Are Virtual Tours Worth It?

Are Virtual Tours Worth It?

Most renters today shop for rental properties online. 

Whether this means scrolling through listings on Zillow, exploring individual rental business websites, or browsing social media, one thing is certain: the rental marketplace is online.

Because so many renters prefer to shop online, it makes sense to develop a digital infrastructure to meet these new demands. One way to do this is to offer virtual tours. The flexibility, convenience, and professional appeal of virtual tours make them one of the best digital tools for landlords looking to attract tenants online.

As Gen Z renters become old enough to rent housing, it’s especially important that you adapt to new technologies. Younger renters are familiar with YouTube, videoconferencing, and virtual/augmented reality software. Utilizing these technologies has a strong appeal to not only Gen Z renters but all renters who use the Internet.

Below is a brief overview of virtual tours and why they are worth implementing in your rental business.

What Are Virtual Tours?

First things first: what are virtual tours? The term “virtual tour” can mean a few different things. For instance, a virtual tour may be a live video call with a tenant in which you show your properties on a virtual platform like FaceTime or Zoom in real time.

Virtual tours can also be prerecorded videos that you develop and post to your website or social media. These kinds of tours are popular on YouTube and are great for archiving so that future renters can view them.

Finally, the most specific use of the term “virtual tour” is a digital interactive tour. This technology uses 360-degree 3D modeling software to let viewers virtually “explore” a unit. If you’re interested in developing interactive virtual tours for prospective renters, you’ll need to use a 3D imaging application such as Floorfy or Concept 3D.

Virtual tours can range from highly formal to relatively informal. For instance, your tours could involve simply FaceTiming or video calling an interested renter and showing them around. However, you could also buy professional equipment and prerecord a formal, scripted tour.

What kind of virtual tour is best for your business and how you implement it is up to you.

Benefits of Virtual Tours

Virtual tours don’t replace in-person ones, but they offer other benefits when face-to-face meetings aren’t feasible.

Here are a few benefits of virtual tours.

Improved Accessibility

Let’s say a renter lives far away and can’t easily fly or drive to attend an in-person showing. They can still participate in a virtual tour, whether live or independently paced. 

Virtual tours also mean that more people will be exposed to your business and properties over the long run. By keeping recorded videos or interactive tours available on your website year after year, you demonstrate that you are transparent about your properties and encourage prospective tenants to explore them.

Save Time and Money

Virtual tours also help you waste less time on tenants for whom your properties aren’t a good fit. If a tenant visits your website and dislikes an aspect of your property, they can move on to another property. Virtual tours also save you money on staging properties.

Tenant Experience

Tenants want to visualize themselves living in your properties. Virtual tours give them an authentic on-the-ground experience of your units. On some software platforms, they can even virtually “place” furniture and try out various layouts or decorations.

Increase Applicants

Virtual tours draw traffic to your website. They hold renters’ attention longer than text or photographs and improve your overall website analytics.

Tips for Virtual Tours

If you’re ready to implement virtual tours in your rental business, here are a few tips.

Keep it Immersive – Engage renters by letting renters ask questions in live tours or allowing them to explore as many rooms as possible.

Mobile Users Want Tours Too – Are your video or 3D tours adaptable to mobile devices? If not, you may want to rethink how you implement your virtual tours. Many renters search for housing on their smartphones or tablets. They should be able to view a tour just as easily on these devices as on their desktop.

Keep Your Photos – Virtual tours are not a replacement for high-quality photographs. Maintain a photo archive on your website or social media accounts for renters who would prefer to explore that way.

Prioritize User Control – Can tenants maneuver around, return to previous rooms, and ask questions? For live sessions, can users stop you to review a previous room? Make renters feel in control of the tour no matter what platform you use.

Implement Virtual Tours in Your Rental Business

Virtual tours offer many benefits for prospective renters and landlords alike. Adapt to this rental trend and choose a virtual tour option that works well for your business.

Choosing to do a virtual tour is totally your choice. But when you travel to awesome cities like Philadelphia, you can safely store your luggage at Vertoe locations while exploring the city. Check luggage storage in Philadelphia to find more details.

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