How to show your home at its best for video calls and virtual viewings

28th April 2020

While we all as a nation continue to work remotely during lockdown, those of us with client-facing roles are more than likely to experience inviting clients into your own home via video conference calls. It might feel strange, but it’s going to be a way of life for a few weeks more at least. We’ve seen some funny stories about how people are making work calls more interesting, including dress-up Fridays, snazzy backgrounds, suit jackets and pyjama bottoms, and there’s something humbling and bonding about seeing people in their natural environments too. But how can you show off your home at its best for really important calls and look and feel professional if you want to make a good impression?

Work with the windows and natural light in your house

Natural light is always complimentary in photos and videos and this is something we’ve known for years when it comes to making homes look great. It’s the same for video calls too. No matter what quality of webcam you have, natural light will always help improve the quality of the picture. It’ll help bring out the features in your face too. Sitting in front of a window with the screen facing away from the window works very well. Avoid sitting with the window behind you with the screen facing the window, as the glare will distract your guests and cast long shadows on your face.

Dress your background like you would a show home

You might be squashed into the spare room on a fold-up chair with your sell-on-eBay-one-day pile in front of you but no-one needs to know that! For your calls, find a wall that will make a great background – ideally one that’s painted a solid colour without scuffs and chips on it and that’s not too dark. If you have bright walls, you may want to think about the clothes you wear and how they look against that background; you don’t want to clash, or worse still, blend in! Add some height behind you; you might have a nice piece of furniture you could easily move and place an ornament or some flowers on top, or if you have some interesting artwork then show it off. Adhesive picture hanging strips are great for moving wall-mounted items around without making holes.

Raise the camera height

Raising the height of your webcam (or your laptop if it has a built-in camera) creates a better angle for your guest to see you. They will be able to see your torso properly rather than just a head and shoulders and will be able to see a little more into the background, and also won’t end up looking at your ceiling.

Log in a little early

If you want to check you’re all set up nicely for the call, most video conferencing apps let you log in early and preview your camera before you join. Spend a few minutes just double checking you haven’t left your half-finished lunch in view and that the camera angle is ok. 

Getting ready for virtual viewings

Estate Agents in lockdown are carrying out virtual viewings to keep marketing properties that are already listed for sale and to keep the market moving. Like real-life viewings, there are some things that work well and some that don’t for creating a first-impression for your buyers. If it’s safe for your estate agent to visit your home, it’s best to let them carry out the viewing as they will be able to give a solid commentary and will know which camera angles will work best. If you’re going to host the viewing yourself, walk around with your camera phone and take a video first. Watch the video back and see how the rooms look. Have you missed anything scruffy-looking that needs to be removed from view? Did you remember to show off all the built-in appliances or cupboards? Was the natural light ok? The smallest gestures like adjusting the curtains or plumping the cushions can make a difference. You want the potential buyer to see that you take pride in the property and that it can be a comfortable home.

If you’d like to know more about virtual viewings and selling your home during lockdown, our Residential Sales team are all working remotely and are available to offer advice and guidance on some ways to get the ball rolling so please do get in touch.


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