As coronavirus continues to contain the UK, the government guidelines are clear on viewings; no face-to-face viewings can go ahead in the current climate to help stop the spread of coronavirus.  Please read all our current advice here. If you have an empty property to let, apart from in exceptional circumstances, the fact is that you will not moving any tenants in under current guidance.

However, this will change.  When the restrictions are lifted, there will be pent up demand for tenants looking for a new home.  Prospective tenants are still looking at properties online now, short-listing potential homes for when the doors are flung open.  Having a digital, distance-proof, video of your home could put your property to the top of the ‘to see’ list.

Your smart phone gives you the ability to record video property walkthroughs, allowing you to showcase your property to potential tenants.  It’s a great introduction to allow future renters to really ‘get to know’ your property, without setting foot inside.

Check out our simple five-step-guide to recording the perfect video:

Step 1: Plan your video

  • You will already have a clear idea of the rooms that have the most ‘wow’ factor in your property. Make sure you have plenty of time to focus on them. Tenants won’t need to see details of the airing cupboard, but everyone will want to see the kitchen, bathroom, main living spaces and master bedroom.
  • Plan your route: have a clear idea of the route that you are going to take through the property. The first view will set the tone for the rest of the film, and the final room is the one that will remain in memory, so make sure you choose really strong spaces to stick in people’s minds.

Step 2: Prepare your property

  • It goes without saying that you should make sure that your property is looking its best, just as you would if you were preparing it for a real-life viewing. Make sure it is spotlessly clean, and any excess clutter – junk mail, or coffee cups – are cleared away.
  • The importance of great lighting shouldn’t be underestimated, make sure lights are switched on, so that there are no gloomy corners.
  • Pick the best time of day when there is the most natural light.  Sun streaming through (clean) windows will make the property look appealing.
  • Make sure any doors are open (leave them ajar) ready for you to move smoothly through. You don’t want to be fumbling over a door handle whilst trying to juggle a camera.

Step 3: Film your video

  • Make sure you are confident with the video technology that you are going to use. Do some practice runs before you get cracking with the real thing.
  • Videos look better on Rightmove and Zoopla in landscape format, so to ensure that your video maximises space, hold your phone horizontally to record.
  • Hold your phone at chest height when you are recording. This allows you to hold the camera steady (using both hands and keeping your arms clamped close to your sides will give extra stability) and gives continuity as you move around your property.
  • Wherever possible, position yourself in the corner of rooms, recording a wide pan shot of the room. This makes the room look as large as possible, and gives the viewer a clear view of the space.
  • If you can, try and position your camera so that you can see out of any windows in the room. This not only showcases any views that you may have, but also makes the space look bigger.
  • Don’t worry if there’s elements that you want to crop, most phones have editing software for cropping elements out built in, so you can snip any mishaps out of the finished product.

Step 4: Talk viewers through the video

  • Decide whether or not you are going to add a voice over to your video – there’s no right or wrong choice here, but if you are not confident don’t do it.
  • If you choose to include a voice-over, this can be recorded live as you record the visuals. Make sure you have given some thought as to what you are going to say beforehand, and are confident of your facts.
  • Including basic information such as the size of the room and any furniture that will be included is really useful, as well as drawing attention to any extra special features.

Step 5: Getting your video seen

  • In order to share your video, you will need to first upload your video to YouTube. You’ll need a YouTube account, but this is easy to set up. Head to www.youtube.com to create a new account. You’ll need to enter an email address, and provide a password, which will enable you to create an account and upload/create videos.
  • You can record directly using YouTube, Howsy Founder and CEO Calum Brannan talks you though the process here.
  • It is important to be aware of online safety, so be careful not to add the property’s full address or your personal contact details. However, it is a good idea to include the property’s road name, city and Howsy contact details for tenants to contact us for more information:
    0330 999 1234
    www.howsy.com  
  • When you have uploaded your video, each upload has a unique shareable link, bespoke to the video. Send this link to your team at Howsy, and we can add your video to your listing on Rightmove and Zoopla.

Don’t worry if you don’t produce a Hollywood classic.  Everyone in the country is in this together, and potential tenants understand that any videos are home made because of the current circumstances. 

As with everything, it is important to ensure that safety is the primary concern.

As well as ensuring that you are conscious of your internet safety (don’t identify the property’s full address or yourself in the video), it is vital that you are maintaining all safe and sensible precautions with regards to coronavirus.

Full details of the latest government advice on how to manage coronavirus as a landlord, or tenant, is available here, and whilst recording a video is a great marketing tool, you should never do it at the cost of safety.  Only attempt this if the property you are recording is entirely empty and you can always practice social distancing.

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