Like every other industry in the modern era, real estate has taken a turn to the digital. According to a report from the National Association of Realtors, in 1981, 22% of those searching for a home read newspaper ads to find a home and 8% used friends as an information source. Fast-forward nearly 40 years and now nearly 95% of buyers and renters start their property search online.

The impact of a powerful digital presence can’t be passed over. As renters are looking to the internet as their first step in the apartment search process, multifamily organizations need to respond quickly from the leadership down to the individual community level. While the vast majority of multifamily communities have websites with photos and maybe even virtual tour software, that’s not enough. Your community needs to think beyond a static website that only hosts current apartment listings. Unlike the for sale market where buyers will visit their top properties in person before making their decision, more and more renters are making an apartment decision sight unseen, thanks to increased competition and technological advancements.

Video is quickly proving to be one of the most effective ways to corner the online real estate market. How important is it to those searching for a place to call home? According to the 2013 Google/NAR study, “The Digital House Hunt,” 85% of buyers and/or sellers are looking for a representative who uses video marketing. That’s right. 85%. If that’s not enough to persuade, here are three reasons multifamily professionals should use video marketing:

  1. Consumers Demand It

The vast majority of those hunting for their new home are looking for representatives that use video in their marketing efforts. Consumers want to see and experience a potential living space, even if they don’t have the time to do so in person. Video brings apartments to life for potential renters via the familiarity of their own phone, tablet or desktop.

But, video goes beyond that. It can also be used to tour entire communities. After all, it can often be the full community experience that can sell the unit. Of those who use video in their search, 86% use it to research a particular community, and 70% use it to tour the inside of properties. Whether it is a live tour or a pre-recorded video, these videos provide evergreen marketing material for use over and over again.

  1. Video Helps Email Marketing Efforts

Most communities are already using email marketing as part of their marketing strategy to convert lookers into renters. Why not up the impact of that channel? Even if consumers open an email, they are likely to simply delete it and never think about it again. But adding video drastically impacts the results of email. Marketing automation firm Eloqua reports that video reduces opt-outs by 75% and including video increases click-through rate by up to 300%. Suddenly, potential renters can be retained and can become more engaged simply by embedding video.

  1. It Increases Leads

While using video can make sales representatives or leasing agents seem more technically savvy, at the end of the day, that’s not the most important factor. Video usage can increase leads and, more importantly, conversions. Consumers are much more likely to remember what they’ve seen on a video versus what they’ve read on a page of promotional copy. 65% of the population call themselves visual learners, according to the Social Science Research Network; so naturally, one of the best ways to drive the message home is through visual content.

Some multifamily executives neglect new technology because they feel that the investment is too high. While it’s true that production of a high quality video or hosting of a live video may seem daunting, the return on investment (ROI) for video is truly remarkable., an Australian listing website, conducted a study that determined that video increased inquiries by 403%. While video views are a bonus, inquiries are what get a customer in the funnel and, eventually, into a new apartment.

Videos in Multifamily Communities = Rental ROI

While industries are all clamoring to find the best ways to use video, real estate has some of the largest return available on the medium. Video is clearly one of the easiest and best ways for communities to showcase their property in the way renters want to see it. From live virtual tours to virtual open houses, it’s critical for sales representatives and leasing agents to find the best platform to showcase their properties in the best light available.

Ready to Get Started?

It’s time to see how video can revolutionize the apartment finding process.

Until next time…keep it real!