Stop the Virtual Leasing…Enough Already!


Virtual Leasing is Just One of the Many Options in Your Leasing Toolbox.


Are you ready for another blog about the power of virtual leasing?  How about a step-by-step method for creating an array of virtual leasing choices and mediums?  Sorry, but there are already too many such articles - some darn good ones - floating around our industry.  Enough!


The past 14 months of COVID inflicted social distancing has taught as the importance and impact of various types of virtual leasing.  Pre-packaged, professional videos on our websites are standard website fare.  Homemade videos from your iPhone have become a mainstay.  Live property tours and apartment walk-thrus via FaceTime, Messenger,  and other apps has helped seal thousands of leasing deals that past year.  


Has Virtual Leasing Become an Inappropriate Crutch?

Virtual Leasing is no longer new or surprising to our rental prospects; it is an accepted norm.  Often some form of virtual leasing is the default choice first offered to ALL rental prospects.  Caution!  It is too easy and unwise to assume that your online or phone prospect prefers this type of leasing experience.  


Consider these questions when choosing your prospect tour strategy:

  1. Can I schedule a live, face-to-face tour with this prospect?  And if yes, why wouldn’t I do this first?
  2. If we are still not meeting prospects in the office due to social distancing, would an onsite “self-tour” be more impactful than an offsite virtual tour?
  3. Do our virtual tours, whatever the format and level of professionalism, fully reflect the advantages of living on our community…more than an onsite leasing professional can communicate?  Really?
  4. Are we still requiring appointments to have an onsite property tour?  Is there a sound business reason for this practice?
  5. Do our leasing office social distancing policies need to be adjusted to reflect the current COVID conditions in our city?
  6. Am I using virtual leasing tools as a way to truly enhance my marketing and leasing efforts?  Or is just easier for me and my staff in this busy, busy office?


Virtual leasing options are here to stay and will continue to be important in the marketing plan for your community.  Yet, the most memorable - and likely most effective - virtual leasing presentations are those provided by new properties with healthy lease up budgets.  With an all new community featuring jaw dropping amenities, plus a strong lease up budget, virtual leasing videos and live walk-thrus make a positive and persuasive first impression.


Yet, for 90% of the apartment communities in this country, nothing beats a “live performance” from an accomplished and appealing sales pro!  Just my opinion.  What are your thoughts?

By: Rick Ellis, CPM