Virtual touring options have changed the way consumers are engaging with all manner of industries. Take a look around. You’ll see everything from automotive virtual tours to museum virtual tours to virtual hotel tours and, of course, virtual apartment tours. These industries, among many others, are looking for ways to make virtual a part of their business and have made significant changes in 2020 in order to deliver those experiences.
No longer are we seeing some of the more established industries asking “what is virtual tour” or “do we need a virtual tour”? They immediately transitioned their mindset to focusing on how to easily create, host and share virtual tours and how to best use them for their respective businesses. Virtual touring options are in the mainstream, something multifamily real estate has known for awhile. And, with good reason.
Let’s take a look at how the adoption and adaptation of virtual touring has changed the game across industries.
Even before the onset of COVID-19 and subsequent restrictions, virtual touring was seeing more popularity. While the pandemic accelerated the need for adoption across industries, the benefits were already there. Virtual tour benefits allow customers, whether prospective renters or otherwise, to see what they want to see from their own homes, from a park, while on the bus…from anywhere! From a convenience and access prospective, there just isn’t anything better. While the virtual tour meaning can change from industry to industry, that sort of benefit does not. It takes something needing to be experienced and puts it in the hands of the consumer to experience it.
For example, because of COVID-19 or other reasons, we’re seeing more kids at home. Offering virtual tours of museum exhibits can help them learn and be entertained at the same time. Plus, offering a few free virtual museum tours or free virtual tours for kids allows museums to show what they have to offer, potentially resulting in a paid in-person visit or donation down the road. These virtual tours facilitate an experience that fosters a relational experience that can result in further outcomes.
The same can be said for virtual tours in real estate. Whether because of a global pandemic or prospects being geographically unable to come in person, or no longer wanting to visit in person, virtual touring of a multifamily community gets people in the door, so to speak. Take 3D virtual tours for real estate and virtual 360 tour offerings. These real estate virtual tour services can help prospective residents get a taste of the community, letting them decide if they want to see more. And much like that virtual museum tour, the goal of a real estate virtual tour is to get a prospective resident engaged interested, and willing to take a next step with the leasing team. That’s when the true value of virtual touring can come into play.
How Can Virtual Touring Improve the Customer Experience
Across various industries, people are also seeing how virtual touring can improve their target customer’s experience. Multifamily communities, museums, hotels, outdoor theme parks, even restaurants have all found benefit from using virtual technologies for customer service and communications. Even the most basic virtual tour on a website or social media can work. It’s a great top-of-funnel way to get people interested. But, with the right virtual tour software, it can do and provide so much more.
As we said, virtual video touring allows people to see what they want to see, when they want to see it, from anywhere in the world. Add to that the option for a live and personalized virtual touring solution and the value increases exponentially. Being able to personalize experiences and connect live with a customer is an improvement that even the best virtual tour solution can’t provide. For example, consider a docent giving a live virtual tour of a museum exhibit. Even in a group virtual tour setting, the visitors can ask questions and even get closer looks without leaving their homes. The power of the human element is immediately felt when conversing and touring in real-time.
In terms of real estate, live, personalized video tours allow that human element to remain front and center in the touring process. With the right apartment virtual leasing software, prospective residents can see their exact unit with no surprises. Plus, if they want to, they’ll interact with the leasing agent in real-time, allowing questions to be asked and answered, a relationship to be built, and a truly authentic experience to be had. That human element allows leasing teams to show authentic, real spaces and build trust early in the virtual leasing process.
Virtual touring is changing the way industries are interacting and engaging with their customers. Across the board, people are able to see and enjoy spaces they may not have access to because of COVID-19 or for any number of reasons. A grandmother who has never left her state can now see the Mona Lisa up close and personal. A student needing to move across the country that can’t afford to travel can easily connect with a leasing agent for a live virtual tour of the very unit they are looking to move into. A car buyer concerned about test driving a vehicle can tour it inside and out with a salesperson and have it delivered fully sanitized and ready to go.
Through increased access and convenience, virtual touring options are changing the way business is done. That is especially true in real estate. If you are interested in learning how virtual tours can change your business for the better, reach out!
Until next time…keep it real!