Virtual and augmented reality have been available for some time and had seen sporadic use, but the mass COVID-19 precipitated shutdowns nationwide have led to rapid adoption of the technologies by multifamily owners in order to get leases signed during the pandemic.
“Owners of apartment buildings across the U.S. are looking for new ways to have contactless touring… anything to decrease one-on-one touring,” says Georgianna Oliver, founder of Tour24, a technology company based in Medfield, Mass.
New technologies let apartments shoppers to check out potential homes without ever being in the presence of a leasing agent. That includes virtual tours, video chats and even “self-guided tours” that let potential renters make an appointment to see a real, physical apartment without a real, physical leasing agent being present.
These technologies are likely to be helpful, even in places where the rules of social distancing, meant to slow the spread of the virus, have begun to relax. “It’s here to stay for some time,” says Dan Russotto, vice president of product for Apartments.com, based in Atlanta. “Even as things re-open, there are going to be people who want to practice social distancing.”
Suraj Shrestha is an associate at Harborside Partners. He has been taking the lead role on research projects; to develop and implement online marketing strategies for search engine optimization and social media marketing. He is one of the core parts for helping to grow business revenue and the company’s online presence.