The past year has taught valuable lessons to everyone in business and shifted the way many of us conduct our businesses. The leasing and sales part of real estate was greatly impacted as potential renters and buyers could not go to properties to take a traditional tour of the property. The in-person tour has been one of the bedrocks of the leasing and sales process, but now as COVID-19 continues to impact our society, consumers demand the ability to see properties from the comfort of their home before they ever go to a property. We do not anticipate this changing, and we believe it will become a standard part of the consumer experience going forward.
What are Virtual Tours?
There are many approaches that have been taken to providing virtual tours including utilizing Facetime to walk a prospect through a unit or using a camera or iPhone to video a unit and posting the video through a service like YouTube. These are fine options, but to provide a professional virtual tour it is best to invest in the technology created for the purpose of creating 3D virtual tours. With the right camera and technology we are able to provide a 360 degree immersive tour of the property that the consumer can view from the comfort of their couch 24/7.
Why should I have a Virtual Tour?
Historically, the consumer experience consisted of a listing of community amenities, a 2D floor plan, and an image gallery. As a result of COVID-19, the world is moving away from just having 2D images to an immersive media experience. Consumers primary source for finding where they will rent, or purchase, is through online search. According to Zillow’s research, the most preferred resource for consumers is online resources with 79 percent of consumers listing this as their top resource. They further break this down by generation showing that 88% of Millennials prefer to use online resources followed by 79 percent of Gen X, and 70 percent of Baby Boomers.
The data shows that it is essential to provide an immersive media experience like a 3D virtual tour to rank well with the search engines and attract potential renters and buyers. Virtual tours generate more tenant leads by making your listing more appealing, and according to stats from Apartments.com, prospects spend three times as much time on a listing that has a video or virtual tour. Prospects are more likely to look at listings with virtual tours, spend more time looking at those listings, and most importantly they are more likely to inquire about those listings.
How does it work?
Spaces has invested in a 360-degree camera and software to create state of the art virtual tours. The high-definition camera enables us to capture each room and the exterior of the property and combine them into one interactive 3D tour. The prospect renter or purchaser can seamlessly click through the house in any direction to see detailed views of all angles of each room as if they were walking through the property in person. We can also overlay an interactive floor plan to enhance the customer experience.
How much does it cost?
There are professional companies that specialize in just producing virtual tours and they charge between $250 and $500 depending on the size of the property. Because of how important it is becoming to include virtual tours in listings, Spaces invested in the camera and software to be able to create these tours at a discount for our owners. We have a flat fee of $175 per virtual tour. If you want to have a virtual tour added to your listing, please reach out to your Property Manager today and tell them you want a virtual tour. They will take care of it from there.