A video tour is actual video footage captured while moving through the property with a video camera in a way that describes the flow of the house, and shows all the important rooms, exits, exterior views and more. They are designed to give the feeling of an actual walk through of the house. What they aren't is a slideshow of photos placed in a video format. Despite a lot of improper labeling as 'video tours' those are nothing more than powerpoint style slideshows which you could hire a grade 8 student to prepare. Video tours also afford you a unique opportunity as a listing agent to narrate, or give a personable introduction to the property should you choose to the same way you may touch on key selling points during a visit or open house. It is an option for anyone who feels comfortable in front of the camera, or having your voice recorded but is certainly not a requirement of the video tour.
What kind of equipment do you use for a video tour?
I use a high definition video camera that captures in beautiful 1080p resolution for crisp detail. I also use wide angle lenses that give a field of view similar to what the human eye sees, so it feels just like you're walking around the property yourself. I attach the camera to a special three-axis gimbal stabilizer so I can walk through a home with the camera without having the same kind of shake and motion blur if you tried to do the same thing with a cell phone or camera without stabilization. In addition to that, some clips are captured with the use of cinematic sliders, and top of the line video fluid tripods for nothing but the smoothest motion so the viewer can focus more on the look of the house and not on how much the camera is shaking. If you opt not to narrate your video, we don't want the viewers to get bored hearing my footsteps around the house, so I set them to a softer background music which helps to keep a viewer engaged. The music I use is always safe and properly licensed for commercial usages.
How do you deliver a video walkthrough?
Two versions, two ways. So every video gets up to four copies included. I will create an unbranded version that doesn't include any information of the listing agent as required for MLS. I will also provide a copy that is branded if you wish to have one with your own contact information on your own brokerage website. Then I also provide those versions uploaded to YouTube as 'unlisted' videos so not just anyone can find them - they need to have the link or embed code I provide you with. If you choose, I can also provide you with the edited video file so you can have your web master deal with it and place wherever you think is best. The videos are delivered in 1080p HD quality.
How long does it take to capture a video tour?
It is very dependent upon the size of the property to be captured. I almost always have to do two 'passes' through the inside. One pass is with the three axis gimbal stabilizer which is done at a slow walking speed for the video. The next pass is done with the camera attached to a tripod and potentially a cinematic slider with it, in order to focus on some finer details and helps to break up clips of rooms with a different form of motion than the 'simulated first person view' of the actual walk through method. The short answer is - about one hour for most houses of 2000 square feet and that should be enough to capture views of the exterior as well. The delivered video is typically kept to 3 minutes in length, much longer and it becomes harder for a viewer to remain focused and engaged at which point it is counter-productive to use a video walkthrough to help showcase a property.
How long does it take to deliver a video tour?
Video tours require a bit more work on my part than the average photo session. If I am doing a video in addition to still photos I will usually require 48 hours from the time of shooting to have the finished deliverable ready for you. If I am hired to do video without doing photos I can most often provide within 24 hours as I do for photos. To help expedite the process, please have any captions you'd like to appear in the video - ready for me when I shoot it. Please see the video above for an example.
See more in the FAQs or check the rates and pricing for Video Tours. Watch a playlist on YouTube of videos Chris Gardiner has captured.