Virtual tours have been around for a decade, but their popularity among renters has become more commonplace in recent years. Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic played a big role in growing the popularity of virtual tours, but the benefits of virtual imagery have always been apparent. In fact, residential leasing and sales have long been driven by imagery, image rich website listings, and open houses, but virtual tours have changed the expectation of today’s renter-especially when it comes to delivering those experiences. Savvy apartment complex/building owners and agents have embraced digital and technology advances and are engaging prospective renters in a technology and imagery driven experience that checks all of the boxes for today’s apartment hunter. Check out a few of the most common comments renters make when engaging with our virtual apartment tours.
Life is busy, and taking time to travel to a location, or several locations, and tour through multiple apartments can be tough. This part of the process can quickly consume lunch breaks, evenings, and weekends. Alternately, working through a virtual tour on your device while in the comfort of your office or current apartment is quick and easy. Relocating from another city has never been easier using virtual tours. You don’t even have to be in the same area code to tour apartments. Depending on the platform used by the listing agent, the virtual tour can be interactive, allowing a free flow of questions and comments and encouraging an open dialog between the prospective tenant and the agent. In other instances you can navigate a tour at your own pace and formulate your thoughts to send via email or text to the agent or owner at another time. Either way, the information sharing is streamlined to keep the virtual tour experience on par with in-person showings. Timing isn’t usually critical, unless you are participating in a guided virtual tour, so work schedules and planned activities don’t have to wait because you’re apartment hunting. Log on in the early hours of the morning, on your lunch break, or after the day is done and the experience is the same.
While you may not be touring apartments in-person, the level of detail available through virtual tours measures up. As the renter, you can take your time, zoom in to get up close to floors, walls, and ceilings, looking for signs of wear and tear, and inspecting appliances, etc. Obviously, the layout of the apartment is clear and most virtual tour platforms give you the ability to take measurements of spaces to help appreciate the layout and even plan your move. Those tours that don’t have this functionality will typically include floor plans with dimensions to help plan how you’ll set up furniture and live in your new space.
Sharing the Experience
Getting feedback from friends and family can be tough with traditional showings. Coordinating schedules and attending with more than just a couple people can really slow the process and make communication difficult. Sharing your virtual tour with those whose opinion matters to you is as easy as sharing a link with a mouse click. Prospective renters appreciate owners and agents employing the latest technology to help streamline the leasing process without eliminating any of the touch points renters have come to expect from in-person meetings. Virtual tours have become the easy answer to busy schedules and logistics struggles.
It’s clear that technology can be a powerful tool in many areas, and apartment hunting is no exception. From digital listing services that allow you to quickly search and find available housing options, to the use of email, chat, and text to communicate with leasing agents, virtual tour technology is a perfect complement to an evolving apartment leasing process that better meets the needs of busy prospective tenants and provides a remarkably similar experience found with in-person showings.
Ciminelli Real Estate Corporation offers virtual tours for prospective renters interested in our Buffalo, New York loft style properties, using image rich experiences to upgrade your apartment hunting experience.