Renters want to see a rental property before making any decisions and 30 percent want to see an online tour before contacting property management.
By Kevin Juhasz
Prospective residents will examine many aspects of a property as they research their next home, and what’s important will vary based on their lifestyle.
One thing is certain: Renters want to tour a property before making any decisions. Nearly 90 percent of all renters want to see a property before signing a lease, according to research by Rent.com/research, and 31 percent want the option of an online tour before they’ll even contact the property.
With the current economic landscape and new units coming onto the market, the balance of power is shifting toward renters. That means communities will need to compete for renters more than they have in the past few years.
Rental property tours are one of the most crucial tools required to outperform the competition and how they are handled could make or break whether a prospect decides to sign a lease.
Fast and Hassle-Free Rental Property Tour Scheduling is a Must
Renters might use a variety of sources to look at communities and will likely explore numerous locations.
They possess little brand loyalty; most search at least three rental websites, according to a Rent.com/research survey, and only 15 percent use a single app. After the initial search, many prospects will choose to lease at the first property they visited. This makes easy scheduling first and foremost among the necessary features of your tour framework.
While your leasing team will still receive calls about scheduling tours, a sizable segment of your prospects will opt to schedule a tour online.
This is particularly true among younger renters, who prefer renter journeys that complement their digital-centric lifestyles. It’s possible to use an internet listing service (ILS), the preferred method of apartment searching across all age groups, that incorporates tour scheduling for prospects and calendar management for onsite teams. This feature should also be easy to locate and use on a property’s website.
Your schedule should have plenty of options for scheduling tours as well. Younger renters lean heavily toward weekend opportunities, and the preference for weekday tours increases as the age of prospects increases, according to the study.
Morning and afternoon tours are the most requested, while lunchtime and evening options are generally less favorable.
Use Feature-Rich Online Tours to Peak Interest
Photos and descriptions are helpful, but they can’t compete with a 3D tour to give prospects a feel for their future home and the community.
Nearly one-third of prospects will take an online tour before they even contact a property, so offering a comprehensive overview of the community and a desirable resident experience is a perfect way to bring them to your property.
Tours must go beyond the unit in which prospects are interested, and most will want a complete look at the property, including all amenities, pet-centric offerings, green spaces, parking and more. Almost every portion of the property should be covered.
Potential renters will likely use Google Street View for a look at the exterior building, but they won’t stop there. Information gathering has reached new heights — literally. Google’s Aerial View provides visitors with an understanding of how a community is situated within a neighborhood and its proximity to grocery, retail, restaurants, entertainment establishments, parks, transit and any other items that might pertain to their lifestyles.
Other Important Rental Property Tour Factors
In-person tours are regaining appeal to many prospects, but a significant segment still prefers self-guided tours. This type of tour requires more upfront planning and a property needs a way to provide access to a unit.
Quality tours are an amazing way to augment future retention efforts, build trust and enhance online reputation. Providing as much insight as possible in virtual tours enables prospects to formulate the necessary questions to ask during an in-person tour and confirm that the community is right for them. Knowing they’ve made the best choice will reflect well in reviews and help to keep residents beyond their initial lease. It also lets future renters know that you’re open to sharing all possible information and that level of openness will build trust that could mean the difference in a lease-signing.
Offering a property that will appeal to renters is important, but nobody will know what your community has to offer unless a solid rental property tour structure is in place.
With the competition for prospects increasing and the number of people who rely on ILSs and digital means to study a property and schedule, tours are an area that nobody in multifamily can overlook or approach lightly.
About the author:
Kevin Juhasz is a content manager for LinnellTaylor Marketing and a writer, editor, and storyteller.