Now that virtual touring and leasing options are more common, there's a misperception around the value of a leasing agent's role. If prospective residents can see walkthrough videos or 360-degree floorplan photos of units, as well as fill out an application online, a lot of the work a leasing agent would typically perform is already done, right?
Rather than being an inhibitor to their duties, walkthrough video tours actually make a leasing agent's job easier and more fulfilling.
We know many of you have had weeks where you've had to conduct 10 tours and four of the prospects never showed up or a few others turned into dead-ends. Leasing agents can have some frustrating days and feel like a lot of their time gets wasted. Walkthrough video tours and other virtual options seek to eliminate these aspects of the job because they're designed to bring in more qualified leads.
In this blog, we'll explore four ways walkthrough video tours are helpful for leasing agents.
1. In-person tours are more focused on closing than showing.
If your community has walkthrough video tours on its website, odds are favorable that, when a prospect schedules an in-person tour, they've already seen your apartments.
This means they're more prepared to rent from you because they clearly liked what they saw virtually and want to pursue further action. For leasing agents, this is a win. Rather than spending most of the tour showing or describing every feature of your units or amenities, the leasing agent can focus more on closing.
There are varying methods of closing techniques for leasing agents to use, but typically this means allowing the prospect to explore the space themselves and letting them confirm their initial intrigues or interest. When they're guiding the tour and asking the questions, this is a good signal for leasing agents to begin taking them towards the next step—signing the lease.
The other benefit of walkthrough video tours in this instance is that they can also eliminate unproductive tours. Have you ever endured the experience of meeting a prospect for an in-person tour, only to realize in the first few minutes that they clearly weren't interested in the unit? Having less tours like this will make leasing agents feel more confident when conducting tours with prospects who know what they're getting into, and it could also become a morale booster if leasing agents are closing at a high rate.
2. Walkthrough videos give leasing agents the ability to cross-sell.
There's no guarantee, of course, that just because somebody saw a walkthrough video and scheduled an in-person tour of one of your units that they're automatically going to sign a lease. Sometimes seeing a unit live confirms a worry they might've had going in, such as the space not being big enough.
When these issues arise, it doesn't have to mean the tour is over. Leasing agents can leverage walkthrough videos to begin cross-selling other units from apartment communities your company manages. They could show the prospects videos of those other floorplans to help keep them as customers, even if that means they don't rent directly from the property they're currently touring. This tactic is also really helpful for walk-ins.
3. Leasing agents can properly follow-up with prospects using walkthrough videos.
After a tour, walkthrough videos should be used when a leasing agent follows-up with the prospect. Why? The agent should be doing everything they can to prevent their community from blending in with others.
Sending the prospect a link to the walkthrough video of the unit they toured in-person is a smart way of keeping your community top of mind throughout the duration of their search.
It also gives the prospect the ability to show secondary stakeholders, such as parents or roommates, a video of the apartment they're interested in renting. If their secondary stakeholders can build trust in your apartments by seeing a walkthrough video, then that may make the difference in getting that prospect to end their search and sign a lease.
4. Leasing agents can develop a referral program with walkthrough videos.
Having walkthrough videos on your community's website instantly increases your apartment's visibility. The other great thing is that these videos are easily shareable.
One idea we think could help leasing agents get prospects to close is to offer them a referral bonus by sharing your walkthrough videos on social media. You could apply this same bonus towards current residents as well. The bonus could be as much or as little as you see fit, but either way it doesn't require prospects or tenants much effort to share a video for a little extra cash. It's a win-win.
Walkthrough videos will never fully replace the job of a leasing agent; in fact, they make their jobs easier. RentVision was born out of a property management company, and we know all too well the frustrations a leasing agent experiences when things aren't going well. By taking advantage of walkthrough videos, agents can conduct more qualified tours and close more leases.
None of these benefits are possible, though, if prospects have no choice but to drive to your apartments to see them. If that's the case for your community, then it's time to add more virtual touring and leasing options to your website.