Free Toolkit: Apartment Videography Tips for Touring a Property

Inside the toolkit:

  • Learn how to record an apartment video tour that converts.
  • Watch our step-by-step unit recording best practices video.
  • Download our 9-point cheatsheet for future reference.

About the Toolkit

Just about every apartment available for rent these days offers a virtual tour to prospective tenants. But these impersonal tours often aren’t able to capture the true charm of a unit, and renters may feel as though they still need an in-person visit before they commit.

This downloadable resource will explain exactly how you can use pre-recorded video tours to promote your property. It includes a step-by-step guide to get you started on using video to advertise your properties, as well as some of the market research supporting this approach.

Apartment Photography

A picture is worth a thousand words. You’ve likely heard this adage used throughout your life, and it has a pretty simple meaning: multiple, complex ideas can be shared in a single image. In other words, a photo can convey information more effectively than a written description. Apartment photography for multifamily properties is no different, and every photo you choose and post on your listings expresses a tremendous amount of information to prospective residents.

We’d be remiss if we did not quickly include video into this conversation as authentic video apartment tours are incredibly vital and bring life to still real estate photography. Realync is passionate about ensuring these video apartment tours are thoughtful while also being authentic. Whether you are working on apartment photography or videography, it is critical to consider the prospective resident and focus on creating photos and videos that effectively communicate both the functional details and the essence of your property.

There are a few key areas to be conscious of when you are approaching real estate photography, including lighting, angles, filters, and frame selection. Frame selection is likely the best place to begin and is merely creating a list of photos and videos that you want to include and what all should be included in the specific frame to show a story. A common consideration is to have some frames that include the apartment or amenities in-use and staged so that prospective residents can start to imagine themselves in your property. An additional area to spend some time thinking about are things you may not want to include in a frame; this could be areas that are still under construction or perhaps angles that may make a room or area appear smaller than it is. Ultimately, your goal is to show your property off to be its absolute best while also ensuring there are no photos or videos that would be misleading.

Best Camera For Apartment Photography

Often we have clients at realync that have overinvested their time and money in trying to find the best camera for apartment photography. Ultimately, the days of having to spend a massive amount of your budget for real estate photography equipment are long past. Indeed, a modern smartphone camera is all you need to have the best camera setup for real estate photography and videography.

You may not immediately think of your phone as a go-to apartment camera. The ability for your device to provide an authentic experience that feels natural and approachable to prospective residents sets your phone camera apart from a sophisticated camera with real estate photography lighting. What you sometimes lose in the image fidelity is more than made up for with the vibe and essence of your photos and videos.

Using your smartphone allows for increased accessibility in taking video footage and photography without a steep learning curve. At Realync, we work with our clients to ensure their smartphone-created video content is well thought out with strong lighting, authentic staging, thoughtful frame selection, and the use of complementary angles always being a goal.

Apartment Photography Camera Settings

Apartment photography camera settings are much simpler when using a smartphone versus a specialized camera. The first tip is to ensure you shoot your photography horizontally, not vertically. Additionally, your real estate camera settings for your smartphone should be set on the highest resolution possible, and never use a manual zoom.

The last basic tip is to try to work with natural light—or even bring in some additional lighting, but only if needed. A flash creates other considerations and concerns where natural light will often be the best result.

Camera settings for kitchen photography are a unique topic in itself as kitchens are full of shiny, reflective surfaces and depth perception in these spaces is critical. By using a smartphone, you can avoid having to fully grasp Nikon D750 settings for real estate photography, for example. While it is still essential to be thoughtful in your photography approach and know your settings, they don’t have to be overly complicated. One crucial thing for kitchen photography is to turn off or ignore any autofocus options as you ultimately will want the entire room in focus. You never know what small element of a kitchen may be a deciding factor for a prospective resident, so giving equal weight to all of the items and ensuring some photos show the kitchen in relation to the dining space are vital.

When it comes to camera settings for exterior real estate photography, the above principles apply; however, depending on the property structure, a panoramic setting could make the most sense. The actual camera setting for exterior real estate photography is going to be intensely dependent on the property. One essential tip is to ensure most of the photograph is of your multifamily property and not other nearby buildings or structures that could confuse a prospective resident.

Apartment Photography Pricing

Ultimately, you may decide that doing the photography for your multifamily property is not the best use of your time, and instead, you may choose to hire a professional photographer. Apartment photography pricing can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars, depending on what type of photographer you hire and how much you are hiring him or her to shoot.

A prominent determinant of real estate photography pricing is the size of your property and the number of units you would want to be photographed. Additionally, the size of the firm you engage with, and their reputation will dictate costs as well, as the more established, specialized firms are going to be more expensive, where a freelance photographer may be affordable. An important reminder is to ask for sample images from similar assignments and ensure you have a strong understanding of the process and costs for reshoots or edits.

An approach that we have seen prove cost-effective is a hybrid approach—leverage a professional (who often comes with a substantial real estate photography salary) for the critical, highlight images and supplement this with more cost-effective and authentic solutions. These additional images will likely be made up of smartphone photography and a real, authentic video solution like Realync. Realync allows you to show prospective residents specific units authentically and also drives human interactions between leasing agents and the prospective residents. Spending money on real estate photography can be a good investment, but ensuring you are organized, informed, and selective in how you allocate funds will drive the most substantial ROI.

Apartment Videography

As mentioned in the previous section, multifamily video can be a powerful addition to professional or in-house apartment photography. Most people will start with photography and continue down the buying process hunting for and consuming video content. A solution like Realync provides an unfiltered, low-fidelity option for potential residents not only to see images, but also get a stronger essence of the unit and property they are considering. If an apartment marketing video is overproduced, heavily edited, or filtered, it can stall the process of prospective residents as they are left with more questions than answers. A solution like Realync gives an authentic, customizable experience that helps use apartment videos to convert and accelerate lead-to-lease rates.

Our team is always working on adding to our vault of apartment video ideas for our Realync clients, and we have seen some creative applications of the platform that truly put the consumer first. For instance, one of our clients recently did an entire video focused on the great features of the unit, shared areas and amenities for kids. This is a prime example of how understanding the specific prospective residents’ needs and concerns and addressing those questions head-on is what Realync is all about. Another team shot a personalized follow up video entirely from their community gym to send to an inbound lead that was asking questions about their gym. This level of personalization and transparency is what consumers are desiring today, and allows you as a leasing agent to be more efficient and effective with your time.

Apartment Photography Classes

Once you start digging into real estate photography tips, you may decide you want to invest in apartment photography classes—these can take your photography and videography to the next level. The great news is that several real estate photography training courses are now available online, and many apartment associations sponsor or bring in a real estate photography training for their members. Both of these can be a great option and often are more affordable than what real estate photography classes were several years ago.

When it comes to how to become a real estate photographer in 2019 or even in 2020, an in-person class may be the way to get ahead and grasp all of the concepts fully. When you are looking at a course (whether online or offline) it is great to review the teacher(s) and former student reviews. Ideally, if you can even talk to a former student of the class and get a real-life, authentic review that will give you the best idea of what to expect and if it is aligned for your needs. Lastly, be wary of signing up for an online course if you are not comfortable with web technology or have never done online learning as there can be a new learning curve in this case. The great news is that while these classes can provide a ton of value, Realync’s platform makes videography much more approachable with several features such as automated stitching and simple-to-use voiceover and caption options.

Apartment Surveillance Cameras

Apartment surveillance cameras are an entirely different aspect of photography and videography for your multifamily community, but are a vital part of an entire package for prospective residents. A hidden security camera for apartment buildings in shared areas as well as adding a security camera for apartment doors, can help ensure safety as well as peace of mind for residents.

The best practices dramatically change between leasing-focused photography and surveillance cameras, where the shot selection and angles need to be more inclusive, and there is a need for wireless security cameras for apartment buildings. Even the best security camera for small apartment offerings usually aren’t at the same resolution or quality that you may require for your leasing photography, although the video fidelity of these two video types is not as distant as it once was.

In some markets having wireless security cameras for apartments will be a differentiator, whereas in others, it will be table stakes. Ultimately deciding on the complexity and investment for your multifamily property will be a crucial business decision with increased consumer demands for safety and high-tech surveillance options.

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Ready to Get Real?

Accelerate Leasing

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    Speed Up Lease Up

    by providing construction updates and showcase your space without having to do hard hat tours.

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    by ‘showing’ them without having to physically tour the space by sending pre-recorded videos.

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    when you receive notifications when prospects are viewing videos to cater your follow up.

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    by removing roadblocks and barriers in the leasing process.

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    by making it a breeze for out-of-market leads to choose your community.

Improve Community Engagement

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    via pre-recorded videos by linking via social media or internal apps.

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    by creating maintenance videos.

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    by receiving notifications when residents are viewing videos to know who has seen a message and who hasn’t.

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    because consumers retain 10% of a message when reading it via text, but 90% of a message when viewed in a video.

More Than Software

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    Virtual Training

    is available for every property utilizing Realync.

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    Make your video efforts consistent

    with one set, standardized process and platform.

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    across your entire portfolio.

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    Partner with the Realync Team

    to create a personalized training program to be rolled out across all properties.

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    Are you Ready to Get Real?

    Talk with us today to see how Realync’s platform can 4X your lead-to-lease conversion!

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