By now, you’ve had to have heard of virtual touring. Many know virtual touring software became a must-have for multifamily real estate in 2020. Yes, technology made its way through the industry in years prior, but wow — 2020 saw the demand skyrocket for virtual touring.
But now it’s all over right? There’s no need to keep investing in a technology that allows your prospective residents the ability to tour your property when and how they want. You might as well go ahead and put all of that virtual tour equipment and software on Facebook Marketplace.
Obviously, we’re joking! Of course, you still need virtual touring software. While things certainly exploded in 2020, it’s not time to change course. Virtual touring, and the need to adopt technology to support it, isn’t going anywhere in 2021, and here’s why.
Safety and Security
In 2020, COVID-19 and the accompanying shelter-in-place, social distancing, closed leasing offices, and other restrictions made leasing agents everywhere realize they needed to know how to create a virtual tour. Prospective residents weren’t able to be there in person to see the space, but leasing agents still had a job to do.
Well, unfortunately, COVID-19 and all that comes with it are still impacting how we run our businesses and how we live our daily lives. For many Americans, COVID restrictions are still very much in place. While it varies state-by-state, some citizens aren’t allowed or don’t feel safe venturing to too many places. And that can include touring a potential new apartment community. It’s key to provide these prospects with a quick and efficient way to tour your community in a safe and secure way — that is in their own homes. They can take a tour through a personalized pre-recorded video library or a virtual live tour and get the experience they are looking for without a mask or worrying about what they’ll come into contact with or what they’ll bring home to their families.
Here’s some good news. With the vaccines on the market, we are hopefully getting to a point when COVID-19 related restrictions will ease. However, while the restrictions may change, what the market has gotten used to, and consumer preference for it, will not.
There is a time in the not-so-distant future when we can resume the parts of our lives we miss. But there are many innovations and technological leaps we’ve made in the last year that we are going to want to keep around. One of those things is virtual tour software and technology and virtual leasing. As an overall strategy, it’s here to stay.
Whether you use 360 virtual tour or 3D virtual tour software to create tools for early in the sales cycle or invest in a fully integrated virtual leasing solution, you still need to look and approach virtual touring from a longevity perspective.
Leasing teams of 2021 need to be equipped to connect with prospective residents in any number of ways. That can mean keeping the process completely virtual if that’s what the prospect chooses. You’ll connect with them via live virtual tours and send pre-recorded video tours. Or, you can allow a prospect to come visit the property in person with the leasing team with a traditional tour. You can also invite them to come and take a self-guided tour if they feel more comfortable with that. More likely, it’s a mixture of any of those touring options.
You also don’t necessarily need to look for the most expensive virtual touring software on the market. It means looking at the needs of your business and your prospects and finding the best virtual tour software for you. Whether that means a fully produced 360 tour for your website, virtual tour software that shows you how to make a virtual tour with an iPhone or allows for a robust pre-recorded library, your team will need virtual tour software in 2021.
That’s what will keep you equipped and ready for moving forward.
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