A Guide To Video Tours For Chicago Apartments

Renters who want an inside look at an apartment for rent in Chicago will be pleased to find a conveniently shared introductory video on the listing. Apartment owners and brokers who advertise on Domu can easily do so by copying a YouTube video link and pasting it into the designated field for their Domu apartment listing. Creating a helpful apartment showcase video that introduces the property will attract more attention and stronger interest from tenants in a crowded market. A quality video can also effectively persuade tenants to visit the apartment in person, a major prelude to signing the apartment lease.

Millennials and Gen Z tenants can even expect to see a video tour on your listing. Even a 30 second video can make your apartment stand out from the rest. Domu often shares video tours from ads on ICT Tac and instagram, which means additional exposure and leads. If you’re looking for sample video tours, check out domuchicago on both social media sites.

That’s easier said than done, of course. But there are plenty of reasons why landlords shouldn’t overlook the importance of a video for their apartment listings. Video tours of apartments for rent can have a fairly immediate impact on the success of an ad.

Apartment Video Tours on the Rise for Renters and Landlords

Video is rapidly overtaking other forms of media as the preferred type of content on the Internet. Publishers, marketers and apartment brokers can all agree that video is the rising platform for engaging and useful content on the web. Group Fox, one of Chicago’s largest multifamily property managers, relies heavily on video tours in its citywide portfolio. And the importance of having accessible videos has only increased during the pandemic, according to Group Fox.

“We are able to showcase our apartments and specific features through pre-recorded videos and live video chat,” Group Fox says. A tenant can virtually tour the large open floor plans of Van der Rohe Apartments, a Lakeview apartment tower managed by Group Fox, from the comfort of their current home.

“People who aren’t comfortable touring in person or moving to Chicago from out of town can tour their potential home from the comfort of their own couch,” Group Fox added.

So why hasn’t your apartment video been uploaded yet? Domu interviewed the professional real estate videographer and photographer Chicago FW Media to get an expert opinion on what most amateur videographers tend to get wrong when making real estate videos. This article will examine some of the perceived barriers to creating presentation videos and discuss how owners and brokers can overcome these obstacles while creating engaging videos for their listings.

Obstacle #1: I don’t know what to shoot in my Chicago apartment walkthrough video. Where do I start?

Owners and brokers should be selective with what they present in a walkthrough video. Even if it’s a small studio or one-bedroom apartment, a video should mainly highlight the most important and photogenic aspects of this apartment from the start. Don’t worry about covering all the little details, just make sure the camera captures the best “wow” factors.

Are there beautiful bay windows in the living room? How about a versatile kitchen island? Is there a balcony? What about the view, is there a view of the city skyline or is Lake Michigan visible? Highlight those natural selling points and let the camera linger on them.

“Diversify your camera movements,” Chicago FW Media explains, “take entering rooms, for example: your foreground might be walking through a room in a straight line, the next scene might then be cut to pan horizontally across the room.” Keep the camera movements varied so the video doesn’t get repetitive.

It’s fine if the video expands to include an extensive list of apartment features, but viewers will only take a few seconds to formulate an impression of the apartment. Make those first moments count!

Consider entering through the front door first, then capturing what tenants will see after they walk through the entrance. These days, all you really need to film an apartment tour is a smartphone, especially if it’s possible to use a wide-angle camera setting.

Obstacle #2: I want more people to watch my apartment video. What do I do with it?

Owners create a valuable marketing asset for their listing when they produce a video. The next important step should therefore be to share this valuable resource with as many potential tenants as possible! YouTube and TikTok are the most popular places to watch and share videos. Owners can easily add their video tours to their listings via a link to their YouTube video. Domu also shares numerous video tours of the listings to TikTok and Instagram for additional exposure and leads.

Think of all the resources a tenant might find browsing YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram: tips for cooking in their apartment, tips for decorating their place, travel guides for their next road trip or vacation, and the list is long. Putting apartment showcase videos on these platforms can be a winning strategy for landlords who want more exposure for their vacant properties (and YouTube is currently the only video platform supported by Domu listings, so start there) .

Obstacle #3: I don’t have a professional camera or editing software. What can I do?

This is probably one of the biggest mental hurdles for most landlords who are reluctant to produce video tours of their apartments. Not having a fancy digital video camera or a pro-grade DSLR might seem like a major obstacle to producing quality video, but there are possible workarounds with a smartphone. Smartphones can do a decent job of simulating good video production.

Many smartphone cameras are capable of recording HD video and come with software that can trim video clips or combine several shorter video clips into one larger composite file. Head over to our apartment photography tips for landlords article to see some free and paid smartphone apps we recommend for landlords who rely on their phone to produce media for their apartment listing.

Will videos made entirely on smartphones stand up to a professional video with music, titles and fluid camera movements? It’s not really a fair comparison. Rather than comparing an on-the-fly smartphone video to a professionally shot and edited apartment video, keep in mind that tenants will always get a better look at the apartment with a DIY video rather than just no video at all. And there are professional real estate photographers and videographers in Chicago who can produce exemplary videos at reasonable rates. (Pro tip: If you’re shooting on a smartphone, you can get pro-quality, shake-free shots using a tripod or affordable gimbal stabilizer.)

If you’re a landlord who’s hesitant to create video presentations for their apartment listings, then you should step off the fence and get into the manager’s chair! Having that extra look inside might be enough to persuade curious tenants to book a follow-up apartment viewing. And in a tough tenant market, that may be all the motivation landlords and brokers need to discover their inner filmmaker.


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