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Renters want virtual tours too, survey finds

By Mike Wheatley | August 17, 2020

More than 70% of renters say they would be happy to rent an apartment without seeing it in person first, if they could check it out through a 3D virtual tour.

That’s according to a survey jointly commissioned by Zumper, a rental marketplace, and Matterport, which provides 3D and virtual tour services. The survey notes that just like home buyers, renters are also taking their property search online during the coronavirus pandemic, and would benefit from having more access to modern tools that allow them to view homes and sign leases without being there in person.

While photos of an apartment are important, the virtual or video tours component is far more useful in giving prospective tenants an idea of what it actually ‘feels’ like inside.

Virtual apartment tour searches have spiked since the pandemic and consequent lockdowns begun, according to Google Trends data. More than 60% of renters say their apartment search experience has been negatively impacted by the pandemic. According to another survey by apartment listing site Abodo, some 30% of renters would prefer to see photos and floor plans delivered in a virtual manner. Another 27% said they would prefer to see prerecorded videos of units over live, personal unit tours.

Matterport said last week it will partner with Zumper to offer virtual tours and 3D floor plans for its listings. The tours will enable renters to view the places online, moving from room to room and looking around each one. It will also allow them to take measurements of spaces and thing such as walls, doors, windows and furniture. They can also superimpose furniture in each room to get an idea of how it might looks.

The residential market has already turned to 3D tours and video walkthroughs during the pandemic to take buyers through properties, but the concept has been less common with rental listings up until now.

Zumper and Matterport’s survey found that 82% of property owners who’ve used the 3D walkthrough tool to advertise their properties were able to find a renter without that person coming to see the place in person. And almost all property owners said that potential renters would likely be more interested in a listing if they could explore it virtually beforehand.

“The ability to quickly, easily, and safely explore apartments will be integral in navigating the process of finding a home,” said Robin Daniels, CMO of Matterport. “Not only can renters get the important information and understanding of a space … but property owners can reach more potential tenants by offering them to work around the limitations of in-person showings.”

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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