Anytime new technology begins to mature and become more established there is a natural fear amongst employees that new tools could jeopardize their jobs. If a new technological device automates a task, will their employer still need to employ them to do that task?
In multifamily, this is an understandable concern for leasing agents as community websites become more robust leasing tools. Once you have video tours, for example, your website becomes a de facto leasing agent. But if websites can qualify and even close new leads, what role is left for the leasing agent? Similar concerns can apply to other roles in apartment marketing. If all of your marketing is concentrated around a website, what does the marketing team do?
In this blog we’ll talk through some of those fears that sometimes arise as community or corporate staff look at the future of apartment marketing.
New technology doesn’t have to eliminate jobs.
Often, the risks of automation can be overstated. You can check-in for a flight via an app on your phone. Airlines still employ gate agents. Automated checkout exists at grocery stores, but they still employ human cashiers.
This is because most jobs aren’t simply repeating the same mechanical tasks over and over, but also require human interaction and human judgment in order to be done competently.
Indeed, while there is some legitimate fear about automation and job loss, it is still very hard to say how severe the problem will actually be.
Online Marketing and Apartment Marketers
Ultimately, you should look at new apartment marketing technology as an asset rather than a liability. The most obvious effects of embracing walkthrough video tours and more comprehensive community websites will not be job loss for workers, but improved leasing performance.
Here are some of the benefits of online video tours in particular.
First, video tours should improve lead quality. Why? Because prospects can now tour the unit online without needing to drive to the property. This means the worst leads should disqualify themselves when they see the video instead of showing up for a tour and deciding not to lease as soon as they see the unit. The prospects leftover who have seen the unit online and then called to schedule a tour will generally be a much warmer lead.
Second, online video tours simply increase the number of tours you can give. You can now give tours on Sundays or after hours. This doesn’t take away from the leasing team’s work, but simply adds to the amount of work that is able to be done.
Third, online video tours give leasing agents and property managers another tool they can use to help close the deal. Sometimes, the person living in the apartment may not be the primary person paying for it—college students often get help with their rent from their parents or roommates split the cost of rent. A video tour is the sort of thing a prospect can send their parents or roommates to help convince them that the unit is worth leasing. Thus, online video tours are not a threat to human apartment marketers, but are actually an asset.