Published Oct 28, 2022

Optimizing Self-Guided Tours with “Wayfinding” Navigation

woman smiling while holding her mobile phone on her self guided tour

Attracting renters today requires approaching them as the tech-savvy consumers that they are. It’s 2022, and there really is an app for everything, including rental property tours. Today’s renters expect this first step of their leasing experience to be convenient and easy. Rently’s self-guided touring solution already provides renters with the flexibility to tour properties at convenient times. Now, Rently has optimized its self-guided tours with “wayfinding” navigation technology to also make property tours easier to self-navigate.

mature woman using Rently mobile app device on smartphone

Multifamily property layouts are sometimes difficult for renters to navigate, especially if they include multiple buildings across a property or include units across multiple floors in a single building. Renter surveys show that a lack of good directions to a unit can be a problem during self-tours and even result in lost leasing opportunities.

However, thanks to recent advances in location technology, consumers are increasingly using their smartphones to navigate from place to place. For example, companies like Uber, Amazon Delivery, and even Pokémon Go, have all discovered that using location technology creates very satisfying customer experiences.

Similarly, Rently has recently integrated dynamic mapping technology into its self-guided touring platform in order to make property tours more enjoyable for renters. The “wayfinding” technology makes it easier for renters to identify the best parking, quickly locate a lockbox entry point, and then independently find their way to the precise unit they wish to tour, as well as to other community amenities.

By now offering self-guided tours with wayfinding navigation, Rently continues its mission of providing renters and property managers with innovations that optimize the leasing experience for both parties.

Wayfinding Navigation Enhances the Renter Journey

More and more, renters are using their mobile devices to find their new homes. According to Zillow’s 2022 Consumer Housing Trends Report, 60% of renters use an app for property searches, up from 51% in 2020. And, amongst Millennials – currently the largest group of renters – 75% use a mobile device for property searches.

Given these marketplace trends, it’s fair to say that most rental prospects will derive their first impression of a property from an app. Furthermore, renters might even be positively swayed in favor of leasing a property based on an app’s potential to create a pleasant property search/touring experience.

However, not all renter apps are the same. Some just show listings. Others simply provide links to contact leasing offices for more information.

In contrast, the Rently Tours app offers renters a dynamic, full-service experience. It includes comprehensive property listing information, on-demand tour scheduling, real-time interaction with property managers… and now, wayfinding technology for easy tour navigation.

wayfinding Rently blog available units 1

Renters can download the Rently Tours app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

Rently tours app download

After registering on the app, renters can access Rently Listings (attracting more than one million visitors a year!) and schedule a self-guided tour directly from the listings shown in the app. In response, managers receive tour requests, verify the renter’s identity, and then confirm appointments from their companion Rently Tour Manager app. The Rently Tours/Tour Manager apps create a real-time connection between renters and property managers that continues throughout the entire tour.

Once a tour is confirmed, that appointment is saved in the “upcoming tour” screen on the app until the renter is ready to start their tour.

wayfinding Rently blog start tour

From this screen, renters click on the “Start Tour” button. When renters click on the “Start Tour” button, they  will then see a brief outline of the next steps of their self-guided tour.

wayfinding Rently blog weclome

Once renters are onsite and have started their tour, they are prompted to “check in”. If they are en route to the community, they can click on “Directions to Parking” first to use Rently’s wayfinding feature to find parking that is closest to the unit they have scheduled to tour. After parking, they can then check in.

wayfinding Rently blog check in now

At check-in, renters are provided with additional community entry instructions (i.e. gate codes, phone confirmations, etc.) that have been customized by the property manager.

Next, Rently’s app shows directions from the parking area to, if applicable, the lockbox that accesses the community. These directions are seen as text, or – thanks to Rently’s new wayfinding enhancement – renters can click on a location symbol to activate dynamic, real-time (“blue dot”) mapping from parking to the lockbox.

wayfinding Rently blog parking

Once renters have found their way to the community lockbox, the Rently Tours app provides step-by-step instructions for opening the lockbox to gain access to the property. Once inside, Rently’s wayfinding feature will appear on the app as a dynamic “blue dot” map that will guide renters directly to the unit they have scheduled to tour.

wayfinding Rently blog view unit now

During their tour, renters can also view community amenities. Rently’s app will display various points of interest that managers have noted. Renters click on those they wish to visit and wayfinding will take them there.

Soon, Rently will be expanding its wayfinding navigation feature to also enable renters to use dynamic mapping to find the fastest route between multiple units during a single tour. 

Once renters have completed their tours of the unit and amenities, Rently’s wayfinding technology guides them back to the community lockbox, where they can return the unit keys and exit the property. At this point, Rently’s touring app will prompt renters to provide feedback, and includes a link to an online lease application.

Rently is the first self-guided touring provider to incorporate wayfinding technology into a touring app. Providing tech-savvy renters with this cutting edge app feature to help them quickly navigate property tours makes a very positive impression on prospects and happy renters sign more leases!

millennial couple buying new smart home apartment shaking hands

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Wayfinding Navigation Simplifies Tour Management

Increased customer satisfaction is just one of many benefits that Rently’s wayfinding feature provides to property managers. Rently’s enhanced mapping feature also saves managers tour set-up time and reduces the number of calls to their office by lost rental prospects.

Currently, property managers spend up to an hour manually updating directions to parking and community access instructions for each individual unit they want to activate for self-guided tours.

Rently’s new wayfinding feature eliminates this repetitive task altogether. They simply need to move a pin to the proper unit location. 

Property managers can quickly and easily customize their tour route simply by logging in to a special portal that stores the community’s digital map.  From there, a manager simply adds navigation “pins” to the pre-programmed digital wayfinding map to mark the best parking spots, lockbox/unit location and highlight “points of interest”. 

Leasing teams can activate a unit for self-guided tours within seconds with wayfinding navigation!

wayfinding Rently blog desktop map

Rently’s wayfinding feature offers other benefits as well. Since renters now have more precise navigation to and around a property, both prospects and managers can avoid logistical delays and keep to more precise appointment times. Phone communications between renters and managers can focus on important questions, rather than waste time clarifying directions.

Streamlining the logistics of self-guided property tours and creating a frictionless experience for renters is important if property managers want to make a great first impression on renters.

Just as renters are impressed by the addition of smart home devices to rental properties, they are equally impressed when managers use smart technology from the start. Managers who use the Rently with wayfinding navigation definitely gain a competitive edge by immediately capturing renter interest and goodwill.

smiling young woman outdoors with smart technology cell phone

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As consumers increasingly enjoy and rely on mobile app technology to accomplish everyday tasks, property managers would be smart to accommodate this trend and offer renters an easy-to-use, full service self-guided touring experience. 

From listings to tours to residency and beyond, today’s renters expect every step of the leasing experience to be convenient and easy. 

Rently’s Self-Guided Tours with wayfinding navigation technology demonstrates Rently’s ongoing commitment to streamlining property management, optimizing the self-guided touring experience, and creating a positive connection between prospects and their future homes.

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