Virtual apartment tours, in various forms, are a must-have for today’s marketing savvy leasing teams. That much we, and nearly all the apartment tour blogs, can agree on. However, a snag in the system occurs when we consider that the average human attention span is around…wait for it…eight seconds!

That’s right. EIGHT SECONDS. According to a study by Microsoft, the average human attention span is down to eight seconds. That’s down from 12 when it was originally measured in 2000 and is now less than the attention span of a goldfish. For a leasing agent, that creates some issues when creating a digital apartment tour. 

You’re thinking about your tour right now aren’t you? Wondering if it’s too long? But how, given that time span, can you give prospects a tour experience that will hit the high points on an apartment tour checklist? How can it stick with them? 

So, is your virtual apartment tour too long? And if it is, what can you do about it? Well…the answer is that it depends on the context. Here’s what we mean. 

Virtual Apartment Tours 

Here’s some good news. If people are watching a video online, they are apt to pay attention for closer to a minute. So, while a minute isn’t long, it’s certainly longer than 8 seconds. And, it’s long enough to get them hooked in and potentially watching until the end. Now, that doesn’t mean a prospect is going to spend a ton of time watching  just any virtual apartment tour or even a 3D apartment tour. The key is to hook them in the fist 8 seconds to get them to continue watching and engaging. That is what gives you more time to sway and influence them. So, how can you best do that?

The first thing is to steer clear of virtual reality apartment tours or the augmented 3D tours. Those may have had their moment and still have a certain allure, but they’re active and require click-through discovery on behalf of the user. That’s likely not going to hook them to stay and continue clicking. Plus those are more passive options that don’t allow you to provide specific messaging throughout the experience. Instead, make the shift to video and look for ways to get your viewers fully engaged immediately in that content. One of the best ways to do that? Make the tour interactive by taking it live!

Virtual Apartment Tour vs Live Video Tour 

There is simply no way a VR apartment tour can keep a prospect as engaged as a live video tour. Think about having a phone conversation or – gasp – being on a conference call. If you’re speaking and asking questions, otherwise engaging with the other people, you’re much more likely to be engaged longer. And if video is on for all parties, there’s even less of a chance of zoning out or becoming disengaged. The same is true with a virtual apartment tour versus a live video tour. With a virtual tour, the prospective resident is just watching a screen. It’s flat, one-way communication. However, with a live video tour, prospects have a chance to engage with the leasing agent, asking apartment tour questions, seeing what they want to see, and more. Even a tiny apartment tour can end up going on for longer than anticipated simply because of the engaging nature of live video conversation and the ability to build a relationship as well as see the space. By having a conversation with an individual, rather than just watching a screen, humans stay engaged longer. 


So, to answer the original question, if your apartment tour is a true virtual apartment tour, meaning there is no human interaction or customization involved, and it’s longer than a minute? Then yes. It is too long. It doesn’t matter if you’re touting an expensive 3D apartment tour in Los Angeles, a 3D apartment tour in New York City, or a virtual apartments in Boston. In fact, in those high demand areas, you’re likely to get even less time to engage a prospect looking for an apartment to rent.

But, don’t move your virtual apartment tours to the cutting room floor just yet! That content is still super valuable as in depth follow up and deeper looks into your space. When it comes to meeting your prospective residents where they are though and providing them with an experience setup to capture their attention and drive them towards conversion, consider giving a live video tour a go. By using a video leasing platform like Realync, you can easily host engaging and interactive live video tours that will keep prospective residents watching. And with those extended views of customized, personalized live tours, you’ll see your engagement (and leases) increase along with the engagement. 

If you have any questions how to get started hosting live video tours for your prospective residents, let us know! We’re here to help. 

Until next time…keep it real!