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Will Self-Touring Replace the Leasing Assistant?

Even though many states have implemented phased reopening plans, there are still many social distancing requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has had a huge impact on a number of industries, including the multifamily industry and the apartment leasing experience. While virtual tours have gained popularity, so have self-guided tours that don’t require a leasing assistant, according to a recent study conducted by RENTCafe. 

As this trend grows in popularity across the nation, prospective tenants are able to schedule a self-guided tour online, go through an identity verification process, and then receive an access code for their private self-guided tour. 

There are a number of benefits to self-guided tours, according to a recent survey of 3,500 American renters: 

  • 83% of respondents said they would use the self-guided option to tour a home, even if a virtual tour was also available
  • 63% said they would take a self-guided tour so that they could view the apartment at their own pace
  • 59% said they would utilize a self-guided tour due to social distancing 
  • 43% said they appreciate the added flexibility of self-guided tours, preferring to tour after business hours or on the weekend

What are self-guided tours? 

Self-guided tours are exactly what they sound like, enabling prospective tenants to tour a home or apartment without the help of a leasing agent. In order to get started, the prospect only needs to book a self-guided tour online, verify his or her ID, and then go see the home as scheduled. The property’s key is kept in an electronic lockbox, accessed by a unique code provided to the prospective tenant through a web page or app. 

Self-guided tours make leasing more efficient and convenient for both tenants and property managers. Apartment hunters prefer efficiency when it comes to touring properties, and place an emphasis on the availability of digital experience in the touring process. Property managers are increasingly shifting to self-guided tours to increase their overall ROI of their units. 

Benefits of self-guided tours

Property managers appreciate self-guided tours because they help eliminate lengthy communications between prospects and leasing agents. With self-guided tours, touring is now faster and easier than ever. Most tenants are of working age, meaning that most prospects prefer to tour homes outside of normal business hours – in fact, it has been reported that about 70% of self-guided tours occur either before or after work hours or on weekends. Self-guided tours can help you lease your properties faster, allowing for more tours to be given in a single day. More tours mean more visits to your property, and more prospects often mean more applications. 

As technology continues to become a bigger part of our everyday lives, it is changing many industries for the better, including commercial real estate. Tenants, owners, and property managers are all becoming empowered by today’s technologies to help refine and rewrite the entire rental experience. 

Self-guided tours are quickly becoming the norm when it comes to viewing available properties, making the rental experience quick, convenient, and easy. To learn more about the latest trends and developments in commercial real estate, be sure to follow the CBC Worldwide blog

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