Tag Archives: Basil lai

Shooting Real Estate Outdoors, in the “Rainy Season”

I have recently been asked to film a bunch of new properties on the market. As is expected, every shoot has to make the property looks its best, while giving a true representation of the location, condition, features and other sometimes subtle or overlooked things…….. like the view. To do this, the exterior has to be filmed and sometimes the surroundings and landmarks also make the cut.

However, I have been having a great challenge recently with the unpredictable weather we are having in Trinidad. The weather can go from sunny and clear skies, to stormy and lightning in a matter of minutes, making filming a challenge for those picturesque videos scenes. Im sure many others in photography and video work will agree that this can be a time consuming and even costly factor, when considering assistants, bookings lost and the other aspects that are required for a good shoot.

My solution? I have regulated my shooting down to two times of the day and tried to limit my shooting to two properties per day, sometimes that has been as many as four locations in a day, weather and traffic permitting. Ten AM and two PM, I’ve found that this is just when the sun is where I can do outdoor shooting, but also just after morning traffic and just before the evening traffic rush. Also, if the day starts off clear, it usually takes a turn for the worse just after these times… Any earlier than that and you would have noticed the bad weather from the beginning of the day and made it an editing day in studio instead.

Also, the sun can be extremely hot and bright just an hour or two before the weather changes for some reason, I’m sure the scientists can explain why , so in an attempt to solve this, I recently started using special UV and other filters on my lenses. Can I say, this has helped a lot and going from Broadcast Cameras to DLSRs for filming has also increased the number of lenses that I can use on a shoot, all adding to the lighting control I have and the look of the video with no post production, but those details are for another article.

All in all, It’s a fantastic feeling to get a great shot of a person’s home, sometimes when they see the video, they say they have “never seen it look so good”. This makes me, as an always learning videographer and television producer, feel all fuzzy inside, but its also a professional accomplishment when I can say I’ve learned how to use the tools available to make the shot, even when the conditions aren’t the best.

Approaching the end of our Fifth Season

Hopefully you have noticed that we have been broadcasting on TV6 for the past few months, although we have had a few pre-emptions due to live cricket, the season has attracted a number of new viewers, visitors to our site and we also added a new agency( Shout out to NEALCO Real Estate).

Now, with just a few episodes left, we are approaching the end of another successful season. The new listings agents, viewers and website visitors have all been a great sign that our brand and service is continuing to grow in appeal and reach.

Although the series will be between seasons, we will be continuing to visit properties across T&T and film videos for our website, so if you enjoy seeing the homes on the market, there will be many more coming soon to keep you updated between seasons.

There are plans in the works for a new season, that may be going to air soon, but lips are sealed on the details. Until then, feel free to contact us to have your property, or that of someone you know…., to be added to the upcoming series and website…. and thanks for watching or visiting.

A Fun Time Filming a Golf Resort in Tobago.

Recently, I was asked to visit our lovely sister island of Tobago, to film and photograph a resort that will be placed on the International market for sale. This was the first property outside of Trinidad that I have been asked to film, and certainly the first International Resort! It was my first time on a golf course too, and with  156 acres to visit, the shoot was sure to take the fully day that we booked for the production.

I met with Roger the agent at the airport and we boarded the Caribbean Airlines flight for the 15 minute flight over. Landed Safely, we were on the drive to the hotel when I thought “That was the easy part”, As the challenges were stacked against me having a smooth shoot. The weather, the time allotted for the shoot, and the limited resources I took along with me on the flight, meant that I had to keep to the schedule of shooting all day long to get the footage I needed. Any bad shots or shaky   moves that I normally identify in post and remove from the edit, I opted to dump directly off the flash cards on the spot. It saved the much needed space on the memory cards and also helped a lot in the edit stage.

Getting Started

Normally, when I’m on a shoot, I begin with a simple walk through of the property to get a feel for the space and to help me identify specific details of the property that I then use in the narration. With this much space to tour however, that was not going to be feasible. I had been to the resort before tho, about five years ago I stayed a weekend for a friends’ wedding. She got married on the resort’s private beachfront. I did not go wandering off tho, so to be honest,I never saw all of resort there was to see.

When we got to the location the first thing my Agent / Guide did, was secure a golf cart to take us across the entire course for the shots needed. The weather was cooperating and we had to make the best of the shots while we could. The Rainy season was in full swing already, and if you’ve ever been in Trinidad or Tobago during the rainy season, you’ll understand how quickly the sun can be drowned out with torrential rains, only to have blistering sun again within minutes of the downpour.

Real Four Wheeler!

This was one of the highlights of the trip, truth be told, I’d never been on a golf cart before and was amazed at how easily it navigated the course. We shot angles, reverse shots, and even got some shots of golfers teeing off, (With their permission of course). We were well on our way to shooting the entire eighteen hole golf course when, you guessed it, the rains came.

We decided to seek shelter at a little hut when, while navigating an uphill bit of now muddy track, we got stuck. Im happy to report that with a little elbow grease and some surprising strength I honestly though I lost along with my gym membership, I was able to pull the cart out of the ditch with dear Roger the agent driving. Yes pull, not push people, standing behind a sliding golf cart on a muddy uphill track in the rain, isn’t a good idea!

The rest of the shoot went well. and by night fall we had managed to cover the entire golf course, beach front, pool, lobby and even squeezed in two delicious burgers, (medium-well) Salad and a pot of coffee for a late lunch. By the evening Roger had left me to it, and I went on to film the suites and cabanas of the hotel all in time to catch the ten pm flight back home.

I must say, in the three (or maybe four) years I’ve been filming this series, this certainly was the largest and most exhilarating shoot I’ve been on. The location, tho dated, certainly is a gem of a location and I will have fond memories of this shoot as one of the most exciting and informative. Needless to say, I’m gonna have a go at learning the game of golf after such a fun day on the course.

 

Selling your home? Tips to get more from your sale!

By Rhea-Simone Auguste

(c) Moon Light Rental Ltd.

 

If you have decided to sell or rent your home, one of the first things you should do is walk the perimeter of your premises and critique your property. Imagine you are a prospective buyer/renter looking at the place for the first time. Is your property clean, well-maintained and free from defects? Is the yard clear of “junk” and debris and inviting to buyers who may have children and want the yard clutter-free?

Sometimes it may be difficult to see your home as anything but your home. It has been your sanctuary and all of the quirks and eccentricities that you added gave it the personal touches. However, prospective buyers/renters are less interested in personal touches and more interested in getting the best property for their money. They are looking for a perfect solution to their housing problem or an investment in a property that will yield a profit in years to come. The less problems they see with the property upfront – the better.

Most sellers are not interested in spending pre-sale of a house because they think it would cost too much to do so. But there are untold benefits of sprucing up your property before prospective buyers see it and topping the list of benefits is – your property can be soldfaster with minor improvements.

Here are some quick and inexpensive tips to improve the look of your home for prospective buyers/renters courtesy Moon Light Rental Ltd:

  1. De-clutter your yard! The first thing prospective customers see is your yard. If you have a lawn, have it trimmed before showings and ensure all walkways, drains and concrete areas are free of mould and dirt by power-washing or scrubbing with a solution of bleach and water. A clean yard is an inviting yard.
  2. Front porches/galleries should also be cleaned and made to look inviting to people who enjoy entertaining. If you have a nice patio set or simple chairs and an outside mat – arrange them as though you were expecting company. If the house is being sold/rented unfurnished – consider touch-painting so all surfaces look fresh and new.
  3. Inside the house: Two areas of a house can make/break a potential sale/rental – the kitchen and the bathroom(s). These areas MUST be cleaned thoroughly and the kitchen cupboards should be inspected pre-showing to ensure no insects have made your cupboards their home. The last thing a prospective customer wants is to open a cupboard and have a cockroach jump out and greet them. If your home has had problems with ants, invest in a simple TERRO liquid ant bait solution and place baits a few days before showings. Remember to remove all baits and dead insects before you show your place.
  4. Check your bathrooms and toilets thoroughly before you let prospective customers see your place. Make sure toilets are scrubbed clean and bathroom surfaces look clean to touch. Essentially your prospective customers should feel like the house is in move-in condition immediately.

You would be surprised to know the value of your property could go up by simply painting, power-washing and preparing it prior to a valuation or a sale.

Thinking about selling/renting your property? Give us a call at 221-8550 or 773-5468. Looking for a place to buy/rent, give us a call and let’s see if we could match you to your dream home.

Selling your home? Tips to get more from your sale!

By Rhea-Simone Auguste

(c) Moon Light Rental Ltd.

If you have decided to sell or rent your home, one of the first things you should do is walk the perimeter of your premises and critique your property. Imagine you are a prospective buyer/renter looking at the place for the first time. Is your property clean, well-maintained and free from defects? Is the yard clear of “junk” and debris and inviting to buyers who may have children and want the yard clutter-free?

Sometimes it may be difficult to see your home as anything but your home. It has been your sanctuary and all of the quirks and eccentricities that you added gave it the personal touches. However, prospective buyers/renters are less interested in personal touches and more interested in getting the best property for their money. They are looking for a perfect solution to their housing problem or an investment in a property that will yield a profit in years to come. The less problems they see with the property upfront – the better.

Most sellers are not interested in spending pre-sale of a house because they think it would cost too much to do so. But there are untold benefits of sprucing up your property before prospective buyers see it and topping the list of benefits is – your property can be soldfaster with minor improvements.

Here are some quick and inexpensive tips to improve the look of your home for prospective buyers/renters courtesy Moon Light Rental Ltd:

  1. De-clutter your yard! The first thing prospective customers see is your yard. If you have a lawn, have it trimmed before showings and ensure all walkways, drains and concrete areas are free of mould and dirt by power-washing or scrubbing with a solution of bleach and water. A clean yard is an inviting yard.
  2. Front porches/galleries should also be cleaned and made to look inviting to people who enjoy entertaining. If you have a nice patio set or simple chairs and an outside mat – arrange them as though you were expecting company. If the house is being sold/rented unfurnished – consider touch-painting so all surfaces look fresh and new.
  3. Inside the house: Two areas of a house can make/break a potential sale/rental – the kitchen and the bathroom(s). These areas MUST be cleaned thoroughly and the kitchen cupboards should be inspected pre-showing to ensure no insects have made your cupboards their home. The last thing a prospective customer wants is to open a cupboard and have a cockroach jump out and greet them. If your home has had problems with ants, invest in a simple TERRO liquid ant bait solution and place baits a few days before showings. Remember to remove all baits and dead insects before you show your place.
  4. Check your bathrooms and toilets thoroughly before you let prospective customers see your place. Make sure toilets are scrubbed clean and bathroom surfaces look clean to touch. Essentially your prospective customers should feel like the house is in move-in condition immediately.

You would be surprised to know the value of your property could go up by simply painting, power-washing and preparing it prior to a valuation or a sale.

Thinking about selling/renting your property? Give us a call at 221-8550 or 773-5468. Looking for a place to buy/rent, give us a call and let’s see if we could match you to your dream home.

Current CNC3 Season Ends, More filming in the works!

As you may know (or maybe not), the current season of our beloved series has come to an end on CNC3…… for now. The past ten weeks have been great, and, I met a lot of interesting people and filmed a lot of great properties along the way. The season was great for more than those reasons too, a new station was used for the series, now in its third year, and we attracted a lot of new viewers. We also launched our Real Spaces Financing Program, this is kinda a big deal for me as I’ve been working on this project for some time and having stores elect to have the program included into their in-store marketing was a big step in making the Real Spaces name, more than just a television series.

Over the years, the series has actually helped a lot of persons in the various areas that it was designed to. Each week, we get emails and phone calls enquiring about properties featured on the series, and even more about those that are found my internet browsers, looking for information on properties to make their new home, or as we say, “their next Real Space”.

This is a personal growth experience for me as well. As the producer of the series I faced many challenges in getting this show to air, and in all, as much as four or five years have gone into this project in one way or another. Good thing tho, I think the time spent making the Real Spaces idea into a real working platform for sales and marketing of local real estate has been to the benefit of all who may have browsed the site, watched the series, followed up with a call to the mortgage officers or real estate agents, or had their properties filmed and featured.

Not least of all, me, I have certainly benefited from the experience of making the series a continued success at the end of this, its fourth season (some years have had two seasons). I’ve learned about the demand for properties in Trinidad and Tobago and the price range and locations most targeted etc. etc. (trade secret BTW) but what I think i learned the most, was how many people through their conversations with me during their queries about properties, have expressed their dream of home ownership.

In case you didn’t know, a lot of Trinibagonians are seeking their slice of our version of the dream. The dream of homeownership……… some may have not have ventured the thought, but having the system in place to have a viewer call and be put in direct contact with an actual mortgage specialist is a step that many have never even thought would happen. This for me, is one of the best parts of this project. I think if many years from now the series ends (hopefully many many years from now) and we had assisted in placing families into homes across T&T, even in our little, way it would have been worth it.

Until the next season begins, or the next incarnation of the Real Spaces brand appears, Thanks for browsing, reading, watching, using and hopefully liking, Real Spaces.