In film, process is the art form. With attention to detail, a story is uncovered and pieced together through captivating imagery. Months of planning, days of filming, hours of editing—all to create a product that emotionally connects with a virtual visitor. I am a film producer; this is the world I am most passionate about, and for the past five years, my attention has been on the story of multifamily real estate.
I have had the pleasure of meeting many leaders of the industry, and their similar dedication to the details inside each home is inspiring. The countertops, dog walks, infinity pools, coffee bars—I could list out brilliantly developed amenities for the next four pages.
The modern apartment unit is breathtaking, and it has arrived in 2016 due to a delicate balance between resident demand and developer innovation. However, past the glistening skyscrapers and polished workout facilities, there is a less glamorous world of real estate that still very much exists today—The Virtual Tour.
To define virtual tour, I look at the entire virtual experience that any current or future resident, employee, or capital partner has with a property they are exploring. This includes, but is not limited to, video, photography, web design and copy writing. It is most likely the first impression many will have of the property, and if not, it is certainly encountered at some point in the decision-making process. It is the direct counterpart to all physical properties, eternally linked, and exponentially more shareable.
Yet the industry standard remains uninspired. Shaky videos, empty facilities, poorly lit units—where is the inspiration, the dedication, the love that pours through each phase of the physical development and management process?
There is a story in the walls, and it can be uncovered through a bit of soul searching and a well thought out content strategy. Whether you are working with a professional team or using in-house production, here are five tips that should always be considered:
- Speak from the heart. Viewers today are very educated and can see right through a memorized script. You are the expert! Talk naturally and edit together your best response.
- Engage your amenities. Show your amenities in use, so the viewers can imagine themselves enjoying your facilities in the same way.
- Empower your employees and residents. Let them be the star of your film, so they can do what they do best: make your property look amazing! They will have a great time!
- Be creative. It is likely that a potential resident is considering many different properties. Think outside the box and create a memorable experience for the viewer.
- Hire wisely. If you do hire a professional, make sure they understand your needs and have a clear strategy to bring those needs to life before a camera is turned on.
Producing effective film is not an easy task, but real estate is not an easy industry; it is an inspired industry defined by its process, built on attention to detail, and soon to be shared through art.
Andrew Levy is president of DTproductions, a commercial film company inspired by authentic emotion.