While closing sight unseen was a rarity in the past, it’s increasingly becoming more common. With 90% of people conducting online searches to find a new home, it’s easy to see why sight unseen sales are increasing. Add to that the current COVID-19 crisis, and it’s safe to say that the upwards trend will only accelerate.
This doesn’t mean closing sight unseen leases will be easy—it’s still very much a challenge. However, by being upfront, honest and by implementing smart marketing tactics, you can help tenants feel comfortable making a big decision without visiting the unit. We’ve compiled a few tips to help with just that.
4 Tips to Help Close Sight Unseen
- Be honest. It’s always important to be upfront with tenants, and that’s particularly true when it comes to sight unseen tenants. The renter will ultimately figure out any flaws on their own, so it’s best to be transparent right away.
- Make a connection. Despite not meeting in person, it’s important to develop a personal connection. As any property manager knows, the on-sight tour is crucial to leasing a unit. But just because the potential tenant is remote, doesn’t mean you can’t still make a connection. Ask them questions about themselves—what they do, what they’re looking for in the community, etc. Another great way to connect is through a virtual tour.
- Create a Google 360º virtual tour. While having a gallery of professionally shot photographs is essential to any listing, a custom tour allows a tenant to really get a feel for the space. By giving them an opportunity to walk through a full, 360º virtual tour of the unit, you provide an immersive experience that simple photographs can’t. Best of all, the potential tenant can tour the unit whenever and wherever they want. This is a great option for busy professionals or students moving long distances. And with the demand for virtual tours at an all-time high, this option is looking more and more like a necessity. Take a look at 77H for a great example of a custom virtual tour.
- Utilize Google My Business. A Google My Business Listing will almost certainly be the first thing someone comes across while searching the web for an apartment. This makes it a powerful tool in leasing units. However, many businesses aren’t capitalizing on it. A properly optimized Google My Business listing with high-quality photos and up-to-date information can make your listing appear at the top of a Google search in your area. Obviously, being the first listing seen during a search can greatly improve the odds of leasing a unit. The built-in review system is also a powerful tool to build trust with potential tenants. However, everything from the reviews to the images and information needs to be properly set up and managed to make an impact.
Closing Made Easier
Closing sight unseen isn’t as difficult as you may think. As technology advances and our world changes, online listings and virtual tours will start to become the norm. However, it’s not always easy to implement these tactics alone. Google My Business and virtual tours require knowledge and skills that take time to develop. A professional can help set you up for success in no time. If you’re looking to close more sight unseen leases, contact us today and see how we can help.
Are you trying to lease units? How are you navigating the COVID-19 crisis? Let us know in the comments.