How to Lease Apartments During COVID-19 and Social Distancing?
How to Advertise and Show Apartment Vacancies While Social Distancing
This past week of living and working during the Coronavirus pandemic has been a challenge for everyone: property owners, our residents, our state, our country and our world. It feels like changes are being made, almost by the hour. As a property owner, it’s hard to keep up with new rules (See: California’s COVID-19 Eviction Moratorium), actions to keep our residents safe, and what property managers are or are not allowed to do to fill apartment vacancies.
The number one question I’ve received from property owners last week: “How do I rent my vacant apartment units if I’m supposed to shelter in place and maintain social distancing?”
Solution: Create 360-degree virtual tours for all current vacancies
Unfamiliar with 360 virtual tours? I have included an example of the software we are using here at Beach Front’s below:
360-degree virtual apartment tours allow prospective residents to do a “walk through”, using their mouse or keyboard arrows, and move around as if they were physically in the unit. Such technology eliminates the need for NON-social-distancing compliant open houses or in-person viewings. While we have had some success using FaceTime video calls with our leasing agents walking prospects “virtually” through the unit, the 360 virtual tours have been a game changer – cutting leasing time in half and helping to protect all parties.
How to find 360 virtual tour photographers
There are a multitude of photographers who specialize in this service and can create a full “leasing walk through experience” in a matter of hours and sent to you for posting on your website and favorite advertising medium (eg apartments.com)
The process is extremely easy:
- Point your browser to Google Maps
- Search Google Maps for “360 virtual tours + [Name of city your property is in]”. Example: “360 virtual tours Anaheim”
- Book a time with the 360 virtual tour photography company
- Provide a lockbox code to access the keys to the vacant unit (doing so maintains proper social distancing: no contact with you, the property manager, or residents)
- 360-degree 3D images are shot, and walkthrough video is created
- Photography company sends email with an embed code and an invoice that’s payable online. Simple, right? And no one ever needs to meet face to face.
Let’s get you off on the right foot. I recommend you check out these three resources for additional insight on the 3D tour process:
- Matterport’s HDR panoramic cameras and subscriptions
- Zillow’s free mobile app “3D Home” which includes a step-by-step instructional guide
- RICOH THETA’s 360 degree cameras
Fortunately for property owners, our industry has never been so important. We offer housing, and everyone needs a place to live. We are quite high on the list of essential businesses, and with good reason.
We’ll be posting blogs and videos regularly as we make our way through this uncertain time, so check back for more info and tips in the coming days/weeks. I’m more than happy to answer questions, have a video call, connect you with vendors and services still in operation, etc – feel free to book a call with me here.
Stay healthy. Stay safe.