June 17, 2020

How to Increase Tours During COVID-19

Bankruptcy, limited hours, limited services, social distancing, isolation, working from home – COVID 19 has been a game changer for everyone, with most of these changes airing on the negative side for both small and large businesses alike, especially those that hinge on in-person interaction. In the multifamily space, residents are having a hard time paying their bills due to layoffs and reduced salaries. Property management themselves can’t schedule tours due to legal quarantine restrictions, and even if these restrictions are loosened, the number of tours (and number of people allowed on tours) will be severely limited at best, with potential prospects forgoing a tour all together at worst. So, put it all together, and you have apartment communities losing money due to residents not paying, in tandem with the community’s source of new income being completely shut off by government restrictions and fear. That’s a lose-lose situation. Or is it?

While dismal as first glance, some critical problem solving reveals a door for greater opportunity. Most people are hinging on creative uses of technology to keep their business afloat, the most obvious being zoom conference calls. However, another form of technology is creeping onto the scene with universal utility and taking over advertisements, revenue generation, communication, and much more. In fact, it’s so useful that it is more than just a coping strategy to crutch until things return to normal, it’s the future for optimized business processes and higher revenue. And the answer may surprise you.

It’s Texting.

Particularly with real estate and property management, texting has newly become a prioritized way to engage residents and generate leads. It’s also the new way to give people access to tours without ever having to enter through the doors. Here are a few ways the use of mobile messages can revamp your touring process during COVID – 19.

Virtual Tours Delivered Via Text.

A virtual tour can be as easy as sending a prospect a link to tap from their smart phone, and then have them take a tour wherever they are. Putting a message on your website encouraging prospects to text in for tours is a creative way to get people excited about engaging in an activity COVID has put a damper on.

Virtual Tours might be outside of your budget right now, so you can also text your prospects mobile brochures, pictures of floor plans with different bed options, and a link to a microsite that’s perfectly laid out for the mobile view. This leads right into the next phase which is:

Safe Distance Selling.

You can take the prospect through the sales process via text with “safe distance selling tools” to inform and answer questions. A great example of this is IRIO’s MIRI, a two-way communicable, custom made, AI bot with automated text responses that guides prospects through the buying process and identifies suitable floorplans for the individual. The AI solution acts as a sales associate that’s available 24/7.

Active Outreach.

You might have prospects who have shown interest, but you haven’t gotten them to take the next step yet by scheduling the tour. Texting is a great way to nurture that relationship, engage with your leads and encourage next steps, which, well would you look at that, are also done through text as stated the first few examples! With a 90% open rate within the first 3 minutes, texting is the most effective way to engage with people.

Self- Guided Tours.

If you combine smart tour technology with a capable communication platform, you could send a prospect the link to schedule the tour, and then, once scheduled, text them back their code to enter the unit. The whole interaction was done through a mobile device, and mainly through texting, which provides a quick and painless experience.

When it comes to texting, there are numerous ways to get creative and find solutions that fit your needs. These are just a few of many examples that can help you navigate the eerie wasteland that COVID has put us in. If you haven’t already, give some thought to how your business can benefit from different uses of mobile messaging. Stay sane, stay safe, and most importantly, stay connected!