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Marketing Property in 2020: Virtual Tours and Virtual Open Houses

Marina Shlomov - Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Life’s different today than it was in 2019 and the years before it, isn’t it? With the introduction of the coronavirus, our lives have had to be adjusted to allow for things like social distancing and quarantining. It does not mean, however, that life has stopped. 

People still want to buy houses. People still wanting to invest in rental property. And, future tenants are still looking for a place to call home. The way to go about all of it will just look a little bit different. 

The life of a landlord or property manager needs to continue. And that means keeping vacancy rates low. But, how can we do that when we don’t want to get close to others to show rentals? Think about the last time that you showed a home or apartment. You likely met the interested party, introduced yourself, shook hands, walked through the space together, chatted a little longer, etc. Sound familiar? 

Whether you were walking through with one person or an open house of 50, it is the same routine. Both of these situations can breed germs. And, by germs, we mean raising the risk of contracting coronavirus. However, if you start doing these same things virtually, you can still allow all of those individuals – and more – to view the property without ever having to have close contact. 

If you are questioning whether or not you will get tenants for rental properties without someone physically viewing the property it is understandable. It is different from the norm – and it warrants some skepticism. Though, real estate agents around the country are finding that they are still able to sell homes with only virtually showing it. That’s some positive news for landlords and property managers. 

With all the new technology, online services, and social media, you can host a live event to show your property in lieu of hosting an in-person open house. You can communicate via messaging, speak live to answer questions, show the features of the rental, give descriptions, and other information. In other words, just because you aren’t physically in the same room doesn’t mean you can’t show the property as if you were. 

Tips for pulling off the virtual tours and open houses?

  • Promote, promote, promote! Remember, you have to gain interest in the property to get people to attend your virtual tour and open house. Take to social media and other means to get the show date and time out there!
  • Be sure to show the property in its entirety. This means starting at the street and showing the property outside (including the landscaping and surrounding areas) as well as the inside. 
  • Turn on all lights and open all windows before filming. 
  • Using caution and safety, enlist one other team member to join you. This way you can be live on camera while someone else films, reading correspondence from viewers, etc. It will make things much easier for you than trying to do it all yourself. 
  • Take your time when giving the tour. Show the space and talk about it, focusing on the features. 
  • As you walk through, carry the camera as if you are someone walking through the space. What would they see? Show them as if they were seeing it themselves. 

One last note – since this looks like it may be the new norm for a while, you may want to consider purchasing upgrading camera and audio equipment so your audience gets the best view of your properties. 

Don’t let all that’s happening around us to halt life. Instead, find ways to embrace these changes and keep moving forward doing what you do best. 

Marina-Shlomov-Photo-ThumbnailMarina Shlomov, a managing partner at ALH|Podland Rental Homes Property Management is the author of many articles on Landlording, Property Management, and Real Estate Investing. A residential builder in the state of Georgia since 1999, Marina is an investor herself. Her property management company is intended “For Investors” and “By Investors” for a simple reason – she knows what investors’ goals are and she works hard to reach their goals. In her spare time, Marina likes to spend time with her family, friends, garden, read and travel. Check her out You can find Marina’s articles and comments at @rentalhomesatl on Twitter, on Facebook, Google+, Blogger. and YouTube, Bigger Pockets and REI CLub and LinkedIn.

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