Virtual Tours for Apartment Marketing
We can’t stress enough the importance of virtual tours for apartment marketing services. Especially when it comes to long term commitments like renting an apartment. It’s important for a prospect to know what they are getting themselves into before they sign that lease with you. The floor plan page is the most visited page on the website other than the home page. On top of that, it’s often the most recommended update on apartment websites. So why not go a little bit above and beyond when it comes to apartment floor plans? Why not give the prospect the chance to fully immerse themselves into the apartment? We’re talking about offering your future residents a tour of your community without ever leaving their home.
Understanding Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in Virtual Tours
Picture strolling down the corridors of an apartment building without budging from your seat. Welcome to the realm of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) in the realm of real estate. VR grants you the ability to plunge into a simulated world, offering a complete 360-degree panorama of a property.
Meanwhile, AR adds digital layers to the physical world, enriching the viewing adventure. These technological marvels have ignited a revolution in apartment marketing, bestowing potential renters with an interactive and captivating avenue to explore properties.
According to research from Statista, the global VR and AR market is set to swell to a staggering $209.2 billion by 2022, underlining the immense potential and influence of these innovations.
Now, the natural question arises: how can one harness the prowess of VR and AR to its maximum potential in the art of apartment marketing? This is where finesse and inventiveness take center stage. Envision deploying VR to fabricate immersive virtual tours, offering renters the chance to scrutinize every corner and cranny of the property.
Elevate these tours with the infusion of AR elements, which can provide supplementary information, such as floor plans or particulars about nearby amenities. This strategic approach not only catapults your properties into the limelight but also forges a profound connection with potential renters.
Sages in the field, like Jeremy Bailenson, a distinguished communication professor at Stanford, underscore the significance of user autonomy and personalization in virtual domains, all in the pursuit of heightening user experience. By imbuing virtual tours with these transformative technologies, you craft an unparalleled and indelible encounter, capable of metamorphosing mere onlookers into enthusiastic renters.
What are the Benefits of Virtual Tours for Apartment Marketing?
A few months ago we released a post about the best apartment marketing ideas in 2019 and virtual tours for apartment marketing were on that list for a good reason. Virtual Tours are not only the future of floor plans, but they also come with benefits for both prospect and leasing staff alike! Here are some of the ones we felt were most noteworthy!
Virtual Tours are Interactive & User Friendly
A virtual apartment tour allows your viewers to explore your property independently and in the way they want. They can view the apartment room by room, and inspect everything without feeling any outside rush or pressure. We all enjoy shopping at our own pace and this allows your potential resident that luxury!
Engage Your Prospects with Interactive Virtual Tour Features
Virtual Apartment Tours Save Time & Energy
Time is money and anything that saves us money is a great idea. Virtual Tours not only reduce the time for prospects who want to look at the apartment but also free up the leasing staff from holding as many property tours. This also allows people who can’t make it within your hours of operation a chance to see the property. Your website never closes!
360 Degree Immersive Apartment Virtual Tours
Virtual Tours Filter Less Serious Inquiries Out
As we said, allowing people to tour the property before ever setting foot there lessens the number of property tours your leasing staff has to host. It seems odd but this is one of those “less is more” situations. When given the option to see the property on your computer or phone it allows people to decide right then and there if they truly want to visit in person.
People who decide to come to visit are going to be the people who are more likely to rent from your property because they already want to or else they wouldn’t have scheduled a tour! If your leasing staff has more time and energy to spend on these more serious inquiries the better the chance to get that prospect to sign a lease!
Just How Important Are Virtual Tours for Apartment Marketing?
In short, pretty important. We know that most renters (around 90%, in fact) find their apartments through the internet. More than 50% of apartment searchers take between 14 to 90 days to find an apartment. Apartment renters do not select housing on a whim. They research and plan and select the best housing for them, using the internet. Virtual tours are a strong and vital way to push your apartment community over the top.
How do we know virtual tours will help you in leads? A recent study found that apartment listings with virtual tours receive 87% more views than apartment listings without virtual tours. Yes, you read that right. 87%! Why the increase in views? Essentially, your potential residents can virtually tour your apartment unit from anywhere with a computer. You can reach leads who are out of town, or extremely busy (or even shy!).
Keep reading to find out just how to market apartments with virtual tours!
Leverage Your Social Media for Virtual Tour Promotion
Let’s take a look at the world of social media and how it can boost your virtual tour promotional game. We’re talking strategies that can help you reach a larger audience, increase engagement, and drive traffic directly to your engaging virtual tours.
First of all, make your messages visual. Make them irresistible to potential residents so they absolutely want to click on them. Share eye-catching images or short video clips that showcase the best features of your apartments. Create captions that entice your users to immerse themselves in the entire virtual tour experience. Remember the key is to optimize your content for each social media platform to make a lasting impact.
Next, let’s talk about targeting. Social media platforms provide great tools to help you reach the right audience. Define your ideal demographic based on factors such as location, age, interests and housing preferences. So use these targeting options to ensure your virtual tour content reaches the people most likely to be interested in what you have to offer.
Now commitment is the name of the game. Actively interact with your audience! Respond to comments, answer questions, and encourage users to share their thoughts on your virtual tours. Spice things up by running exciting contests or giveaways associated with viewing your virtual tours. The more engagement you generate, the more users will want to explore your virtual tours and spread the word.
Finally, we generate traffic. Strategically place links in your social media posts that direct users to dedicated landing pages or websites where they can access the full virtual tour experience. Add powerful call-to-action buttons or persuasive language that entice users to click and immerse themselves in the virtual tour wonderland.
By shaking up the social media scene, you’ll expand your audience, increase engagement, and drive traffic directly to your virtual tours. So let’s get social and unleash the power of social media platforms to showcase your breathtaking virtual tours. Get ready to connect with your potential residents and watch your inquiries and conversions soar!
Showcase Community Amenities Through Online Apartment Tours
Don’t forget to highlight the fantastic neighborhood amenities that your property provides in virtual tours. It’s one of the best practices for virtual apartment tours. In order to draw potential residents and set your property apart from rivals, showcasing amenities like fitness centers, swimming pools, or communal areas as virtual tours should be the next step in your marketing plan.
For many of your prospective residents, the availability of community amenities will be something important to consider. They want features that will improve their daily lives in general and foster a sense of community. By emphasizing them in your virtual tours, you let them get a sense of the benefits and way of life they can experience as a part of your property.
Imagine giving your audience a virtual tour of a cutting-edge fitness facility that features the best tools available and cutting-edge architecture. They can picture themselves exercising in a place that supports their wellness goals without even going inside. Just like displaying a sparkling swimming pool with lounge areas and nice landscaping inspires potential residents to picture themselves lounging in the sun and going for a refreshing swim, sharing a virtual tour of communal areas like your lounge or clubhouse creates a sense community and fun.
Highlighting neighborhood amenities in your virtual tours gives your property a competitive edge in your apartment marketing. It sets you apart from other properties that might not have such nice features or fail to effectively showcase them. A property with top-notch amenities and a well-rounded living experience is much more likely to attract potential residents, so don’t underestimate the value of emphasizing your amenities in your virtual apartment tours.
How Do I Create a Virtual Tour?
Creating virtual tours for apartment rentals can seem daunting, but technology can make it simple. Especially if you partner with marketing experts who know how it all works.
The easiest way to make a virtual tour is with a Matterport camera. These things are incredible and have reshaped how the real estate industry shows properties and they are extremely easy to use! You simply set it up, scan the room then move it to the next room until you get every nook and cranny and the whole thing gets set up on the Matterport app on your tablet. The tricky part is getting the camera. They certainly aren’t cheap so the more cost-efficient method is to reach out to a company, like ours, that offers to create one for you!
Virtual tours might seem like a lot of work, but with the right camera or software, it’s absolutely doable. You really can’t beat working with an experienced marketing team to highlight all your best features, though. That’s why we recommend taking advantage of experience when creating virtual tours for your rental property.
Personalize and Market Your Virtual Tours for Target Demographics
When it comes to apartment marketing, tailoring your virtual tours for your specific demographic audience can have a huge impact on the success of your marketing efforts.
When you understand the preferences, needs, and unique lifestyles of your specific audience, you can create virtual tours that appeal directly to them. If you’re targeting young professionals, your virtual tour could highlight the sleek, modern design of the apartments, and show off the features that will fit with their busy, active lifestyles. On the other hand, if your target audience is families, you can focus on spacious layouts, kid-friendly amenities like playgrounds, and your property’s proximity to schools and parks.
Personalization helps your potential residents imagine what it’s really like to live at your property. You show them that you understand what they want and are ready to accommodate their unique needs. If the viewer can see themselves in the virtual tour, they feel more connected to your community which is really important for their decision-making process. They are more likely to choose a place that matches their lifestyle and makes them feel like they belong.
In a competitive market like multifamily housing, customization is what will set you apart, so, embrace personalizing your virtual tours and see how it changes your marketing!
Accessibility of Virtual Tours for Rental Properties
Virtual tours are a great way to make your apartment website accessible to everyone. They break down physical barriers and give people with disabilities or limited mobility a fair shot at exploring somewhere they might want to live.
Imagine this: you’re someone with mobility challenges, and the thought of navigating stairs or long distances over and over again to find an apartment can be a real headache. That’s where virtual tours come to the rescue! Potential renters can comfortably explore apartments from the cozy comfort of their own home, without the stress of going in person. It puts the power in their hands to get the information they need to make a decision without the hassle of in-person visits.
But it’s not just about mobility. Virtual tours also help people with visual or hearing impairments. With things like screen readers, they can access detailed descriptions of your apartment’s layout, different room dimensions, and your amenities. These descriptions help them get an idea of your space and decide if it will work for them.
You can even include transcriptions or captions in your video tours, so that important details and features are accessible to everyone who might be interested in your apartment community.
You want to show how committed you are to inclusivity and accessibility, so you can make sure that everyone, regardless of their abilities, can easily find their perfect home at your property.
Enhance Your Virtual Apartment Walkthroughs with Descriptive Narration
To go a bit further with that, let’s talk more specifically about incorporating descriptive narration in virtual tours and how they not only enhance the overall user experience but also provide accessibility for people who may need it. The descriptive narration gives you a chance to add more context and highlight the key features of your apartments. You get to make your virtual tour more inclusive and accommodating to a wider audience.
For people who have visual impairments or other accessibility needs, the descriptive narration is super helpful. When you provide a detailed audio description of the apartment’s layout, architectural elements, and amenities, you help those people who can’t rely solely on visual cues to fully experience the space. Descriptive narration becomes their “eyes” during the virtual tour, giving them a chance to understand the surroundings, visualize the environment, and form a connection with your apartment.
The benefits of descriptive narration like that go beyond accessibility. It makes the virtual tour experience richer for all your users, so they get a more immersive and engaging journey. Descriptive narration can evoke emotions through telling stories and create an experience that future renters will remember. It’s time to make virtual tours accessible, engaging, and memorable for everyone!
Address Common Concerns and Questions with a Virtual Apartment Tour
Virtual tours give you a chance to answer any questions and concerns that potential tenants might have on top of accurately portraying your apartment homes. Interactive virtual tours for apartments can offer educational descriptions, labels, or interactive hotspots that address common questions about everything from storage space and kitchen appliances to amenities and your pet policy.
Your potential residents are given the knowledge they need to make the best decisions when detailed information about your property is provided within your virtual tour itself. And it’s super efficient! They are more likely to continue to be interested because of how open and upfront you are about your community and they will have more confidence in choosing your apartment.
Integrate Virtual Tours with Lead Generation Strategies
Making virtual tours a part of your lead generation strategies can make a real difference when it comes to converting potential residents. Virtual tours give you a great opportunity to engage with prospects and guide them seamlessly through your lead generation process. When you use lead capture forms, call-to-action buttons, and follow-up campaigns, you can drive conversions because of the strong connection you build between your virtual tours and lead generation.
When you strategically place lead capture forms within your virtual tour, you can capture important contact information from interested viewers. These forms can pop up at specific moments during the tour, like after showcasing your awesome amenities or highlighting your apartment’s unique features. You get their details and then you can initiate meaningful follow-up conversations and turn those leads into residents.
But we don’t stop there! Integrating call-to-action buttons throughout your virtual tour is a great way to guide potential residents toward the actions you want them to take. Whether it’s scheduling a personalized in-person tour, requesting more information, or starting the application process, these buttons give your interested viewers clear next steps. You get to make it as easy as possible for them to take action and start converting prospects with interactive apartment tours.
Once you’ve got leads through your virtual tour, you need to stay in touch and nurture the relationship. Set up automated follow-up campaigns, like personalized emails or SMS messages, that give them more information or highlight your special offers. Keep the conversation going so you can build trust, start increasing leads with apartment virtual tours, and convert your potential.
Measure the Effectiveness of Your Apartment Marketing with Virtual Tours
Data tracking and analysis are so important when it comes to understanding how effective your virtual tours are in your apartment marketing campaigns. It’s like going behind the scenes to understand how your virtual tour works and make informed decisions to maximize its impact.
An important point to keep in mind is the level of interaction with your virtual tours. You need to look at metrics like the number of views, the amount of time people spend exploring the tour, and which interactive elements they actually use. These engagement metrics give you a real sense of potential residents’ interest and engagement in your virtual tours. If you see high engagement, it means they are genuinely interested and enjoy the experience.
Make sure you track the number of leads captured, conversion rates, and where those leads are coming from. It will help you understand how effective your virtual tours are in attracting and converting your potential residents. With that information, you can focus your efforts on what works best and get the most bang for your buck.
There are some really handy tools you can use to track and analyze your data. You can use platforms like Google Analytics to understand how your user behaves, where they come from, and how well your tours are converting. If you’ve got lead capture forms and call-to-action buttons right in your virtual tours, you’ll be able to use them to track the number of leads you get. It’s all about bringing together the data from all your sources and using these analytics tools intentionally to get a clear idea of how your virtual tours are performing.
Insights and Impact on the Apartment Industry
Virtual Tour Engagement Rates: Delve into the fascinating realm of virtual tours and their mesmerizing impact on engagement rates. Brace yourself for revelations that are bound to leave you intrigued. Unveiling the Viewership Surge: Prepare to be astounded as we unveil a captivating insight from a study conducted by Realtor.com. Brace yourself for this nugget of wisdom: listings adorned with virtual tours bask in a staggering 87% surge in views compared to their non-tour counterparts.
Picture this: potential seekers immersing themselves in these virtual odysseys for up to 10 enchanting minutes, while mere non-tour listings grasp their attention for a mere 2 minutes. The disparity is truly a sight to behold. This heightened engagement is not just idle gazing; it’s the catalyst for an upward spiral in conversion rates for leads that hold promise. Now, isn’t that a revelation worth savoring?
Impact on Decision-Making: Here’s a gem of insight from a Matterport survey that paints a vivid portrait of virtual tour magic. Brace yourself for the revelation that a staggering 76% of respondents confessed: virtual tours hold the sway to mold their leasing decisions. The reason? These digital voyages transport potential tenants into a realm of realism, where they can seamlessly envision themselves in the very spaces they’re exploring. Can you feel the gears of decision-making turning?
Reduction in Vacancy Rates: Our journey wouldn’t be complete without a glance at how virtual tours are rewriting the script of property vacancies. Prepare to be wowed by data from Apartments.com, whispering tales of a 14% decline in vacancy rates for properties that have embraced virtual tours. The secret ingredient? Virtual tours cast a spell, summoning a bevy of qualified prospects, ultimately curbing the unnerving stretch of vacant times. A virtual transformation, indeed.
Cost-Effectiveness: Allow us to divulge a revelation that’s music to property managers’ ears – straight from the annals of the National Association of Realtors. The saga of virtual tours unfolds with a promise of up to 40% in savings on marketing expenditures. How, you ask? The alchemy of virtual tours sweeps away the need for traditional staging and a multitude of in-person showings, unfurling a pocket-friendly panorama of property presentation. A symphony of smart savings, wouldn’t you agree?
Environmental Benefits: As our narrative nears its zenith, an eco-conscious revelation beckons. Embrace the findings from the Environmental Protection Agency’s research, which imparts a remarkable statistic: virtual tours wield the power to curtail CO2 emissions by a staggering 47% in the context of property visits.
This virtual revolution translates to fewer physical journeys, embracing a greener path toward property marketing. A harmonious blend of technology and sustainability, resonating for a brighter tomorrow.
Do Your Best Apartment Marketing with Virtual Tours
Virtual tours have completely changed apartment marketing, and they’ve changed it for the better. Being able to provide an accurate representation of your apartments helps alleviate the doubts your potential residents might have about your properties. You create a transparent and reliable way of showing off all your property has to offer, with no surprises for prospects down the line.
You may not know all the ins and outs of maximizing your use of virtual tours, but the multifamily marketers you partner with do. They can create terrific campaigns that resonate with your target audience and get you more leads. It’s time to really dive into apartment marketing with virtual tours and see a new era of success for you and your property.
5 Common Mistakes To Avoid
1. Ignoring the Target Audience’s Needs:
The heart of effective virtual tours lies in their ability to harmonize with the unique needs and preferences of potential renters. Should this harmony falter, the virtual experience risks becoming disjointed, leaving the tour less immersive and impairing its potential to transform prospects into tangible leads.
2. Poor Quality Visuals and Sound:
The very essence of virtual tours hinges on a delicate dance of visuals and sound. Presenting low-grade images, videos, or audio can sow seeds of negativity, casting a shadow on the viewer’s journey and diminishing the prospects of cultivating viewers into prospective leads.
3. Lack of Interactive Elements:
Beyond a mere visual voyage, a virtual tour should unfurl as an interactive tapestry. The absence of elements that beckon interaction—those clickable hotspots, enlightening pop-ups, and panoramic vistas—can mar the tour’s vitality, stalling the metamorphosis from curious viewer to converted lead.
4. Overloading Information:
While a wealth of details holds undeniable allure, inundating viewers with an overflow of information could trigger a cascade of overwhelm. Striking the elusive equilibrium between substance and succinctness stands as the guardian of viewer engagement, ensuring that curiosity thrives sans the burden of excess.
5. Ignoring Mobile Optimization:
In a world where virtual vistas are explored through handheld devices, the importance of mobile optimization takes center stage. Ignoring this pivotal facet might unravel the viewing experience, nudging prospective leads toward alternative horizons due to an unsatisfactory encounter.
This post was written by Chandra Lloyd
Chandra Lloyd is a writer for Market Apts with a focus on SEO copywriting and digital marketing for multifamily housing.