Since iPhones came out on the market ten years ago, people have been pushing the limits on how to create new and innovative content with them. Nowhere is this more apparent than in mobile video. Year after year, the ways iPhones are used to create videos has continued to grow and develop in some incredible ways.

Through this evolution, iPhone videos have actually managed to change what people expect and want to see with videos. Today’s audiences (anyone that watches video) want the realness of point-of-view, in-the-moment, real video. Specifically, Millennial and Gen Z markets live and die by trust and realness. The growth of Youtube and Instagram stars is a prime example of how these generations place immense value on the rawness and realness of the average joe versus stars. They require and demand transparency behind the brands and channels they follow, which translates into videos that are exactly that — transparent and raw. Sure, many may see those types of videos as imperfect, but that’s life.

So why are we writing about this? Well, in real estate and multifamily in particular, it’s realness, trust, and transparency that win over anything else. Show people what they want to see and in a real, raw, and transparent way and you will make a believer out them — infinitely more than polished, staged productions will do. People want to see the real space that they may eventually be living in, not an air-brushed version of it or a model unit that ultimately won’t be there home. That doesn’t mean don’t put your best foot forward, but don’t let the pursuit of perfection hold anything back. Open your eyes to the power of an iPhone or iPad and what they could do for your community. 

Apple continues to push the boundaries of their camera technology to extraordinary heights. And other manufacturers aren’t far behind. Using mobile devices to create high quality videos is easier than ever and allows leasing agents to give their target audiences what they are really looking for. The emergence of iPhone videographers is changing the leasing game and here’s why you should pay attention:

Pros with Phones

Videos produced via iPhone have managed to break through the amateur side into the professional. Professional photographers and videographers are seeing the benefits of using the iPhone as their vehicle of choice.

Case in point: it’s not often that a wedding video goes viral – unless it’s for some sort of slapstick style disaster. But in this case, the reason was much more interesting. This wedding video was shot solely using an iPhone 7 and 7 Plus with a few add-on lenses and devices. And readers of this blog know that a few add-ons are the key to taking mobile videos up a notch.

In fact, only four short years ago, the New York Film Academy wrote a post promoting how to shoot a feature film on an iPhone. Keep in mind that in 2014, the only options for iPhones were the 5S or getting a brand new iPhone 6. Imagine what the article would have looked like had they had access to an iPhoneX? Regardless, even if the only accessible technology is an iPhone 6, great videos are still possible.

Still need convincing? In 2015, the film Tangerine was showcased at Sundance. Why is that important? The entire film was shot on three iPhone 5s cameras. It even found limited release success in theaters. It proves that the necessary technology is available to quickly and easily create top-tier videos that will impress anyone — even film professionals.

Better Than Amateur Hour

To truly understand the prevalence of amateur-shot videos today, all one needs to do is surf YouTube, Facebook, or Instagram for ten seconds. They are all over. But also take a few minutes and search for some iPhone videos from a few years back. The change is drastic. Not only is it clear to see how drastically things have shifted from fully produced videos, to self-shot, amateur videos, but also how much cleaner amateur videos are today.

For the multifamily industry, this is particularly exciting. Now, with just the phone in their purse or pocket, leasing agents are able to fully film and produce videos that can showcase properties and communities at a high enough level that residents will sign leases sight unseen. But it’s not the flash of the production value that gets them; it’s the transparency, realness, and trust these videos bring to the table.

This shift signifies an incredible inflection point for multifamily professionals that absolutely cannot be missed. Multifamily properties must be real in their marketing efforts and now have a way to engage on that level in a whole new way with video. It no longer takes professionally staged, filmed, and produced videos to attract and engage prospective residents online. There’s a time and place for that, but that time and place is shrinking. The growing and proven opportunity is in properly placed, shared, and distributed content that provides a real look and feel into the community. 

So, where there is an iPhone, there is a way. Don’t be intimidated or limited by fancy camera equipment – just use what is available and let the community, in all its realness, speak for itself.

Until next time…keep it real!