Digitalization and technology have transformed every aspect of life and the real estate industry is no exception. There have been changes within the industry recently that no one could have imagined twenty years ago. Homes can be purchased exclusively online, properties can be accurately depicted with high-quality virtual reality tours, and Zillow is continuing to … Continued
Digitalization and technology have transformed every aspect of life and the real estate industry is no exception. There have been changes within the industry recently that no one could have imagined twenty years ago. Homes can be purchased exclusively online, properties can be accurately depicted with high-quality virtual reality tours, and Zillow is continuing to try and find a way to cut out the need for any real estate professionals.
Virtual leasing is the newest trend that has been taking the real estate industry by storm. What used to be an additional service provided by brokerages has now become an absolute necessity. Being able to complete the entire leasing process from a safe distance has become essential during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In this article, we’ll be breaking down what exactly virtual leasing is, who it caters to, and the benefits of providing these services.
What is Virtual Leasing?
Virtual leasing is a service provided by some real estate professionals which allows the entire leasing process to occur digitally. Everything a property manager does in the leasing process occurs remotely. This includes initial meetings, property tours, and the signing of official documents.
Who Uses Virtual Leasing?
Though virtual leasing has become more popular during the pandemic, these types of services existed long before COVID-19. Certain landlords or property managers have provided virtual leasing programs for years. Being able to lease remotely has always benefited certain individuals. Disabled people, whose mobility is limited, benefit from being able to sign documents and take meetings from the comfort of their own home, saving them the hassle of a trip in person. Virtual leasing has always been beneficial to those who are moving to a new city that is far from where they currently live. Going through the leasing process digitally prevents buyers from having to plan long, expensive apartment-hunting trips. Tech-savvy individuals and millennials also prefer to go through the leasing process digitally.
COVID-19 has left its mark on the real estate industry. 68% of property managers who responded to a recent survey said that they believe virtual leasing will remain popular post-pandemic. The shifts that have occurred during this global emergency won’t disappear once the effects of COVID-19 have subsided. The rise of digitalization won’t slow down even when life is “back to normal.” Once the corona virus is a distant memory, virtual leasing will still be in high demand. The convenience and flexibility that comes with these services won’t be forgotten. That is why it is important for real estate professionals to integrate this program into their business model now, to prepare for the continued shift to digitalization.
What are the Benefits of Virtual Leasing?
1. Stay COVID-19 Safe
Perhaps the most obvious, virtual leasing has the benefit of keeping everyone safe during COVID-19. Interested renters don’t have to put themselves or their loved ones at risk to find their dream apartment. By moving the entire leasing process online, you’ll save yourself the hassle of trying to provide tours during a global pandemic. With today’s technology, virtual leasing programs can be just as comprehensive as the traditional leasing process. Buyers will still feel like they have enough information to make an informed decision, even without ever seeing the property in person.
2. Lease from Anywhere
Even before the pandemic, many brokerages included virtual leasing in some capacity so that they could attract clientele from anywhere around the world. With traditional leasing, landlords are limited to only renters who are in their city. But if you provide virtual leasing, anyone could use your services to find their perfect apartment. With technological advances, virtual leasing has never been more accurate or informative. Property managers are not limited by their location when integrating virtual leasing services into their business model.
3. Save Time & Effort as a Landlord (and a Renter)
Virtual leasing saves time for both the landlord and any prospective renters. Meeting and touring virtually allows both the property manager and renter to avoid tedious commutes. Additionally, landlords do not have to go through the hassle of scheduling tours and working off of someone else’s timeline. Virtual leasing is a convenient way to navigate the often time-consuming leasing process. Renters skip unnecessary trips to the realtor’s office and property managers can focus on connecting with their clients and finding them the perfect apartment.
4. Lighten the Load for Renters
Signing a lease is a long, difficult process for most renters. It usually involves dedicating a decent amount of time, money, and energy to finding the perfect apartment. With virtual leasing, renters can browse properties when it’s convenient for their schedule. Instead of having to physically visit a listing at a set time, prospective renters can tour properties remotely at any time. Additionally, going through the process from the privacy of their own home can be easier for many first-time renters.
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