How Property Managers at RE/MAX are Renting Properties 50% Faster with Virtual Tours
Virtual tours aren’t just for selling multi-million dollar properties. Top property managers are using them to get properties tenanted in record time, and swapping out the arduous entry and exit report process for one that’s instant and accurate to the millimetre. We sat down with RE/MAX Property Manager, Faith Williams, to find out how she’s using virtual tours to streamline how she manages her day.
LH: How do you use virtual tours to get properties tenanted faster at RE/MAX?
FW: The most obvious use is as part of our advertising activity. When COVID first hit, for the first month we found that it was nearly impossible to show every person through a property individually and this started our relationship with virtual tours. We can accept the virtual tour as the tenant ‘viewing the property’ so people who are busy, can’t make an inspection time, are in quarantine or interstate can do a virtual walk through, apply and sign a lease without stepping foot into the home. This is because the quality of Little Hinges tours is accurate to within a millimetre and really represent the property accurately.
Virtual Tours have allowed my agency to lease properties almost 50% quicker than competitors in the area.
LH: How has adding virtual tours to your product suite saved you time?
FW: Virtual tours allow us to “show” properties that are further away from our office by saving on drive time, and only showing the property in-person to prospective tenants who are genuinely interested. So rather than doing three inspections a week, we might only do one inspection with people who have virtually viewed online, seen the photos and floorplan and feel the property is suitable for them.
It also means our agents are able to quickly answer questions about the property without having to either call the landlord or visit ourselves. For example, if we’re asked about things like gas cooking or air conditioning in the bedrooms, if we can’t remember we can hop on to the virtual tour and have a quick look.
LH: How are you using virtual tours to streamline entry condition reports?
FW: Having a virtual tour showcases the conditions of a property down to the millimetre, which means we can start to draft an Entry Condition Report before even visiting the property. Or, if we’re really busy, we can get our assistants to start the write up and then simply take photos or tweak the written part of the Entry Condition Report when we’re onsite.
When adding the link into the written section of the Form 1a Entry Condition Report, the virtual tour then becomes part of the evidence to that Entry Condition Report and can be used in QCAT to show the condition of the property at the beginning of the tenancy. This protects landlords and vendors, because the virtual tours are far more accurate than photographs, which can be influenced by lighting or any number of factors.
LH: Are you seeing an increase in the number of people applying for rental properties, sight unseen? How do virtual tours help with this?
FW: We’re definitely seeing an increase in sight unseen rentals, whether people are busy, interstate or in quarantine. The floorplans and photos that are incorporated as part of the virtual tour package with Little Hinges are hugely helpful for people looking for a rental property as it has been proven that more people feel comfortable applying sight unseen with a virtual tour and floorplan incorporated into the advertising campaign. In a world where we are all super busy, this technology has allowed my agency to lease properties almost 50% quicker than competitors in the area.
LH: How does incorporating virtual tours help position RE/MAX to potential landlords?
FW: Virtual tour technology is a great point of difference when spruiking our brand to potential landlords, because we include this as part of our higher package and offer it at a cost to our lower packages. It’s also a tool I can use as part of promotional and marketing activity, using it to help get landlords on the fence over the line, particularly as not many other agencies are offering this type of technology. Virtual tours are a great way to offer exceptional customer service to landlords as it shows we care about the promotion of their property and about keeping their property in great condition. It also means tenants can’t argue with an entry report that includes a virtual tour that is almost perfect, moveable and zoomable as evidence to the condition of the property.