How Virtual Apartment Tours Can Attract Tenants During COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected industries the world over, and multi-family real estate is no different. Social distancing and shelter-in-place orders are changing the game. With open houses closed and one-on-one appointments a potential risk, developers and property managers are struggling to fill vacant units. However, just like other industries right now, solutions can be found online. 

Multi-Family Virtual Tours

The emergence of prop-tech has been viewed with suspicion by many in the real estate world, with its potential to disrupt and upend the industry. Now in the time of COVID-19, however, it has the potential to save it. 

Virtual apartment tours are now on the rise, with property managers at places such as The Hepburn finding them to be an incredibly useful tool in the time of social distancing. While professional photography is a must for any property, it doesn’t give the buyer a full experience of the space. With 360º virtual tours powered by Google Street View, potential tenants can explore the entire property from the comfort of their home, getting a feel for the space that simple photography can’t accomplish.

While many in the industry remain skeptical of sight unseen sales, there’s good evidence that it’s on the rise. According to a study, 30% of people say they would be willing to rent sight unseen—and that was before the outbreak of COVID-19. With the rise of virtual tours, we can only expect those numbers to increase.

360º Virtual Tours Support Traditional Methods

360º virtual tours are by no means a replacement to traditional methods of selling, merely a compliment. One of the benefits of virtual tours is that a property manager can walk potential tenants through the property online. This means answering questions, pointing out features and making a personal connection with them. We’ve compiled a few tips to help you conduct a virtual tour.

  • Familiarize yourself with the tour. Just like you would do with the physical property itself, take the time to get to know the virtual tour. It’s a good idea to walk through it a few times before taking potential tenants through. This prevents any missteps or confusion.
  • Set up a space to conduct the tour. Make sure you’re in a quiet area with good internet connection before you begin the tour. The last thing you want is distracting background noise or a lost connection.
  • Break the ice. A virtual tour can feel a bit awkward at first to those not used to it. Before beginning the tour, strike up a conversation with the potential tenant. Find out a little about them and what they’re looking for. Not only does this help build a connection with the tenant, but it can also help in closing the deal.
  • Speak clearly. Technology is not without its hiccups. To ensure everything you say is heard, make sure to speak clearly into your microphone.
  • Follow up. Just like you would with a physical tour, follow up with a prospective tenant. It’s a great idea to send a follow up email after the tour with a quick thank you and any resources you may have regarding the space. And if they asked any questions during the tour, be sure to answer those as well. It’s important to stay top of mind.

A Chance to Get a Leg Up During Lockdown

In an industry that’s struggling due to COVID-19, 360º virtual tours present an opportunity to break through at a difficult time, getting a leg up on the competition. And while virtual tours can be created on your own, a big difference can be made by turning to a professional. Because of the pandemic, there may be a rush of property managers creating their own virtual tours. However, if you don’t know what you’re doing, they can end up looking amateurish and filled with glitches. A professionally shot and laid out tour will make you stand out by showing prospective tenants you care. A quality tour reflects a quality building. 

At aperi media, we have the knowledge and expertise to create an immersive virtual tour that will wow potential tenants. If you’re ready to get started on a tour, reach out to us today and see what we can do.

Are you a property manager of a multi-family housing unit? Have you considered a 360º virtual tour? Let us know in the comments.



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