The ease and accessibility of creating online videos has made them a must for nearly every real estate professional or property manager. For multifamily communities in particular, where the competition is fierce, they are an even more indispensable marketing tool.

The good news is that creating great videos doesn’t have to involve a massive production crew – or a massive budget. It’s as simple as grabbing the nearest phone or tablet, channeling your inner Spielberg, and creating videos that will differentiate your property from all the rest. But, it’s also important to make sure the videos are the RIGHT videos. They need to be informative and provide value to the prospective residents – and it doesn’t hurt to make them fun and entertaining as well.

To help out, here are five must-have videos that multifamily communities should equip themselves with to thrive in today’s video-first marketplace.

1. Community Overview

Part of the appeal of multifamily living is the full community experience..amenities included. Beyond the individual living spaces, today’s buyers and renters want to see what ELSE there is. This video should highlight all of the amenities offered at the property, any resident programs like valet trash, valet parking, gym classes, etc., and showcase the the overall layout / flow as well. For example, guide viewers around the pool, the fitness center, or the communal spaces, then have someone from your team talk through the resident programs — or better yet, have a resident talk through them! This video should focus on the little things, the detail and finishes, giving prospective residents a sense of an overall feeling of what it would be like to call your community home.

Where to Use:

Embed this video on your website’s landing page, put it in your email signature, send it to prospective residents, and more. This video is the Swiss Army Knife of videos and can help build a lot of excitement with prospective residents. 

2. Floor Plan Videos

Looking at a two-dimensional floor plan is just not enough anymore. And for good reason! It’s flat, it shows no character or flow, and certainly doesn’t convey any subtle differences or nuances between similar plans. Allow prospective residents to truly ‘walk’ through each floor plan via video. Documenting every single floor plan may seem like a daunting task if you have a large amount of unique plans; however, having these documented on video will save you time in the long run. Today’s renter wants to see it and experience it. These floor plan videos can convey nuances between layouts, portray flow, showcase views and finishes, and more.

Where to Use:

Embed these videos on your website’s floor plan page for a DIY click-through experience for website visitors and send them out to inbound leads as a preview of your available units. You’ll increase traffic while also increasing conversion of that traffic. 

3. Neighborhood Overview

When someone is looking for a new home, they’re looking at and evaluating more than just the property itself. You need to step outside of your property and showcase the surrounding area as well. Shoot a video that showcases highlights of the surrounding area, the restaurants nearby, schools, parks, local businesses, and everything that goes into making the neighborhood. A really powerful way of achieving a high-quality neighborhood overview video is to actually let the neighborhood do the talking. Interview some local business owners or people that live in the area to have them tout why they chose to live there and what they love about it. You could also get super creative and do a series of these videos that you release once a week or once a month featuring different local businesses or highlights of the neighborhood.

Where to Use:

Post these videos to social media or embed them on your website for a differentiated experience. These are also great to email as follow up to prospective residents in advance of or in response to their touring your community. 

4. Move-In Procedures

Moving is a stressful process and is rarely ever easy. One way that your community can set itself apart and simplify this painful process for new residents is with a video showing the move-in process. Simply having a general idea of what to expect can make things much easier for new residents. Plus, it’s helpful to have everything documented in a video that a new resident can go back to and reference whenever they have questions. The video itself should talk through any and all move-in procedures, show how to get to the loading dock, how to operate the freight elevator, where they can find help on moving day, and any other necessary details. Resident retention starts from your very first interaction, so don’t overlook a single opportunity to wow residents and make their lives easier. 

Where to Use:

Text or email these videos to new residents in advance of their moving in. 

5. Welcome to the Community

As we just mentioned above, resident retention starts from the very first interaction with a prospective resident. When they’ve signed their lease and are getting ready to move in, send them a welcome video introducing the leasing and management team – as well as the maintenance team. If there are specific procedures, nuances with appliances in their unit, or simply things they should know about living at the community, call them out in this video. Also, make this video fun! Showcase the personality of your team and personality of the community, and reinforce why they chose this property to begin with. This is one of the first opportunities to make new residents feel welcomed – don’t miss it!

Where to Use:

Text or email these videos to new residents as soon as they’ve signed their lease, and/or deliver as part of a welcome package. 

Making sure prospective residents feel empowered during the leasing process is key. Instilling trust and transparency into the process can sometimes be elusive or difficult, but with video, it doesn’t have to be. Using video allows your team to showcase personality, showcase amenities, and personalize experiences. Whether a prospective resident is looking to lease sight-unseen or narrowing their search for an in-person visit, video is no longer a nice to have – it’s a must have. 

Every industry is working to find the best way to use video. For the multifamily industry, the ROI on video is already known and is one of the largest. People understand video and people desire video. Don’t miss out on one of the easiest ways to set your community and your team apart in 2018. Video is here — are you ready to take advantage?

Until next time…keep it real!