3 Steps to Professional Quality Listing Videos From Your Smartphone

This article was originally published in WA Realtor Magazine:

Creating quality videos for your real estate listings can be difficult, time-consuming, and expensive.  While the technology continues to get better and the prices keep coming down, most of the time it’s not financially feasible to create a high-quality video for every listing you take.

That may all be changing very quickly.  New smart phone video stabilization capabilities are for the first time letting us put together a handful of tools right on our phones, and create property listing videos that look good enough to professionally represent our companies, and our clients, online.

Step 1: Get a professional introduction graphic and closing graphic.  To create a quality video with a strong call-to-action for agent contact, the company’s logo, branding colors, and contact information should come at the beginning and the end of each video.  You can get these created quickly and inexpensively by a local designer or an online vendor at Fiverr, 99designs, elance, etc.

Your introduction graphic should showcase your company’s name and logo.  Your closing graphic should emphasize your phone number and website.  Make sure they look attractive and the details are correct, as you’ll be using these with all of your videos going forward.

Step 2:  Download the Hyperlapse app from Instagram.  Here is the fun part, but this isn’t about being social-media savvy or playing with new time-lapse tricks.  The Hyperlapse app is free (only for iPhone so far), and it has the best video stabilization we’ve ever seen on a smartphone.  You can literally jog down the street, taking video with your phone in your hand, and Hyperlapse will stabilize the video image to an extent that it almost looks like you were walking a video camera on a dolly.  One review called it “a $15,000 video studio in a free app.”

Now, go to your listing, walk at a regular pace through home, and shoot a home tour.  Make sure the lighting is good when you start the video, as the phone’s light sensors will lock in at your video’s start point.  Narrate if you’d like to (it’s not necessary at this point), and feel free to break it up into multiple videos.  Each time you save a Hyperlapse video clip, simply move the speed slider down to 1X, and it will save a regular-speed video on your phone with great stabilization.  Take a number of clips.

Step 3: Download the Videolicious Pro app.  Videolicious has been around for a while.  It’s an oustanding app that allows you to select multiple images, videos, music, and voiceovers, and meld them all into a seamless video right from your phone.
What it had been missing, until now, was a way to create steady videos on the smartphone so that the finished product looked like a business-class video.  With your saved Hyperlapse videos, you now have the necessary content already loaded on your phone.

Get a subscription to the Pro level of Videolicious (about $5/mo) and you can have your own logo replace theirs on every video.  You’ll also get access to background music libraries for your videos.

Now, simply open the app up, select your intro graphic, your Hyperlapse video clips, and your closing graphic.  You can edit each video segment as short or as long as you’d like from within the app.  Save the combined video segments, add music, and produce the video.  Add a voiceover and personal video message if you’d like from the “Tell Your Story” feature.  You can then upload the video directly to YouTube from the app.

Here’s an unofficial feature tip that can make the production process much simpler:  Produce an entire listing video from multiple graphics and clips, and save it, but skip the “Tell Your Story” voice over function at first.   This way you can focus on the timing of the graphic and video clip transitions, without trying to speak over it at the same time. You’ll be saving a full listing video with no audio to your phone.

Then, start the process of creating a video all over again, but this time only select one clip–the full listing video that you just created.  Now, use the “Tell Your Story” function, and you can voice over the entire video at once without distraction.  You can add music at this point as well.  By splitting the process up into two video creations, you will have much smoother narrations for your videos.

(See the video in this Realtor Magazine article)

Sam DeBord is Managing Broker of The Seattle Homes Group with Coldwell Banker Danforth.  He serves on the Board of Directors for WA REALTORS® and Seattle KingCounty REALTORS®, as well as writing for Realtor.com, Inman News, and the Seattle P-I.  You can find Sam and his team at SeattleHome.com.


  • All opinions expressed herein are personal opinions and do not constitute the position or views of any organization. Sam DeBord is CEO of Real Estate Standards Organization (RESO). He has two decades of experience in the real estate industry, spanning real estate brokerages, mortgage lending, and technology consulting. He has served as President’s Liaison for MLS and Data Management with the National Association of REALTORS®, a REACH mentor, and on the board of directors for NAR, Second Century Ventures, and California Regional MLS. Sam began his career as a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers. He is a recognized real estate industry writer for publications including REALTOR® Magazine, Inman News, and the Axiom Business Books Award-Winning Swanepoel Trends Report.