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This is the year real estate agents adapted quickly to virtual tours and home showings using the video camera on their phone. It turned out to be a lifesaver for buyers who were ready to purchase a home and wanted to lock in the low interest rates, as well as for the industry as a whole, so that we could keep business from coming to a complete standstill. My brokerage has found several ways to increase the success factor since we started doing these types of home tours, so I wanted to share them with you.

One way to tailor the video to what your buyers are looking for is to approach it as an abbreviated “day in the life” of what it is like living in the home. This does not mean you should take it so far as acting out the scene of getting out of bed in the morning and getting dressed, but rather, narrate from behind your smartphone as you talk buyers through what it would be like to go about their regular routine once they have moved in.

Start in the main bedroom, and in addition to highlighting the usual features—such as closet space or how it is a quiet spot away from the street—be sure to “walk and talk” your way through the “how” of living in the physical space. If your buyers have a young family, show them how short of a walk it is from one area of the home to the bathroom or the kids’ bedrooms, for example. If there is a main selling point, such as a fireplace, angle your phone so it shows the amount of seating around the hearth, and make a few subtle comments about how it can accommodate both a dinner party for the adults and a sleepover for the kids and their friends.

When you reach the kitchen, make a point of positioning yourself in such a way that it highlights what your buyers want to hear first. This can be anything, from the work triangle that makes it easy to prepare a meal without retracing your steps, the shelves that are great for displaying their china collection or even the high-end appliances and granite countertops. Since they won’t see the whole room all at once, plan to walk into the kitchen with the camera already focused on what they want the most. If you have more than one buyer interested in the same property, you can record one video ahead of time, but be sure to give it a different voiceover depending on what features they are looking for.

Video tours are going to become a mainstay of our profession, and while they no longer need to be professionally shot and edited to meet the standards of many homebuyers, they do need to give your clients a “boots-on-the-ground” feel for what it will be like to live in the home. Approach the tour as though you are leading buyers through a regular day, and you may just get them to fall in love with the place.

Allen Alishahi is president of ShelterZoom. For more information, please visit