Virtual tour software was all the rage for multifamily real estate marketing. But, is it the best choice for every phase of the resident journey? We think you can do better.
When investing in software, it’s best for you, your prospective residents, and your budget to see what can help throughout the entire resident journey and impact as many parts of your business as possible. That means initially using this software with marketing, then through the touring and leasing process, then keeping it going with resident engagement, and even streamlining / enhancing your maintenance operations as well.
So why is virtual tour software not the software to do all of that? Because virtual tours are only effective for marketing your apartment community. From there, they are no longer effective or valuable. At the end of the day, one of the key elements for every single phase of the resident lifecycle is effective communication. And nothing is proving more effective for communicating a message than personalized video.
Here’s why personalized apartment videos will win every step of the resident lifecycle when compared to standard virtual tour technology:
Video marketing for multifamily communities has never been more popular or necessary. Finding ways to leverage video for marketing is the best way to give prospects a real look into the community. It’s hard to argue with the fact that marketing is where virtual tour software has its moment in the sun. However, it still isn’t the best way to attract your target prospects if they value transparency and authenticity.
Unlike a personalized video tour, virtual tour software can’t give your ideal target audience exactly what he or she wants. From 360 virtual tour software to virtual reality tours, even the best virtual tour software of 2020 doesn’t come close to offering the authentic, real experience a personalized, live video tour can. Even so, the marketing phase of the journey tends to get the best virtual tours and virtual tour software have to offer. After that, the value starts to wear thin.
Pinpointing the value of 360 virtual tours online or other virtual tours on the leasing side can be difficult. While these tours can show the basics of the community, they don’t offer the level of personalization necessary to get a lease signed. Virtual tour software rarely, if ever, will replace an actual in person tour because people will want to see their exact unit prior to leasing.
On the flip side, a quality live or personalized pre-recorded video tour has the ability to go unit-specific in order to show each individual prospect exactly what they want to see. Video makes this feasible because platforms like Realync are simple, easy, and make unit-specific videos possible using just a smartphone or tablet. With today’s ultra competitive leasing environment, personalized video tours can not only streamline your leasing process, but also increase conversion rates and sight-unseen leasing. There’s not a 360 tour creator or free virtual tour app on the market that can offer those results.
Keeping your current residents engaged is key to maintaining positive occupancy rates. Even the best VR tours or using the best open source virtual tour software likely is not going to help in that realm.
Using video for resident engagement can help cut through the noise and help you grab your resident’s attention. Breaking through the noise by sending videos that reinforce community policies, or invitations for resident events will be a welcome reprieve from the barrage or emails and notifications that residents receive on a daily basis. And that’s what gets clicks, views, and interaction. That’s not something virtual tour software can provide. If these videos are done by your own management team, it’s also a great way to put a face with a name, humanize the message, and establish more personal connections with residents. All things that are invaluable in fostering community and increasing retention over time.
Virtual tour technology likely has not ever entered the conversation when it comes to maintenance for apartment communities. Your maintenance team is often at the core when it comes to resident satisfaction and likely often feels like they need to be in 100 different places at once.
Using video personalized for your property can help here too. Video can educate and empower residents on recurring issues, saving time and maintenance resources. Consider videos explaining how and where to submit maintenance tickets, or how-to videos explaining how to turn on a tripped breaker or care tips for the in-unit washer and dryer. You’ll see a decrease in problem-to-solution time for residents and that alone will do much for resident satisfaction.
Don’t get us wrong. When it comes to marketing an apartment community, multifamily virtual tours can have their time and place. After that stage though, no matter the level of sophistication the software provides, personalized video has proven the winner in terms of effectiveness, value, and ROI provided. So, before Googling how to create a virtual tour, investing in virtual tour software, or finding the best free virtual tour software 2020, invest in a multifamily video platform, like Realync, that provides value at every stage of the resident lifecycle.
From marketing to maintenance to resident engagement, Realync can help. Realync is multifamily’s video solution and is proven to help multifamily professionals create relevant, personalized, authentic videos to connect with prospects and current residents throughout every stage. And that is real, not virtual, value.
Until next time…keep it real!