If allowed to tour a home by yourself, would you take it?
Many people would.
Although the technology has been in development for over a decade now, self-touring services have started catching fire in the last few years. Even before the pandemic, realtors and property managers have realized that self-service home showings can help them close faster and more often.
If you’ve never considered offering self-guided home tours before, now is the time to start. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of self-touring and why so many home buyers and renters are beginning to expect this option when visiting your property.
What is a self-guided house tour?
Self-guided house tours are a type of contact-less home showing that allows prospective home buyers and renters to visit the property unsupervised. While touring the home, an agent may be available to answer questions during or after the tour but is not physically present.
These types of tours are becoming more common among rental properties to streamline the leasing process. That said, you can find self-touring technology being used by realtors and property managers who sell homes as well.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, this technology has been especially useful for maintaining a healthy and safe environment for employees and clients. Self-guided tours have been the best option for prospects who want to visit a home while limiting contact with other people.
How do self-guided tours work?
Most third-party services, such as Rently, provide the software, hardware, and customer support to make contact-less showings effortless for real estate professionals and residents.
Each self-tour solution is slightly different, but the way they work is generally the same.
Step One: Scheduling
First, a prospective buyer or tenant requests a tour with the property manager or realtor. These tours may be scheduled via an app, email, or online depending on the self-tour company you’ve decided to work with.
Step Two: Identity Verification
Before the prospect can enter the property, they will complete a security screening to verify their identity. This ensures that you always know who is entering the home, even if you aren’t physically there.
These screening measures usually require prospects to submit their ID, credit card, or other means of identification to minimize the risk of theft or damage to the property. Some self-touring services can even provide extra hardware such as indoor and outdoor cameras for added security and peace of mind.
Step Three: Touring
When it’s time for the prospect to tour the home, they’ll receive a one-time access code to enter the vacant property. These codes are single-use so no one can enter without your permission. Anyone who wants to visit the property a second time would have to apply for a new tour and receive a different code.
Some self-tour technologies give prospects a specified time window to visit in the home, while others let them stick around as long as they like. Either way, once a visitor enters the property they are able to tour at their own pace.
The Benefits of Self-Guided Home Tours
Contact-less home showings are becoming very popular among real estate professionals and prospects alike, and for good reason. Here’s how both parties benefit from adopting self-tour technology.
For Real Estate Agents and Property Managers
Many real estate professionals love contact-less house tours because it gives them more time to focus on high-value tasks. It also helps them manage multiple prospects with ease.
If you frequently lead house tours, you probably understand how difficult it can be to work around all your clients’ busy schedules. By offering self-guided tours, you can easily coordinate multiple visits per day and at times you aren’t available to be there in person.
Self-touring technology is especially helpful in these types of situations:
- When you manage multiple properties that across a large geographic area
- When prospects want to schedule tours outside of typical office hours
- When multiple prospects want to schedule tours at the same time
- When you want to improve staff efficiency by automating mundane tasks
A flexible scheduling system allows you to maximize the number of tours you can book. It can even help you close faster. Here’s how:
Quick and Easy Scheduling
Signing up for a tour time slot online is much faster and more convenient than lengthy back-and-forth with agents via phone or email.
More people can visit a single property in a day. They can even schedule tours for the same property multiple times if they want to, all without interrupting your busy schedule.
Self-touring software makes it easy to seamlessly follow up with prospects via text message or app notification and ask about their experience. It’s also a convenient way to answer questions that they might have before, during, or after the tour.
For Home Renters and Buyers
Today’s renters and home buyers prefer the option to self-tour because it allows them to visit homes on their terms. If they don’t want to talk to an agent face-to-face, they don’t have to until they’re ready.
Touring Whenever They Want
Some people can’t take tours during the day. They have strict work schedules and family commitments, and the only option they have is to visit at night or on weekends. Having the chance to schedule tours at whatever time works best for them makes them more likely to consider your property over someone else’s.
You may find that prospects prefer to tour on weekends, even if they’re also available during typical work hours. Having the flexibility to offer tours whenever prospects want can make a huge difference for the customer experience, and they’ll be much happier to work with you because of it.
However They Please
Another benefit of self-guided tours is the low-pressure atmosphere. Without an agent to guide them around from room to room, there’s no rush to leave by a specific time or stay longer than they like – prospects can take all the time they need to wander around and imagine themselves in the space.
Less pressure also reduces the chance that a prospect will feel intimidated by an agent’s presence. If they want to discuss the property privately with friends and family, they can do so without someone looking over their shoulder. They don’t have to worry about feeling rushed into a decision and can explore the space in a way that makes them most comfortable.
For As Many Visits As They Need
The convenience of self-showing properties means that many prospects can take advantage of the ability to see the same home multiple times. While they weigh their options, they can easily make second and third visits to the property without burdening an agent, or they can schedule an agent-led tour in addition to self-touring.
In the end, it’s clear that renters and buyers respond positively to self-guided tours.
Self-Touring Tech is Here to Stay
At Ameritex Property Management, self-touring software has helped our company streamline the home buying process for hundreds of residents across the State of Texas. Not only does this technology make it easier for us to show many single-family properties across a large geographical area, but it helps our residents find their perfect home faster and easier than ever before.
The data doesn’t lie. Self-touring technology is a win-win for everyone involved. All it takes is to find the right vendor to meet your needs and then get started.