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Tips For Making the Best Apartment Rental Videos on Your Phone

In 2020, making a video of your apartment is super easy!

It may surprise you that videos were rarely used in advertising NYC apartments for rent before the pandemic of 2020.  

Everything changed in 2020.  

Now you can see thousands of videos of apartments for rent right here (scroll above) on Frele.com.

It started out of necessity.  Physical showings of NYC apartments for rent was barely allowed (or wanted) in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic. Now, viewing videos of rental apartments in advance is a great way to minimize risk while at the same time saving time.

Here are 10 tips to make sure you create the best possible phone video of your apartment for rent! 

Tip #1: Don’t over think it. 
All the equipment you need to make a good video of your rental is in the palm of your hand.  Your phone! Don't feel you have to spend any money on a 3D tour or fancy video. You don't need music or narration.  You don't nee any fancy edits! You are just doing a quick video walkthrough of your home.  No stress.  That's all.  We also suggest keeping the phone vertical since so many people are viewing things that way these days.  

Tip #2: Keep the video of your apartment to 1 minute or less.
People have short attention spans and we assure you that the perfect walkthrough video of your apartment can be done in one minute or less.  Also, the limit for videos on most new social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok is one minute, so this would allow you to share the video on these platforms.   

Tip #3: Video Prep for Your Rental - Plan, Declutter, open all doors, blinds up, toilet seats down.
Before you shoot your 1 minute video, do a few trial runs.  You should declutter as much as possible and make sure all doors to rooms (i.e not closet doors) are already open.  Make sure the blinds are up as high as they can go to allow as much light in as possible and to create an extremely transparent atmosphere.  Lastly, please don't leave the toilet seats up. Not sure why, but people do this all the time. 

Tip #4: Light is the most important. 
There is no "flash" on video like there is when you snap a picture, so very often apartment videos come out very dark.  You need as much light as possible. For this reason, try to shoot at the time of day when your apartment gets the most natural light.  Make sure those blinds and curtains are opened so that as much natural light as possible is coming into the unit.  Turn on all of your lights in your rental.    

Tip #5: Start by opening the front door. Imagine you are really seeing your apartment for the first time. 
Think of your apartment video as the eyes of the viewer. Start your video by opening the front door.  The camera should be at eye level or a foot below. Walk at a relatively normal speed, perhaps slower than usual.  You want people to have a similar experience as if they were walking through the rental, but slow enough to take everything in.  Don't forget to try to hold the phone relatively steady.  

Tip #6: Focus on The FLOW of your apartment. 
What people don't get from photos, a floorplan, and a description of an apartment, is the way all of the rooms flow together.  So, showing this "flow" of your apartment is your most important task with this video. Note that you want to try to avoid having to go backwards, so while you may be anxious to get to the living room, for example, if you have to pass a bathroom first, show the bathroom.  

Tip #7: When you get to the main living area, pause and pan the camera. 
When you finally arrive at the living room of your rental, stop and pan the space a little bit, slowly.  This is what you would likely do if you were visiting the apartment rental in person so it should be replicated with your video.  Why? The look and feel of the living room is probably the most important room in your apartment, and it is where most renters would likely spend most of their time if they were viewing your apartment for rent in person. 

Tip #8: Show the views from the windows, no matter what they are. 
Everyone looks out the window to see the view when they are viewing an apartment for rent in person. Sometimes it is even the first thing people look at. For this reason, even if you do not have a much of a view - or even if it is a wall view for that matter - it is important to NOT skip over the windows and the "view".  Your apartment video should show what the view is like at least from the living room windows and bedroom windows.  

Tip #9: Show the tub behind the curtain. 
If your bathrooom tub is hidden by shower curtains, the apartment video you make can show you briefly pushing the curtains aside to show the tub.  You can also just open the curtains before you start filming as part of your "prep".  Most people when they visit a bathroom will do a quick peak at the tub, so you should make sure they get this quick glimpse as well in the video walkthrough of your apartment for rent.   

Tip #10: Extra touches. 
Here are some extra - but not necessary - touches to enhance the video of your apartment for rent:

  • Music.You can add music which often makes video better, but be careful.  Music is so powerful that it can also turn people off of your rental subconciously so try to keep the music as neutral as possible.
  • Narration. Narrating your apartment video can really add that personal touch.  You can simply speak as you film your apartment on your phone, or you can add a voiceover after the fact but that may require some editing.  
  • Show yourself in the video. Sometimes when people are showing the bathroom, they will wave hi in the mirror. This is always a fun thing to do.  You can even start your apartment video by very briefly (5-10 seconds) introducing yourself. For the camera-shy or privacy sensitive person, this is not the way to go, but it could make your video more relatable and transparent. 

If you any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out by using the purple "feedback" button.  Also, if you have any suggestions of your own, please let us know and we can add them here. Good luck filming your apartment for rent! 

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