When virtual tours for multifamily real estate became all the rage, we simply accepted real estate virtual tour pricing as part of the cost of doing business. However, if we break down the factors that go into the true price of these types of tours, we may find that there’s a better way and a better alternative that is much more ROI generating for your apartment community and can provide the actual data-driven returns you are looking for. 

There are a few key factors that go into real estate virtual tour pricing, so let’s dive in and figure out exactly what all you should be considering when shopping around for apartment virtual leasing and virtual touring solutions. 

Equipment 

When it comes to real estate virtual tour pricing, the cost goes far beyond just purchasing the virtual tour software. One key thing to keep in mind is the equipment. You can’t create a high quality 360 virtual tours without a 360 camera for real estate. And those, well, they come with a cost. The same goes for 3D virtual tours for real estate and 3D real estate photography. Matterport and 3D virtual tour technology requires a lot more than just your basic real estate videography tools. 

If you’re considering virtual leasing technologies, then the key equipment considerations are simply your smartphone or tablet and a few additional add-ons to up the quality of your apartment videos and touring experiences. The first of which is an anti-shake gimbal like a DJI Osmo 3 or Zhiyun Smooth4. Also consider a wide angle lens, a light, or a mic as well depending on the type of tours you’re looking to create.

Equipment can go beyond just the camera being used when you’re talking virtual touring and apartment virtual leasing technology, so make sure you or your provider are considering the full package.

Time 

Speaking of equipment, learning how to use the above-mentioned equipment isn’t the only time commitment and learning curve required. Producing high-end virtual tours is not as simple as point-and-shoot. Real estate video production in the virtual tour world isn’t something you can learn overnight. Learning the high tech equipment, their advanced editing requirements, the ins and outs of shooting, and being able to stitch all of that together can be quite cumbersome for a busy leasing agent that isn’t experienced in 3D apartment tour creation. It’s costly when it’s added to a leasing agent’s already full plate. 

When talking video touring, it simplifies that time commitment rather significantly. Most everyone today is used to Zoom or FaceTime in their personal and business lives. Most everyone is also used to pulling out their iPhone and recording a video to post or share. So when it comes to hopping into a video leasing solution for connecting with prospective residents, that cost of time can drop significantly. A key consideration.  

Outsourcing vs DIY 

If you decide to outsource your virtual tour creation, that adds another layer to your real estate virtual tour pricing. Take a look at the real estate video packages available from your higher end vendors or 3D virtual tour packages being offered by freelancers. Real estate virtual tour services are not cheap – at least not the good ones. And you want the good ones.  Add in the editing and hosting and that adds another layer to the pricing beyond a one-time fee as well and gets into monthly hosting fees.

Not able to or wanting to go with an expensive agency for your tours? We don’t blame you. It’s rare that a property has budget to afford the unit-specific tours that they’re desiring when produced by an agency. So that brings you back to the top of the list to purchase the necessary equipment to do it yourself. For teams looking to make their front line team the ones producing the content that engages their prospective residents and drives lead-to-lease conversions, it’s not a bad consideration.  

Opportunity Cost 

Something that’s a little bit of a softer cost in your real estate virtual tour pricing is the opportunity cost. Look at what you’re spending and what your return will be. If your goal is marketing awareness and website clicks, then make sure your apartment virtual tours are able to track and drive those activities. If you’re looking for lead-to-lease conversion, then you need to be looking at what can drive those activities. What are your prospective residents desiring and looking for? What virtual tour experience instills the most trust and transparency into the process to help prospects convert? What virtual leasing solution will help your leasing team stay front and center in their conversations with prospects?

All key considerations that may not immediately have a dollar sign tied to them, but certainly do long term. If you can’t track the actual ROI and effectiveness of your virtual tour solution, then what are your pursuing these virtual tour efforts for? Because they look cool? Because you have to? Make sure you check your goals and motivations for investing in apartment virtual tours before diving in, then have a plan in place for ensuring you can track everything accordingly. 

Final consideration for opportunity costs — integrations. If you choose to go completely free with your virtual leasing and use things like FaceTime or DIY video shot on an iPhone, just know that those experiences will never integrate into your CRM or website, or provide built-in Fair Housing compliance. So also consider how important seamless experiences are for your teams and the impact of having integrated solution that make your teams work smarter, not harder.

Recommendations? 

It depends. Apartment virtual tour pricing is ultimately rooted in many things:

  • Your Goals
  • Your Team
  • Your Market
  • Your Audience
  • Your Brand
  • Your Budget
  • Your Timing
  • Your Needs

The best virtual tour solution will not only check all of your team’s goals, but should also be a versatile platform that goes beyond single functionality and simply sitting on your website. In today’s day and age of live video tours, polished DIY videos, and there are countless options that enable teams to use the same virtual touring platform for everything from marketing to leasing to resident engagement to maintenance and more. 

If you truly want to stop worrying about real estate virtual tour pricing and get busy moving those leads to leases, please do reach out. Realync is multifamily’s only video leasing & engagement solution, and we’re here to help! 

Until next time…keep it real!