In today’s multifamily market, having some form of digital or virtual tour available is basically a must. To offer that effectively, most properties are looking to virtual tour software companies and products to deliver.
Just a few years ago, there were only a few vendors available in the virtual tour space, or 3D software space, now there are dozens. When it comes to picking the best virtual tour software, that many choices can make things a little complicated. Do you go with 3D, 360, video, stitched photos? It’s important to take the time and consider what’s best for your company as a whole as well as each individual property. Making the right choice early can save tons of time, and money, down the road and lead to a solution that not only looks good, but will help increase interest and conversions as well.
Luckily for you, this is the exact space we live in and there are a few specific things to consider that can help narrow down the choices, make the selection process easier, and allow your leasing teams to get back to what they do best.
Here are a few things to consider when evaluating the best virtual tour software for your particular multifamily company or property:
While this may not be the most interesting or fun thing to consider when looking for virtual tour software, it’s probably one of the most important. Knowing what your budget will be is important because costs for virtual tour software can run the gamut. Certainly there are virtual tour software products available on the affordable side of things, but you can also run a risk when it comes to quality at that end of the spectrum. That doesn’t mean that multifamily communities need to spend an arm and a leg though as some of the 3D platforms or video services can balloon your budget very quickly. Find a virtual tour software product that provides the technical capabilities that you desire along with the coverage that you desire (how many units, amenities, and features can you showcase), but ensure that it fits within the budget allocated. Create your wish list and use some of the below criteria, and there is sure to be something that works within your budget.
This goes back to the basics of marketing any product — how does the target audience take in information? Where are your prospective resident looking and what matters to them? What sort of content are they engaging with the most and what rich media is converting them from a browser to an active lead? All of that information will be key in providing guidance for what will be the best virtual tour software for your community or company. Another key consideration is the stage of your community — are you pre-leasing and still awaiting unit and amenity delivery? Or are you stabilized with few vacant units to show or record? Both are key considerations in what you will want to have your virtual tour software able to show for prospective residents that may not have something else to see.
Flexibility for Sharing
If there are only limited ways to view the virtual tours that you are creating, then what is the point of having even the best, highest quality virtual tours available? The truly best virtual tour software should be one that allows tours to not only be easily stored, organized, posted, and shared by your team(s), but also unbelievably easy to be watched, experienced, interacted with, and shared by your prospective residents as well. If the virtual tour software you choose doesn’t work with certain web browsers or struggles to load on mobile devices will not provide an ideal experience across the larger audience you are looking to reach. 75% of all videos played are on mobile devices and 92% of users watching a video on their mobile device will share it with others. Make sure that whatever virtual tour software you go with for your community / company, it empowers and enables sharing.
One of the single most critical things that the best virtual tour software can and should provide a multifamily community is authenticity. ‘Virtual Tours’ have technically been around ever since real estate agents started stitching photos together into a slideshow with music behind it. Those experiences fell far short of providing any sort of catered or transparent look into the space, and there are virtual tour technologies today that, while far better than a photo slideshow, come across as fake, fabricated, or inauthentic. What consumers are looking for online today is transparency. They don’t want photoshopped images, professionally staged feature films with hired actors, or just one canned tour of a model. They want to see the real thing, the actual unit, the actual view. If you are looking for brand-focused content or show pieces on a website, there’s certainly a time and place for that, but if you are looking for authenticity and conversion out of your virtual tour software, then this must be the key consideration for your team.
Creating trust through an authentic, real look at the community can be done early in the leasing process via live virtual tour software. You can’t photoshop or fake a live tour and, because of that, there is nothing more powerful when it comes to instilling trust and transparency into your marketing and leasing.
While there are a lot of things to consider when it comes to setting up your company / community with the best virtual tour software, it ultimately will come down to your specific audience, needs, and budget. There are simple and straight forward options available and some that have tons of bells and whistles. At the end of the day, the experience that gives the prospective resident a true and authentic view of the property and delivers what they are looking for is the one that should win.
If you have questions or want to talk in more detail with our team about virtual tour software, you can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Until next time…keep it real!