Seventy-two percent of renters say they would rent an apartment without ever seeing the property in person if a 3D virtual tour was offered, according to a recent survey conducted by Zumper, a rental marketplace, and Matterport, a 3D and virtual service company. Just like home shoppers, renters are turning to online tools to find a home during the pandemic, and property managers are increasingly seeking out nontraditional ways to allow potential tenants to view spaces from afar.
As with home listings, apartment photos are vital but a video or virtual tour component will allow prospective tenants greater views inside the apartments.
Virtual apartment tour searches in the real estate industry have spiked since the pandemic, according to Google Trends. More than 60% of renters said the coronavirus has negatively impacted their apartment search, according to a survey by Abodo, an apartment listing site, conducted late this spring. Thirty percent of renters surveyed at the time said they’d prefer photos and floor plans delivered in a virtual manner (30%) or prerecorded videos of units (27%) over live, personal unit tours (21%). Abodo has created a guide for property managers on how to conduct video or virtual tours online of apartments.
Matterport announced a partnership this week to offer virtual tours on Zumper’s rental marketplace with 3D floor plans or dollhouse views of properties. The virtual tours allow renters to explore spaces online. Potential renters can view the spaces and also digitally measure walls, door, windows, or furniture. A dollhouse view allows viewers to see how the rooms are positioned to get a sense of flow in the space.
The residential market has been turning to 3D tours and video walk-throughs during the pandemic to take buyers through properties. Many buyers remain skittish about touring properties during the pandemic.
Eighty-two percent of property owners who have advertised a 3D walkthrough say they were able to rent their property entirely virtually, according to the Zumper and Matterport survey. Nearly all property owners surveyed also acknowledged that potential renters would likely be more interested in a listing if they offered a 3D virtual tour. Renters validated those hunches, expressing greater interest in properties that allowed them to peruse the spaces virtually, the survey found.
“The ability to quickly, easily, and safely explore apartments will be integral in navigating the process of finding a home,” says Robin Daniels, CMO of Matterport. “Not only can renters get the important information and understanding of a space … but property owners can reach more potential tenants by offering them to work around the limitations of in-person showings.”
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Sources: Realtor Magazine, Matterport.com and “Virtual Apartment Tours: The Industry’s Ultimate Guide for Property Managers,” ABODO (May 6, 2020)
"Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission."