First Interior/Exterior Combo Real Estate Video

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Well here is my first complete project for an interior & exterior video shoot. Fortunately I'm in real estate so the ability to have test homes for these videos is endless but if I'm getting paid I would not be satisfied with this. I'm never happy with my DSLR video captured and that's probably due to lack of the t3i capabilities. I've seen great video with the t3i but always a bit more cinematic. For real estate I'm starting to feel that's my handcuff. Going from low light to too light is constant setting adjustments. When you make these changes it just throws everything off and not only adds extra work in post but the quality of final product seems lacking. Also, I only have a shoulder rig, tripod & monopod. I didn't try and walking shoulder rig shots and stuck to all panning tripod, which got very repetitive to me.

The aerials were with my Standard 4k with PolarPro filter. Even the one shot of the fly under the portico and then up over the garage skidding the shingles was my favorite shot and it happened to be cloudy out so it didn't match up with the beginning exterior shots.


Lessons Learned: Take multiple shots even when you think you have the one. You can always erase what you don't want.

Always open to constructive criticism... so lay it on me! Or tell me what you've learned in similar situations especially if you have the t3i.
 
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I typically keep my opinions to myself, but since it sounds like you truly want to learn how to get better I'll make the following recommendations:

Aerial Footage
-For safety I would never fly through like that then fly over the roof. I know it looks really cool, and I have had many strange requests from realtors who did not know how dangerous these drones are, but too much can go wrong with a flight like that. You could have achieved a similar effect by taking off from the central courtyard and slowly rising over the roofline to reveal the neighborhood and it would have been a lot safer and looked more professional.
-The transitions are bad. I always recommend no transitions between clips except at the start and end of the video. They were so distracting by the time they were over the clip was almost on to the next transition.
-The half orbit was way off, until you have practiced smooth orbits I recommend left/right trucks, tilts, and dolly in/out.
-The sped up clip showed your minor adjustments in flight. I recommend flying using straighter lines and razor cutting sections out of the clip to jump forward in location, it looks a lot smoother and more professional.
-That whole portion of the flight could have probably been replaced with a single truck right along the canal and a slow tilt up to reveal the larger waterway

DSLR Footage
-Transitions again, they are just a complete eyesore to be honest with you. Ditch them and your video quality will immediately improve
-Tripod movements - very jerky, either you need a better tripod video head, or you need to practice smooth movements with the head you have. I use rubber bands tied to my tripod handle to help smooth my panning and tilting movements
-Speed - Everything is waayyy too fast. You are not giving the viewer any time to see anything in the clip before the next transition kicks in. The problem is you are trying to pan the whole room or tilt all the way from the floor or the ceiling all within a 5s clip. All you need is just enough camera movement for the viewer to know it is video and not a slideshow. Also, you may need a wider lens if you feel like you are always rushing to get the entire composition in the clip
-Closets - You wasted precious seconds showing the tiny closets, I never show closets unless they are huge or unique, this will leave you more seconds to show more interesting features of the property
-Angles - for some of the rooms and the pool you showed the same scene from the same angle just using a different camera movement. This is more valuable seconds wasted. If you want to show the same thing twice, move the camera so that the viewer sees the same thing but from different angles
-Pans / Tilts - You are tilting all the way from the sky to the ground; this makes your camera have to move too fast while wasting footage on things the viewer doesn't care about. Slow down your movements and trim the edges of your clips where they start at the sky or the ground. I always start at the sky or ground as well for tilts but that's just to give me room to trim in post. Pans have the same problem, you are trying to pan an entire room way too fast.
-Closing - The closing was very underwhelming. I like to close with something dramatic such as backing out of the front door, or showing some of the water and dock again etc. I never close a video with interior footage
-Details - between the speed of the camera movement and the transitions I did not see a single detail. Even with just a tripod; a video will look much higher quality if you show details such as bringing into focus the logo on the refrigerator, a close up of the stove, etc.

Equipment
I actually think your T3i did quite well. It would probably take a couple more thousand dollars worth of equipment to marginally increase the quality of the footage. To keep the dark/light transitions from being so apparent you need to set your camera to manual, or just trim those sections out of your footage.

As I mentioned at the start of this post, I am just making recommendations that will help your footage look a lot better. I have done everything from full video tours for multi-million dollar houses to simple aerial photography for $150K properties.
 
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I thought the video was pretty good cause boy have I seen worse, what herein2014 mentioned I agree with but keep in mind that other agents & buyers will not see the short comings, just the amenities the home has to offer & I thought you showed that nicely. Depending on how much time is vested in the post work will determine what you charge and lets not forget most agents are cheap and want to pay as little as possible. You want to provide quality but have to consider how much time it takes you to make what you charge...is it worth it on a hourly basis? I myself have those same difficulties with indoor video, its the nature of the beast. I do videos once in awhile not very often, more photography cause that's my specialty. I have high end agents tell me all the time, videos are nice but it's quality images that sell the house, clients don't want to sit and watch a 5 min video, they want to flip through photos and move on, it's the world we live in. All markets are different and not all wear the same hat, other markets probably demand it or use Matterport cause its cheap, realtors love cheap. I focus on high end agents with expensive homes, that's where the money is, they'll pay for quality images and skip the videos at least in the market I work in. If I do a video I'll do exterior videos then mix with interior quality images & that seems to work for me. It looks good and you are able to see exterior views through french doors or sliders, that's what the realtor really wants in the end....the views, not a blown out video shot of the exterior.

As for the aerial footage high above the neighborhood I wouldn't have done that myself. It looks good but given the rules and regulations the FAA has in place it was totally illegal, and now that its on youtube it's documented with your name on it, there has been talk of going after people who violate the rules. They don't have enough manpower to do it just yet but they could hire contractors to go after individuals. If there is money to be made all-the-while promoting safety you can bet they will go after it. Making money, safer skies, and contractors get paid once the fines are paid, what's not to like about that, it's a win-win situation. You flew over populated area without a waiver (no waivers as to date have been approved by the FAA) and safety was at risk to people on the ground and property damage if the drone had a malfunction and fell out of the sky, if something did happen and there was personal injury or damage to property everyone would be lawyering up big time & you would be liable unless you have insurance, and they would also go after the realtor because they didn't check you out beforehand. If you are insured good for you, if not be aware of the consequences of your actions. I try to keep it simple and close to the house when taking photos and risks to a minimum. It's quality images of the home that sell the property not the aerial shots of neighborhoods 300ft high. Remember these are flying toys and at some point what goes up must come down. I take excellent care of my P3P, had it just a year now and when flying sometimes I've had crows try to hit it, turkey vultures, hawks, and seagulls, my P3P won the fights.....this time. A few months ago my motherboard burned up on my P3P, luckily I was just 5 feet off the ground doing some flight checks to make sure everything was in proper working order when my screen went black, I was lucky it didn't happen 150ft up in the air, it could have been a complete meltdown within. It was under warranty & repaired at no cost, I think about that every time I fly now.

Final Thoughts in short order:
Quality Images
Quality Video when applicable
Quality Product for the price
Quick Turn around time
Make Money (Don't spend to much time if you do profit goes out the window and that's why you're there right?)
Follow the Rules
Minimum Risk
And above all: Fly Safe
 
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...other markets probably demand it or use Matterport cause its cheap, realtors love cheap...

Great advice you have shared, and totally agree...EXCEPT, Matterport is cheap? OMG - When did this happen!? I consider the outlay for such an approach very expensive - just my humble opinion, admittedly in the small geographic/economic area I serve. That is, the ouput of the Matterport approach is pretty cool, and I'll agree the company would not survive in business if their prices were out of reach for everyone, but the camera by itself (not including the very significant monthly - and other - fees) is as expensive as a Blackmagic 4K Production Camera and lens. NICE, but Ouch!

Obviously, it's just a matter of where you live and who you are marketing to, and your volume, etc. (my super dooper wowie package is about 25% of the typical standard package in Miami or LA). It's all a matter of perspective; unfortunately, Matterport doesn't offer a special equipment price for folks in the "boonies." Ha!
 
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Great advice you have shared, and totally agree...EXCEPT, Matterport is cheap? OMG - When did this happen!? I consider the outlay for such an approach very expensive - just my humble opinion, admittedly in the small geographic/economic area I serve. That is, the ouput of the Matterport approach is pretty cool, and I'll agree the company would not survive in business if their prices were out of reach for everyone, but the camera by itself (not including the very significant monthly - and other - fees) is as expensive as a Blackmagic 4K Production Camera and lens. NICE, but Ouch! I guess it's just a matter of where you live and who you are marketing to, and your volume, etc.


Matterport was introduced here at the first of the year. The local MLS got together with a local mortgage lender and went halves on it for the realtors to up their game, any realtor can sign it out and pay just $50.00 to cover costs and your done. If an agent doesn't want to do it themselves there is a high school kid who's mother is a realtor and he'll do it for $150.00, basically makes $100.00 for himself per shoot, not a bad after school gig. I was washing dishes at that age and mowing wet grass, times have changed. It started off slow but picking up some speed, agents here are all about the exterior views and Matterport can't capture that and to be quite honest image quality sucks in my opinion. I live in the Florida Keys, most of the homes have water or ocean views, seeing your boat at the dock from your living room overlooking your pool or a ocean view is a must in photos, that's the first thing an agent asks me, "You're going to be able to get those views right"?, and I always respond, No Problem. Matterport can't capture that, sometimes it gets lucky enough to make it out but for the most part the views are blown out. It really hasn't affected my work at all to be honest, the homes I shoot are 500K to 9 Million and those agents want good images not Matterport photos, in fact they don't want to mess with it because they also send out post cards/mailers and the image quality doesn't cut it. The newer agents are using it because they don't have much of a budget to work with and it's all they can afford. The veteran agents I work with have been around awhile and know what's best for them, they are top producers, have their own website, don't want to waste their valuable time taking photos & want the best quality and can afford it. In fact they don't even do videos, I really thought I'd do well with that, even had a few agents tell me that it's all eyewash, they do it only if a client requests it. Go figure....every market is different, have a friend in Seattle and the agents out there eat it up drone and house videos with a spoon.
 
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Matterport was introduced here at the first of the year. The local MLS got together with a local mortgage lender and went halves on it for the realtors to up their game, any realtor can sign it out and pay just $50.00 to cover costs and your done.....

Thanks for explaining that. I am certainly with you on simply providing outstanding images, and image/clip combos for tours.

While I don't serve just the high end listings, agents here generally recognize that a quality (or not) IMAGE is usually the very first thing an online potential buyer sees; that quick glimpse of a still image is what results in getting noticed and "drilling down" for details and maybe calling for a showing...or not.

Do you have a website (duh, I am sure you do)? I'd love to see the high end places.
 
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Thanks for explaining that. I am certainly with you on simply providing outstanding images, and image/clip combos for tours.

While I don't serve just the high end listings, agents here generally recognize that a quality (or not) IMAGE is usually the very first thing an online potential buyer sees; that quick glimpse of a still image is what results in getting noticed and "drilling down" for details and maybe calling for a showing...or not.

Do you have a website (duh, I am sure you do)? I'd love to see the high end places.


Actually I do not have a website, I've been considering a website but since I'm busy already why bother. I started doing this for my wife a few years ago who is a realtor then other agents asked if I'd shoot theirs and so it started, never advertised except for contacting a few high end agents via email with some photos and pricing. It's been all word of mouth, when agents from another firm see the images on the MLS they call the listing agent and asked who took their photos and they call. I've been blessed for sure, I'm not anywhere near being a pro, just getting lucky I guess. I haven't had to beat the pavement knocking on doors, have more work then I can handle. I shot a house for 2 agents in the Upper Keys a few months ago (see attached link) it was picked up by a Miami website called Curbed Miami, they highlight high end listings for South Florida. Under the first photo where it says via Coldwell Banker there use to be a link to the agents page but there is no more info because the house is off the market, it did have the 103 images but now its blank, the only images are the sample ones Curbed Miami put up. I did a web search and found the home on another site used by another agent with all the images it's also below.

Curbed Miami Site:
Florida Keys dream mansion with sensational grotto asks $9M

Another Real Estate Site with all the photos:
158 Key Heights Dr, Tavernier, FL 33070 MLS# 574182 - Movoto.com
 
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Holy Moly! - You are GOOD! Really outstanding - For a "non-Pro," you certainly are the Boss -- World Class!

I AM a Pro, but am not THAT good, my friend, though I try to be.


Thanks for the kind comments very much appreciated. I have 2 oceanfront homes with beaches that are vacation rentals to shoot this week, if the rain stops, tropical depression over the top of us right now raining like heck. The homes rent for 10K a week....can you believe that. They are 5 to 6 bedroom homes on the beach with pools, dockage, comes with a boat, and a fully stocked tiki bar, they are awesome places. As for my pricing I have 4 tiers of pricing that depend on the square footage of the home, the bigger the home the higher the price. Starts out $315 homes 0 - 2500 sq ft, $515 2500-3500 sq ft, $580 3500-4500 sq ft, and anything over 4500 sq ft we discuss pricing that fits their budget and needs. That house took me 3.5 hrs to shoot and about 16 hrs in post.
 
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As for my pricing I have 4 tiers of pricing that depend on the square footage of the home, the bigger the home the higher the price. Starts out $315 homes 0 - 2500 sq ft, $515 2500-3500 sq ft, $580 3500-4500 sq ft, and anything over 4500 sq ft we discuss pricing that fits their budget and needs. That house took me 3.5 hrs to shoot and about 16 hrs in post.
Do those prices include aerial AND internals, enhanced editing and a sort of slideshow or video?
 
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Those prices include exterior & interior shots of the property along with aerials, I do not do virtual tours, slideshows or videos & I edit all images using Lr & Ps. I don't get calls much for videos only done a couple in the last 2 years. The $315 prices includes 25-35 images, $515 includes 35-45, & $580 includes 45-60 images. Larger home over 4500 sq ft get anywhere from 70-120 images depending on the amenities & size of the property.

My daughter lives in St. Pete Fl. and does real estate photography, I got her started in it a couple years ago and she doesn't get anywhere near the prices I get. The average medium cost of a home or condo in her area runs around 145K to 225K and cost of living is very reasonable, where I live its around 400K to 550K. 145K barely buys vacant lot here. Keep in mind that I live in a unique area and the cost of living here is very, very expensive. She charges on average around $125 for 25-30 images, I couldn't do that and make any money and pay my bills. This would hold true all over the country, its all relative depending on where you live and the cost of living.
 
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Perfectionists constantly criticize themselves because they feel that it does not live up to expectations. But a simple man will be impressed by any shot he sees in the video. Know that it's a good start. I really like it! I have also started a small project to film the houses for sale for the Cambridge Mortgage Advisor company. We took the mortgage from them, and we continued to collaborate. They are very professional in what they do; that's why I want to meet expectations.
 
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