We hosted a fun and informative session with Todd Breen on the power of video tours this week. He covered best practices for creating engaging video tours for your listings. He also covered many of the benefits video tours can offer property managers, including:

  • Cutting vacancy time and showings in half!
  • Increasing engagement and time spent on your site.
  • Going green! Cut down on pollution by driving less each year with less in person showings.
  • Attracting new owners by showcasing the powerful way you market their properties.
  • And more!

Check out the slides and video recording below as well as links to the key resources Todd mentioned in his presentation. We also had a great response from attendees, with many thoughtful questions. Since we didn’t have time to get to all of them, Todd has provided his answers to them in the Q & A below.

Slides:

Video:

Resource links mentioned in the session:

Q & A

1. How often should you update the video tour?

Ideally each time the property turns over.  When that’s not possible, an older video tour can be used provided there’s no significant differences in the condition of the property, no new fixtures, appliances etc.

2. If I haven’t purchased a smartphone yet that I’m planning on using with shooting virtual tour listings, would the standard 16GB model be sufficient? Or do you think I’ll be saving future headache by opting for a larger size?

Get the smart phone with the most GB’s possible!  HiDef video takes a lot of space.  You won’t regret having extra storage but you likely will regret a 16GB model.

3. How long does it take you to edit your videos to present a nice, finished product rather than a quick uploaded video?

My team of video optimizers spend an hour or more on each video to get them to look like these videos.  We perform numerous tasks including editing, reviewing for quality control, keyword optimizing and more.   When the videos we upload are not as smooth as we like, YouTube notifies us ‘we detected shakiness in your video’, and offers to correct it.  This YouTube stabilizer is amazing, and is how our video tours look so good!

4. We use Windows Movie Maker to edit ours.  What software does your company use?

We do not edit the actual video tours themselves.  Learning to shoot an unedited video walk through tour as one scene is just like learning to ride a bike – it takes a few tries, but you’ll be glad when you ride on your own!
That said, YouTube has a simple online editor that we use to add the intro and outro branding clips to our video tours.

5. Does it have to be through Youtube only ..  what other hosting options work?

Google owns YouTube, which may influence the SEO value of choosing YouTube over other hosting solutions.  YouTube is also free, and software like AppFolio accommodate YouTube videos in their listings. For these and many more reasons, I only recommend hosting videos on YouTube.

Remember that the final video will be embedded on your website, and the home shopper won’t actually see them on your YouTube channel, making the question of ‘who hosts the video’ less relevant.  Disabling advertisements during and related videos at the end of the video tour makes YouTube less ‘commercial’ and more pleasant for the viewers.

6. Would commercial property managers benefit from using a video tour?

Absolutely!  Whenever a big commission is at stake, commercial managers can offer ‘contact me to get a complete video walk through tour of this unit’.  This is the ultimate lead generation strategy.  In this manner, they connect with interested tenants and don’t lose the tenant to another agent.  The agent/manager can then email the link to the video directly to the prospect and follow up.  These videos should be marked ‘unlisted’ in YouTube so they’re not publicly available in searches, and only those who have the link can view them.

Oh, and I’ve even been known to video tape other agent’s listings (with permission) just to accommodate out of area tenants … and win the commission!