Published May 15, 2024

Best Practices for Self-Guided Tours

Single Family Self-Guided Tour | Leasing

Transunion ResidentScore Data

In today’s fast-paced world, convenience and flexibility are key for both property managers and prospective renters. In fact, 42% of renters prefer to view rental properties outside of regular business hours. Self-guided tours offer a safe and secure solution that caters to tech-savvy renters, allowing prospects to explore properties on their own schedule while still receiving personalized attention. Learn our top strategies and tips to ensure your self-guided tours are not just convenient, but exceptional experiences from start to finish.

Make it easy to schedule a self-guided tour

The first step to a successful self-guided tour is making it effortless for prospects to schedule one. List your available properties/apartments on user-friendly platforms such as Apartments.com or Zillow where prospects can easily view available time slots and book a self-tour that fits their schedule. For easy access, add a “self-guided tour” button to your website. You can also utilize AI by including your property listing link in chatbots and autoresponders.

By streamlining the touring process, and removing barriers, you’re able to generate leads faster. With Rently, 70% of prospects tour a property within 2 hours of booking. That’s 10 days faster than agent-led tours! Not to mention, over 40% of renters prefer to view properties outside of regular business hours. It is imperative that property owners and managers cater to the demand of shelf-showing units.

Prepare prospects with direct correspondence

Communication is key when it comes to self-guided tours. Before the tour, provide prospects with all the necessary information they need to make the most of their visit. This includes detailed instructions on accessing the property, any safety precautions they should be aware of, and what to expect during the tour. You may also send an email prior to the tour with rent specials, the floorplan availability based on their interest, and highlight any community amenities. Follow up with a phone call to confirm the tour and answer any questions.

Protect your properties and your prospects

smart home security shield

Safety should always be a top priority, both for your properties and the individuals touring them. Ensure that only authorized individuals access your property by having them go through proper security checks before touring.

For an added layer of security, you can install security hardware such as smart locks, doorbell cameras, motion sensors, and contact sensors to monitor activity outside of scheduled tours. Rently’s smart home platform securely connects these devices to our hub, so you can manage and monitor them remotely. This means that you can easily schedule them to activate when the unit is vacant, and disarm when a tour is happening.

Rently also provides an overview of all property touring activity, data and control over smart home devices in every unit within the manager portal. It is a convenient software platform that allows you to manage your property from any location!

Additionally, with scams on the rise it is imperative that you warn those touring your property not to trust fake listings. Leave a “Beware of Scams” sign onsite displaying your property management company name along with the correct contact information. This alerts your potential renters to the risk of scams and leaves them feeling like you’ve got their backs.

Apartment Self-Guided Tour

Create a positive touring experience

Even though prospects are touring the property on their own, there are still opportunities to create a memorable experience. Consider providing informative signage or brochures throughout the property highlighting its features and amenities. Leave refreshments available inside the unit or clubhouse area.

You can also incorporate technology, such as Rently’s Wayfinding navigation for apartment communities. With Wayfinding, renters will have real-time, blue-dot mapping to help them quickly and easily locate parking, common area amenities, and units to tour. Enabling this feature showcases the property in an innovative way and creates a positive first impression from the moment the prospect arrives on your property. As a result, tour conversion rates and number of signed leases will increase!

Add unique personal touches

Personalization goes a long way in making prospects feel valued and appreciated. Consider leaving a welcome note or small gift for a prospect to find during their tour, showcasing your attention to detail and commitment to customer service. Leaving a neighborhood info page with local restaurants, grocery stores, and other local attractions will help orient the visitor with what the area offers.

After their tours, follow up with prospects to thank them for visiting and address any further questions they may have. Follow up through email or phone. Ask the prospect their thoughts on the unit(s) toured and overall tour experience; see if they need additional photos or information; and be sure to offer your availability to go over lease details and specials.

Make applying easy

After experiencing your property firsthand, prospects should have a clear path to apply if they’re interested. Streamline the application process by leaving a QR code to the online application inside the units they tour. Also, send a post-tour email to thank visitors for touring, provide unit and property info as well as a link to apply.

If you enroll those who’ve toured in marketing automations, you can nurture your leads, keeping your property top of mind. By making it easy for prospects to take the next steps, you’re increasing the likelihood of converting their interest into a lease agreement.

Conclusion

Self-guided tours offer a modern and convenient approach for property viewings, allowing prospects to tour properties on their own terms while still receiving that personalized attention and positive experience. Embrace the flexibility and opportunities that self-guided tours provide, and watch as your properties attract and retain quality tenants with ease. Self-guided tours are a tool meant to help your leasing teams succeed, not replace them.

Learn more about Rently’s Self-Guided Touring in this video. Want to share these tips with your team? Download our Self-Guided Tour Best Practices Guide.

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