COVID-19 changed the way real estate agents do business. With social distancing and bans on congregating in large groups, the traditional open house method just doesn’t feel safe for many real estate agents or potential buyers. Enter: virtual showings. Virtual showings are a great way to get your client to safely see many homes as possible, and, virtual tours will have staying power long after public gathering resume. Check out five reasons why virtual showings are here to stay.
And, for more information on completing the whole rental leasing process, from lead to lease, check out the A-Z Guide To Virtual Rental Transactions. This free 49 page e-book covers workable strategies and best practices for: Generating quality leads on social media, conveying the unique value agents bring to the leasing process, setting up and leading stand-out virtual showings.
How can agents lead virtual showings?
Virtual showings can happen in two different ways:
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.
1. The inevitable tech takeover
We’ve been tracking the emergence of tech trends for a while and have watched the demand for virtualization gain momentum as renters and buyers expect digital everything. Lockdown and social distancing may have accelerated a move towards screen-driven business, but we were already well down a path that reduces face-to-face interactions to the bare minimum. What does that mean for real estate agents? Social media skills are necessarily, lease signing and rental application are moving online, and virtual showing best practices and techniques are must-haves for real estate agents of all levels.
2. Easier for renters (and for you!)
We all know pictures don’t tell the full story, and a few shots of the apartment might not be sufficient for a renter to decide if that unit is right for them. If renters are not able to view an apartment and explore the area, virtual showings can take out the guesswork and help them make an informed decision easily. Virtual showings can be done on a client’s own time easily, meaning renters will be more likely to agree to “going on” a few more showings. After all, settling down on the couch to watch a few virtual tours is much more relaxing than driving to a showing after a long day at work, and your client won’t have to sacrifice a weekend to go house hunting. Considering this new ease, make sure to advertise your virtual showing know-how.
3. Virtual tours can be cheaper to attend
For renters and buyers who are moving down the road or to a drivable neighborhood, showing up for a showing may be no big deal. However, a client that’s coming from out-of-state or lives far away can majorly benefit from virtual showings. They can save on travel and find out more information about the apartment they select from the comfort of their own home. And, if the property owner or manager decides to lead the showing, you’ll save on gas money, too!
4. They’re safe for the long-run
There’s no denying the tumult COVID-19 caused both to the economy and to many would-be renters’ sense of personal security. While some clients might be ready to resume face-to-face interaction at full force when it becomes safe, not everybody will be as excited to go into a stranger’s home. Clients who are older, have medical conditions, live with an immunocompromised person (or for a variety of other reasons!) might feel more comfortable with virtual techniques. Virtual showings allow real estate agents the ability to give their clients options and adapt their strategy to fit every client’s comfort level. No matter what–you’ll be equipped with the techniques you need to succeed.
5. They make the job of the agent all the more important
Here’s another piece of good news–virtual tours make the job of the agent even more important. You have the inside scoop to the neighborhood and area; you may have even placed a past client in the very apartment building that your current client is looking at right now. A real estate agent can add valuable insight to a live showing, with super specific advice and insight that’ll help them find a home that fits their lifestyle.
As the home sales cycle softens in response to COVID-19, the flexibility and affordability of rentals are 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.