Virtual Tours Growing in Popularity, Survey says

Data: RENTCafé survey of 3,500 renters in May,2020.

As social distancing becomes the new norm, the pandemic is fundamentally changing apartment hunting. While “virtual tours” are still on everyone’s lips, there’s another feature becoming increasingly popular: agentless self-guided tours.

Why? Because most people would still like a solution that allows them to see their future home in person. In fact, according to RENTCafé’s latest survey of 3,500 Americans, 83% would use self-guided tours, despite having an array of options to tour virtually.

More highlights and why self-guided touring may be here to stay:

  • Zero face-to-face interaction: 63% of the renters who responded to our survey would take a self-guided tour because they can view apartments at their own pace, while 59% picked “social distancing” as a reason for using this technology.
  • What do renters expect from an agentless tour? Flexible tour durations (62%), online scheduling (61%), and digital access system (29%) are among the top features.
  • Coupled with digital resident services such as rent payments with Alexa and in-app maintenance requests, self-guided tours fully digitalize the renting experience.
  • How it works: you pick a date and time from an online calendar, go through a quick ID verification, and receive an address and access code to tour the apartment. Smart locks and thermostats ensure a seamless experience.

“We see our potential residents just taking their time, sitting down, and enjoying the space and snacks we safely provide. Their comments are so positive they almost seem scripted; we’ve actually heard things like “I could really see myself living here!” said Jamin Harkness, executive vice president at The Management Group.

View the full report here

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