Vacation Rental Videos: What Works and What Doesn’t!

Many of us have attempted to make a vacation rental video but few of us have been happy with the result. Let’s face it: filming a house or an apartment makes for a rather boring movie. Or does it? We’ve analysed 4 Vacation Rental Videos found on youtube and came up with a definite list of Do’s and Don’ts for your next attempt 🙂

1. Professional vacation rental video

What works in this video:
– using shots of the floorplan in between shots of the interiors
– the camera is always panning, either moving left or right or up (and steadily!)
– mixing shots of interior and exterior so it doesn’t get dull

What doesn’t:
– the music is too repetitive

2. Vacation Rental Video mixing stills and film

What works in this video:
– good combination of film and stills
– there’s panning on the stills to give movement too

What doesn’t:
– it’s too long, the shots could be shorter
– many different views of the same room (boring! use the best shot then move on)
– the elevator music really doesn’t add anything, why not use the sound of the sea rather?

3. Vacation Rental Video using text

Click to see it on youtube

What works in this video:
– watermark with the URL
– titles
– interesting choice of music

What doesn’t
– it’s too long
– it doesn’t mix still and film shots (just stills)
– it doesn’t allow me to embed it in this post…

Vacation Rental Video with social proof

What works in this video:
– a bit of history and general intro of the area
– social proof! A review is shown on top of the film

What doesn’t:
– way way way too slow
– the music…

Recap DOs and DONTs:

DO combine film and stills
DO mix between interior and exterior shots
DO put descriptive text (or use youtube subtitles tool)
DO add watermark with URL to your site
DO add a review (social proof)
DO add area information (landmarks, history, shopping..)
DO use Youtube’s Call-to-Action feature: “Find out more!” or “Book Now!”

DON’T make each shot long (aim for 5 sec max)
DON’T use elevator music
DON’T use music at all unless you use sounds or local music
DON’T use more than 2 shots of the same room
DON’T make the video more than 1.30 mins
DON’T stop people from embedding your videos, it will get you less views!

PS: this is a cool idea for villas in remote places: get a drone and film an aerial view e.g.

Are you proud of your own vacation rental video? Please post in the comments!

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  • Matt Landau

    You’ve forgotten videos featuring the one thing that makes vacation rentals unique: the almighty host! Here’s a great example:

  • I saw a few where the owners really put me off so decided not the include as a tip. This one is nice though! If you are a good communicator it can work yes!

  • Kim B.

    Thanks for mentioning our video. Actually in creating our video, I’ve taken a ticket from your own mantra often communicated on your Vacation Rental Marketing Blog of “Help, Don’t Sell.” We’re inundated with selling 24/7. With our video, which was a true labor of love, we prefer to let our area speak for itself. Thanks for the shout out @loscuatrotulipanes:disqus

  • Kim B.

    How nice! We worked hard to convey the true feeling of the Manzanita Oregon area, letting the area be the star of our videos. Our Manzanita rentals are included as accommodations for those wanting to enjoy the area, rather than simply a hard sell. Glad you liked it @vanessasouzalage:disqus

  • Matt Landau

    Ach, forget about the ones who put you off. We gotta find, share, and replicate THE BEST 🙂

  • My Real Estate Video

    That is a great video!

  • My Real Estate Video

    Great post Vanessa! Matt mentioned videos featuring the host. Here is another type that I call the “Testimonial Tour”.

  • We are now using 3D Immersive Tours as way to more fully engage potential guests. This technique allows the viewer to control the tour instead of being restricted to that which the property owner allows them to see. It provides floor plans and a unique “dollhouse” view to best understand how the home will work for the guest.

  • My Real Estate Video

    That’s awesome @cooperstownluxury:disqus! From your website, it looks like you have done 3D Immersive Tours for 9 of your rentals. What can a home owner expect to pay for a typical 3D tour? Did you shoot those yourself, or did you contract another company to shoot them?

  • When I found out how expensive it was to hire someone to shoot 3D Tours, I tried to rent the camera to do it myself. And when I couldn’t locate a rental company I decided to buy my own. The process is SO simple I have started a rental company ( to enable anyone to economically shoot their own 3D Tours. An average home can be scanned in less than 2 hours and the technical 3D “magic” is handled by the company.

  • What about capturing the exterior of rental properties with Matterport? Beach properties especially..Is that possible?

  • Hello Blue, matterport uses a variety of data sensors including UV. To avoid confusing the camera, outside scanning must be performed out of direct view of the sun (clouds don’t block UV), such as in the shade. What most people choose to do is to scan the outside right at dusk or before sunrise.

  • Unfortunately, that doesn’t capture optimal conditions for many beach homes that we have in our area….For this exact reason, we’ve adopted a technology that uses a DSLR camera to shoot our 3D tours. Our CartoVision product combines, high-res photos, an interactive floor plan and a 3D tour with Google Cardboard Virtual Reality capability for a one-time fee, no hosting. Check out our examples here:

  • Yeah, no one system can do it all yet. Matterport’s technology is killer on interiors and provides floor plans and the really cool “doll house view” but to some degree is limited outside. The dslr adaptation is great outside, but the distortion on interior scans is pretty significant. All depends on what the clients preferences and goals are.
    Like the new insidemaps for iphone…cheap,cheap…but not even close to the same quality. Some day:)

  • Really awesome video @disqus_6w8FRBcjAy:disqus ! Kudos for your work. It makes me really want to come to Manzanita, if I ever make it to Oregon with my wife. I could watch it all through the end, since it was engaging, you’ve got a beautiful voice and the music was just perfect. It shines through as a labor of love, indeed.