“Virtual” is likely the front runner for 2020’s word of the year. And for leasing agents, that could go double for virtual apartment tours and virtual leasing.

The current environment has created a major shift in how leasing agents do business. That includes learning, potentially on the fly, how to make a virtual tour for real estate that works. While virtual tours were once just a way to get prospects in the door in person, now it could be the only way prospects experience the space that they may be calling home. And that also means that these virtual tours might be the leasing agent’s only way to connect with a prospect to get them to a signed lease. Not only is the touring virtual, the leasing process is as well.

With today’s shift to virtual leasing, a virtual tour creator can be a leasing agent’s best friend. But, only if it’s the right kind and used in the right way. Here’s what we mean.

What to Look for in a Virtual Tour Creator 

There are really four types of virtual tour software on the market. They allow for either 360 degree virtual tours, 3D virtual tours, do-it-yourself (DIY) video tours, or do-it-yourself live video tours. But, before you jump into spending considerable time and money on the latest virtual tour creator app or software, here are a few things to think about.

3D or 360 virtual tour software can offer nicely polished virtual realty tours. They are also static though and aren’t personalized to each individual prospect. Meaning, they completely eliminate the human-to-human element that is so vital in the leasing process. These types of virtual tours also lack the authenticity and realness that a personalized video tour or a live video tour allows for. Furthermore, 3D and 360 virtual tours also require a substantial amount of time and virtual tour equipment and software — a 3D camera, for example. Many teams hire 3rd party providers to create these experiences for them, but during times of heightened restrictions and social distancing, having extra people on the property may not be the safest option. So, maybe DIY is the way to go.

The good news is that with DIY virtual tour solutions your onsite team can create a personalized experience for each prospect in order to show them exactly what they want and need to see. And if it’s a live virtual tour, it allows for a prospect to ask questions in real-time as well. DIY apartment video tours have the ability to be real and authentic – exactly what your prospects want. In addition to that authenticity, just about anyone can learn how to make a virtual tour with an iPhone. While simply taking out an iPhone and recording a walk-through of a unit seems fairly simple in theory, it is a bit more complex than that (or should be at least). Once you start layering on the need to edit the video, or you decide to include multiple clips and music and a voiceover, it can get rather cumbersome. And after all of that effort, your video tour still looks, well, amateur. If you’re not using the proper video leasing platform, even just sending a video that you shot on your own can be difficult if it isn’t cloud based.

Ideally, you would want an apartment video tour creator that allows your team to host live and create pre-recorded video tours. And the keyword in that last sentence is “apartment”. Grabbing any random video creator will still fall short. Having a platform built for multifamily touring is key for success. Being built for multifamily means that your video leasing solution can be fully integrated into your team’s processes and procedures, your website, your lead management system, and more. It should also comply with the Fair Housing Act and allow for easy coordination with any brand guidelines the property has.

How to Make a Virtual Tour Creator Your Best Friend 

While there are some amazing real estate video tour options out there, finding one that allows for the most personalized virtual leasing can be tricky. Outside photographers, videographers and marketing services can do great work. However, they can’t personalize video tours for each and every prospect that comes through. 360 virtual tour hosting or 3D real estate tours are a single piece that you hope hits on what all prospect want to see. And that? Just isn’t enough anymore.

If you’re looking to optimize your leasing efforts for the highest impact, while also saving yourself and your team time and money in the process, it’s time to look for a platform like Realync. Realync is multifamily’s leading video leasing solution that empowers onsite teams to create and host their own DIY video tours on demand. By equipping your onsite team with a platform like Realync, you are equipping them to elevate their level of service and truly connect with prospective residents no matter where they might be wanting to tour from. Being able to cater tours to each prospect makes them feel prioritized and important. It fosters a relationship. And, ultimately, it gets conversion! Trust and transparency are what have proven time and time again to be the critical factors in making virtual leasing efforts effective. And one of the best ways to do that is with personalized live or pre-recorded video tours.

Leasing agents need to be equipped with all of the appropriate software and technology to drive those all important human-to-human interactions with prospects. When it comes to selecting your virtual tour creator, that human element is the key to a beautiful friendship now and in the future.

Until next time…keep it real!