Multifamily real estate professionals know that to show off their community in the digital age, video are no longer a nice to have, but a need to have. However, many times, communities go for virtual tours and 360 tours versus video tours. And in the process, most likely end up spending too much money on an ineffective product. How so, you may ask? 

Real estate virtual tour pricing is far too high for the lack of data, reporting, insight, conversion, and results that they produce. Today’s leasing teams would be better off using pre-recorded or live video tours and here’s why:  

Why Virtual Tours Aren’t Worth It

No matter what virtual tour camera or software you decide to invest in, it will still be that – an investment. And with that investment, there will be an expected return, right? The problem is that virtual tours don’t offer the same return on investment that pre-recorded or live video tours bring to the table. Real estate virtual tour pricing is high and unless there is a return, they just aren’t worth it.

  • They don’t convert. This is the hands down mic drop paragraph. For being ‘top notch’ marketing tools, virtual tours still seem to have an overall lack of conversion from website visitor to inbound lead to signed lease. We’ve all seen the highly produced videos that are way off the mark and 3D tours that look fabricated and fake. Prospective residents have seen them as well. Using the most high tech virtual tour software or most expensive real estate video agency won’t help. People see through the fakeness and today’s buyers and renters simply want personalized, authentic videos. The canned virtual tours don’t focus on what each individual prospect really wants to see and, at the end of the day, that’s what converts.
  • They are expensive and complicated. Having 3D tours created or full production film crews come in to create full motion pictures of your community take time, a lot of money, and a lot of equipment that costs a lot of money. Even the least expensive providers on the market come with a hefty price tag and a steep learning curve if you try to do them on your own. Plus, for the reasons above, more money likely won’t result in more results. There’s a reason why you typically only see one or two 3D tours of a multifamily community — that’s all that fit in the budget or that the team had time to produce.
  • They are point in time. When you create or have 3D virtual tours or production videos created for your community, they aren’t living, breathing creations. They are recorded and created at that one point in time and only represent your community from that one day, that one moment when they were created. If you were to update that content on an annual basis, try to cover the various seasons, or, dare we say, personalize it for individual prospects, you would be looking at an unbelievably expensive undertaking. That sort of real, transparent, personalized content though is exactly what prospective residents are seeking and asking for.

Why DIY Live or Pre-Recorded Videos Are The Way to Go

We can’t leave you hanging on all of the negatives behind what makes 3D, 360, and high production tools expensive and ineffective in today’s multifamily market. So what is an onsite team to do? Turn to do-it-yourself live or pre-recorded video to not only bring the overall cost of real estate video and tours down, but also actually convert prospective residents. And do so with data to prove it. 

  • They are user friendly. If it isn’t easy, today’s busy multifamily professionals will struggle to effectively utilize any new technology. Finding the right live tour platform will mean better results and an easier learning curve – which will mean better ROI. DIY video tours allow leasing teams to easily create and share videos on their own, as needed, where and to whom needed. All they need to do is record it or host it using what’s always in their purse or pocket…their mobile device. Whether the lowest priced or highest priced real estate virtual tour, it can’t come close to the ease of which your onsite teams can adopt and find success with DIY video.
  • They can be personalized. Have we said that prospective residents desire real, transparent, and personalized content and tours? There’s not enough reiterating that point. Personalization and transparency will win every time compared to the canned 3D tours and production videos. When showing a unit to a prospective resident or walking the amenities, any good leasing agent will know or figure out very quickly what is important to that individual prospect. With live video, the tour can instantly be personalized for that prospect. Same thing with DIY recorded tours. Being able to personalize a tour on your own to send to a prospect in advance or in lieu of them visiting the community is a breeze.
  • They are real and authentic. There are those words again. Real, raw, authentic. Today, there is still an expectation that prospective residents are going to visit the property before signing a lease and moving in. That’s an outdated expectation and one that teams need to revise. Prospects want to see everything that they want to see, but, many times, that may no longer include a physical visit to the community. Hosting a live video tour creates the level of trust and authenticity today’s prospective residents are looking for and canned virtual tours, no matter how well done, can’t instill that level of trust. And, because of that, aren’t going to be as effective. People want to know what they are getting into and be able to make decisions about what will work for them with as much information as possible.

Resident retention begins with the very first interaction. Nothing can destroy a resident’s enjoyment with their unit like an unwelcome surprise upon move-in. With most virtual tour software, that small closet may not look quite so small until you’re physically standing in front of it, or that view of the parking lot may not have been shown. 

Going live with video tours or recording personalized pre-recorded tours show all the best parts of the unit and all of the not best parts. They show all of it with full transparency. Not just that though, live tours allow leasing teams to answer questions on the spot and start building a relationship with that prospective resident from the start. At the end of the day, live video tours are always going to be more impactful, much more affordable, and an overall much better way to spend marketing and leasing dollars for your multifamily community.  

There you have it! Real estate tour pricing is far too high for the end result that they are producing in the industry. Avoid wasting valuable time and resources on tours that don’t convert. Instead, invest in a DIY video platform that will not only save money, but result in more conversions, a better experience, and a sounder budget available for other things.

Until next time…keep it real!