If your tenancy is ending soon and you’re moving out, or your landlord is trying to find a new tenant to fill an empty room in your house share, you may have been asked to film a property tour for us. Here are some handy tips to help you record one.
Virtual Viewing videos, or property tours as they’re also known, make letting a property easier, and above all, safer for landlords, us and for you. Think of a Virtual Viewing as a “preliminary viewing” if you like – sent to potential new tenants to consider, before the letting agent arranges access for a physical viewing. This means less stress and hassle for you, so you can continue to enjoy your home the way you should.
From preparing the property before recording, to tips on how to film and make your Virtual Viewing property tour look as professional as possible, here are some helpful hints and tips if you’ve been asked to record a video of your rental property.
Prepare the property for a viewing
No one’s expecting you to spend hours polishing and scrubbing, making your property look like a new build show home for the Virtual Viewing video. Your home is where you live, and the property should look lived. But these simple tips could make all the difference:
- Clean up as much as possible – Vacuum floors, clean smeary mirrors and windows, and clean up food from kitchen work tops (anything that’s obvious)
- Put away clutter – Take a look around – can you see dirty tea towels on work tops, washing up on the draining board, an overflowing laundry basket and a mountain of toilet roll in the bathroom? These things may district viewers, so put them away if possible
- Check the toilet seat is down – No one wants to see inside a toilet, however clean it is!
- Let in as much light as possible - Open the curtains, and turn on the lights and lamps
- Put away any personal, identifiable items – Photos and pictures are the biggest ones here, especially if you have children in the home. Put them away if you can
- Put away any items of a sensitive nature – If you’ve been working from home, put away any documents or paperwork, and turn off your laptop or TV screen.
Overall, ensure the home creates the right impression, just as you would do for an in-person viewing. Take a good look around, and make sure the property looks presentable. We also find that just ahead of filming, it’s good to have any doors slightly open, so you don’t have to juggle holding your phone and fumbling with door handles.
Filming a property tour
You don’t have to be Steven Spielberg or a TikTok influencer to create a great Virtual Viewing property tour – just follow these steps when recording:
- Keep your camera in the same direction throughout – Preferably the video should be filmed in landscape (on its side), but if you can’t do this, then ensure that whichever way you film it is consistent – don’t go from landscape to portrait midway through
- Stay slow and steady – Hold your phone steady, and at around chest height or eyeline, ensuring the video is around the same height throughout, eg, don’t enter the front door with the phone looking ahead, then drop down to the floor as you walk between rooms
- Think about the journey you’ll be taking – Starting from the drive way or the front door is best, as it will feel like the viewer is on an actual property viewing, and will be seeing everything as they would in person. However this may not be possible in flats – in which case, start where is most logical
- Take in all details of a room – As you enter a room, pan the room slowly, taking in everything. If there is a standout feature, maybe an original Victorian fireplace or integrated appliances, then stop briefly on these so the viewer can see the details
- Do a 360 tour of each room – If possible, keeping your back to the wall and your phone facing into the room, try walking around each room to give a real feel of the space – this will allow viewers to see the rooms from every angle
- Try to avoid mirrors – Seeing yourself and your phone in a reflection on a window or mirror may be inevitable in certain rooms (like the bathroom), but try and keep yourself out of the shot as much as possible
- Keep fingers and thumbs out of shot – Lastly, this sounds obvious, but a stray finger or thumb slipping over the lens could ruin the video. So be conscious of this at all times.
And it’s as simple as that, really. Don't be worried about the noise of breathing, footsteps or noisy neighbours - most phones allow you to remove background sound. Or speak to the branch, as we have access to video editing software that can remove sound too.
While it’s 99.9% unlikely you’ll be nominated for an Oscar for your Virtual Viewing video, following these simple tips could help a tenant find their next home – and that’s definitely worth more.
If you’re looking for a new home to rent, take a look at some of the properties Leaders has available to rent.