It’s difficult to measure how COVID-19 has changed the rental industry. Since the start of the pandemic, the rental market has been on a roller coaster of ups and downs. Including a spate of vacancies in early 2020 to the soaring highs of today’s housing market. During that time, landlords had to get creative to incentivize new tenants, promote listings, and cope with evolving pandemic legislation. It’s clear that of all the pandemic changes to the market, the leaps in digital marketing are here to stay. 

These changes were instrumental in helping landlords fill vacancies during the tumultuous months of the pandemic. And their benefits have continued to shape the rental market. Now video walkthroughs and interactive tours are essential tools in any landlord’s repertoire to find quality tenants and avoid extended vacancies. 

Pandemic Changes

Landlords faced several unique challenges in the early days of the pandemic. With widespread shutdowns and uncertainty, many people left their rentals to move back in with family. Some areas saw the highest number of vacancies in a decade, right at the time when it was increasingly difficult to find new tenants. Many areas quickly enacted restrictions for in-person tours of properties, limiting the number of people who could attend or even temporarily banning them outright. Since most prospective tenants wanted to see a rental in as much detail as possible before committing to a lease, this was a huge blow for struggling landlords. 

With in-person tours limited or impossible, landlords turned to in-depth digital marketing by necessity. While virtual walkthrough technology existed pre-pandemic, most landlords relied on in-person showings. However, the need to let tenants explore a rental they couldn’t see in person quickly led to a rapid blossoming of this new technology which has swiftly become the norm.

Remote Tours Fill Vacancies 

Rental marketing has quickly incorporated two new strategies: video tours and interactive walkthroughs. While each has its benefits, they are even more effective when deployed in tandem. A video tour can capture the experience of walking through a rental in person but can be accessed from anywhere. One drawback of a video tour is that it’s difficult to capture a rental’s details in one brief video. A good video tour will give tenants a general idea of what the property is like, its layout, and its interior. 

On the other hand, an interactive walkthrough is similar to a video tour. The difference is that it allows a potential tenant to take control of they tour. Potential tenants can control the viewpoint, focus on the things that specifically interest them, and even take virtual measurements.

Video tours and interactive media opens the playing field to a wider number of tenants than ever before. Finding a rental used to be a gamble for people looking to move out of state. New, highly realistic technology means that people can poke around a rental property from the comfort of their home. It doesn’t matter whether they’re on the other side of the Willamette or the other side of the country. It’s also highly convenient for working professionals who might otherwise struggle to make time to tour a rental. 

By using a multi-faceted marketing approach when listing your rental, you can reach as many demographics as possible. By reaching more potential tenants, you’re more likely to fill vacancies quickly with someone who loves their new home. 

Professional Marketing Ensures Results 

Whether you’re using a video tour, interactive walkthrough, or both, the key to marketing your rental well is to ensure that every aspect of your listing looks professional. Even a listing that only includes static photos can be rented out faster than a rental with a video tour and walkthrough if the visuals are far more attractive in the former. High-quality marketing materials allow you to put your rental’s best foot forward. They also allow you to show off the parts of the home you know tenants will get excited about. 

In some cases, a professional marketing strategy can even allow you to charge a higher rental price. Most renters won’t want to pay top dollar if your photos are inadequately lit and your rental looks poorly maintained. But good lighting, an elegantly staged rental, and comprehensive photos show people that your rental is worth the price. 

However, getting spectacular photos and putting together a video tour or interactive walkthrough is easier said than done. Many independent landlords might struggle getting the right equipment and handling the details that go into taking top-notch photos. 

Get Help Marketing Your Rental Property

With all the tasks that independent landlords have on their plates, creating a new rental listing can be overwhelming. First, you have to conduct regular maintenance to ensure your property is looking its best. Then you must pay for a professional cleaning, and sometimes even stage it with furniture and decor. If you’re planning on doing a voice-over during the video tour–helpful if you want to discuss your rental’s benefits further–you’ll want to write a script for that in advance. If all this sounds like more trouble than it’s worth, a property management company can create a stellar listing for your property and get you the best price for your rental. 

Rent Portland Homes by Darla Andrew works with landlords in the Portland metro area to make the most of their rental investments without all the stress of self-management. Our marketing team has years of experience and knows all the tricks of making an impactful listing. We often find that our listings in some neighborhoods rent out mere hours after we post them on our website. With our business, you’re guaranteed a team of professionals to handle maintenance, marketing, all tenant interactions, and creating a solid financial plan for your rental’s future. If you’re interested in exploring all that a property management company can do to make your rental shine, call or text us any time at (503) 515-3170 or reach out through our website.