Did you know that 63% of homebuyers made an offer sight unseen in 2020?
The adoption of technology has grown in many industries, and the multifamily real estate industry is no different.
Virtual leasing is likely a phrase you’ve heard through many multifamily resources and circles. It’s quickly becoming a necessary tool for today’s leasing agents to generate leads and sign leases. Even before the spread of COVID-19 and the social distancing restrictions that came with it, virtual leasing was gaining popularity.
But what exactly is virtual leasing, and what’s all the buzz about?
The great news is that virtual leasing is simple to understand and, with the right technology, easy to use. So, keep reading to learn all about the trend and how it can benefit you as a multifamily leasing agent or marketer.
What Is Virtual Leasing?
Virtual leasing involves everything a traditional leasing agent would perform except it’s virtual.
Depending on the client’s needs, a leasing agent will connect virtually during the whole leasing process or just part of it. Previously, a traditional leasing agent would need to meet a client in person at a property of interest, but virtual leasing means they can go through much of the buyer journey online instead.
This type of interaction allows agents to build trust with their clients – even from afar. Plus, the client can meet when and how on their terms while still gaining that all-important human-to-human interaction.
More than ever before, the multifamily industry is embracing technology. With so many new tools and solutions on the market to engage prospects, reduce vacancy, and better serve residents, introducing virtual leasing can take your leasing process to the next level.
While the pandemic may have impacted the high number of people buying a home sight unseen, it’s clear that high demand from the next generation of purchasers will keep virtual leasing in place long after COVID-19 is over. Approximately 40% of millennials and 36% of Gen Z have stated that they’re comfortable purchasing a home online.
The Four Fundamentals of Virtual Leasing
Let’s learn a little more about virtual leasing and the benefits it introduces to the world of real estate.
With the right technology, virtual leasing shows an accurate digital representation of a space which helps build transparency and trust with your clients. The more clarity there is, the better you showcase your properties and the better it is for both you and the buyer, as you can avoid any issues or disputes along the way.
Using high-quality technology that demonstrates a fair and accurate representation of a property is also proven to encourage potential buyers to submit an application.
In fact, our partners have seen a 4x increase in prospect conversion from visit to an application after viewing a Peek tour. There were also 89% more inquiries on listings featuring virtual staging.
Virtual leasing allows prospective buyers to access the digital assets of a property at any time and anywhere in the world in a way that’s convenient for them. If a prospect is relocating from New York to Texas, they can look for their dream home before they even set foot in the state.
Even if a prospect is looking for a home in the same city they’re currently living in, leasing a home online still makes life a lot easier. During the traditional buying process, life can get in the way, delaying the purchasing process. People usually need to take time off work to visit a property physically, and arranging an appropriate time with a partner can get tricky.
Having the opportunity to simply open your laptop to browse a property makes the buying process so much simpler and straightforward.
With Peek, prospects can interact with a 3D tour of a property at a time of their convenience. Then, they have access to the tour after they make their decision.
Virtual leasing makes the buying process a whole lot more efficient for both the property manager or leasing agent and the customer. As customers can view 3D tours of a property online, this quickly weeds out unqualified buyers and matches you with the right people. No longer do you have to experience people turning up to view property only to realize that it’s not the right fit for them in the first few minutes.
There’s less time wasted from scheduling, and you don’t have to deal with any no-shows either. Using virtual technologies like Peek allows you to share more properties with prospects faster. Peek data found that virtual leasing helps leasing agents and property managers lease 70% faster.
While virtual leasing is online, the buying process is still personal and authentic for both the leasing agent and the prospect. The virtual leasing process isn’t supposed to replace the people involved but instead make it more productive and efficient. Prospects can still ask questions and interact with you during a 3D tour over screenshare in Zoom. In fact, we’ve even had a customer that closed 100% of its monthly leases using this method.
How Does Peek Help You Go Virtual?
When you use virtual leasing, you’ll find that the buying process becomes a lot easier and faster. Today, virtual leasing as a tool isn’t just nice to have. It’s necessary to stay relevant in the constantly expanding real estate industry.
Groups like millennials and Gen Z particularly expect their leasing experience to be almost as easy as ordering food on an app or buying a new laptop online.
If you’re not sure where to start with virtual leasing, here at Peek, we can help. We’ll help you create a virtual tour for all of your availabilities to help speed up the leasing process with prospects. And don’t worry, Peek works with everything and will integrate easily with all your systems in place. Our built-in call-to-action features also help remove all friction in the buying process.
Get in touch with us today to request a free demo and learn about our technology available to get your leasing office up-and-running.