Being able to give a virtual apartment tour has never been more important.
When the Covid 19 restrictions were announced in March 2020; many apartment managers scrambled, thinking how they would lease apartment homes with limited access to provide apartment tours in the future.
Take a few minutes to look at the contents of your leasing tool kit. Complete this checklist to make sure that you’re prepared for virtual leasing.
The Tools for a Virtual Apartment Tour[lhg_lead_form]
Brochure: This provides a display of your floorplans, listing apartment features, community amenities, and neighborhood resources.
- Are the floor plans interactive?
- Does it allow a 360 view of your apartment?
- Does the prospect have the ability to place virtual furniture in the apartment space?
- Current photos of your Community and a map of your location (with a click for directions) are essential.
Application: Is your application a fillable document?
- Once complete are the instructions clear, describing the process to return the application and submit the required fees?
- Almost every retailer offers instant credit approvals for thousands of dollars of flooring, furniture, even a car.
- How long does it take for a prospect to secure approval of their application for an apartment home?
- If we’re not on pace with the approval to purchase a $30,000 vehicle for a $10,000 to $15,000 annual lease; we might want to review our process.
Virtual Tour: Offering an apartment virtual tour gives your prospect 24/7 access to tour at their convenience. The virtual tour can be featured on the apartment community web page, social media, or sent via email or text.
- How will you tour an apartment with your prospects?
- The prospect of securing a video tour of an apartment home can be intimidating. It can be a costly investment.
- However, just as we justify the cost of our advertising by the prospects we reach, a video that secures even a single lease makes the investment worthwhile.
- Keep in mind, that less is more. Think of your own patience and attention span as you watch videos. A few minutes that shows the highlights and features of the apartment home is going to provide the information needed.
Feature Finders for Your Apartment Virtual Tour
Due to COVID restrictions, our product needs to be able to sell itself when a prospect conducts a self-guided tour in the apartment. We have to plan in advance how we will identify apartment features. And describe the benefits to an individual’s lifestyle.
These can be used on our features to make sure our prospect knows; this is a large capacity, Energy Star refrigerator, or that the walk-in closet can hold 712 items of clothing on the clothing racks.
A narrated tour points out features. Using a cloud-connected device, a prepared narration can point the prospect to features in the apartment.
In addition to apartment features and location, specifying a preference for an apartment virtual tour is becoming a filtering criterion for internet searches.
There will still be people that want to tour a model apartment (remember, a model can be furnished or unfurnished.) You can prepare for an individual to tour and maintain social distancing.
Schedule the Tour
We can simply open an apartment for a tour and return after the tour to secure it. Unfortunately, more times than not, an individual is delayed or schedules change and the exercise of lock/unlock the model becomes a sophisticated game of tag, with a healthy serving of frustration for both the prospect and the leasing team.
A self guidedself guided tour is becoming a popular option. There are options for remote access entries, Bluetooth key boxes (used by many real estate organizations) provides access to the home. With a remote entry, we can have a conversation with our prospect using facetime, zoom, or skype while they’re touring our model.
How Long Should A Virtual Tour Be?
Virtual Tours, fall into several categories. Both feature tours and comprehensive tours are useful. The feature tour can be very short, a snippet answering a question about the apartment home or a highlight of the home. A montage of 10 to 15 photos with enough timing to create interest. Prerecorded tours can be attached to websites, and other advertisements.
The comprehensive tour can be longer, but remember this tour will be a monologue. It needs to be quick and detailed. Most importantly, the length of the tour should not exhaust our prospect’s attention span. We continue to learn that the attention span of our prospects is decreasing at an alarming rate.
Also consider the usability of the file, a tour that’s too long, is a file that’s too big.
Be a prospect.
Test drive your virtual leasing experience. This could be completed by yourself, a member of your leasing or maintenance team. Using a search engine, look for an apartment in your area, how quickly does your community come into the search? How does the search function work for them?
Are the directions to the community accurate?
Confirm the information about your community is current with pricing, policies, specials, and deposit information.
Completing a test drive is going to identify any bumps in the road that could be a frustrating point for a prospect. As you’re supporting the leasing process remotely, it’s essential that the leasing team is able to explain each step of the process. Becoming familiar with the web pages can help us prepare to answer questions that could arise.
And There’s More!
There are additional benefits to a strong virtual leasing presentation.
An apartment virtual tour prepares us to assist clients that may not live in the immediate area. Traveling hours, and miles might not be not convenient or practical for apartment tours. For an individual coming from out of state, a visit to the community could be impossible. The number of people moving with job growth and economic development continues to increase.
Limiting tours and leasing to our days and hours of operation has been a problem for our customer service business. Most individuals have employment schedules that match our office hours, limiting their ability to search for a new home to lunch hours and weekends. This virtual leasing package creates additional convenience for them.
As someone that spent many years in the Midwest, we had a laser focus on leasing season. Our goal focused on getting our occupancy solid before the weather changed in November. Before the snow, wind, and cold temperatures discouraged anyone from pursuing an address change unless it was a move they couldn’t avoid.
The virtual leasing package gives the freedom to tour apartment homes regardless of weather conditions or your physical location. Attach a tour video to a text and your leasing presentation has traveled miles in minutes.
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