By Team Revyse
Published 2 months ago
Updated 2 months ago
In the multifamily housing industry, embracing innovative touring technology is crucial for staying ahead of the competition and delivering great resident experiences. Touring technology streamlines the leasing process, enhances operational efficiency, attracts prospective residents, and delivers exceptional experiences.
These advanced solutions offer efficiency gains and profit potential for operators of all sizes. However, with so many options available, choosing the right touring tech vendor can be a challenge, even for multifamily veterans.
Luckily, B2B software buyers no longer have to blindly rely on sales pitches and marketing claims when evaluating touring technology vendors. Decision-makers now have access to self-service demos, transparent customer reviews, and comprehensive vendor data, so you can ensure that your final choice perfectly aligns with your goals.
In this guide, you’ll gain insight into the touring technology purchasing process, including how to define your specific requirements, analyze features meticulously, and evaluate vendors. Using these expert insights, you can shop with confidence for the perfect touring technology solution for your multifamily business.
There are plenty of reasons to invest in touring technology. Touring technology can save time and resources for multifamily properties by reducing the time it takes to schedule and accommodate tours. Everyone benefits when time-strapped team members can use the time otherwise spent facilitating tours for more important tasks.
Today, there are many different types of touring technology platforms on the market. Let’s explore the main types of touring technology platforms, so you can decide which solution makes the most sense for your portfolio.
3D Renderings: 3D scanning and rendering technology create a digital replica of the apartment unit by accurately capturing a property's physical characteristics. Potential residents can navigate the property and visualize it from various angles as if they were actually on-site. You can even use 3D rendering to imagine what a unit would look like fully furnished. This gives additional context to residents regarding how much stuff a room can accommodate.
Interactive Floor Plans: Interactive floor plans are a valuable tool that helps potential residents visualize the layout of multifamily units in detail. Instead of relying solely on written descriptions or static floor plans, residents can interact with a virtual representation of the property's floor plan. Renters can explore room dimensions and furniture placement options, so they can double-check that their belongings fit in the space before move-in day.
Video Tours: These platforms provide tools to create pre-recorded video tours that are available to prospects around the clock, allowing them to explore potential living spaces at their convenience, whether it's during a lunch break, or on the weekend. The idea is to replicate the experience of an in-person tour as closely as possible.
360-Degree Video Tours: With 360-degree video tours, prospects can view apartment homes on their computers, tablets, or smartphones, and can virtually explore a property by simply rotating their view in any direction. This technology provides a more comprehensive understanding of the property's features, architecture, and surroundings than a traditional image or video.
Livestream or Virtual Tours: For prospects who are unable to attend an in-person tour, livestream tours offer a real-time, guided virtual touring experience. Livestream tours bridge the gap between physical and pre-recorded videos, providing a more personal touch to the leasing process. Potential residents connect with a leasing agent or property manager, who will then guide them through the property via video call. During the tour, renters can ask questions, request a closer look at specific areas, and receive desired information right away, from a real person.
Virtual Reality (VR) Tours: Virtual reality tours completely change the way prospective residents explore multifamily properties. With VR technology, renters can experience a fully immersive and interactive tour of a property. Using a VR headset, potential renters can virtually walk through each unit, view communal areas, and get a sense of the property's layout and design. VR tours offer the flexibility of touring multiple properties in different locations without physically being there, saving time and resources. This technology provides a more engaging and memorable experience compared to static images or videos.
Self-Guided Tours: Self-guided tours offer a convenient way for prospects to explore an apartment in-person, without the need for a leasing agent to accompany them. Prospects can schedule tours on their own time, even during evenings or weekends. Self-guided tours usually involve submitting photo ID and a selfie for verification purposes, before a prospect is given a one-time code to access the property. This code is used to unlock a smart lock or lockbox on the touring unit, and sometimes, even bluetooth-enabled locks that use mobile pass credentials for secure access to community spaces as well.
Want a quick-and-easy way to explore products in the space? Check out the Touring Technology category page on revyse.com to discover multifamily solutions and read verified user reviews.
Putting together a solid business case and clearly expressing what you need out of a new touring technology platform can greatly impact how well you evaluate and choose the right tech for your business.
It's essential to sort out and document exactly what you require in a new software or service, as it will help you focus on finding the best fit for your needs. When you’re clear on the requirements of your new tech stack, you can quickly narrow down your options and concentrate on touring technology solutions that will achieve the results you’re looking for.
💡 Pro Tip: For a deeper dive into the concept of technology requirements, what they are, and how to write them, take a look at this article from the team at Revyse.
There is no one-size-fits-all rule when it comes to your touring technology requirements. Identify and rank the most important factors based on their significance to your business and its goals. If you have any non-negotiable considerations, put those at the top. More flexible requirements can go toward the bottom of the list.
Your unique requirements will vary based on your needs. However, there are a few requirements you are likely to have when evaluating the latest touring technology:
✅ - Integrates with Existing Marketing Tools
If you use other property management or marketing tools to measure prospect engagement and deliver leasing opportunities, or if you want the touring technology to live on your website or in your marketing campaigns, you’ll likely want touring tech that will integrate and scale with your existing tech stack. If you’re looking for an in-person self-guided touring platform, you’ll want to make sure the tech integrates with any access control or smart locks you may have onsite.
✅ - User-Friendly Interface
The touring technology you choose should have an intuitive prospect interface that is easy to navigate for a positive end-user experience. Said another way, if the tool is going to be used by your onsite teams, pay special attention to how often they would need to log in and access the platform, and how much ongoing work would be required to maintain accuracy.
✅ - Works Well on Mobile Devices
Check if the technology is compatible with mobile devices. Having mobile-responsive features is paramount for property tours on the go.
✅ - Customization + Branding Options
The ability to customize the platform with your company’s branding, property information, unit amenities, and any specific features you’d like to call out provides a personalized experience for potential renters.
✅ - Analytics + Insights
Opportunities to capture engagement data during the prospect touring phase can be invaluable (views, video plays, link clicks, etc), as your company will be better able to gauge buyer interest and adjust your touring strategy accordingly.
Establishing the requirements for your touring tech evaluation and writing them down ahead of time will help you stay focused during the research process.
When choosing a touring technology platform for your multifamily portfolio, it's essential to consider the key features that each platform offers. Not all touring technology solutions are created equal, and understanding the right features to look for with each solution type will see to it that you make the most informed decision possible.
💡 Pro Tip: The multifamily industry is nuanced, so when you’re researching, look for vendors that have specific industry experience and positive customer feedback from multifamily companies that share a similar size, investment strategy, submarket, or area of focus as you do.
As you go through the process of shopping for different touring technology platforms, consider creating a checklist or simple comparison table in Excel. This way, you can put each potential solution next to each other and see how they match up with what you're looking for.
Below are some of the most important features to evaluate when considering a touring technology platform:
Detailed Property Information: Determine whether the solution provides helpful details that go beyond unit number and square footage. Information about in-unit amenities, energy-efficient features, or renovation history encourages future renters to make informed decisions.
Ask: “Can prospects see specific unit characteristics or community details during the tour interaction?”
Real-Time Availability Updates: Some platforms keep potential residents informed about unit availability or offer a waitlist option for popular units. These features ensure that prospects stay engaged and have the opportunity to secure their preferred living space.
Ask: “Does your touring technology platform handle real-time availability updates for units? Is this automated?”
💡 Pro Tip: It’s a big deal to ask your onsite teams to manually update unit availability in a touring platform. You may want to spend time considering how to integrate the new technology with your team’s existing processes if this is the case.
Integrated Chat and Messaging: Chat features can facilitate direct communication between prospective residents and leasing agents during or after the interactive, virtual, or self-guided tour. This allows for quick responses to inquiries, improving the overall user experience and increasing the likelihood of conversion.
Ask: “Does your touring technology platform offer built-in chat and messaging features for our leasing agents to engage with prospects?”
Seamless Transition to Online Applications and CRM: Enabling prospects to easily complete online applications and sign leases shortly after touring can boost the leasing process. This convenience reduces paperwork, accelerates decision-making, and enhances overall efficiency.
Ask: “Does your solution have a native way to connect prospects to our online application portal for a quicker conversion process after touring?”
When it comes to selecting the right touring technology partner for multifamily communities, recommendations and reviews can provide invaluable insights into a potential solution’s capabilities.
One of the key factors to consider is a vendor's history of serving the multifamily industry. When selecting vendors for multifamily properties, choose those with experience meeting the industry's specific requirements.
Look for testimonials and customer success stories. This demonstrates the vendor’s ability to address unique challenges, streamline operations, and enhance the leasing process for multifamily renters.
In addition to success stories, vendor reviews play an indispensable role in the evaluation process. Platforms like Revyse serve as valuable resources for accessing candid opinions from other multifamily professionals who have experienced the technology firsthand. Decision-makers can learn from industry peers' experiences and feedback to better understand potential partners' strengths and areas for improvement.
💡 Pro Tip: Revyse can help you shop for multifamily technology solutions that span dozens of categories. View the full list of Revyse-rated categories at this link.
Integrations are crucial in the multifamily operations world. Most multifamily portfolios use an array of software tools to manage different things, like property management systems, customer relationship management (CRM) software, and general communication between residents and the leasing office.
That’s why you should take a hard look at how your technology providers approach industry integrations before voting with your wallet. Integrations pave the way for seamless connectivity between different software platforms, ultimately contributing to a more efficient and effective leasing process.
Integrations create a cohesive ecosystem where data flows seamlessly across platforms, reducing manual data entry and minimizing errors. For example, integrating a touring technology solution with a property management system can ensure that tour data, leasing information, and prospect details are synchronized in real-time. That allows for accurate reporting and more effective decision-making.
When evaluating touring technology partners for their integration capabilities, here are some questions to ask:
What integrations does your platform support? Are they bi-directional or fully integrated? Can we push and pull information from one system to another? How seamless and user-friendly is the integration process?
When tours are scheduled, will they automatically appear on our onsite team’s calendars?
Do you have any examples of current clients who have integrated this technology into their current tech stack?
How does the integration ensure data consistency and accuracy across integrated platforms? How often is data synchronized?
Does the technology solution provide API access for more advanced integrations, if we were to need a custom solution?
Can the integration accommodate future technology changes for our portfolio, if we were to adjust our tech stack?
What security measures are in place to protect data as it moves between integrated platforms?
In an age where privacy concerns frequently make headlines, protecting prospects and residents is a major responsibility of any multifamily provider who wants to implement touring technology.
When evaluating self-guided touring technology providers, look for a robust and comprehensive security framework that shields sensitive data, like prospect ID verification data, community and unit access codes, payment information, or lease applications from unauthorized access.
Transparency is equally important. A reputable touring technology partner should readily disclose their security measures, privacy policies, and data handling practices.
If you want to learn more about how a vendor handles security and privacy concerns, consider asking the following questions:
How does the solution control user access to the community or the touring unit?
Does the technology authenticate the identity of users prior to providing them entry?
Can we see logs of which users accessed the units? Both prospects and our onsite employees?
What measures are in place to monitor and respond to potential security threats or breaches?
How is user consent obtained, and do prospects have control over their shared data?
Who owns prospect data?
How is prospect data encrypted during transmission and storage, and what encryption standards are employed?
How does the solution control secure data sharing with third-party integrations?
How transparent is the company about security practices and any changes that may affect users?
When evaluating touring technology providers for multifamily buyers, one crucial aspect to consider is the level of customer support offered by the company. Having good customer support can greatly enhance your experience and success when implementing multifamily touring technology.
Good customer support will also enable seamless onboarding and training for your onsite teams. Anytime you implement a new technology, you should expect a learning curve, as your managers and leasing agents learn how to use touring technology across your portfolio. A provider with excellent customer support will offer comprehensive onboarding and training sessions, so your team can effectively use the technology from the outset.
A provider with excellent support will also be on-hand to provide any troubleshooting and technical assistance needs that arise. Prompt troubleshooting facilitates a smooth and uninterrupted experience for both technology buyers and the residents who will use the platform.
Finally, you should look for a provider who is open to user feedback. Touring technology users are knowledgeable about the pros and cons, making them a valuable resource for companies to improve their products and services. Don’t be afraid to ask the provider how they handle customer feedback and use it to improve and refine their technology.
A top-tier touring technology platform is no small expense. When shopping around for the best solution, make it a point to compare pricing options for the platform.
Different providers offer various pricing models, including one-time costs, subscriptions, or pay-per-use options. By evaluating costs against features, you can choose a solution that fits both your needs and your budget.
Additionally, gathering pricing information will help you learn more about how scalable and flexible the solution is. You might find that some providers offer adaptable pricing for seamless integration that grows alongside your business.
For software based platforms, you should also ask about trial periods or pilot programs. Trial periods are free and allow you to try out the touring platform before you agree to a full-scale implementation. Pilot programs can be free or paid short-term agreements that give you more time to test out the program before you deploy it portfolio-wide. Most pilot programs last around 3 months.
💡 Pro Tip: Learn everything you need to know about setting up and conducting successful pilot programs in this deep dive article.
Finally, don’t forget to inquire about any extra costs or fees for creative assets (property photos, video creation, graphic design) that may affect the total cost of ownership. If you neglect to ask, you may encounter unexpected or hidden fees that could blow up your budget following implementation.
Once you’ve settled on the ideal touring technology partner, you’re going to want to start using the platform as soon as possible to deliver a seamless, modern touring experience for your prospects. But, before you can do that, you have to implement the new tool – which is why getting important details about this process is a must-do before you sign any contracts.
A well-planned and executed implementation process keeps operational disruptions to a minimum while enabling your team to maximize the new technology’s benefits. Prompt implementation is particularly important in the competitive multifamily industry, where quick response times and efficient communication can make a significant difference in securing leases.
Your chosen touring technology partner should not only offer a robust solution but also have a track record of delivering on-time and hassle-free.
When evaluating implementation schedules, here are some key questions to ask:
What is the estimated timeline for the complete implementation of the touring technology solution, from initial setup to full rollout?
What preparations are needed from our end to facilitate a smooth implementation?
What training and onboarding processes are in place to assist our corporate and onsite teams with using the technology effectively?
If applicable, how will existing property data be transferred to the new solution?
Is there a process for reviewing the implementation and addressing any challenges that may arise after we roll it out?
Touring technology solutions have transcended conventional property touring, becoming dynamic tools that streamline sales, enhance prospect engagement, and elevate the resident journey.
From immersive virtual tours that bridge geographical gaps to real-time availability updates that empower renters with instant information, touring technology is not only impressive but pivotal in staying competitive in a fast-paced industry.
When choosing a technology partner for touring, use this guide to find solutions that deliver tangible value beyond innovation. For more information on popular multifamily tech tools, trust Revyse for real reviews from multifamily professionals just like you.
Happy software shopping!
⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐