Video Is Worth A Thousand Words

There are two very good reasons to include a video walk through on any investment properties you own. The first most obvious is that it provides extra content when advertising a unit for rent. The second reason is for posterity sake. By this I mean it gives you a source or visual record of the condition the property was in at the time the video was recorded. Since the two reasons are not for the same task, take two separate runs on the walk through, highlighting different aspects in each.

The video for advertising should be relatively shorter than the second one. Think of the walk through as an overview of the units layout and features. Some preparation items before performing this cinematic masterpiece should include:

  • No Clutter— Remove trash, construction material and any items that would detract or distract viewers.
  • Best In Show— Make sure all repairs have been made. There is no reason to show off the property when you have not repaired the dings in walls or seal coated that hard wood floor. Show the unit at its best.
  • Ease of Access— Open all doorways prior to the action scene, (walk through) and insure your video will flow rather than have many starts and stops. I have seen many videos in which the camera person is bumping into objects, avoid these awkward bloopers.
  • Lighting— Insure areas being filmed have proper lighting and by all means turn the lights on or add lighting where needed.
  • Practice a steady Pace— Using just the cameras viewer do a practice run and see if you can master a enter and exit view. The exit view would be done when leaving the current subject room to enter another space. A brief backward look at the last room before turning your attention to the next space is the goal.
  • Narrative— Keep the narrative brief, descriptive of the space, use a positive voice and a reasonable voice level, (try not to mumble like coach B.).
    Think of the scene as being a nice leisurely stroll. No kids horsing around, sirens in the background or someone shouting your name, this paints a false scene of chaos. Keep the length at about three to five minutes maximum unless the place is extra large. Post this with your ad for rent or provide a link to it in the ad and you will have an edge over your competition!

The second type of video is for future record and should be done at a much slower and more detail oriented pace. Along with the above keep these tips in mind when filming this video:

  • Slightly More Zoomed In— When filming you are trying to show the overall condition of the property. Show the floors appearance as well as kitchen cabinets. appliances, inside the tub and closets. Really get in there and show that the property at one point did not show defects that may later turn up.
  • More Pauses— Try doing the exact opposite of the first video and choose to briefly pause as you show the condition of each window area, the entire floor area or the inside of the stove.
  • Explain What You Film— Use brief phrases like kitchen floor, living room or bedroom ceiling and at the beginning/end of the video recite the complete address of the unit.
  • Use The Date Feature On Camera— This provides proof of when this was filmed, but also mention the date while stating the address.
    Keeping the above in mind will insure that you have a good record of what the place looked like before the next renters occupy the unit. File it for future posterity.

A you might imagine having the above footage at your disposal is worth the time and effort. If  a tenant gives notice and you can’t physically show the unit for another month, use the footage as a virtual walk through, it may nab that next renter before the current ones are even out the door.

A possible third video walk through would be to record the condition of the unit prior to you having to clean and repair items neglected by the previous tenant. This gives positive proof of the repairs and work that was needed before the next rental could take place. A final tip, video the heating unit, hot water unit and outside area. I often forget these areas. They are part of the property and contain costly appliances that can often get damaged due to tenant neglect, or leave you with a hefty disposal fee to get rid of all the clutter left behind!



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