Not too long ago, the phrase “virtual leasing agent” didn’t exist. But today? Times have changed and virtual leasing has become the new normal. Some studies even cite that half of all prospective residents prefer to tour in a virtual setting. This change has revolutionized the virtual lease meaning. And along with that, comes a change for leasing agents.
As the industry changes, the role of the leasing agent is also changing. It’s important to equip your agents for their changing role in order to maintain leadership in the industry.
What is virtual leasing?
Virtual leasing is simply the leasing process — virtually. It’s pretty simple. Any portion of the leasing process can be virtual, from virtual apartment tours to contract signing to even helping with move-in policies and procedures. Anywhere on the lead to lease funnel that takes place in the virtual environment falls under the virtual lease meaning.
And, as we all know, our world is virtual. Multifamily virtual leasing means being able to provide prospects with whatever they need, when they need it, wherever they are. Most of the time, virtual apartment leasing starts with a virtual tour. Whether it is pre-recorded video or a live video tour, the leasing agent is still heavily involved. Both of these types of tours have their place in the world of multifamily communities and both can help leasing agents fill vacant units — that is, if the leasing agent is willing to become a virtual leasing agent.
What is the future of a virtual leasing agent?
Both now, and in the future, the role of a virtual leasing agent extends beyond running a virtual leasing tour. Of course, leasing agents are still expected to “sell” their units and communities. However, their success metrics were once solely driving foot traffic to the property. Now, that isn’t really the case. Even before COVID-19 hit, today’s prospective residents look for multifamily properties to be flexible in the way they manage the lead to lease process. So, for the leasing agent, the focus should be connecting with prospects and validating leads. Then, after showing the prospect exactly what they want to see, leasing agents should focus on answering questions and building trusting relationships. Through that process, leasing agents guide prospects through lead to lease as efficiently and effectively as possible. They are sharing information quickly and in the way the prospect wants and needs to receive it.
How should virtual leasing agents be equipped for success?
Regardless of the future, leasing agents need to be properly equipped to connect with prospects in all ways, virtually and or in person. With the right virtual leasing systems and virtual leasing tools, leasing agents will be set up for success. As prospects’ need for flexibility only continues to increase, the rise in virtual leasing agents will also increase. Leasing agents will continue to need to guide prospects throughout the lead to lease process whenever, wherever, and however is best for the prospect. As our world continues to move virtually, it may not be too long before virtual leasing agent jobs and virtual leasing agency positions arise.
While this shift may seem daunting, it doesn’t need to be. Becoming a virtual leasing agent is something you’re likely already heading towards. We are here to help you develop as easily and efficiently as possible – plus be ready for the future of the industry. Realync, as a comprehensive virtual leasing platform, is here to help. We have and will continue to provide the best virtual leasing tips, virtual leasing best practices, and virtual leasing ideas in the market. Apply what works for your community and keep coming back for more insights.