Virtual and self-guided tours continue to be a hot topic in the apartment community right now. The start of virtual and self-guided tours really kicked off last March when COVID-19 began. And catapulted the virtual tour option.
Our multifamily industry started to rely on virtual tours when we could no longer offer in-person tours for the safety of our associates and prospective residents. We needed to find a way to continue to find people their apartment homes, whether they were relocating or locally based, and we had to adjust to what was happening in the world. We established virtual tours where potential residents could either connect with us on Facebook, Zoom or FaceTime. Once a visitor requested this type of your, our leasing teams would walkthrough available units and answer any questions that the prospective resident might have. This included showing close up’s of finishes, walking through community amenities, and discussing parking options.
Another option that is proving successful is self-guided tours where people can request a date and time to walk through the apartment homes on their own. This is a great option so visitors can take their time to explore the apartment and community spaces yet still see everything with their own eyes. And most importantly, because social distancing continues to be a factor, this option avoids new groups of people being in the available apartment home at the same time.
We offer whichever option the prospective resident is most comfortable with in hopes of providing the best customer experience possible.
Along with offering two new options of touring apartment homes, we had to breakdown our initial process of scheduling and following up after tours. We created reminders of dates and times of scheduled tours and we revamped the communication methods we use, which would highlight items such as: how-to login, any information for the tour, and any follow-up questions visitors may have had after the tour. Our teams’ goal is to make it convenient and informational for every visitor. We’ve successfully installed these options so we could continue to stay competitive in the market. The only difference is, we’re doing it through screens instead of face-to-face.
As the consumer world continues to embrace the remote lifestyle, we’ll continue to offer self-guided and virtual tours for our prospective residents. While many of the virtual and self-guided tours were spurred entirely by the pandemic, virtual leasing will be here to stay. It offers people the flexibility to meet with the leasing teams at any time and if someone needs to reschedule because of normal life things like traffic, no babysitter, or any other reason, they’re still able to complete their tour. We believe virtual leasing is a vital tool that we’ll continue to use in years to come to make sure our residents are comfortable and we’re meeting their needs.