Virtual tours have grown in popularity over the years; thanks to the development of smartphone capability and apps, property managers and landlords can show off their rental properties to many prospective tenants at the same time. Renters also benefit, as they can search for housing and view the properties they’re interested in without ever leaving their homes.
As a rental housing professional, virtual tours can boost your business – especially now, with COVID-19 concerns. Listings with virtual home tours consistently garner more interest and views than listings without them, in part because they give applicants more time to get a feel for the property. If you’ve been considering offering virtual tours but weren’t sure where to start, here’s a look at some great apps that can get you up and running.
Realync is a cloud-based app that allows for real-time, immersive interactions between you and prospective tenants. You can respond to their questions and showcase all the features of your properties through real-time tours or pre-recorded videos. All videos can be saved on the cloud for future use. Another great feature is the ability to host a live virtual open house that you can invite prospective renters to attend from anywhere in the world. The app also has fairly extensive (but easy-to-understand) analytics that allow you to determine what’s working for you and what isn’t, as well as the ability to capture contact data from open houses.
Rently aims to make property tours easier for you and prospective renters with self-touring technology. The company provides a lockbox device for each vacant property, which costs $30/month for unlimited leads and users. This device connects to the renters’ smartphone app, granting them access to the property without the need for you or your staff to be there. Prospective renters can register for a self-tour online; once they’re approved, they will receive a one-time entry code giving them access to the vacant unit. This app can be used for both single-family homes and multifamily communities.
Abodo is a web-based multiple-listing site that allows renters to search for housing in more than 300 cities nationwide. The app makes it easy for renters to browse, filter, and tour properties that interest them. Listings are free for property managers, and you can easily reach out and communicate with interested parties. Although Abodo is open to everyone, its target market tends to be college students looking for affordable housing.
Tour24 is another web-based platform that allows you to offer self-guided tours whenever it’s most convenient for you. You can choose when renters are allowed to tour the property, as well as when to switch tours off. Renters schedule a tour through the app, which conducts identity verification before the appointment is approved. Like Rently, Tour24 uses the prospective tenant’s smartphone as the key to the property. Once the renter is at the property, their phone essentially becomes the onsite tour guide, generating pop-ups that highlight points of interest around the home.
AnyoneHome isn’t a virtual tour app but it does allow you to offer a fully immersive contact center through a well-developed CRM platform. Renters can schedule tours online, conducted either through an onsite manager or a self-guided tour. The app aims to optimize your leasing process with 24/7 availability, plus it integrates with a variety of helpful apps and self-guided tour hardware, including Tour24.
Video Conferencing Tools
In addition to the above apps, you can also use video conferencing tools to conduct virtual tours. Some of the most popular and easy-to-use ones include Zoom, GoogleMeet, and Facetime.
As you look into these apps, you may want to make a priority list to help you decide which ones would be most beneficial to you. Think about the following factors:
- What’s your budget?
- How many renters would you like to be able to give virtual tours at once?
- Are you thinking about producing a single video tour that you can share with interested parties? Or would you prefer to offer personalized tours?
- Do you need the ability to schedule virtual tours? You may also want to read through our blog on tips and best practices for virtual tours to get more ideas on how you’d like to conduct them.