According to Aron Galvin on Forbes – “Apartment searching as we know it has shifted. We’ve probably witnessed the current pandemic dramatically shift in the way homes are priced and leased. And though many oppose a change in the apartments sector, the pandemic has facilitated a much-needed revolution of how we interact with customers, where the best-in-class technology-enabled business models pair well-trained salesmen who can market of diverse environments.”
Well before the Coronavirus pandemic, around 5 percent of our sightless apartments were leased out by our company. Mostly, clients were transfers from overseas or others simple to transfer who didn’t have time to visit in person. We provided 3D trips and sporadically presented FaceTime displays, and had recent success. When the directive was given for remain-at-home we realized we had to act swiftly. With the knowledge combined and with the dream, we were equipped for virtual leasing to produce hundreds of pre-recorded videos of any and all facets of our apartment blocks. We have trained our staff on video calls and how to organize floor plans, photos, and other resources to create a scene digitally for someone who wants their home. The outcome was 90 percent year-over-year leasing transactions at equivalent closing prices to traditional in-person showings.
As we are now experiencing a new era of the flu outbreak, where events are more frequent in-person but there are also unusual people traveling to places to see homes, and we all need to change and reach clients when they are more relaxed. That usually includes in-person tours, self-guided tours, and virtual tours.
For all, one-on-one renting tours with a leasing representative are industry standard. These days, that includes multiple safety measures to protect the health and also the well-being of everyone involved. Before a trip, require anyone on a trip to sign a certification that understands the risk of traveling during a disease outbreak and also ensures also they did not or were not vulnerable to Covid-19. This degree of “Private Contract” would go a huge way toward better public safety. Tours should really be limited to four persons and each person should wear a face mask. It will include only the renting agent unlocks doors or touch surfaces. When we launched this tour opportunity at the beginning of June, around 60 percent of our target suppliers choose to travel in person.
Before the flu epidemic, self-guided trips had won popularity for so many years. This is a trip where a prospect gains access to a real estate and can tour without even a leasing agent. Before the epidemic, it had been most popular for morning hours or after-hour apartment displays. The perfect self-guided tour involves the possibility of obtaining entry to an estate, finding an advisor in the company who keeps a safe distance, and can demonstrate the advantages and benefits of a model project. From there, consumers will be able to visit two or three more vacant apartments by themselves at the suggestion of the seller. These often provide for visiting services and open areas. Although this is a modern perspective on self-guided tourism, it has become very popular in our business and we predict that this approach will take place approximately 15 percent of visits now and for the future.
Digital tours have ranged a lot during the last few months. We consider the greatest achievement of getting a video chat with the prospect on which you can create a personal bond. The agent will adopt a defined tour route while talking on camera including the front door, elevator, restaurants, hallways, and rooms. Study pre-recorded photos, floor plans, and 3-dimensional Matterports so that the seller can assist a prospective landlord to see more about the estate’s living.
About 100 percent of our rentals were obtained by interactive trips during the remain-at-home process. We observe about 25 percent of trip prospects selecting virtual as their top option. Many prospective tenants use interactive tours to help determine their choices and follow it up with a self-guided or even in-person presentation. I expect that trend will continue, especially for relocation clients who maybe even more efficient in their investigation when moving to a new place. Brokerages will begin to invest in early plans for virtual leases and expect to extend virtual leases. Online leasing offers tremendous versatility when buying apartments.
Serving customers should be crucial in providing the best level of service when they are most confident as we reach the next phase in the modern standard. The epidemic has put on creativity in apartments leasing however these new developments are all here to live.