The Ultimate iPhone Listing Video

Sam DeBord explains how he shot a mobile-friendly, professional-looking video of one of his listings in less than an hour.

October 21, 2014

You can always hire professionals to do video for high-end homes, but the new iPhone makes it financially feasible to shoot a great video for any listing. Let me show you how.

I recently wrote an article for WA REALTOR® Magazine that laid out the steps to create a high-quality real estate video on an iPhone. Now that I have even more experience with the technology, I thought it was time to break down the steps with an example of a video I actually created, with a few more details on how to do it effectively and make the video look professionally shot.

The video embedded here took about 10 minutes to shoot and about 20 minutes to edit and stitch together on my new iPhone 6. These are all one-take video clips, using Instagram’s Hyperlapse app for the video capture and the Videolicious app for the editing. It was a vacant home (which has since sold), so I needed to create a video that focused on the overall property a bit more than the interior.

I’ve shot a few videos on older models of iPhones and Androids, but the iPhone 6 really stands out because of its optical stabilization. This is critical for making the video look like professional marketing. Add the Hyperlapse app’s digital stabilization features, and many of these shots look like high-end equipment rolling along a stable rail or dolly.

Here are some additional tips for how to shoot, edit, and distribute the perfect listing video with your iPhone 6:

Highlight all three dimensions. When you’re planning out horizontal panning shots, find spaces where there are objects in the near and distant fields of vision. You’ll note that they seem to visually move in different planes. This really maximizes the benefits of video, and produces an effect that you can’t get with still photography.

Mix up your clips. Pan up and down. Tour the home and travel through the neighborhood in order to keep the viewer’s interest up. Intermix video clips that are short enough to catch the viewer’s interest and move on to the next scene quickly.

Keep it digestible. It’s an awesome tool, but using the time-lapse function too much can be overwhelming for the viewer. Watching a home tour at warp speed just isn’t comfortable. Try time lapse out at 1x or 2x speed first. Also, it may be tempting to walk through the entire home, but it can become disorienting. The camera doesn’t react well to light changes in different locations. You can always shoot the whole listing, breaking up your clips and picking the best ones later. But unless the listing is tiny, you just don’t need to show every room. You should be able to tell the story in less than two minutes.

Think small. I specifically intended for viewers to watch this video on a small-size screen, so watching it on your phone is the best reference point. More and more users are going mobile, and streaming high-quality video is much easier with a smaller frame size.

Your ultimate goal is to create a video that is short on facts and long on visual beauty. I didn’t list an address in this video or voice it over since it was already sold, but you could add both. The intent of the video, though, is not to tell the viewer everything about the home. It’s to quickly entice them to have an emotional reaction and contact you for more information.

Sam DeBord

Sam DeBord is managing broker and vice president of strategic growth for Coldwell Banker Danforth, past president of Seattle King Country REALTORS®, vice president of government affairs for Washington REALTORS®, and NAR president's liaison for MLS and Data Management. You can find his team at and