Over the last couple of years, virtual leasing has been on the rise in the multifamily leasing process. However, the way it’s used varies from property to property. It may be a large part of a property’s multifamily marketing plan and an integrated way to lease or it may be something teams have yet to really embrace.
Regardless, virtual leasing is here to stay. Today’s prospective residents are demanding it and it’s up to corporate teams to invest in the technology to accommodate prospects’ wants. To help that process, we’ve put together this guide on how virtual leasing can yield results.
If the on-site leasing team is looking for ways to integrate virtual leasing in 2022, here are a few things to know.
Virtual Leasing Must be Part of the Standard Leasing Process
Ultimately, virtual leasing needs to be viewed as an everyday tool – it’s no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. In 2020, virtual leasing became mandatory. As more and more areas fell under quarantine orders, leasing teams needed to find ways to show and lease their properties without having people onsite. The answer was virtual leasing.
However, in 2021, as more areas opened up, some leasing teams tried to go back to the way things were. They reverted to the old way of in-person-only leasing. Or teams considered virtual leasing apartments only if the prospect asks, requests or mandates it. But, it’s not part of the standard leasing offerings. That just isn’t going to work anymore.
Virtual leasing needs to be viewed as a part of an on-site team’s leasing process. Period.
It’s the direction leasing has moved towards and will continue moving towards. Gone are the days of people asking “what is virtual leasing?” While virtual and video leasing doesn’t need to be the ONLY option, it should be AN option – an efficient and effective one at that.
That’s the mindset leasing teams need to have going into 2022. They should seek to understand what their prospect want and need in the leasing process. Then, they should work to provide that experience no matter what it is – totally virtual, totally in person, or a hybrid of the two.
Virtual leasing is no longer a special, nuanced situation. It needs to be an integrated part of the overall leasing process.
Set Teams Up for Success with the Right Technology
To truly set a leasing team up for the most success with virtual leasing, you need to invest in the right tool. That is a multifamily-built virtual leasing tool.
While teams can do-it-themselves and piece together virtual options with Zoom or FaceTime to share apartments for rent, it’s not going to be as successful as having a product designed for multifamily virtual leasing.
When it comes to video tours, the platform of choice should be stored on the cloud for easy, transparent access and sharing. Additionally, defined processes around what the videos look like and how they are shot will keep a property’s branding intact. A built-for-multifamily solution can also include Fair Housing Compliance and WCAG. These are factors that simply shooting a FaceTime video on a phone can’t deliver. The same goes with any sort of live virtual tour. An integrated and built-for multifamily solution can have all of those touring experiences logged in a CRM or lead management system.
Training is Key
The third thing for equipping teams for success in 2022 with virtual leasing is training. Getting the leasing team trained on what to say and do during video tours is critical. Property management companies, property managers, regional property managers – they spend so much time training their teams on how to lease properties, what to say and what not to say, how to tour, what questions to ask….it’s a well-oiled machine in the end.
That same level of purpose and attention needs to be turned on for virtual leasing as well. It needs to be an integrated part of the training process. The right training will help leasing teams become focused on how they are going to manage virtual leasing. That includes all the what to do and not to do, what to say and not to say – just like with in-person leasing training.
As more and more prospective residents demand virtual options, multifamily properties need to be ready. Property managers and onsite leasing teams will be set up for success in 2022 and beyond if they start thinking of virtual leasing as a normal part of the leasing process!
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