Are Self-Guiding Tours the Future of Commercial Real Estate?
Are You Using Self-Guided Tours?
Property showings have been far from smooth during the pandemic period.
In times when social distancing is a must and the safer-at-home model was being adopted all over the country, it wasn’t possible to have back-to-back prospects tour an office or multifamily listing. It also wasn’t acceptable to have an agent or a member of the leasing team guide an interested tenant through the property.
So, what to do? This question raged through the industry’s mind until finally, a few very creative solutions emerged – and cultivated great success for CRE.
One such innovation to the remote touring process was the self-guided tour. This innovative new process has enabled prospects to visit a property in-person without violating social distancing protocols or putting staff and agents in danger of viral transmission.
Here’s a deeper look at the self-guided tour model and some tips on how to improve the process within your commercial portfolio.
Self Touring Explained
The self-guided tour process has proven itself to be a powerful leasing strategy during the pandemic. This system is exactly what it sounds like: with a little help from technology, prospects are able to guide themselves through a tour of a building, community, and vacant units.
Self tours are known to support leasing protocols by expanding active touring hours, improving the property showing experience, and freeing up the management team to work with lease-ready applicants. Self-guided tours boast increased freedom, flexibility, and tech-forward integrations.
Self-guided touring was around long before the coronavirus pandemic, with market leaders like Rently pioneering the idea back in 2011. But, self-guided touring has reached a new level of prominence in 2020’s COVID era.
Tips for Optimizing Self-Touring
If you’re working with self-guided tours right now, are they up to par? Like many other CRE professionals, this system is likely a new adoption for your portfolio and it always takes some time to smooth out the lines in any protocol.
Here are 5 tips to help optimize your portfolio’s self-guided tour process:
Crime, theft, injury, or damage are all possibilities when you open your doors to unattended strangers. New adopters of self-touring can protect their communities by combining a network of robust security systems, such as smart cameras and sensors on doors and windows, to make sure that nothing suspicious is happening undetected.
Always work with a provider that puts prospective tourers through a stringent screening process. Not only does this support your security efforts, but it also can intuitively match prospects to listings to generate more leases.
Be sure to actively clean and sanitize your vacancies in between tour sessions. You’ll know when tours are happening, so always plan for a quick disinfection before and after tours to protect your prospects from accidental viral exposure.
Don’t slack on client outreach just because the tour process went solo. Send a follow-up text or email after the tour is completed to check-in and progress with the deal.
Invest in other remote leasing technologies, such as e-document signing, video conferencing apps, and strong CRM software to cultivate a streamlined vacancy-filling flow.
These tips will aid in converting self-guided tour leads into leases as CRE dips its toes into this new tour innovation.