If you’re reading this, you are probably interested in this topic for one of two reasons: You are a landlord/manager interested in creating virtual apartment tours, or you’re a potential tenant wanting to know what questions to ask when taking a 3D virtual tour.  Sounds about right?

Even before 2020, virtual apartment tours were “a thing,” but during 2020, for obvious reasons, and going forward, they are an essential tool to market any kind of property.

With so much competition, it’s essential to keep up your game or even have a competitive advantage. For example, did you know that housing marketers who use video grow revenue 49% faster than non-video users? 49%!  Are you part of the 49% or the 51%?

During the next three to four minutes, while you read, you will learn about virtual apartment tours, their history, and essential tips whether you’re a landlord/manager or potential tenant.

Some Background

Video apartment tours are a component of video marketing.  

It was 15 years ago that video marketing just began to take hold.   During this time, the only platform available to post or view a video was via Apple iTunes.  The only people who could accomplish such a feat were highly technical “nerds.”  

Over the years, video marketing has grown in popularity as a way to show properties. However, since 2020, and the onset of the COVID pandemic, it’s become essential to produce 3D virtual tours and make them widely available to anyone interested in buying or renting.

Tips for Landlords and Managers Providing a Virtual Apartment Tour

The importance of creating an excellent reputation and then protecting and advancing it makes all the difference in the success you reach with your business.

If you haven’t already started using video as your marketing medium, now’s the time to get started.  Producing video tours can be a fun way to grow your business by attracting more interest in your property, providing them with a beautiful visual, and helping you rent more homes to more people.

There are two ways to conduct a virtual apartment tour:

  1. Make a video that shows a staged unit and the property that gives your prospect a feel for living there.
  2. Take your prospect on a virtual tour with you.  In other words, not pre-made, but live with you!

Five Tips to Help You Create a 3D Virtual Tour:

  1. Make your strategy and plan – Sit down, maybe with your team, and start thinking about what virtual rental tour you want to make.  For example, do you want to show pictures of a staged residence?  Do you want to do a “fly-through” (360 views) so your video is flying through the home?  There are sites available to help you create your video – some even have templates you can use.  
  2. Budget – No matter what your budget, you have to ensure that you make quality video tours.  In the real estate industry especially, the more polished your video and how well it captures your property and rentals, the more competitive you will be.  Do your research and begin to determine what budget you’ll need.
  3. Include the location and lifestyle of your property – Remember, it’s not just the residence you’re working to rent.  It’s all that surrounds it, including transit, shopping, restaurants, exercise opportunities such as parks, medical care, etc. So include the property area when creating your virtual tour.
  4. Show humanity when making your video – Prospects will always move toward people they feel that they know, like, and trust. For example, use music and or a voice that is welcoming.  Attract your prospects by showing how people will live at your property. Consider testimonials of tenants already there or scenes of a “day in the life.”
  5. Keep your virtual rental tours at no more than two minutes – The attention span of an adult is just eight seconds, which is one second more than a goldfish. 

How to Lead a 3D Virtual Apartment Tour:

  1. Make a virtual apartment tour as human, pleasant, and thorough as any in-person tour would be.  Include all the areas of the property that you would show your prospect on a walk-around tour.
  2. Talk WITH the prospect just like they were sitting with you.  
  3. Anticipate the questions they’ll have and include them in the video.  Of course, there will always be the questions you didn’t anticipate, so leave time in the end for your prospects to ask anything they need to.

There is so much information available to help you make an excellent virtual tour, whether you’re a beginner or advanced videographer. 

Essential Questions for a Prospective Tenant to Ask during a 3D Virtual Apartment Tour

As a prospect, it can be different being on a virtual tour.  It takes some willingness to change your expectations. But, if you’re able to do this, virtual rental tours can be fantastic.  

When taking a virtual tour with the property manager or agent, there are some questions you should consider asking to get an authentic feel for the property before signing a lease.  

  • When on an in-person tour, be sure to ask the following questions:
    • Will you please show me all the closets, nooks, and pantry to get an authentic feel for space?
    • How’s the water pressure? Can you turn on the faucets so I can see?
    • Will you open all the windows and blinds?
    • Will you show me all the kitchen appliances up close?
    • Are there any details that I should be aware of that I can’t see?  For example, stains, knicks, noises, and creaks when walking around, etc.
    • What about noise?  How’s the traffic by the property?  How’s the traffic noise near the apartment you’re showing me?
    • How is the internet strength?  Does it differ around the property?  Should I be aware of this, considering the residence you’re showing me?

A Final Thought

Whether you’re a landlord or a prospective tenant, understanding how to interact with a 3D virtual tour is essential.  The world of virtual marketing is here to stay.

How you engage with it from a landlord or renter’s point of view will make the difference in your outcome of meeting renting goals and living in the home you desire.

Use the above tips to help you navigate the virtual apartment tour world.  You got this!

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