Virtual Tours: The New Leasing Agent Training Tool
by Kyna Garrett, on Feb 24, 2020 9:00:00 AM
Let’s get straight to the facts: leasing agent turnover is high. A study in 2008 by the National Multi Housing Council revealed an employee turnover rate within the apartment property management industry of 36.1%. For leasing agents specifically, the turnover soars to 55%.
In comparison, the retail industry sees an average of 27% turnover. Yeah, the industry that gets the worst reputation of turnover, is nearly half of what’s seen for leasing consultants.
Historically, the multifamily sector has seen high employee turnover for a number of reasons:
- Leasing agent roles tend to be entry level
- There are opportunities in multifamily for growth
- Reduced compensation
When a leasing agent or property manager moves on, that costs money. Companies estimate they lose $10,000 per employee that quits. That kind of cost usually adds up to man hours for human resources, training and getting the employee on-boarded efficiently.
The thing is, you can fight turnover with employee perks, improving well-being and boosting work happiness - but turnover is going to happen naturally. So how does one cut those turnover costs?
The key is to improve training processes so that training is quick, easy and efficient. It needs to take less time and be more educational.
Enter virtual tours.
You’re probably thinking, virtual tours are for prospects to tour a community. What does leasing agent training have to do with virtual tours?
A lot actually.
1. Virtual tours help leasing agents understand space, flow and square footage.
Believe it or not, virtual tours are great tools for leasing agents to begin to understand space. From the moment a new leasing agent takes their position, they could already know a lot about the community by having studied the virtual tour.
Let’s set the scene: A leasing agent walks in on her first day and takes a seat at her desk. The phone rings. It’s a prospect interested in setting up an on-site tour, but has a few questions first.
The leasing agent has no clue how to answer some of her questions - like how large the closet space is in the two bedroom units, or how wide the hallway space is in the studio apartments.
With a virtual tour, the first day for a leasing agent can go much smoother. With the help of a training team, she will have already explored the virtual tour prior to starting her job and know a few important key facts about each model unit and the amenity space.
2. Virtual tour hotspots can enhance leasing agent training efforts.
Virtual tours can be enhanced for training efforts by utilizing text and video hotspots.
What is a hotspot? A hotspot for VR or a virtual tour is a 360 experience that can redirect to various content with a click of a button. It can either direct a user or display a pop-up of the content.
Read up on more on virtual tour definitions and terms.
That’s where the training comes in. Hotspots can be placed around a virtual tour to highlight key features, such as appliance details, wall colors, and square footage information.
For example, you might have a hotspot that displays a quick 15-second explainer video about the hard wood floors, or a quick blurb of text that says what kind of activities are usually held in the pool area. The possibilities are endless.
3. Virtual tours can speed up the training process.
The issue with such a high leasing agent turnover is the length of time it takes to train agents. Think of the amount of hours put into training leasing consultant each quarter. With virtual tours, you can cut down leasing training by 50%, by jumpstarting the training experience.
Companies estimate they lose $10,000 per employee that quits. That kind of cost usually adds up to man hours for human resources, training and getting the employee on-boarded efficiently.
Considering that some leasing consultants work with multifamily properties in the same area at the same time, virtual tours can be incredibly helpful to distinguish details between each one and speed up that process as well.
At the end of the day, leasing agents need to be equipped with the right information from the beginning. Questions can cost you leases, and long hours of training cost money. It’s time to find an efficient, modern way to train leasing agents and thankfully, virtual tours are providing that kind of solution.
Contact us today to learn how you can take your apartment community's marketing to the next level, and improve leasing agent training efforts.