Trying to sell a prospective buyer or renter the vision of a beautiful living space while tripping over boards and nails and navigating an active construction zone could make even the best leasing team crazy. Plus, dirt and hardhats and construction noises don’t usually lend themselves to painting a new property in the best light.
However, pre-leasing is one of the most critical stages for new multifamily development. While ensuring a successful launch depends on things like meeting permitting and construction deadlines, it is all for naught if occupancy rates aren’t hit or exceeded within certain timelines as well. Rent is the lifeblood of any community and it is never more important than on the heels of some hefty construction bills.
The urgency of pre-leasing mixed with unfinished spaces, active construction zones, offsite leasing offices, and, sometimes, the inability to even do hard hat tours can make this important phase an unbelievably daunting one. And that is why video is, can, and should be an essential tool for any new community launching pre-leasing. Of all things that pre-leasing teams could use, why video? Let’s take a look. Spoiler, it has everything to do with everything from marketing to touring to conversion!
Marketing a property that isn’t complete poses a unique challenge. Getting people interested and bought in on a space while dirty and under construction is tough because what do you show? Spec photos showing what the finished product should look like? Fabricated tours or fly throughs that show snippets of what the finished product should be?
In today’s world, those marketing pieces will rarely, if ever, get people lining up to learn more or signing on the dotted line before seeing the space in person. People want to see the real thing. They want to know exactly how construction is progressing, what the flow of units may be, what it will be like to live at that property. And it can be as easy as shooting a few quick videos. With 90% of consumers claiming video can help them make buying decisions, it’d be a huge miss not to.
“We live in an HGTV world — people understand construction and want to be a part of the process.” – Realync Enterprise Client
Not only do you need to show your target audience what they want to see, but you need to show it to them in the way they want to receive it. You can have the best, most expensive marketing materials created to market your pre-leasing community, but it won’t mean a thing if people don’t interact with it. Videos shared on social media generate 1200% more shares than text and image content combined. On top of that, 500 million people watch over 100 million hours of video on Facebook every day.
It’s pretty clear that today’s audience of buyers and renters are on social media and watching/engaging with video in some pretty major ways. This is particularly true for Millennials and Gen Z – they’d rather interact with a brand via social media than any other mediums. So, if the goal of you marketing efforts is to garner interest in your property before it’s open for business, video and social media are the way to go.
Few people, if anyone, have the luxury of time. For those looking for a new apartment, many can’t, don’t want to, or don’t really need to physically see the apartment in person anymore. As long as they see what they want to see and have their questions answered, they’ll have confidence to move forward. Sounds like a dream world while pre-leasing doesn’t it? The ball is in your court. There is nothing mandating that you rely solely on in person touring anymore to lease-up your community.
During a lease-up, time is of the essence and velocity is king. To achieve the occupancy levels needed, and quickly, video is the tool that allows leasing agents to skip physically showing apartments to every single prospective resident. Can’t do hard hat tours? Good! You won’t even need to with a large percentage of your prospects. Simply use video to showcase the space and show prospects what they really want to see from afar. Shoot a personalized video of an exact floor plan that they could be living in. Show them the flow, call them out by name in the video, answer their questions, and help them to envision themselves living there. Even if still raw and under construction, send the videos anyways. And send them update videos of “their unit” as cabinets get installed, flooring goes in, etc. The buy-in it’ll create will be second to none.
Want to take those tours to the next level? Host live video tours and walk prospective residents through the building live. Going live and creating personalized videos for prospects allows for a level of realness and transparency that still photos or artist renderings cannot touch. Specifically, for the Millennial and Gen Z markets, trust and transparency can make all the difference between a brand succeeding or not.
You can have the best marketing in the world and show your property to every single person out there, but if you can’t convert them to a signed lease, it will all be for naught. I’m sure you can guess what comes next, but video is truly a key part of ensuring successful conversion of your leads. Video provides a level of transparency and instills trust in such a way that prospective residents can become residents, even completely sight unseen. Not only that, it will allow your team to be real with them and build a relationship along the way — a critical component of a leasing agent seeing success. Other mediums of touring are stagnant, fabricated, or lack the personal, real touch. People are simple — they want to feel empowered, they want to trust what they’re being shown and told, and they want to get excited about it. Video has the power to do all that and here are three real-life examples of how that happened:
- In just 4 months, the Bozzuto team at the Sinclair in Chicago pre-leased 25% of their units without any in-person tours. They leased nearly 100 units 100% sight-unseen. And they did it by using Realync’s video leasing technology. Read all about how they made it happen here.
- Not to be outdone, another Bozzuto team also turned to Realync’s video leasing platform for the pre-lease of their property in Milwaukee, 7seventy7. And again, they saw huge success. Using video, the team pre-leased 36% of their units. That’s 112+ units – all 100% sight unseen – and all in 2.5 months.
- During lease-up, Milhaus’ Artistry and Arsenal 201 communities received more than 50 lease applications and signed 41 leases with prospective residents that interacted with Realync videos. Not only did that equate to over $60K in monthly rent value for their communities, but an 82% conversion rate from using video? Unheard of!
When it comes to getting your new communities noticed, toured, and leases signed while pre-leasing and leasing up, video is the most powerful tool out there. It gives both your leasing teams and prospective residents what they want. And with Realync, it can be done easily, efficiently, and strategically. Video has shown it’s worth again and again. It’s time to make it work for you.
Until next time…keep it real!