Most apartment shoppers struggle to find enough information online to make a leasing decision, a recent survey suggests. 55% of renters wish they could see more photos, more videos, and better information on a property’s website, according to a RENTCafe.com survey.
Moreover, 72% of apartment seekers are willing to lease an apartment site unseen if provided a virtual tour, according to a recent survey conducted by Zumper and Matterport.
But while the idea of a self-guided tour is popular with renters, it can create tough challenges for a property. The technology can be expensive and complex, and there are liabilities involved with allowing prospects to enter a building and visit a unit without an agent present.
That’s why properties today are increasingly turning to virtual leasing tools to reach more prospects.
Virtual tours get 5-10X the engagement compared to static images.
An online or virtual property tour gives apartment seekers a hands-free look at the entire property, allowing them to explore at their own pace. And it eliminates the complexity and liability of an on-site tour.
An online property tour uses a combination of site maps, 3D floor plans, and other assets to give visitors a lifelike experience. They can see how the buildings are laid out, where the amenities are located, and other important information right on their device.
When combined with virtual tours they are especially effective at capturing and keeping visitors’ attention. A study by the Carlson Group found that websites with virtual tours are viewed five to 10 times longer than those without.
What makes online property tours more effective than self-guided tours?
Typically, an online property tour begins with a map of the property. The prospect can click on each of the amenities to see photos and learn more information. They can virtually visit different locations on the property, just like taking a live on-site tour.
But it has several distinct advantages:
- Prospects can view the property anytime, day or night, regardless of leasing office hours.
- Prospects can explore at their own pace, from the convenience of their own devices.
- Prospects can visit virtually while social distancing, or even if they live out of town or out of state.
- When prospects arrive in person, they’ve already had most of their questions answered. This shortens the amount of one-on-one time leasing teams need to spend with prospects, which leads to more focused and effective sales efforts.
"It's like 3D Google Earth for your property."
Just like Google Maps, a standard site map is two-dimensional. But the newest generation of property tours include an online 3D model, which is very similar to clicking the 3D button on Google Maps.
It gives visitors a realistic aerial view of the property, allowing them to get familiar with the layout. That familiarity helps them begin to feel like they’re already visiting on-site, which is a major step toward signing a lease.
The virtual property tour shows them which units are available in their price range, and where those units are located. Prospects can then view floor plans and virtual tours of the interiors.
Every step of the experience leads them closer to leasing a unit.
Online property tours lead directly to virtual leasing.
An online property tour leads prospects through the same sales process they would follow in real life. But in this case, the prospect is much more likely to lease an apartment online.
“It’s not uncommon to see people sign [a lease] site unseen. Especially for some people who are moving cities, and can’t come see it anyway. It helps our sales efforts every day,” says Kyle Bouffler, U.S. Strategic Property Marketing Manager for Greystar, the largest property management company in the United States.
Nothing sells like a 3D interactive site map with a self-guided tour.
Virtual leasing is more than just a trend. It’s the wave of the future. Properties that adopt the right technology early are more likely to thrive in an increasingly crowded apartment marketplace.
That’s why 3DPlans.com has introduced the industry’s first 3D interactive site map featuring a self-guided tour.
With this new interactive technology, properties can offer a virtual leasing experience that gets more engagement and potentially leads to a dramatic increase in virtual leasing.
Try it for yourself and see how it works.