Give prospective renters the power to tour—no guide necessary
Any renter knows that touring a property is essential before locking into a lease. Not only do you want to ensure that the property matches the photos, but that everything is in working order and up to their expectations. There’s only so much you can gain from virtual tours. A 2020 survey from NMHC OpTech Conference & Exposition reported lease conversions increase by 86 percent with a self-guided tour versus when staff is escorting a prospect.1
Self-guided tours Proptech, or property technology, gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic when properties were investing in solutions to prevent contact transmission between staff, visitors and residents. Potential renters use a mobile device with credentials and smart locks to access permissible parts of the building without the in-person help of a leasing agent.
Things to consider:
The Basics: There are some important elements to consider when choosing a Proptech solution that enables self-guided tours. Owners should understand what is included—does the provider issue requested devices or an app? Is training available? What is the process when a prospective tenant tours the property?
Security: Self-guided tours can pose a risk to existing residents and staff when an unattended person navigates the community. Look for a Proptech solution that allows managers to implement parameters, including limited access, time-fencing to allow tours during certain hours and other customization. Wayfinding technology can track the location of the user.
Strategic routes and customization: Because self-guided tours are a dynamic experience for prospects, property owners should look for a solution that allows customization of narration, images and the tour route, so they can control each piece of the experience.
Data use: One benefit of using self-guided tour technology is gaining key insights about prospective renters. However, there are laws in some states that prohibit the collection and storing of certain data.
Self-guided tours are becoming a critical leasing strategy. They can provide an experience that benefits prospective residents and staff alike while improving conversion rates on leases and ensuring resident safety. Self-guided tour technology is more efficient and effective with the potential for flexible tour hours.
While self-guided tours are an important tool to consider when choosing Proptech solutions, it’s not the only one.
1. NMHC/Grace Hill. 2020 NMHC/Grace Hill Renter Preferences Survey Report, https://www.nmhc.org/research-insight/research-report/nmhc-grace-hill-renter-preferences-survey-report/