7 Virtual Leasing Tools for Your Apartment Website
by Kyna Garrett, on Apr 13, 2020 9:00:00 AM
In the last few weeks, multifamily has had to make a sudden shift to virtual operations, moving everything from community tours to leasing efforts completely online.
Virtual leasing has always been around, but until recently, it wasn’t a significant need. Now more than ever, offering virtual alternatives is a must in order to continue operations in unforeseen circumstances.
That’s why we’ve compiled a complete list of virtual leasing tools you can use across your website and listings to boost your online presence, increase engagement and convert leads.
Virtual Leasing Tools You Can Use on Your Website Today
The first step in the home search process is simply making that first connection and then establishing a relationship with the renter during their rental journey.
There are a few key virtual leasing tools we recommend having built into your website to make that experience impactful for the renter.
The first (and easiest) solution to turn to is a virtual tour built right into your website. Typically, the homepage or the gallery page make perfect spots for a virtual tour.
A self-guided virtual tour puts the initial experience in the renter’s hands. They can make informed decisions about your amenities, units and get a really good feel for the community’s style and tone.
It’s important to note that virtual tours should be standalone tools - while the main goal of a virtual tour is to gain exposure and boost engagement on your website, make sure the user can take action, too. Perhaps they can inquire more about the property directly within the tour, or fill out a form to learn more.
Engagement is the first step, but be sure you guide them in the right direction.
Bonus Tip: Virtual tours that live on your website will pay dividends, but leveraging a software that can give your staff the ability to walk prospects through the space can be a major selling point. Learn more about Panoskin and our virtual screen mirroring option.
If you aren’t leveraging some form of video content marketing on your website, you are missing out on opportunity with your leads.
Whether it’s a walk-through video tour of your property or perhaps video testimonials, video can be an incredibly effective resource for sharing your community message and walking prospects through your space.
Do you have empty model units, or model units sitting untouched? Virtual staging can do wonders to spruce up your available units. Not only are you showcasing empty space, but with virtual staging, you can also show off what a model unit looks like with furniture inside.
With more people staying at home, virtual staging is a perfect way to save money on real furniture and instead help people visualize your space virtually.
Another convenient, yet cost-effective virtual leasing tool is obviously floor plans. Like virtual staging, floor plans help renters get a feel for a model unit and its layout. They get kind of a “dollhouse” look inside the space, helping them visualize the model unit from a birds-eye view.
Because less people are coming on-site to tour properties, 3D floor plans are a step up from 2D. In this case, 3D is going to show off finishes and give a more realistic preview of the apartment home, whereas 2D will limit you to size, specs and layout.
Enough about engagement - let’s talk about conversions.
While the first step in the leasing process is to engage and drive interest (and it’s an important step), your end goal should be to convert renters virtually and get them started with a remote virtual tour.
Here are just a few ways you can do that:
There has been a long debate over whether or not chatbots are truly effective to convert leads, but now more than ever, they can be incredibly powerful tools for renters who land on your website.
With more leasing offices closed, agents can monitor chatbots throughout their work day. In this scenario, chatbots offer 24/7 assistance or customer support, necessary for after-business-hour rental searches but during the day, a real human (leasing agent) can respond to any inquiries that may come through.
Connect a reliable CRM to your website to filter leads through web forms. Once you’ve engaged and captured a lead, it’s time for your leasing agents and sales staff to get to business.
There are plenty of customer relationship management systems built specifically for multifamily and designed to qualify leads.
What’s of utmost importance in today’s increasingly virtual world is finding a CRM that integrates with your current tools and will work for your operations.
Once renters have landed on your website and expressed interest, you’ll want to stay top of mind and get in front of them when it matters most.
Are you offering any deals? Perhaps you have some move-in deals or deals available if they book a virtual tour in the next week.
Renters have a lot of options in front of them, so utilizing ads can help guide them in the right direction during their decision making.
Find the tools that work for your team
At the end of the day, what matters is finding a suite of virtual leasing tools that work seamlessly together. Perhaps you have more of a need for virtual tours or maybe it's an upgrade in floor plans.
Either way, find and test out the tools that will make your team most successful as more renters choose to live life virtually.
Interested in upgraded in your digital presence with the latest virtual leasing tools? Talk to our team today to get started.