Real Estate Marketing Ideas

Are Virtual Tours Worth It for Property Managers?

By Lindsay Goebel Last Updated March 16, 2022 3 min read

Property managers are in the business of leasing out multifamily properties or single-family homes to renters. In today’s real estate market, prospective buyers experience higher home prices and exhausting bidding wars. 

Because it’s such a hot seller’s market, many buyers choose to rent a place instead of purchasing a home right now. Most potential tenants search third-party listing sites for rental properties. 

Professional listing images help capture attention, but property managers may benefit even more from virtual tours of their listings. 

Benefits of Virtual Tours for Rentals

Before we jump into the benefits, let’s discuss what a virtual property tour is in real estate. A virtual tour is a 3D walkthrough of a space. Viewers can click through a property and move in a 360-degree motion to see the entire area. Often, virtual property tours for rentals also include floor plans, a property description, and details of the rental process. 

There are several benefits of using virtual tours for your rentals. Here are the five big ones: 

Provides an Immersive Experience 

Virtual tours allow viewers to walk through rental properties with the click of a button. The real estate images are high-resolution, which helps prospective tenants feel they are touring the property in person. 

Additionally, providing a virtual tour of a rental property enables viewers and future residents to freely move around the space, which helps them understand the layout much more than rental listings alone. 

Increases Online Reach

A virtual tour of your rental property increases your online reach for your property management company. Virtual tours are sharable on social media channels. More likely than not, a potential tenant will share your virtual tour link with friends and family. 

Also, third-party listing sites like Zillow feature virtual tour technology on their location searches. This means that your rental will show up before rentals without virtual tours. 

Offers Comfort and Convenience

Before virtual tours drew popularity with property management companies, potential tenants would tour multiple communities in one day. It was an exhausting process for both property managers and tenants. Now, virtual tours of apartments and single-family properties help alleviate those tiring experiences. Virtual tours are convenient. 

Virtual tours are so convenient that users can walk through a property via a mobile app from the comfort of their couch. Prospective tenants no longer need to waste their time or a leasing office’s time by touring a property they don’t need to see in person. 

Attracts Serious Renters 

Speaking of wasted time, virtual tours help weed out unmotivated and unqualified tenants. The serious renters view virtual tours and then call to see the property in person. 

Creates More Urgency 

It’s an understatement that the rental market is crazy right now. People understand that great-looking rentals, with online exposure, go fast. A rental property equipped with a virtual tour helps create a sense of urgency for prospective renters. 

rental listings with virtual tours
Rental listings with virtual tours and professional photography attract more serious renters.

How to Get the Most from Virtual Tours

A virtual tour for rentals enhances the entire listing online. You can get the most from your virtual tour by complimenting the tour with professional photography of the property. 

It’s also crucial to declutter each room before the photographer captures your virtual tour. Remember, a viewer has free reign to move throughout the space, so anything the camera sees, the viewer sees. 

You can encourage people to take your online tour by sharing it on social media, in email campaigns, and through online forums. Make sure you post the virtual tour on every listing site, too. 

Best Practices for Virtual Tours of Rental Properties 

There are a few things to consider when hiring a professional photographer to capture a virtual tour of your rental. Preparing for a virtual tour is much like preparing for a listing photo shoot. Below are some best practices for virtual tours of rental properties: 

  • Declutter and clean the property beforehand
  • Open blinds and let natural light in
  • Close toilet lids and open shower curtains
  • Turn on all lights, turn off all ceiling fans
  • Put away kitchen items (i.e., soaps, paper towels, sponges)
  • Include the tour on Zillow and other listing websites
  • Share the tour on Facebook and Instagram

Virtual tours are beneficial to property managers. They produce an immersive experience for potential tenants while providing comfort and convenience for all parties. They improve online reach and create urgency. 

Don’t forget; it’s essential to treat a virtual tour like a listing photo shoot. Always declutter and tidy the space beforehand for the best results.