Virtual showings aren’t just having a moment; they’re here to stay. Over the past few months, real estate agents may have used virtual showings as a necessary measure to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, contact-free leasing transactions offer real, lasting benefits. With the help of premium tech tools and social-media savvy, virtual leasing is easy, effective, and can be done safety from the comfort of home. But, choosing were to live is a major life decision. How will your client decide where’s right for them without visiting an apartment IRL? Enter: virtual showings. Virtual showings may be conducted either as live showings or pre-recorded showings. Read on to see our breakdown of live showings vs pre-recorded showings, how you can decide which option works best for you and your client, and some best tips to get you started.
Live Showings vs Pre-Recorded Showings
Live Showings: This means you and your client will be online as a tour of the property is conducted. Either the agent or the property manager (or in-house agent) will lead the tour. Live virtual showings typically create a tighter bond between you and your client (and owner). However, they also require more effort.
Pre-Recorded Showings: This means the agent sends a video of the property to the client. The video may be provided by the owner/property manager or you may record this video. Pre-recorded showings can be completed without all parties present, so coordination is generally much easier.
Live Showing v.s Pre-Recorded Showing–Which One Works Best For You and Your Client?
Want to focus on a limited number of deals and provide a high service level? We suggest live virtual showings.
Want to build an even stronger bond with your client and with owners? We suggest live virtual showings.
Already have a deep relationship with your client? We suggest pre-recorded showings.
Want to conduct a lot of showings, but accept that quite a few of them will not close? We suggest pre-recorded showings.
As COVID-19 continues to pose a threat to public health, it’s still important to consider logistics and your own comfort levels. Consider local and state-wide responses to COVID-19 and how safe you’d feel visiting different properties. Take regular precautions if you’re entering an occupied apartment–always wash your hands routinely, keep hand sanitizer on you, and try to keep a respectful six foot distance between yourself and the next person.
Lead Stand-Out Showings
Keep these basic tips in mind.
1. Practice Makes Perfect
Working with clients without interacting face-to-face is tough. Even if you’ve led dozens of showing before, filming flawless walk throughs on your phone might throw you for a loop. So, leave time before your showing to practice. You’ll be able to run-through your selling points on the apartment, your insight on the neighborhood, and make sure your tech is working seamlessly. Of course, the old mantra never fails: practice makes perfect!
After leading a few virtual showings, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a pro.
2. Convey Your Worth with Local Insight
Once again, put yourself in your clients’ shoes. The experience of driving to a new neighborhood, exploring the area, and envisioning yourself living in a unit is invaluable, and petty difficult to replication with an iPhone. So, the more information you can give the better. Leave ample time for questions and share what you know. What’s your favorite thing about the area? Is the price fair? Will other units have similar features? Have you placed another client in the neighborhood? The Building? Over-inform, over-educate–get your clients truly prepared to make an important life decision.
If you’re leading a live-showing, it’s easy to work these details into your walk-through. If the property owner is leading a live-showing, encourage your client to ask questions as they go. And, if your client is not asking the “right” ones, jump in! Advocate for your client by respectfully asking the landlord or property agent questions your client would benefit from.
If you’ve chosen pre-recorded showings, schedule a follow-up Skype call to debrief, inform, and answer any outstanding questions.
3. Make Sure Your Client is Prepared
Virtual showings are pretty new territory for most renters and most agents. Clear communication is key. Make sure your client knows that virtual showings are a great option for them, and you’re able to show them lots of great apartments with virtual showing capacity! Run through the technology you’ll be using (Skype? FaceTime?) and get them ready to participate.
Finding Apartments with Virtual Showings
As the home sales cycle softens in response to COVID-19, the flexibility and affordability of rentals increases in popularity. With Rental Beast, real estate agents can connect with eager renters, search thousands of no co-broke apartment units with virtual showing capacity, and quickly process leasing applications. We’re the end-to-end leasing platform that makes rentals simple and profitable for real estate agents.
Learn more about the Rental Beast platform, and see how rentals can help you supercharge your business.