DIY Your Video or Hire a Pro? How to Decide

By December 2, 2015 Blog No Comments
HouseLens DIY video app

Here at HouseLens, we believe that professional video will always be the best way to market a listing. At the same time, we understand that there are certain circumstances where DIY video makes sense.

So, as an agent, how do you decide whether to DIY or hire a pro? Here are some situations where DIY video can be a good choice:

You have very limited funds.

DIY video has a hidden opportunity cost – the average agent can do quite a few listing presentations or showings in the time it would take to shoot and edit a video. But if you’re just starting out, or you’ve had a really rough year, you simply might not have enough cash on hand to pay a pro. In that case, it’s better to DIY than to skip photos or video altogether.

Your listing is a dump.

Spend $200 to market an $80,000 listing that “needs TLC”? That’s a hard pill to swallow. Especially if the property is a tear-down and money is tight, it might not make sense to invest in professional video. Use the money you save to pay for attention-grabbing professional video the next time around.

You’re in an extreme hurry.

A good pro can turn a listing video around pretty quickly. Here at HouseLens, for instance, we get videos back to customers within 48 hours after the shoot. But if you find yourself needing same-day or next-day turnaround, DIY video may be your best bet, at least as a stop-gap. Otherwise, you may have to pay through the nose for what you need.

You’re very tech-savvy.

Whatever the tech equivalent of a green thumb is, you might have it. Maybe real estate is your second career, and professional videography was your first. Or maybe you’re a gifted hobbyist with a great stash of professional-grade equipment. If you can truly produce a video as well and as quickly as the pros, you’ll have minimal tradeoff between absolute and opportunity cost. Go for it!

One word of caution: if you’re going to DIY, make sure you have the right tools for the job.

Professional-grade equipment and editing software will yield the best results, but both are very expensive and complicated to use. Generally speaking, you should not expect to produce pro-quality DIY video unless you have a pro’s equipment and skills.

You can, however, produce good-quality DIY video with the right consumer-grade tools. A phone with a good camera, coupled with a clip-on wide-angle lens and an easy-to-use app, will fit the bill.

We’re partial, of course, to HouseLens DIY, the video app designed specifically for real estate. It has features – like real estate-specific tagging, auto-editing, and MLS-compatible output – that make DIY listing videos easy and quick.

If you’re just doing pan-and-scan shots, handholding your phone will work fine. If you want to produce a full-blown walk-through, however, consider a stabilizer rig. The HouseLens version has an electronic 3-axis gyroscope to keep it super-steady.

Whatever you choose, don’t forget: video really does make a difference. It’s worth the investment. Every time.

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