Leasing a unit sight unseen was the exception, not the rule until the past couple of weeks. With current events, remote leasing has become the norm. My company, Luxury Living Chicago Realty, has historically only seen 5% of our leasing business from sight unseen clients and today it is 100% of our business.
We have made many pivots over the past several weeks including building a database of video content to enable our leasing professions to continue working. As we enter peak leasing season, here are a few ways to improve your remote leasing efforts with video.
Video tours are now the most important leasing tool. If you haven’t already, start building a database of videos for your apartment building. Capture panning shots of everything. You cannot have too much video content on file right now. Footage that we are finding very important to our clients includes walking through the front entry, lobby, hallways, unit and amenity spaces.
There are tools such as Matterport and Realync that provide a realistic idea of what it is like to walk through a unit and a link can be sent to the prospective renter for them to “walk” the space. Make sure to get footage of every vacant unit. Having this footage on hand will empower property managers and leasing agents to lease in remote situations.
How do you lease an apartment unit to someone that has never seen the building and unit? Start with inquiring about the basics such as ideal move date, price range, pets and living arrangement. With the current environment, leasing agents need to be as transparent as possible about the building’s move-in recommendations. If the leasing agent has the ability to live tour the unit over FaceTime or a video conferencing tool, that is even better.
While on a live video tour, remember the internet could lag and that the prospective renter is seeing everything for the first time – and likely from a small screen. Move extra slow in the space and really call out and highlight the features that matter most to the renter in addition to the unit and building amenities.
While our leasing traffic has dipped over the past few weeks, visits to our website are still high. We’ve accomplished this by promoting our “remote leasing” offering as well as frequently sharing video content on the property’s social media accounts in addition to our own channels. Also, encourage your leasing and property management professionals to share the content. Now is not the time to cut marketing. It’s the time to double down.
We are all in this together. I truly believe empathy will go a long way in this crisis and in ensuring apartment leasing continues even when you can’t physically show an apartment. Be kind and understanding with every lead. Business is not as usual but the apartment industry can adapt and continue to help people find a new home.Read the Full Article
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