Virtual Tours – The Next Big Thing

The days may be numbered for the 3D model floor plans on your community’s website. Due to recent technological innovations, virtual property tours may quickly become the norm. Specifically, social media and virtual tour apps are making it easier than ever to provide an on-site experience from an off-site location.

Social Media

Effectively using social media to give virtual tours of your properties will attract new residents in greater numbers:

  1. Snapchat. Engage prospects on Snapchat to market units and give virtual tours. Utilize both videos and pictures to show an apartment. Add text to highlight unique features or pricing. Also consider posting available units on Snaplistings, and adding geofilters to your videos.

  2. Facebook. Facebook recently implemented Facebook Live, where you can easily post recordings, short or long, for others to see. Upload your listing in real time while in the rental unit!

  3. Instagram. Similarly, post listings on your community’s Instagram story by capturing videos of the whole apartment, community areas or other amenities, using appropriate hashtags and location.


Virtual Tour App

The first contact most prospects have with your community is on your website. By providing them with a virtual tour while they’re already on your site will increase both their interest and likelihood of signing paperwork. Realync is an app specifically tailored to the needs of apartment industry professionals that prospects can access from your website. Realync provides two main features: live tours and recorded tours.

  1. Live tours. Jack Wallach, Director of Community Operations at Greystar’s Roosevelt Lofts, recently stated in the NAA’s Units magazine, “When a prospective resident sees the video it looks like a real walk-through — its authenticity is that strong.” Giving a live apartment tour provides the two parties the ability to interact via video (similar to Facetime) but also provides features like text chatting, note taking and photo capturing.

  2. Recorded tours. Recording tours gives you the opportunity to edit, reorder, caption, title and share your videos. This process further allows you to customize the tour to the specific needs of a certain prospect, or simply create the perfectly edited virtual tour to publish on your website.

Both live and recorded tours can be easily made from your mobile device or tablet. Most conveniently, future residents can access both types of tours by clicking on a link, eliminating their need to sign up or sign in to anything.


Virtual Reality

For the truly tech savvy, virtual reality is becoming, well, more of a reality in the multihousing industry. For example, products made by IrisVR work with 3D technology to create navigable, true to scale models of rooms and buildings for users to virtually walk through. This technology works with simple VR headsets like Google Cardboard as well as high end headsets such as the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive. As virtual reality becomes more prominent in the US, it will be vital that leasing professionals know how to use this technology and market it to their prospects.


Take advantage of virtual property tours in order to extend your reach and attract an unprecedented number of renters!


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Taylor Fish
Taylor is a staff writer for Multihousing Friends and a student at Brigham Young University.