Video content views have jumped a whopping 256% since 2016.

By 2019, video traffic online will account for 80% of all consumer Internet traffic, and this doesn’t even include video exchanged through peer-to-peer. For the United States, that statistic rises to 85%!

Not enough? 87% of marketers already use video in their campaigns.

Want more? 63% of US Internet users ages 18 to 34 regularly watch live video.

Statistic after statistic. Article after article. They all prove the same thing. Video works and is the difference maker when it comes to your marketing efforts online. And just like any other, that is certainly true for the multifamily industry. Still a skeptic? Fine, but try and deny after reading this one more bit of hard evidence.

No better feeling than closing a hard sale, right?

Real estate development and construction company Bozzuto was able to pre-lease a 390 unit community to 25% occupancy without a single in-person tour and while in an offsite leasing office. How? With the power of video, of course!

The Pre-leasing Challenge

Pre-leasing, or signing a lease on an apartment in advance of construction, can already be a challenge for any multifamily professional. However, in the case of Bozzuto’s project, there were some unique aspects that made it even more so. Fifield Development Company tasked Bozzuto with managing The Sinclair, a new, luxury Class-A community in Chicago’s Gold Coast. They were more than up to the challenge, except the leasing office would be offsite throughout construction. While not extremely uncommon, that was compounded by the fact that prospective residents would not have opportunities for in-person visits to the property until its launch as well (aka no hard hat tours). This meant Bozzuto’s team was asking residents to sign on the dotted line sight-unseen. With lofty pre-leasing goals, Bozzuto knew they would need something creative and special.

Lights, Camera, Action!

This is one of those shining examples of video being not just one winning option, but perhaps the only winning option. By using Realync’s video leasing technology, Bozzuto was able to streamline the pre-leasing process and showcase their building in a real, transparent way that made prospective residents comfortable enough to make The Sinclair their next home before ever stepping foot in it. Here’s how:

1) Show Them What They Want to See

Not able to physically host prospective residents for hard hat tours? No problem! Even if you can do hard hat tours during construction, the are not necessary anymore. Video (both live and pre-recorded) allows onsite teams to still show each individual prospect exactly what they want to see in the property. Record personalized videos that showcase the two bedroom floor plans and the views from units that could fit their needs. Did the cabinets just go in yesterday? Show them that! Keep them updated on the progress of the property to build buy-in and get them picturing themselves in the community.

2) Then Show Them Even More

Don’t stop at showing them units that work for them and sending them construction updates of just that specific unit. Showcase the entire community. Show them the progress on the pool and amenities, how the common areas are coming together, the view from the clubhouse on the top floor, etc. The more you engage with prospective residents via video (again…both live and pre-recorded), the more you will build a relationship with them and build buy-in. If someone reached out interested in a 2 bedroom unit and you simply sent them one video that shows the layout of a particular floor plan, but it’s not on the floor they’d be on and not the exact view they’d have, do you expect that prospective resident to be satisfied? No. Go above and beyond, and truly showcase your community. Show it off and show them what it will truly be like to live in your community. This is where Bozzuto thrived at The Sinclair! They treated every prospect like the most important and went above and beyond to showcase their community to that lead.

3) Engage Engage Engage

Video allows onsite teams to engage with individual prospects, entire lead lists, and the community’s entire online audience with content that will actually get viewed. All the videos that Bozzuto created at The Sinclair would have done no good for them if nobody saw them. Their team thrived because they not only created an incredible amount of content that they could use and reuse over and over, but they shared that video content in outbound email campaigns to their lead lists, shared it on social media, and sent it directly to prospective residents as previews and tours. This is a particularly good decision considering video in an email leads to a 200-300% increase in click through rates. Even greater than email campaigns is social media — video generates 1200% more shares than text and images combined. Using one, or all, of these tactics means valuable video content being seen – not just created.

Realync’s video leasing & engagement platform gave Bozzuto’s team at The Sinclair a way to showcase the space and continue leasing in the absence of an onsite leasing office or the ability to do hard hat tours. Video allowed their team to build relationships, show prospects exactly what they wanted to see, and build buy-in to get those precious leases signed. The results? 25% pre-leased in just four months – a true pre-leasing success.

Do you have a new community that’ll be pre-leasing soon? Intrigued or interested in learning more? Message to dive deeper and learn how you can be the champion of pre-leasing as well.