A Day In My Life (Video)

Update: This post dates back to 2009. If you’d like to see how far we have come with video since, check out The Vacation Rental Show presented by Booking.com. We still encourage all advanced vacation rental professionals (Stage 3 and 4 of Listing Site Independence) to begin practicing with some form of video storytelling. 

It should be no secret that video is playing an increasingly important role in marketing these days. And knowing that trust and personality are two hugely defining factors in the vacation rental industry, I wanted to share how my “day in the life” video was created and how you can achieve a similar effect on a limited budget.

The videographer I refer to above is named Trent Bayliss (website) and I think Trent did a great job of conveying my personality and values. Since this was a new style of video for him, I’ve decided to summarize our learnings for those who want to replicate a ‘lifestyle’ video for their own rentals.

Here’s What We Learned

If you plan to make one of the videos for yourself, feel free to use the following tips as a blueprint. And if you are an Inner Circle member, we are sharing constructive feedback on each others’ video plans here:

Identify core themes: start by jotting down what makes you and your rental unique. There’s no need to be overly romantic…just honest. When you are making decisions about what to film or include in editing, use these themes as your compass.

Limit your filming time: focus on a small handful of scenes and stick to them. It would have been very easy for us to spend weeks filming scenes but we chose to limit it to one day. No major motion picture here.

Keep it short: We had to remind ourselves that most viewers online have the attention span of a goldfish. And even at 4 minutes, we felt like the total length of the video could still have been shorter. You’ll need to eliminate lots of good footage. But you always want to leave viewers wanting a bit more (rather than boring them to departure).

Get over the embarrassment: I have to admit, one of my biggest hurdles (in even sharing this with you today) was admitting that I just commissioned a video “all about me.” This seemed sooooo egotistical (and it is). But in the end, I have just kinda gotten over it and received enough feedback to reinforce the initial instinct…that it just helps clients understand you better.

Host it on Youtube: There are plenty of video hosting platforms. And I was tempted to host it on Wistia privately (for analytics and call to action features). But in the end, we just went the Youtube route for ease of access, choosing a title that was aligned with my product (this blog). This will allow it to show up in the video Google search rankings and give me that ‘surround sound’ effect of “being everywhere” when someone is researching my business.

Grab some stills and teasers: Since Trent had tons of footage that he didn’t use, we turned a select handful of the clips into “teaser” videos (15 second clips) to post on Instagram and Twitter with some cool music overlaid. Since this footage was not featured in the final video, it seemed like a shame to let it go to waste. He also snapped some portrait still photos (like the ones below) along the way for my marketing portfolio. Any owner can use this on their About Us page or listing site bio for a more polished and professional look.

Matt 1


Matt 3

No action? No problem: I think the only reservation people may have (against making this style video) is that “I’m not that interesting” or “my day is boring.” And to that I would argue that simple scenes in your rental, meeting friends/family, and at your computer or doing something owner-ish is all you need. Don’t even feel the need to get all dolled up. Casual is best.

If you are looking for more ideas or are considering investing in this kind of video to promote your vacation rental business, read through this vacation rental video post to get more ideas.

  1. So cool Matt! It’s interesting to watch you in the older video versus this new “day in the life” video – your energy levels are through the roof these days versus that older video. Is that the IC turbo boost effect?!

  2. Great video and drone use. I imagine you’re using tons of this footage for your VR website.

    1. Yep, amazing the quality of drones! Definitely having fun playing with the technology

      that’s available to us everyday folks nowadays!

  3. Woohaaa! My head’s spinning with inspiration, Matt. Beautiful video, it opens up a whole lot of ideas an owner could use to guide travelers onto the journey of experiencing life as locals

  4. I had a great time working with you, Matt! This was a wonderful learning experience. You are a wealth of knowledge. I think the video came out great, and I look forward to working with you more in the future!

    If anyone is interested in contacting me or seeing more of my work, visit my website http://www.trentbayliss.com/.

  5. Matt, I loved the video. I was skeptical that the 4 minutes would keep my interest, but the end came way too soon and leaving me with wanting to see more of your day. Great job, Trent!

    1. Thanks, Tyann. Time definitely matters. If I did it again, I’d aim for sub-3 minutes.

  6. My challenge is living a continent away from our VR- our life in Chile is rather interesting…but I would want to promote our home Abalone Bay (http://www.searanchabalonebay.com) in Sea Ranch in California not our life in Chile so much. Though… as I type now.. ¿Perhaps a video of us staying at our home- we will be enjoying Christmas/New Years there- as a guest would work?

    1. Either do that (film at the home over Xmas) or film it of your life in Chile (what you do day-to-day, how you handle your bookings, on the phone with a guest…etc.) interspursed with snapshots of the home in Abalone Bay. I actually really like the second option as it feels exotic…like, “Wait, this amazing woman is hosting me so intimately all the way from Chile?!? How cool!”

  7. I have to say that even thou I am not in the vacation rental business, following Matt has been great because I apply some of his tips into my photography business and also is so much fun that everything he writes and videos he makes is very familiar to me, and that is because I am also a Casco Viejo resident and a friend of Matt. Matt is one of those friends that you want to have around all the time, he is an inspiration, his enthusiasm is contagious, it makes everyone want to be part of a solution like the Esperanza Venture Club program, what is more inspiring to me is that Matt is not even Panamanian and instead of complaining like most local people do without doing something, he is actually doing something about it and I am on board to help Matt in everything he needs. Thanks Matt for being a great friend and a great inspiration!

  8. This is great.
    I have watched the other video referenced too and hope to do something similar to these.

    One thing the videos can communicate that doesn’t come through in “regular” vacation rental marketing is your connection to the area. Guests can get a feeling, rather than words, that you truly understand this area they will be visiting. Establishes a lot of credability.

    I have had someone scheduled for some time now to come this fall and do this with us in Yosemite. We will feature us rockclimbing, among other things, which we really do almost every day in Yosemite. A video will show how we explore our turf.

    I know they will get the vibe that we have what it takes to host their next great vacation.

    1. Thanks Holly! Looking forward to sharing the video session of your Makeover project soon!

  9. Matt, as someone who spent time with you while you were doing your day to day activities, I can honestly say that this video truly captured what a day in your life looks like! Absolutely loved it! Your energy and zest for life is infectious! After spending time with you and through our productive meetings and chats, I’m leaving Casco Viejo more focused and determined than ever to accomplish all the goals I’ve set in my own endeavours. More importantly, through our time together, I feel more equipped to do so. As I said, I’m going to force you to be one of my mentors. I don’t know a bigger compliment I can give you than that. Truly, thanks for everything Matt!

    1. It was great to hang with you here in Casco over the past month! Looking forward to big things from you Two!

  10. I am the owner of a housekeeping company in the Florida Keys called Jill of All Trades Cleaning, Inc. we specialize in vacation rental cleaning/maintenance. I am in the process of redoing our website. This video idea is a great one. I don’t get to meet all of my customers & is a great way to introduce myself, my workers & my company. I hope this has works well for you.

  11. Well … if the point was to make me want to visit your neck of the woods… it worked!!!!!!!!! Amazing and beautiful and simply lovely. Great idea, like always, and also very special.

Comments are closed.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}