15 Years in the Making: Apartment Virtual Tours

Nearly 15 years ago at the 2005 AIM Conference, virtual tours made their debut—sit back, relax and let the reminiscing begin!

2005: The First Virtual Tour

15 years ago, video marketing was cutting edge and not yet widely available. The only place to post videos was in an Apple format viewable in iTunes. It was wildly technical trying to figure out how to film, convert and upload video. Plus, you had to rely on your prospects to download your video to their iPod. Early that year, YouTube launched, but didn’t have the marketing muscle that Apple did. Needless to say, it has taken years for video to become prevalent in the apartment industry.

Due to the impact of COVID-19, the need for virtual tours has accelerated. In 2005, Apartment marketing experts, Kate Good and Toni Blake were ahead of their time in predicting the relevancy and importance of video for our industry. They starred in what is now the multifamily industry’s very first virtual tour, which debuted for attendees at the 2005 AIM Conference.

At the time dubbed, “video podcasting” Kate and Toni led conference attendees through what a virtual tour could look like for leasing offices. Attendees who saw the virtual tour were blown away, because at the time an iPod was for only listening to music. In the video, Kate states, “I believe the next generation of apartment marketing is when you can actually bring your apartment community to life through video.”

First Aired: October 2005, AIM Conference (Apartment Innovation and Marketing Conference)

Produced by: Elyse Mueller, Unibrow Productions

Starring: Toni Blake, Kate Good

Music: bensound.com

2020: Virtual Tours Today

Now, nearly 15 years later, virtual leasing is the norm. Video and 3D tours are no longer a trendy marketing tool—they are a necessity. With guided tours being impacted by stay-at-home orders and social distancing, leasing agents must rely on digital tools to lease apartments.

Other virtual tools used by leasing offices today are chatbots and virtual leasing assistants. ACE, the virtual leasing assistant from LeaseHawk, can answer phone calls, texts, and chats when a leasing agent is unavailable. It can even schedule or send a link to one of the many virtual tour options.

Experience how ACE works for yourself and see how it changes the way your prospects schedule tours. Call or text (480) 571-1339 and ask ACE to schedule a virtual tour!

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