Are FaceTime Tours Enough? Alternatives to In-Person Apartment Tours
by McKenna Hogan, on Mar 23, 2020 8:55:00 AM
In-person apartment tours have always remained a valuable piece of the leasing process. After all, that’s where the relationship between the community and the future resident can really begin.
However, in-person tours aren’t always practical for everyone. Sometimes there are those who simply can’t make it in person for an apartment tour. Whether that’s due to distance, a busy schedule, or another obstacle, there must always be an alternative to in-person tours.
Recently, the world has seen how the coronavirus has affected a great deal of multifamily communities. That’s why property management teams are turning to newer, safe alternatives to traditional in-person tours.
Already, many property managers have these tools under their belts, from FaceTime tours to digital website tours ready with a click of a button.
There are a few good digital tour alternatives out there, but the question must be answered: which is best for your team? Whether it’s a FaceTime tour, or perhaps a program that allows your team to give guided tours from any location, we break down some apartment tour alternatives you can always have up your sleeve.
How are leasing agents utilizing FaceTime tours?
Most leasing agents have access to their own smartphones, so FaceTime tours are easy and accessible to most on-site teams. A FaceTime tour is fully transparent, allowing a future resident to see exactly what the community looks like at that exact moment. Additionally, you still get that face-to-face contact, but on a digital platform.
However, there are some cons to FaceTime tours.
Quality, as well as accessibility comes into question for those using video call software. For those familiar with FaceTime, connection and quality aren’t always suburb, potentially leading to awkward calls that drop or don’t show the property in its absolute best light.
With grainy and slow visual and audio, along with the need for a strong WiFi connection, the process of giving a “professional property tour” can leave your team with some weak spots. Not every user has an iPhone either, leading leasing agents to look for and offer alternative video call options.
Additionally, FaceTime tours only allow for a single window to explore the property. Without a virtual tour living on the department's website, there’s no way to go back and reference that model unit or take a look at the fitness center equipment again.
Overall, FaceTime tours can be pretty handy and certainly are a valuable tool to have in your team’s wheelhouse. Who doesn’t love a free resource to conduct remote tours where prospects can ask questions and get a better understanding of a community? While FaceTime tours offer plenty of benefits, another alternative to an apartment tour is one that can offer round the clock advantages.
Offering virtual tours, from any location, from any device
Virtual tours across apartment websites have steadily become a hot ticket item for apartment communities. After all, as mentioned they can address major travel and time obstacles for future residents.
Just take a look at the stats below:
| Related: 9 Virtual Statistics You Need to Know
The strength of virtual tours lies in their ability to provide a 24/7 open house, along with the following capabilities:
- Allows self navigation
- Agents can host a virtual tour (with some softwares)
- Lives on your website or business listing
- Is easy to share
- Includes call to actions
To summarize, virtual tours provide all of the tools necessary for real estate workers to maintain business during even the most difficult situations such as the coronavirus, and for renters to stay safe and make an informed decision from any location they choose.
And don’t worry - sales and leasing agents don’t have to miss out on human connection or the ability to answer questions.
Companies like LCP360 provide hosting features along with custom software, Panoskin, that allow agents to conduct a screen mirroring tour through their device to navigate your community together, and ask questions along the way.
In addition, you can offer guided tours for up to 25 individuals in high resolution with smooth navigation. This feature requires no downloads or plugins, and will work on any computer or mobile device.
Unlike FaceTime tours, hosting with Panoskin allows users to track activity after a meeting (meeting time and email addresses included.).
So, whether you property is a new development or established, the threat of decreased business due to social distancing can be nonexistent.
| Related: How to Host a Virtual Meeting On Panoskin
Invest in the future of your business
While FaceTime tours are definitely a convenient alternative to in-person tours, offering a virtual tour that lives on your website can offer more benefits than a single interaction between smartphone users.
From a 24/7 “open house” to conversion optimization for your website (not to mention the ability for your team to host guided tours from any location), it may be worth considering a more robust version of a FaceTime tour.
With current events sparking a new wave of completely digital ventures, many property teams have shifted focus from not only marketing their properties with these tools, but also finding ways that can keep future residents and their staff safe. If you’re interested in learning more about Panoskin and how it can market your community portfolio, talk with our team today.