Virtual reality (VR) is a term we’ve heard in the real estate industry. Many thought it would be the next big thing. But, quickly prospects realized it just didn’t offer what they wanted and needed in a virtual tour. In fact, it could do the opposite and sabotage leasing efforts.
VR real estate tours aren’t the way to move a lead to a signed lease in a multifamily community. It’s not what today’s prospects need or want in their virtual touring experience. In fact, this type of tour works against your ultimate leasing goals.
If you want to leverage VR for multifamily real estate leasing, particularly virtual leasing, keep it in the game room. We have yet to see a VR strategy that fits into a multifamily virtual touring or virtual leasing strategy. Your potential new residents just want reality, not virtual reality. They want genuine, authentic realness in their real estate tours. Here are three ways VR real estate tours can backfire and what you can do instead.
When it comes to a VR real estate tour, the person taking the tour would need a VR headset like an Oculus Rift or Oculus Quest. Now, think about your friends and family. Do they all have that sort of equipment? Maybe some do, but likely most do not. And that’s true for the vast majority of people. They don’t have an Oculus or other VR headset readily available to take a real estate virtual tour. And that sort of barrier is a death knell for progressing your leads closer to a signed lease.
Instead of putting the equipment required on the prospective resident, use a real estate virtual tour platform that doesn’t require your prospect to have anything more than a mobile device or computer. Ideally, you should be able to quickly send a playlist of personalized, pre-recorded tours or take them on a live virtual tour without any unnecessary technology gymnastics on their end. (Did you know with Realync that prospects don’t even have to download our app?) Even if you’re using 360 virtual tours or 3D virtual tours for real estate, keep the necessary virtual tour equipment and software on your end.
Missing the Human Element
Most of us have seen what a VR real estate tour is like. You see a floor plan, yes. But it lacks the human-to-human element prospects crave. While seeing the floorplan is excellent, there is so much more to a well-run virtual tour for real estate than just that. A leasing agent becomes the trusted source of truth for a prospect. A VR real estate tour doesn’t offer that critical element.
Regardless of the real estate virtual tour services you go with, humans are what ultimately finalize deals. And the right virtual tour software allows humans, the leasing team, to shine. Having a leasing agent at the core of the leasing process helps to instill necessary trust. That trust is what will bring a prospect from lead-to-lease. And the number one thing that can build that trust is the human element, personalization, and transparency.
They are what instills trust in the leasing process. Whether it’s a live tour or a personalized DIY video tour, those are the experiences that instill confidence and transparency. How? Because they show the prospective resident the real deal. There’s no space for overly produced or photoshopped experiences. Virtual leasing needs to be a real and trust-building process.
Lacking Realness and Authenticity
Virtual reality isn’t reality. It isn’t authentic and transparent… it just isn’t real. Today’s prospects want that realness. They want to see exactly what they are going to get. They want their questions answered and a property virtual tour tailor-made for their wants and needs. VR real estate tours don’t offer that. It’s an excellent rendering of what a prospect COULD get, but will the view show the detailed view of the exact unit they will live in? Will the VR tour allows them to see what their exact countertops will look like? I think we all know the answer here – no.
Instead of a VR real estate tour, you can offer the most accurate and authentic tour experience through personalized pre-recorded tours or, even more so, live virtual tours. These types of tours not only mean the leasing agent is still at the core of the leasing experience, but they can offer prospects that personalized experience they want. Prospects can ask questions in real-time and trust is built. You can’t photoshop reality. From the views of the countertops to see inside the kitchen cabinets and the closets, these tours are as close to in-person as possible.
If you are looking to build trust and confidently bring your lead to a signed lease, you’ll want to focus on personalized pre-recorded tours and live virtual tours. VR lacks the realness, transparency, and overall human element personalized and live video provides. So, let’s leave the VR in the virtual and keep it real.
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Close more leases, market more effectively, engage with residents and, as always, keep it real. Do you have a question or suggestion? Or want to learn more about what you read? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!