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This Week In Real Estate Video #30 - Interior Time Lapse

Published: 27/10/2012
By: larry

2544 N. Summit Place - Northstar from Matt Waclo: Matt Waclo gave me an new updated url for his website this last week and I was looking over Matt's videos on the site and noticed a cool time-lapse sequence that Matt has in this video starting at about 00:29. You can tell this is a time lapse sequence because the speed that the clouds outside the large window are moving by. Notice that this is not just a simple time lapse but the camera is apparently on a motorized slider so during the time lapse sequence the camera is smoothly moving to the right and changing the viewing angle. Very nice effect!

Dan Kennedy, former Seattle Talk Show host expanding into Real Estate Voice-Over: I talked to Dan Kennedy this week. Dan has been using his voice talents helping people do online marketing for some time and recently Dan is expanding into the real estate video voice over field. Here is one of Dan's recent voice overs that he did for Dawn Leverett at Windermere in Seattle. So if you need a great sounding male voice for your property video contact Dan.

15 Claridge Drive | Weston, Massachusetts by Jonny Kim. Jonny Kim sent me a link to his first property video. As I told Jonny, I think this is a very respectable effort for a first property video. I personally like the slider and crane moves much better than the GlideCam ones. Especially the fast moving GlideCam moves down hallways. My suggestion is to cut out the hallway sequences to cut down the length.

I like what Jonny has done with the crane move that shows off the circular stairway.

Feel free to give Jonny your feedback.


20 comments on “This Week In Real Estate Video #30 - Interior Time Lapse”

  1. Thanks for the nod, Larry. Voice is usually the missing link when it comes to selling real estate online. A good voice-over will have a 40% greater impact on someone than if they just read whatever is written about a place, plus the spoken word can often capture the feel of a home and it's environment. I always encourage listing agents to ask owners what they love about their home. Often what they say can be wonderfully conveyed with the spoken word . . . And of course, great photos!

  2. Johnny Kim - your video was great! I love the mixed movements, including the GlideCam shots. I still haven't figured out why people in the real estate business need "short videos". We aren't trying to go viral! You are meeting the needs of the prospective buyer, and they want all the info they can get! If that takes 8 minutes to show a property video, then so be it! As a buyer of a property, I would rather see the whole property than be shorted half of it simply because the videographer tried to "keep it under 60 seconds because the average cat video viewer gets bored". The GlideCam shots help show the relationships between the spaces which photos can't do. When you sell a video to a client, how do you convince them to use a video when all you are doing is slow panning left/right? I might as well just look at the photos. With GlideCam movements, you can sell the fact that you are actually showing the layout instead of just random slow, boring pans of rooms that the buyer already saw in the photos.

    With that said, I did find the video was disconnected due to a couple of reasons. First, the video transitions didn't match the music. The background track was great, but the video should take advantage of it and change scenes/views off the music track. Also, there were some transitions between GlideCam/Panning that seemed odd. Like at 2:25, the panning doesn't match what was last seen while using the GlideCam so it seems disjointed.

    But keep it up, keep being different. You won't set yourself apart by following what everyone else is doing. Use the GlideCam to get from one point to another, and prove that your videos have value by showing buyers something they didn't already see from the photos.

  3. From experience as a broker when meeting people for the first time after seeing the video. It always amazes me how many time they watch the video . An eight minute video is considerable less than making the appointment and visiting the property which can take up to a couple of hours. I read somewhere that buyers will look at least twenty or more properties before a shortlist. Video will also help narrow down the final selection. By no means have we found the ideal video type , but I do know the questions that we generally get asked by searching home buyers. So trying to answer as many of these in the videos, which we are now experimenting with.

    The above videos are terrific and very hard to make at this level, so hats off to Videographers.

    BTW how do like to be addressed? Videographers, Photographers, content providers, film makers - Its all becoming a blur! or a fusion of all the arts

  4. I am a big advocate of the video being short but I am a Realtor and I use video to sell my services to sellers. I do not document every nook and crany for the buyer. If that is why your using video your wasting your time because the only thing that truly sells houses is the price. That being said Johnny's video seems long but that is not a small house! I think the length is fine. I like using the steadycam and jib and slider.....think I will try that on the next one. While showing the halls is typically unnecessary that house has sexy halls if there is a such of thing, so its fine. I think most folks are missing the power of video by not using a voice over...not telling a story. That is what selling is and while I know most you guys are artists and not salesman Im ok with that but did a Realtor hire you? DOes the Realtor not know that a narration has more power than any video alone? That is what selling is and if the agent doesnt want to hire Dan to tell the story or do it themselves (since that is really what they are selling) then just focus on superb photography and forget all this video stuff......thats my opinion, I sell Real Estate.

  5. I appreciate the comments. I shot the video for 15 Weston Dr. as a learning experience and it's still a work in progress. I'm an agent in the Boston area experimenting with video and new to using a DSLR for video, glidecam, slider, and jib. Post production editing, grading, syncing with audio is a also a process I'm just starting to learn. I agree with Lance that I would have liked to sync the video and transitions to the changes in the music as well as provide a smoother transition between the glidecam, pan, slide shots. I realized before I started editing that I needed extra footage, but I tried to make the best of the shots that I captured.

    It was shot in under 3 hours and a lot of that time was moving and changing equipment in and around a very large property (12,000 s.f. on more than 3 acres). In addition, the lighting for many of the shots was not ideal. I shot from around 3-6pm(sunset), different rooms faced different directions and had challenging light situations. After reviewing my footage, I realized that in half my footage the contrast between the highlights and darkest shadows was unusable, or too distracting to watch. Luckily, I was able to capture some of the rooms twice during my time there when the lighting conditions improved, but at the same time I missed many other rooms and many other shots that I was hoping to complete. I'm plan to revisit the property to complete some of the shots that are missing or not shot well.

    I learned an enormous amount during the process and I realized many areas that need improvement as well as the shots that I thought were effective. Ideally, I would storyboard my shots at least a day prior during a walkthrough of the property, and have multiple cameras mounted on tripod/slider/glidecam to minimize the wasted time mounting the camera on the various equipment. Personally, I think slides and pans are overdone and look too similar to a slideshow photo/video. I showed the video to an agent in the office and he asked if I did the video using photos, which I found completely perplexing how it could be construed as pans of static photos.

    I like the sense of movement that a glidecam provides to videos although it's extremely challenging to get smooth footage handheld.

  6. "If that is why your using video your wasting your time because the only thing that truly sells houses is the price"
    " That is what selling is and while I know most you guys are artists and not salesman Im ok with that but did a Realtor hire you?"


    You seem to have quite the opinion for someone with 15 videos under your belt. You will quickly learn that there are several types of video and all work in their own ways, there is no right and wrong. Some video work in some areas better than in others.

    Narration, no narration, agents in the video etc are all additions to the video itself. Some video needs no narration....the viewer clearly sees what is there and doesnt need an agent telling them they are seeing a "formal dining room and a cozy living room"

    I thought the videos were great....keep up the good work and continue to develop a style that works for you and gets your more business!

  7. Hi Chris,

    Good comment about the power of visuals. Where I think the power of the spoken word comes in is the emotional angle. Along with price, most realtors tell me that the buyer's emotions are essential to a sale.* That's why asking the seller what they love about their home is important. Things that can't be easily captured with a photo--like how cool the neighbors are, or the backstory about that fabulous rose garden out back having been planted by the owner's great grandfather--a narrator with a warm and informed sound can make come alive. See it, hear it, buy it!


    * Interesting research has shown that people who have suffered injuries to the parts of the brain involved in emotion also have a hard time making decisions.

  8. @Dan

    I agree 100%, and the key is having "good voice-over" to be effective. I find far to many realtors doing the narration themselves thinking that they are telling a "story", when in reality they are droning on and on about what rooms we are looking at and providing little more information than what the viewer is already easily seeing.

    There is nothing more annoying than seeing an agent introducing a video saying "hi, my name joe agent and I am so pleased to present 123 street, come on in and take a look"....I mean come on, of course you are pleased, what else are you going to say? Its an unnecessary 10-15 secs of wasted video time. Most agents should not be in the videos, it should be about the house and not the agent. There are very, very few agents that can pull off being in the video...Julie Kinnear is one that comes to mind. She is in the beginning of all her videos BUT is providing a ton of valuable information about the listing and the area and is VERY camera friendly. She doesnt drone on and on, she keeps the viewer listening, watching and wanting more.

    Every market has a use for video, which type and what addons is something the realtor and/or videographer must research in advance and every house/situation is different. Anyone saying that one type/style of video is good for all listings is clearly showing their lack of knowledge of the wide range video can cover.

  9. Jonny.
    On a tech note, you may want to look at your frame rate and shutter speed on the pans and glides. I was shooting everything 24fps at 1/50th sec and adjusting the ISO because that's the 'cinematic look'! Well it also causes the picture to stutter and look out of focus while panning. I went to 60fps 1/125th SMOOTH PANS! Adjust ISO accordingly for exposure.
    As someone else menioned there is no right way or wrong way to do video, experiment and do it your way. The best videos I see are usually thinking outside the box. Like the one where the realtor was been hosed down with water while trying to describe the property...maybe only in Australia does that work, but it was great!

  10. Chris: Regarding an agent's intro to the video.....

    The great thing about video is there are multitudes of benefits - not just one:

    1) Saves time for the buyer. Once they see the video, then make an appointment to see it in person, it is literally a second showing.
    2) Saves time for the seller. They know that any in-person showing is a serious buyer..... it's a "second showing". It also eliminates wasted showings to "looky-loos" and nosy neighbors.
    3) It elevates the brand of the agent above their competition in a huge way.
    4) It helps generate interest faster and helps sell homes faster.

    I have a client who also found another very positive benefit to video. If you're in sales, there's always that invisible "wall" between you and your new customer. You want information from your customer, and they don't want to be "sold". Sometimes it takes a bit of time to 'break the ice' so both parties are comfortable enough with each other to start a serious, honest conversation.

    He says he used to play those games at open houses. A buyer would walk in, see him, and bolt off to the other corner of the house, avoiding "the sales guy". Of course, the Realtor wanted to find out what they were looking for, if they were working with someone, etc. So it's now a game of cat and mouse....

    By doing a brief intro to his videos, now people walk through the front door, see him across the room, stick out their hand and walk over to him, shake his hand and say "You're the guy in the video!" There is an INSTANT feeling of comfort. The buyer feels like they "know" him, and that "invisible wall" is gone in an instant.

    He sends his videos out to a potential listing client a couple of days BEFORE his meeting with them, showing them how he markets homes. They have the opportunity to watch it at their leisure... AND get to know him a little through video. And once again, he rings the doorbell and the clients look at him more like an old friend, not like a stranger looking to sell them something. "Invisible wall" = gone.

    There are SO many benefits to doing video and in doing video in different ways. The nice thing about it is that it all WORKS in ways that only still photos can never do.

    I always tell people that doing a video on a property is really about your NEXT listing, not that particular one. It helps sell the agent and the agent's marketing strategy. If you're a listing agent, that's the key to success.

  11. @Fred

    Sorry if it seemed like I was bashing agents being in videos, i should have been more specific.

    I think there is definitely a advantage to an agent being in a video, but it has to be effective and have some effort put in to be appealing to the viewer. Someone like Julie has clearly thought out in advance her presentation and her execution is appealing to the viewer, keeping them watching and more importantly liking her.

    Its the same as effective narration, and a great example is the narration you provide. Its clearly well thought out, provides a ton of information and presented in a way that keeps the viewer listening. Not all narration is equal and the agent who is droning on and on about what rooms we are viewing, how they have a great mortgage rates or just simply not providing any additional information then what we can clearly see... quickly loses the interest of the viewer effectively rendering the narration useless. While good narration can be highly effective, bad narration can be detrimental.

    In the end video can be used in so many ways, but it has to be effective and has to keep the viewer watching, providing more information then the photos already have. There are a ton of companies converting their photos to video and selling them as walk through tours with some add on narration....completely useless and ineffective. Most people probably get 30 secs into these videos and realize they already saw the information in the photos and shut it off.

  12. Locally, voice over may be a problem as it is specifically prohibited in MLS rules. "Photos or virtual tours may not contain company or agent logos, agent photos, commissions, bonuses, any contact information, voice, text, or graphics of any kind (with the exception of copyright ©) in the virtual tour or photo sections." While it doesn't specifically address "video" but the rules (searchable by word) only make one reference to video, and that is in the copyright language.

    That creates an issue of having to have one version specifically for MLS/IDX and another for personal websites and other postings. To a large extent it limits what can do. Obviously, ones like Julie's guided tour walkaround are out. But so are other with general voice over. Likewise a couple of videos were was developing a storyboard interviewing the owners. As was another where interviewing myself (as photographer, not Realtor) as my my mother and sister are the listing agents for my adolescent homestead...with the storyline taking the theme "Memories" and ending with the question "Isn't it time to start our memories? Set up your private viewing today."

  13. btw no need for expensive timelapse rigs that can cost hundreds of dollars.
    you can make one yourself just by hacking an inexpensive kitchen timer. you can even control the time of the video. it's really great.
    just google how to do it. it's very simple.

  14. As far as the MLS, you absolutely need to check locally. (and don't ask agents... they generally don't have a clue!)

    I work with five different MLS groups.... all accept narrated tours without an issue. One state will allow the agent to appear on camera provided there is no branding, no agent name, no broker name, etc. Other states don't allow an agent on camera under any circumstances. And unfortunately, most of these MLS "boards" are comprised of a bunch of old, power hungry Realtors - most of whom I don't think have sold a house in 20 years - who like to make up rules as they go along in order to wield their power, so it can be a challenge to say the least.

  15. Great politics, everyone has an opinion on what works or doesn't! I am here in Maryland house sitting for the week and waiting for Frankenstorm Sandy to hit. I am just getting in video... my cinevate slider arrived early in the week and I brought it with me... when the power goes out I will have no distractions other than the dogs, so I am going to play, obviously in low light. I am looking at jibs now. Any thoughts anyone? what to avoid? Recommendations? Many thanks for all the inspiration!

  16. @chris
    I do have multiple channels and dozens of private videos. My point is that the power of video is so much more than showing off a house. I have videos that I send clients that discuss my stats, how I market homes, client testimonials and etc. Its WAY more than just property videos. Just like Fred says....they get to know me without having to get to know me. It breaks the ice for sure. My comments are more about "selling" and I suppose this isn't the proper venue for that.

  17. Wow these houses are amazing and the videos or spectacular. I have been doing my own videos for many houses for the past year or two. My videos aren't as well made as yours but I am learning new tricks every day to become better. These videos gave me a lot of new tricks to try and has motivated me to learn more about my video production software as well as more functions on the camera itself. Thank you so much for sharing!

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