most desktops and laptops, and it is just as user-friendly as your other Mac technology.
Testimonials are the number one way to build trust and overcome skepticism in potential customers. Show home buyers and sellers the faces of your happy customers with video testimonials. Upload them to YouTube and share them to your social media pages to boost your online presence and make a personal connection with your audience.