3 ways prospect expectations are shifting

Your Multifamily community needs to meet all kinds of demands to stay attractive to renters and remain profitable for you, but those demands change everyday thanks to a robust job market, new attitudes about work, and different perspectives on living. Don’t get left behind. Take the time to invest in Property Technology, (PropTech), to meet tenants’ latest expectations and help your community generate more income.

Prospective renters want more than a camera on their peephole. Residents want accessibility that enables contactless food delivery, or even a centralized system that helps them pay, maintain, and manage their rental experience from a single app. As an owner, developer, or manager in the multifamily industry, it’s up to you to make your property desirable but convenient for users, while keeping an eye on the future.

Finding A New Home

Post COVID, health concerns and new standards for social distancing have made people feel hesitant about too much contact or standing too close to strangers. Even though prospects need a new place to live, they don’t feel they should risk exposure just to meet up with an agent, shake hands, and do a mini tour of a vacant unit.

Smart agents and owners were quick to tackle prospect anxiety by leveraging Virtual Tours. This digital walk-through allows prospects see a space online. Each floorplan gets filmed with a special camera that creates a set of 3D, panoramic visuals so visitors can take it in room by room. These tours let you do more than show a potential tenant a photo of the property or floor plan- the virtual experience lets viewers feel like they’re standing inside the unit long before they arrive in person.

Virtual Tours let visitors “walk” from room to room by clicking on a marker to advance the tour. They can see out windows and look around corners to take in the highlights of your property and floor plans. A virtual tour of your property helps you rank higher in searches and can get your unoccupied units rented fast.

You have different options for creating a virtual tour. If you have a tight budget, you can use a cloud hosted website made for virtual tours where you can create your own tours with their free tools. If you are willing to invest a bit more, there are companies that can do the heavy lifting for you. Either way, once your tour is ready you can link it to your website or social media and make it available any time, day, or night.

Rather than fielding prospect calls all day, let the tour speak for itself. Renters love the accessibility and simplicity of virtual tours, even on a cell phone. Virtual Tours lets anyone on any schedule get a feel for what you have to offer, what it costs, and how they might become a resident.

Encouraging Engagement

Once a prospect has completed your Virtual Tour, you can improve their odds of conversion by encouraging further engagement with your digital presentation. A great way to do that is through a chatbot.

Chatbots live directly on your website or social media page and work like automated leasing agents. Chatbots are great for all hours of the day, but are especially useful for after hour visitors to your website that have questions but don’t want to wait until the next day for an answer.

Chatbots assist interested prospects by using machine learning & artificial intelligence to anticipate and answer questions. It handles all the usual pain points such as Does the building allow pets? What is the minimum lease length you offer? Is there reserved parking and what does it cost?

Once prospects know an apartment fits within their budget, has gotten to know the area, and learned more about the amenities your community offers, they can move into the confirmation phase, seeing the place in person.

Automated Lease up

Prospective renters often need to walk through a unit before they sign anything, but due to many variables, renters often can’t accommodate your leasing agents’ schedule for a guided tour. Proactive communities are overcoming this challenge by offering fully automated Self-Guided community tours.

While many communities cite security as a main concern with this option, a Self-Guided tour requires a carefully tailored set of security checks to keep the prospective renter and anyone already living on property safe and comfortable. Interested prospects can schedule a date and time online, then facial recognition and ID check software takes care of the rest. Once the software has all the information it needs and the prospects’ identity is recorded and verified, an opportunity to see the property in person is then facilitated.

On tour day, the prospect visits your community and checks in using a special app, QR code, or a one-time door code that will let the visitor inside. If your community doesn’t have digital locks, the check in process can even guide a prospect to an electronic package locker, (again with a time-sensitive code), to get a physical key. Once at the community, they can gain access to the unoccupied unit and the common areas of the building that you have pre-authorized. At the conclusion of their visit, the key is returned, or their access code expires, and they are now prompted to provide feedback and/or confirm they’re ready to sign a lease.


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