Category Archives: Apps

How to Decide Which Property Tour Technology is Right for You

Every so often, new technology comes along that improves the way we do things, and unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably noticed Instagram recently introduced Hyperlapse, a free smartphone app that is going to be a game changer for real estate professionals who use audiovisual tools to market their listings.

Real Estate Video Tips: Affordable, Do-it-yourself Software, Websites and Apps Make Marketing Fun

Not long ago, resourceful agents would have had to spend considerable time and money to shoot and edit their own videos. Cameras and editing software cost a pretty penny. And there were countless hours spent learning how to use it all.

Not long ago, resourceful agents would have had to spend considerable time and money to shoot and edit their own videos. Cameras and editing software cost a pretty penny. And there were countless hours spent learning how to use it all.

Create your own video

Videolicious: This app lets you create video right from your smartphone or tablet. Upload photos into the app, record video to introduce the photos, and record the voice narration while selecting still photos or walking through the property. Once you select the music, let the automated system do the rest. There are account options for every size of business, from enterprise to small business. Small Business plans run $60/year, and you can expect to pay $120/year for a Business Plus account. Individuals and families can create fun videos for free when they register for a personal account with limited features.

Animoto: They’re not real estate-specific, but they offer many of the same automated tools for creating and distributing videos. Choose from two types of unlimited business accounts: Pro accounts are $249/year, and Pro Premium accounts run $499/year and include hosting on VimeoPro.

Virtual tours

Obeo: This virtual tour program offers a suite of tools like virtual staging, plus a redecorating feature that lets you change the color of home interiors/exteriors, the type of flooring and more. Upload your photos and get started for about $50 per property tour. Professional enhanced photography and tour add-ons are available for an additional fee.

VisualTour: Another option for virtual tours, also includes distribution to YouTube, Facebook, Zillow.com, realtor.com and more. Expect to pay a $199.95 one-time sign-up fee and a $29.95 monthly subscription fee.

Market videos and turnkey content

If you feel like doing it yourself isn’t the right route for you, consider a turnkey automated content solution like MarketVideos.com, an agent-branded platform for market-specific video newsletters. Set up your $29/month account and the system automatically updates your newsletter with the latest MLS data for your selected areas and pulls in four consumer real estate tips videos a month. Built for viewing on mobile devices, the share function makes it easy to post to YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. Add your video newsletter as a regular feature in your blog and use it in email drip campaigns, and you’re on your way to becoming the trusted adviser in your area.

Recently, a new content hybrid, ListingVideos.com, launched marrying property photos/information with content buyers search for, like local video footage of the market, median listing/sale price, active inventory, mortgage payment estimation, school district, walkability score and more. Videos are generated in real time with information from the MLS. Change the listing price? No problem, as the listing video is automatically updated. Exclusively available for brokerages, listing bundles start as low as $750/month, per metro area, plus setup fees for branding and integration.

It’s a fact — with today’s technology and do-it-yourself resources, it’s easier than ever to market with video.

Stephen Schweickart is the founder and CEO of VScreen, the nation’s leading video services company within the real estate industry.

App Review of Storyboard Composer by Cinemek

http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/storyboard-composer/id325697961?mt=8

We’re going to help all you non-artists out there with one of the most important aspects of pre-production… a new app to help you storyboard.

So you’ve got your script ironed out into crisp, succinct message and you’re ready to run out the door and starting pointing your camera at stuff. But hang on…

Have you even thought about what you’re going to shoot?

Probably not. You need a set of storyboards so you know exactly what you’re going to shoot, preventing you from wasting time and money.

But what if you can’t draw?

We have a solution for you iPhone users out there called Storyboard Composer by Cinemek, and we promise you it won’t make you try to draw anything. It works with pictures from your photo library, so your first step is to take some pictures. Think about how you want your shot composed, set up a rough version of the scene in your home, or on your location if you can make that happen, and then snap some photos.

Now the fun part: Diving into the app.

Get those pictures loaded by tapping Menu, New Storyboard, and selecting photo library. Then all you need to do is click on any of the pictures you want to load up for your piece, and when you click cancel to close the screen, you’ll now see all of your photos on the canvas. If they’re not in the right order, just drag them around until they tell the story properly. No sweat.

No actors in your pictures? Doesn’t matter.

Just click on the photo you want to add someone to, click on the little people (shown in the video) and BOOM instant actors. Just fiddle with the settings at the bottom until they match your characters as closely as possible. Once you’re done adding people into your scene, add some motion to your shots.

Storyboard Composer has made it crazy easy to simulate camera moves. Just select your shot, pick what kind of move you want to add from the choices on the left, and adjust it intuitively with your fingers. When you play it back, magic happens. You see what your final shot should look like. You can even set a duration to make sure you get the timing right when you’re inexperienced self tries filming it for real.

When you get everything in place, you can playback all your clips in order and see a rough idea of what your final product will be. Make any final tweaks and then either export a movie file, or export a PDF to keep with you on set to keep you on track and keep you from forgetting any of your shots. Trust me it can happen.

Overall, Cinemek has provided people who can’t draw AT ALL an easy way to organize their storyboards so they can run shoots as professionally and efficiently as possible. We’re giving it the VScreen seal of approval.

Read our other Video Production Tip blogs, watch the videos, and give us feedback about what you would like to learn next!

SL Director’s Viewfinder Android App Review

Today we’re sharing an Android App for Cinematographers. It’s called the SL Director’s Viewfinder.

Long time visual effects supervisor Stephen Lebed has worked in TV and film for decades and has turned his passion for film into the Director’s Viewfinder App. Instead of holding your hands in front of your face to make a viewfinder like shape, you’ll be holding your phone and running an app that allows you to simulate many of today’s top cameras and, more importantly, different focal lengths of lenses. With this app, you get a real life look at what your shot will appear like when you get to the location with your actual camera.

As an additional bonus, the viewfinder app comes with built in grids for you. Specifically, one that gives you a rule of thirds template to help you properly compose your shots. Now, I’m not sure if you know this, but the rule of thirds is very important. We will discuss this more in a later blog.

Viewfinder also allows you capture images directly to your phone’s gallery, making it incredibly simple for you to just print the images out and use them for your storyboards. (There’s another blog about storyboards posted in our Pre-Production category.) All you will have to do is look at your shotlist and grab the lens it tells you to. Not only will it save you time, but it will save you from embarrassment in front of your client.

The SL Director’s Viewfinder clocks in at just under ten bucks so you won’t be breaking the bank, and you’ll wind up with a tool you’ll use on all your shoots from here on out.

Here’s a link to learn more: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.SRLFilmTools

Read our other Video Production Tip blogs, watch the videos, and give us feedback about what you would like to learn next!

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