By, Lisa Trosien.

I’d never bought groceries online until Covid hit.

I had friends who had and raved about it, but I didn’t feel like spending the time or the money it took to put it together. Now, I don’t go to the grocery store unless I run out of a critical item I need right away.

The same can be said with curbside pickup: WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE? I don’t have to look for parking (always a rarity in my city) carry other purchases along with me to the store, and I can pretty much go in my PJ’s if I want to. I haven’t done that yet, but you never know!

Yes, 2020 changed a lot of things for a lot of people. And in the apartment industry, we had to hit ‘fast forward’ on digital marketing and leasing tech-enabled strategies, which most of us had only dabbled in for a few years. Self-guided tours? Yep. Video tours? Yep. LIVE video tours? Yep. Tech-enabled leasing strategies like these rolled out at a record pace. However, now, we’re hearing people say that we don’t need to offer a choice in leasing tours anymore.

I imagine their thinking is something like this: there are no more masks mandates currently, and there isn’t a pandemic anymore, so there’s not a need for virtual. This thought is wrong, friends! I remember the day some states dropped mask mandates, I saw LinkedIn posts touting that “face-to-face” tours were back in full force, and we’d be getting rid of other options as an industry.

I couldn’t disagree more. Why? Because every single person I know has been changed by the pandemic. We’ve all got new habits, new quirks, new comfort levels. And guess what — this means your prospects have new habits, new quirks, and new comfort levels!

Some people don’t want to be anywhere within six feet of others. Some people are still wearing masks everywhere they go. And some people are just want to stay home and stick to just family for company. Why? Because we are ALL DIFFERENT in how we reacted to Covid. And because the apartment industry is all about customer service, we’ll keep catering to all of those different comfort levels.

When that phone rings, that text dings, or that email pings with that request for a tour, ask this simple question: “We offer all different types of tours. Which one would you be most comfortable with?”

Check out my recent webinar, hosted by Realync, to hear more about WHY you need to offer prospects touring options!

So, what do online shopping, curbside pickup, and virtual tours all have in common? These new options support consumer preferences! Let your competitors drop the options. You’ll reap the benefits by letting your customer make the choice that ultimately makes them the most comfortable.