With over 118,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 around the world (as of March 11th), the Coronavirus concerns are quickly on the rise with little signs of slowing. And the impact of Coronavirus continues to rise as well. Companies of all shapes and sizes from airlines to hotels to manufacturing facilities and more are all being forced to implement work from home policies, minimize workforces to cut operating expenses, and more.
With health officials and US leaders now encouraging everyone to participate in “social distancing”, it’s likely that multifamily communities are about to feel the strain as well. How so? While most social distancing is currently just a recommendation for people to avoid places where they may come in easy contact with Coronavirus germs, health officials actually have the power to put greater mandates in place. And we’re already starting to see more of this occurring. These actions could range from closing schools to shutting down public events and spaces, to putting full travel restrictions and bans in place.
With so much fear around contracting the Coronavirus, it’s likely that multifamily communities will start to feel the pinch in terms of decreased foot traffic, decreased leads, cancelled tours, and more. While no team can ever really afford a drop in traffic, it’s even more important that leads and prospects stay high with busy season right around the corner.
So how can your team proactively take precautions to keep yourselves, your prospects, and residents safe and healthy, while also keeping your tour volume and leasing activity high?
Take the tours to them!
Using video to promote a multifamily community is not a new concept. And while over 330 teams are actively using Realync’s video leasing solution, using video for leasing is a relatively new concept to a lot of communities and leasing teams. With social distancing taking place though, video is primely positioned to help you and your team continue servicing leads, providing tours of your community, answering questions, and more.
Let’s quickly dive into the various ways that your team can keep tour traffic high with video along with a few other tidbits that can help keep your teams and community safe amidst the Coronavirus outbreak.
Live Video Tours
FaceTime, Google Hangouts, WhatsApp, Realync. Whatever the platform, live video tours are the single most effective way to continue connecting with your prospective residents to tour your community, answer their questions, and build a relationship amidst social distancing from the Coronavirus outbreak. In the absence of someone physically coming to your property for a tour, there is nothing more powerful than connecting live.
Some key considerations though before you dive right in to start touring. Don’t treat a live video tour any differently than you would an in-person tour. Make sure the unit is prepped with lights on, blinds open, toilet lid shut, etc. before you start your live video tour. Once you’re live, be professional. Even though you may be behind the camera, take the time to flip the camera around onto yourself from time to time so the prospective resident can put a face with the name and in order to add that human touch to the process. While these tours don’t have to be fancy and hosting them on an iPhone or iPad is all you need, make sure you focus on a quality production. Minimize walking when actually in the unit and instead go to the corner of a room, plant your feet, and do a slow pan over the space. Not only will it help the live stream to buffer and come through more clearly, but you’re less likely to make your tour attendees sick from too much shakiness or movement.
Finally, keep your industry best practices, community/company rules, and Fair Housing in mind when conducting a live video tour. The reason Realync has become the #1 video leasing solution for multifamily is because it’s the only do-it-yourself video solution that is purpose-built for multifamily touring. With being device-agnostic, Fair Housing compliant, and all videos saved to the cloud, no other platform will set your team up for live video touring success out of the box like Realync.
There is a lot to unpack here due to the innumerable ways that video can be an asset for your teams amidst the Coronavirus outbreak (and after it all clears). In order to make this the most effective for you, we’ve condensed everything into some top categories for your review:
Those teams that have been on Realync for some time already know the power of having floor plan, unit, and amenity specific videos. Teams that are already equipped with this cloud-based library of content are able to proactively send inbound leads playlists of available units, videos of the amenities, and more. These videos are the perfect ‘first look’ into your property and can keep prospective residents engaged and even get some to convert off the videos alone.
The most powerful experience that your team can provide with pre-recorded videos for leasing though will be personalized tours. While your standard videos showcasing your units and amenities can go a long way, personalizing the video for an individual prospect is what will truly stand out. Even something as simple as adding a voiceover to an already published video that calls the prospect out by name and explains why you feel this unit would be perfect for their needs will go a very long way. It shows effort, intent, and understanding.
According to a Multi-Housing News poll, 37% of community teams are posting flyers or sending email communications educating residents on Coronavirus. Twitter conducted a test that showed consumers retain only 10% of a message when it’s sent as text, but 90% of that same message when conveyed via video. When it comes to serious communications, like the ones necessary right now, make the switch to sending those via video. Consider recording a quick video that outlines what you request your residents do to stay healthy and safe, or a video outlining the closure of certain amenities or the cancellation of a resident event.
Once you have those videos created (and hosted on the cloud), it’s on your team to effectively post and share those. Do you have a community Facebook page or resident app? Post links to the videos there. Sending an email communication to all residents? Hyperlink an image or text prompting residents to click on the video. You can even create QR codes that link to your videos to post on flyers to spread throughout the community. Videos get clicks. Just make sure it’s easy and convenient for your residents to get to those videos.
This one is a special nugget for all of the maintenance teams out there. One of the biggest risks for maintenance teams right now is keying into a unit where someone is unreportedly sick. Help your maintenance teams reduce the amount of key-ins and unnecessary support tickets with short how-to videos for residents. Things like:
- how to turn on a tripped breaker
- how to reset a garbage disposal
- how to program/reset your thermostat
There are many simple things that video can help resolve by instructing a resident how to take a first stab at fixing the issue. Watermark Residential was a great first mover in this space and captured some incredible results for their maintenance teams by deploying maintenance videos.
The goal right now as an onsite management team should be summed up by one word: proactive. Your team needs to proactively stay on top of keeping themselves and your residents safe and healthy. That will take proactive communication with residents and prospects alike. On top of that, keeping leasing activity high will also take very proactive communication. Your prospects may simply start ghosting or stop responding because they are halting their apartment hunt until things calm down. Proactively send videos or offer to do a live video tour with them. It’s likely not an alternative they’ve considered.
You and your team are equipped. Multifamily can absolutely stay ahead of the storm that is Coronavirus!
If you’re looking to get started with video leasing, take a minute to download our multifamily video starter pack! Or message us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about getting started with video. We are here to help and want to see our industry continue to thrive amidst the Coronavirus outbreak.
Until next time…stay healthy!