Virtual viewing tips for landlords in the COVID-19 climate

May 22, 2020

Although the government has given the green light on property viewings, research suggests that as many as 72% of potential buyers and renters are still uncomfortable with in-person meetings. And until the public mood on the coronavirus pandemic changes, that could have a big impact on your business. To overcome these challenges, you should consider offering a virtual viewing to interested parties, showing off the benefits of your properties in a video.

Whether you’re a dab hand with your SLR or a video beginner, we’ve put together some tips to help you shoot professional-looking virtual viewings that will entice potential buyers…  


Decide whether to go live

Though some landlords are prerecording their property viewings to send on to all interested parties, and even uploading to their websites, others are hosting one-to-one viewings over a Zoom or FaceTime call. The benefit of live viewings is that you can answer questions, show off particular rooms or features, and close a deal over the phone - but the drawback is that you’ll need to repeat yourself in different calls and visit each vacant property in your portfolio.


Choose a shooting time

Experts recommend showing potential buyers and renters around a property at lunchtime, as this tends to be when the most natural light enters your property, but in photography, this can blow our your photographs and add too much white light. Instead, schedule viewings for early evening, when the light is warm and you can take better-quality videos and images.


Tidy the house

It goes without saying that you should tidy your property before viewings. A camera will pick up those messy boxes of paperwork and an unvacuumed carpet, so give everywhere a once over and make sure it looks as good as it would for physical viewings. If offering 360-degree viewings, cleanliness and tidiness become even more important, as there’s nowhere to hide.

You should also take the time to get rid of any unnecessary furniture and decorations, which can make your property appear darker and cluttered. Things such as TV remotes, bins, and kitchen appliances like kettles and toasters should be hidden from public view to make your home look more organised and spacious. Curtains should be open and lights should be on.


Stay out of the shot

If you can see the camera, the camera can see you. We recommend staying out of the shot - don’t film in front of mirrors or reflective surfaces, and ensure that anyone in the property is outside or locked away in a spare bedroom. Not only does it look unprofessional, but it can cause an unnecessary distraction when potential buyers are deciding whether to proceed.


Show off its features

Whether you’re recording the living room or the outside of the property, stand back so that you can show off as much of the space as possible in one single shot. If you’re too close to the property or features like the front door or downstairs toilet, rooms will look smaller and buyers won’t be able to get a feel for their size. In smaller rooms, perch the camera on top of a cupboard or table, and close doors so they don’t take up any valuable shooting space.


Add commentary 

Decide whether you want to add commentary to the virtual viewing. If you’re prerecording a viewing, you could speak over your footage to explain the features of each room, and for live viewings, leave it to your guests to ask questions, and interject when you want to show off a particular feature like a large walk-in wardrobe or en suite bathroom that could clinch a deal.


Let tenants do it for you

If you’re trying to let a property that’s currently occupied, consider asking your tenants if they would be happy to record some footage of the property. You can edit this down and add your own music and commentary over the top. Give them some tips on “best practices” and offer them a thank you gift for their time and effort, like a food hamper or a one-off rent reduction.


Invest in your future

Whether you’re a serial landlord with 50 properties or a lettings agent with hundreds, now is the time to start thinking about the long-term for your business. You might want to purchase a new camera for your business to improve the quality of your images or even technology like a 360-degree video camera, uploading footage to your website to stand out from your competitors. It may be that we “return to normal” in a year’s time with viewings and property sales, but having the right tech will futureproof your business and offer customers choice.


Have you started virtual viewings yet?

Share your story with us and check back soon for more tips and tricks on adapting your lettings agency or business in these uncertain times.

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