When most people think of an apartment virtual tour, they think of it as a website marketing tool. Of course! Why wouldn’t they? Until recently, all apartment virtual tour software gave us was a flat, static video piece that lived on the website.

Are they beautifully shot? Definitely. Do they showcase the best parts of the community? Naturally. Full of professional lighting, scene cuts, and editing to make sure every corner looks the best? Yep! These virtual tours offered a shiny version of “reality” that visitors to the website would navigate through on their own. There is no engagement. No  human-to-human interaction. 

Well, between the COVID-19 outbreak and the general desire of the market, that has had to change. Today’s best apartment virtual tours are made from software that’s more than the usual virtual tour software that sits on a website. It is an actual virtual leasing solution that connects real humans with real humans to see what they want to see. Here’s what we mean!

Keeping Leasing Teams at the Center

In the past, a good virtual reality apartment tour or a 360 virtual tour for apartments was enough. A prospective resident would come to the apartment website and guide themselves through this tour without having to really engage with anyone. Then, they could decide if they wanted to come to the property in person to tour exact units. 

That’s all changed. Even before COVID-19, that change to less physical touring had begun. Prospective residents didn’t have the time or were geographically too far to pop over and take a quick walkthrough. They were looking for an apartment virtual walk through. Quick and easy and when they wanted it. 

Then, in the midst of COVID, leasing centers quickly shuttered. No one could physically be on the property to tour. Leasing as an industry turned entirely virtual overnight. That meant leasing teams had to find whatever methods they could to engage with their prospects and keep leasing activities in motion. 

It turns out that one of the best ways to do just that was to integrate virtual leasing processes versus relying solely on virtual touring software. It’s a minor terminology change, but a major workflow shift. The right virtual tour software allowed for leasing agents to remain proactively engaged with virtual visitors. As a result, they remained in the center of the process and were able to push leasing conversations forward. In addition, no longer would touring be a flat, self-guided thing. It became a true leasing tool where leasing agents could keep the human-to-human interaction alive and part of the process. But, why is that human-to-human interaction important? 

Why Human-to-Human Matters

In the end, it all boils down to trust. Do you inherently trust that self-guided 3D luxury apartment tours are giving you the real deal? Probably not. And neither do your prospects. But, you can build that trust with another person when you are conversing with them in real-time. So, what true virtual leasing software offers is an opportunity to show your property in a way that integrates the human element. And the best way to do that? Live virtual tours. 

Live video tours show the community in a real, authentic way. No hiding behind photoshop and no unpleasant surprises on move-in day. What your prospects see is what they are going to get. This also means that the agent conducting the live tour has an opportunity to show the prospect exactly what they want to see, answer questions and build that trusting relationship. They can also deliver the sales pitch better than any words on a screen or recording.

For instance, consider a luxury apartment’s virtual tour, being able to build that trust early on when that kind of money is on the line is imperative. There’s few, if any, 3D luxury apartment tours that are going to offer the personalized human-to-human touch a good virtual leasing software brings to the table. For that audience, personalized service is central. 

Imagine a 3 bedroom apartment virtual tour when one of the bedrooms is much smaller than the other two. If left to their own devices, a prospect may only focus on that. And quickly decide that it’s a deal breaker. But a leasing agent can make sure they see the other HUGE rooms and the chef’s kitchen. Or get creative with showing space saving techniques or how it’s a perfect office space or can be used as a dressing area. There are tons of great apartment virtual tour ideas teams can use when live or personalized tours are involved. This type of human-to-human engagement means getting more highly qualified leads in the door, then also converting those leads at a higher conversion rate as well. Ultimately, that means more leases signed. 

In the end, the very concept of how to make a virtual tour needs to evolve from simple video creation software to a leasing powerhouse. Virtual touring software needs to be looked at less as a website marketing tool and more as an actual leasing tool. That is, if you want the biggest impact for your investment. And that means finding a virtual tour platform that allows for live touring as well as pre-recorded personalized tours for specific prospects. It means bringing the leasing team into a proactive and centralized role early in the leasing process. It means Realync

Until next time…keep it real!