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5 Steps to Filming Home Tour Videos with Your Phone (for Home Builders & Developers)

Filming Home Tour Videos
5-min read

 

Learn how to use your phone to film quality home tour videos to fuel your marketing.

 

You spend a lot of time on your phone. In fact, people spend an average of 3 hours and 15 minutes per day on their phones. With your phone always near you, whether that be in your pocket or car at the job site, do you know how to use it to your advantage? In this article, you’ll learn simple tips and tricks to film home tour videos with your phone. Continue reading about filming home tour videos with your iPhone…

 

5 Steps to Filming Home Tour Videos with Your Phone:

 

  1. Prepare the home

 

The very first step you need to complete is preparing your model home for the video shoot. This is more than just cleaning the countertops and sweeping the floors. Prepping your home for a video tour requires paying attention to the small details and enhancing the natural lighting of the house.

 

Here are more checklist items to prepare for the shoot:

 

  • Ensure all light bulbs are working and that they’re all the same color/tint
  • Remove any clutter – including hiding the trashcan/garbage if possible
  • Close the toilet lid and clean all glass surfaces
  • Hang your best decorator towels in the baths
  • Limit the number of bathroom items, such as shampoo and soap dispensers
  • Turn off the TVs and hide the remotes
  • Place your best pillows on the couches and sitting areas
  • Mow the lawn – including the front and backyard
  • Remove the vehicles in the driveway
  • Spruce up the outdoors and ensure the outdoor furniture is in good shape

 

  1. Make sure you have enough storage space on your device

 

Have you ever had to delete media files on your phone to open up more storage space? If you have a limited storage plan for your devices, then you may have to do this more than once. Before you film tours of your homes, be sure you have enough storage and space to do so. The last thing you want it to start your video and run out of space to save the whole file.

 

Here is how to check the storage on your iPhone:

 

Go to Settings > General > [Device] Storage. Here, you might see a list of recommendations for optimizing your storage, followed by apps and the amount of storage each one uses. If you don’t want to delete any images, consider disabling a few apps that use the most storage. Once you have the home prepared and enough storage, it’s time to film.

 

  1. Record the virtual tour of your home

 

Before you hit the record button, be sure all of the lights in the home are on and the blinds/curtains are pulled open for more natural light. When you record the virtual tour, walk slowly, and use 5-10 second clips, recording each one individually. If one of the short clips doesn’t turn out right, delete it and start that clip over. This can save you a lot of time in the long run.

 

Repeat this process in all rooms, including the foyer and outdoor living areas. While recording, you can either explain the details of the home such as talking about the finishes and features or you can just add music later to the video instead.

 

Here are more tips for recording virtual tours:

 

  • Clean your mobile phone camera lens regularly. Wiping the dust and film away with a microfiber cloth takes little to no time.
  • Always shoot your video in landscape mode (holding your phone side by side long ways, not top to bottom).
  • Use a tripod or selfie stick for stabilization. Homebuyers can pick up on shaking and movement so be as stable as possible.
  • If you choose to speak, write several scripts for your clips so you have your key selling points while talking and not just rambling.
  • If you’re unsure if a clip will work out or not, film several and review your video content later to pick the best.
  • Don’t use the zoom function. The iPhone zoom is a digital zoom, not an optical zoom so zooming might make your video look grainy.
  • Put your phone on airplane mode to avoid unnecessary interruptions and sounds from notifications.
  • The more you plan in advance, the easier and better the final outcome will be.

 

  1. Edit your video clips

 

If you follow all of the video recording tips above, then you’ll have great content to edit. The better the content, the easier it is to make it look appealing to your buyers in the editing phase. When it’s time to edit, be sure to make it on-brand to your home builder/developer company. This means including intro and exit screens that include your logo and a call to action (CTA).

 

You can edit your videos with your iPhone directly or you can use a third-party application like Adobe Premiere. For truly professional videos. Adobe Premiere is a timeline-based video editing software application that offers a wealth of capabilities. If you decide to use your phone directly, you can use the iMovie app instead and still get great results.

 

By using either Adobe Premiere or iMovie, start combining your clips. When using iMovie, make sure you select the videos in the order you want them to appear. When using Premier, make sure the order of clips represents the natural way a potential homebuyer would walk through the home so the tour makes senses and the flow smoothly on the tour.

 

I recommend adding upbeat music and at least your website or phone number to your exit screen. You need some form of CTA to keep track of the video success. You can create a Bitly link to use in the video exit screen or even a tracking phone number. This will help you determine ROI from your videos.

 

Here is a recent clip of one of my client’s for you to see as an example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaq2azK1Yj8

 

I included drone footage I had shot by a professional drone operator to offer a great perspective of the overall community and the proximity to the water.

 

  1. Repeat the steps by filming home tour videos with other residences 

 

If your home video was a marketing success, then repeat the process. As a home builder or developer, you build new homes or community projects all of the time. Before each sale, use these steps to film a quick video tour of your finished product. After all, more than half of marketing professionals worldwide name video as the type of content with the best results.

 

Here are more ways to use video content in your home builder/developer marketing:

 

  • Post all home videos on your YouTube Channel.
  • Add the video to one of your landing pages to strengthen your PPC campaign.
  • Insert the new video in a video brochures to make a big impact in a printed piece.
  • Add the video to your gallery pages on your home builder/developer website.
  • Post all home tour videos on your social media channels, especially Facebook and Instagram
  • Use video clips in email marketing and feature a new home from a community each week if you have the time to do so. Video content is an excellent sales tool.

 

These five steps will not only strengthen your marketing strategy, but also your homebuilder or developer brand. Use your iPhone to create these videos as it’s quite easy to develop this impactful, unique video content of your homes.

 

Do you have any questions about how to film a home video tour on your iPhone? Let me know by commenting below.

 

For more marketing tips relating to video and filming home tour videos, read up on the following:

 

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About Terry Zelen

Creative Director | Consultant | Author | President of Zelen Communications

Terry Zelen is a seasoned Creative Director with more than 35 years of experience in Home Builder advertising and marketing.

He is the founder of The Punch List, which is an online blog to help inform home builders and developers on strategic marketing insights to fuel their firm.

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