VIRTUAL TOUR SALES TRAINING IN A PANDEMIC
Student housing properties turned to Serendipit’s Student Housing Experts for during the initial months of the COVID-19 pandemic. Across the country, school closings and Stay at Home orders during prime leasing season left the student housing industry and many properties fearful of losing momentum for 20/21. They needed swift, strategic help with hosting virtual apartment tours and signing leases.
We love a good challenge, and even an unprecedented one such as COVID-19 can’t shake us! Our team jumped right in and brainstormed how to transition in-person tours to a virtual platform and provide the same experience.
CHALLENGES & OPPORTUNITIES
Challenge: How to provide the same quality tour and leasing experience in a virtual platform that a prospect would experience in person.
Challenge: With different stay-at-home orders in place around the nation, some properties are completely remote, while others were still able to go in the leasing office while practicing safe distancing with coworkers. Those who were completely remote had to rely on photos and virtual Matterport Scans, while those that could still go in-office could tour the model unit over Zoom.
Challenge: Many leasing consultants are college students themselves and need to learn how to feel comfortable on camera. They are unsure of when to ask to close, how to establish next steps, etc.
Opportunity: Create an entire virtual lease training (3 hours) to teach these consultants the best practices to conduct tours online.
Opportunity: Utilize social media to host tours on IGTV and promote the service.
Opportunity: Add personalization for the leasing consultants in the digital space so prospects can familiarize themselves with the agents prior to the virtual tour. This will help maintain a human touch and promote rapport building within an all-digital environment.
Opportunity: Create an easy way for students to schedule tours without the back and forth of emailing and calling by establishing Calendly and Zoom set-ups.
The Virtual Tour project was a rapid immersion learning process, but the Serendipit team tackled it with ease. (They don’t call us the Student Housing Experts for nothing.) We had to create a streamlined process to get virtual tours up and going in the matter of days, all while working under Stay at Home orders ourselves. It was all hands on virtual decks!
We rapidly collected information from the leasing teams, creative direction, set up virtual scans (if needed), put together a training playbook, set up and integrated the Calendly and Zoom accounts, provided a social strategy and graphics, created digital ad campaigns and landing pages –– everything the leasing teams would need to do their jobs well. We had hourly communication check-ins and task-based checklists for the teams to keep us on pace during our rapid development cycle.
Goal: Make this situation as easy and stress-free as possible or the on-site teams.
- Coordinated virtual tour scans for each property
- Set up Zoom and Calendly integration to schedule tours
- Designed and built specific landing pages to schedule and host tours
- Designed website banners to direct visitors from the property website to our tour landing page
- Created a virtual leasing playbook utilized during 3-hour Zoom training sessions with on-site teams. During the training, Serendipit reviewed the following:
- Identifying the leasing team strengths and areas for improvement
- Technical set-up how to use Calendly and Zoom
- Fair Housing compliance in a digital space
- Building rapport in a digital space
- Overcoming objections
- Closing tactics in a digital space
- Follow up process - best practices
- Practice and Role Play
- Q&A - a chance to really dive into property-specific questions and the one on one time with Serendipit’s Student Housing Experts
- Created digital ad campaigns to drive traffic to tour sign-up
- Created social content calendar, strategy, and graphics for the on-site teams to execute and promote virtual touring.
- Created custom Zoom backgrounds for the leasing agents to use to provide a professional, branded setting for their tour.
- Launched each virtual training project in 2 weeks or less.
- Increased leasing by 5 percent in one week after launch. (Union)
- Drove 12 total leads in the first week of digital ad launch. (Union)