• Remember your smartphone has the ability to shoot incredible video, and it's with you all the time.
  • Audio is key, so don’t forget the microphone.
  • All the lighting you will ever need is provided by nature.

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I think we can all agree on the importance of video marketing in real estate. So, why don’t more agents use video in their marketing?

I’ve worked with dozens of agents one-on-one and there seems to be a common mindset. Video is overwhelming. There’s all this equipment to buy, it takes too much time, and I can’t afford to hire a professional.

All of these are valid arguments, so let’s simplify.

Over the past decade, real estate video production has gotten more compact, economical and fun.

This article will focus on the only four pieces of equipment you will ever need and how to start shooting great video for under $100. In future articles, we’ll discuss how to use these tools to grow your real estate business easily.

1. Camera

Obviously, you can’t shoot video without a camera. Fortunately, you don’t need a $60,000 studio camera with a thousand buttons, 15 different lenses and the ability to shoot in 3-D.

The best option is probably tucked into your suit pants or in your purse — your smartphone. It’s not just for texting or taking selfies anymore.

Your iPhone or Android can be used to shoot incredible video for marketing and branding. Now, if you are still carrying around a flip phone, you will probably have to flip it into the garbage and invest in a phone that was created in the past few years — you’re probably eligible for a free upgrade, anyway.

One of the cool things about your phone is it has automatic options, so you don’t have to worry about continuously setting the focus, adjusting the exposure or making sure the white balance is correct. It is all done for you!

2. Tripod

One of the keys to good video in real estate is a steady shot. The tripod will help you achieve a solid shot, allow you to get smooth movements and keep your arms from getting tired.

Cameras today are lightweight, so you don’t have to worry about spending $600 on a heavy duty Libec tripod. Any tripod from Wal-Mart or Target will do, and they will run between $20 and $40.

When using your smartphone, you will also need a simple adaptor that allows you to clip your phone onto the tripod. I recently purchased one for $6 on Amazon.

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ktsdesign / Shutterstock.com

3. Microphone

Audio is one of the most important aspects of video. Your audience might tolerate some bad video, but if the audio is terrible, they will turn it off.

Cameras have come a long way, but the onboard microphones are still less than desirable. They will pick up background noise, cause distortion and just sound bad.

Luckily, there is a simple fix. A $20 microphone from Amazon will make a world of difference. Simply plug the mic into the headphone jack on your phone, and you’re ready to be heard.

4. Lighting

There are so many options to put you in the best light. Professional equipment can be purchased at a relatively low cost. However, you might want to take a more creative approach to avoid the hassle of having to set up lights.

When I was in college, I had to take an evening shot inside of a car. Naturally, we couldn’t fit an entire light kit inside, and there wasn’t an extension cord long enough as we drove down the road.

So, we strung white Christmas lights around the roof of the car and plugged them into the cigarette lighter. It worked great.

Shooting next to a window or outside on a sunny day will give you plenty of illumination. Remember, your camera has automatic settings so it will adjust based on the light you are shooting in — as long as your not shooting in a dark cave, you will look great.

A quick note on lighting: avoid direct overhead lighting. It will cast unflattering shadows on your face and make you look gaunt with sunken eyes.

I like to shoot videos outside during the twilight hours of dawn and dusk. It creates a warm glow and isn’t as harsh as the noonday sun.

Video has been gaining momentum over the past decade and shows no indication of slowing down. Thanks to modern technology, you no longer need Hollywood studio equipment to produce excellent video.

The ability to grow your real estate business using video is easier and quicker than ever before.

Everyone has the capability and quite possibly the necessary equipment to produce fantastic quality content and home expose videos.

Simply grab your smartphone, the tripod that is gathering dust in your closet and a simple microphone — and get filming.

Joshua Abel is a real estate video marketing coach with Joshua D. Abel, LLC. Follow him on Facebook and YouTube.

Email Joshua Abel.