Anna GearyProspective student renters want the quick, dirty and straight facts without having to do much work. A fun and exciting video can be the best way to relay top tips and information. Providing a compelling video for others to watch is a great way to captivate someone's attention and pique their interest in your area of expertise.
The days of flipping page after page through newspapers and circling potential college dorms and apartments with a red pen are long gone. According to insidehighered.com, about 90 to 97 percent of freshmen choose to live on campus, but how do future student residents know what they are getting themselves into? What about those who want to live off campus? What are the people like who live in their new place? Are there any recreation and common areas? How many bathrooms are on each floor?
Even a slideshow of photos or a 360 degree virtual tour aren't enough to showcase a student property to its full potential or really give potential residents a good idea of the look and feel of the space.
Students are excited when they choose their college, but they can't always visit in person, especially if the school is on the other end of the country. If they do end up making a trip, their time is usually limited to one day, which doesn't provide enough time for a full picture of their future residence. Help students save time, gas, and patience by providing a video that showcases and details the layout of a room, its facilities, the other residents and even the surrounding areas.
Present a Lively Property
When shooting video of a property to rent to students, make it easy to watch by acting as a TV host in the video tour yourself or have a student be a host. Having a personable presence in your video to explain the layout of rooms and provide ideas about how rooms can be used can help students feel like they're present in the apartment or home with you.
Using testimonials throughout your student housing video tour may enrich the connection a student feels with the home and its community. Testimonials do half the work for you because current student residents and neighbors provide tips and information about the site. Previous students will light up when describing why they love their dorm because they have had a great time there and look forward to new students enjoying their once lived-in quarters.
Whatever you do, do not present a bad video. If you've tried and no videos present your property in the best of light, then do consider hiring a professional video tour company. After all, a first impression is a lasting impression. Companies such as Show My Property TV (ShowMyProperty.TV) create professional videos complemented by a lively professional TV host that students can relate to and include shots of surrounding areas and an idea of how close the property is to class.
The host should also take future students through an explanatory tour of amenities, allowing them to see where other students are working out, eating in the cafeteria and having fun. A good video will give parents peace of mind by showing their son or daughter will reside in a safe community.
Nothing beats the power of visual marketing. Videos provide a more complete message and can be used time and time again to show off a property's best attributes. Unlike papers that have a tendency to get lost in a buyer's car or home, videos can be permanently online, are easily linkable and can be passed easily from one potential student renter or buyer to another.
One student property tour by Show my Property on YouTube received 1,000 views on the first three weeks proving that students are avidly seeking places to live, and are doing it online.
Once your video is made, be sure to use it wisely and send the video to your network. Add it to your Facebook, YouTube channel, Vimeo and of course, upload it to the website promoting your student property. Once the video is done, sliced, edited, and finalized don't bury it! Give it plenty of exposure and display it proudly on your property homepage and through your social media sites. Let your friends and residents know of your new video addition and have them "Like" the video on Facebook so it gets the best traction on your resident's wall and their friend's wall.
Also, use QR codes, which contain a video link and can be placed into print ads or banners outside of the building. Students love these QR codes and can scan them with any smart phone, which will instantly launch a video of the property for them to see. You can put this QR code on any marketing collateral. This is a quick way for a person short on time to see the interior and experience the whole property without ever stepping in.
Buyers watching video tours want the most information possible about their future home, but they don't want to see every nook and cranny of a property in your video. Keep your video sweet and under 10 minutes. Remember, you aren't shooting a half-hour comprehensive video of why walk-in closets are better than conventional closets. Go in-depth, but only when you need to. This helps the student think about the property by leaving something to their imagination and teasing them with what you do show.
Paint a big picture by showing some video about the surrounding community. After all, location is key. Students want to know if there are good parks or attractions in the area, and seeing other surrounding attractive features is key information. Step a little outside of the immediate community if there is a vibrant downtown or airport, and market any outside factor you feel will help sell the property.
Remember you are appealing to students and they want to know if they can wear pajamas to breakfast and how long the bathroom line is. Speak to your audience but always be aware that parents are watching too!
If you want to see a great video, check out what Scott Campus in Nebraska is doing on its website.
Filming can be a time-consuming but fun project. The end result will not only help accomplish your sales goals but seeing the final film can be a thrilling and encouraging act. Own your film and help direct your current portfolio to 100 percent occupancy. Video sells leases. To see a fun video tour of a student property, visit ShowMyProperty.TV/student-housing to see what they have created for Florida State University.
— Anna Geary is the founder of Show My Property TV.