Just a few months ago, COVID-19 turned the multifamily real estate industry, and every other industry, on its head.  Leasing agents had to immediately pivot to find new ways to connect with prospects.  And one of the best ways they found to do that? Personalized real estate video tours.

With shelter-in-place orders and other COVID-19 restrictions on travel happening so quickly, the real estate industry at large had to adapt fast. Suddenly, there were no more in-person tours. No more “stopping in” to take a look at a property or a unit. Leasing had to go virtual. So, leasing agents had to find a way to connect with prospects in a real, human-to-human way without the human interaction. Enter virtual leasing via apartment video tours.

Throughout the pandemic, real estate video tours have reshaped the way multifamily leasing is done. Here’s how!

Life Before Pandemic

Most multifamily real estate properties offered some form of video tour prior to COVID-19. There were 360 video real estate tours, 3D video for real estate, and many other types. They guided the viewer, showing the prospect what the property wanted them to see. Then, the prospect could come and do an in person tour if interested. These property video tours were a great, top-of-the-funnel way for leasing agents to get prospects in the door. The leasing agent could take it from there. They started to build the trust necessary to get the deal done.

Building Transparency and Trust with Live Video Tours…

COVID-19 shut all of that down. Suddenly, virtual tours weren’t just top-of-the-funnel, they were the only way to tour. And static 360 virtual tours for real estate or 3D virtual tours for real estate weren’t cutting it anymore. Prospects couldn’t decide for themselves what they wanted to see with those experiences. They couldn’t guide themselves or ask questions. But, just as important, these types of tours didn’t allow leasing agents the opportunity to show the space in authentic, transparent ways or build the relationship with the prospect resident either.

So, leasing agents had to rewrite their playbook. And, with the right virtual tour software, they could. Hosting live video tours and creating personalized pre-recorded video tours on their own were two of the best ways that leasing teams found to instill that all-important human interaction but in a virtual space. Live video tours and virtual real estate video walkthroughs made human-to-human interaction possible. Leasing agents could fully interact with prospects in real-time. They could answer questions and show prospects exactly what they wanted to see. And best of all, they could do it themselves. But that isn’t the end.

…and with Do-It-Yourself, Personalized, Pre-Recorded Tours

Personalized, pre-recorded video tours offered up another opportunity. They were personalized for the specific prospect. Showcased the space in a real, raw, transparent way. And they allowed for a do-it-yourself component that was critical.

During COVID-19, most real estate video production companies were not allowed on properties to film. That also meant no fancy real estate videography equipment. So, leasing agents had to learn how to create a real estate virtual tour on their own. It was a crash real estate videography course in record time. But, it worked with the help of Realync’s Client Success team and the Realync platform. Using nothing but their mobile devices, leasing agents created real estate videos for marketing and leasing their properties. They used real estate video tours to initiate the virtual leasing process, tour the property, and follow up with prospects as well. For example, CityWay in Indianapolis pivoted quickly using virtual tour and virtual leasing technology to keep their leasing trend steady throughout the pandemic. You can read more about their experience here.

Reshaping How Leasing Gets Done

The concept of live video tours and DIY apartment tours has always been great…in theory. Some properties at the forefront found success before the pandemic. But, with the onset and continuation of COVID-19, most teams have moved from theoretical to proven over and over again. It is now the tried and true proven way. Multifamily is leading in and adopting video leasing as the preferred virtual leasing method. And for good reason!

According to Zumper data, the biggest challenge facing prospective residents today is not being able to see the exact apartment they may be living in. And, because of that, they are booking for more virtual tour options.

Live and pre-recorded virtual walk through videos build trust and transparency from the start. They allowed for leasing agents to remain at the center of the process and keep everyone safe and comfortable throughout as well. It had to be that way for multifamily properties to survive a global pandemic and has now become the staple for leasing throughout the industry.

Reshaping multifamily leasing into virtual leasing was out of necessity. While consumers have been letting the industry know they were looking for authenticity, COVID-19 forced the hands of property management teams. Realync allowed leasing agents to pivot quickly, reshaping how they worked, and did so in a way that made them more efficient while still giving prospects exactly what they wanted.

If you’d like to learn more about how your team can get set up on virtual leasing or are looking for a true enterprise-level virtual leasing solution, let us know!

Realync is the industry leader and our team is here to help.

Until next time…keep it real!