Customer success story – using virtual reality tours for property management with Rob Woolmer
The one and only, number one Leasing Agent in the world of LJ Hooker – Rob Woolmer from Perth !
Listen and learn how to use vr tours to… :
1. Have a 24/7 open house
2. Improve the leasing efficiency
3. Weed out people that are not interested in renting the property in the first place
4. Improve communication with Landlords that have never seen their property
5. Point out concern areas to remote Landlords to make repairs
6. Routine inspections
7.Cutting down time on market from 50/60 days to 1-2 weeks
And many other great ideas from Rob, who is an absolute gun in LJ Hooker City Residential, East Perth, WA, Australia
Have fun watching and please, share, like and comment if you like it !
HOW DID VIRTUAL TOURS IMPROVE ROB’S LEASING PERFORMANCE ?
“I can’t believe I didn’t start using Virtual Tours earlier!
- Operating a very competitive market place (high supply) we have encountered difficulties with capturing tenants attention, gaining commitment to attend inspections and preserve value in clients assets (as rent have been falling).
2. By offering an opportunity for tenants to view a property from the comfort of home, bus, train or interstate(or overseas) a virtual tour is the inspection before the inspection…
3. We are able to highlight (tag) key features in a property to point out the value in the offering – same as we would point out at an open.
On the subject of the tagging feature, we can incorporate dimensions of fridge, microwave or dishwasher recesses… How many times do tenants apply then want to come back for a quick measure ???
4. Adding in a complex tour of apartment buildings with facilities (pool, spa, gym etc) we can reduce time spent at opens. By not having to do a full building tour, we have increased our efficiency : Shorter opens times = More time to open other properties = More properties leased.
5. The virtual tours help with better pre-qualification for tenants. They can determine of the property does (or does not) posses their non-negotiables… This may be the presence (or absence) of an air conditioner in the bedroom which is something we can highlight… It cuts out tyre kickers and time wasters.
6. Since implementing the walk through in December 2019, our leasing efficiency has increased significantly. Of all the properties we have implemented this feature on, most will go within 1-2 weeks of listing – We are in a 60 day marketplace.
I have leased a property to a tenant from Melbourne using the VIRTUAL TOUR. I had emailed the link over 3 days before she was due to arrive for a 2-day property viewing trip. Having seen the property (virtually) she had applied pending a final walkthrough (which was a mere formality).
The property was about to be launched on the market (had she not proceeded). Thanks to Virtual Tours Creator, we were able to lease the property off-market!
7. The software has potential to be used as part of the routine inspections (mid-tenancy) or between tenancies to send to owners to show them the condition of the property more concisely.
I have an owner based overseas, who was not keen to update and remedy certain areas of the property which were holding tenants back from applying… In this instance, reducing rent would be the only way to solicit applications. Because he cannot see the issues with absolute clarity in photos, in his mind, they didn’t exist or certainly not bad enough to rectify.
Having sent a 360 tour of the state of the property, he was able to see the areas which were holding back tenants from applying… As a result of the information being presented (the same way he would see if he were there) we managed to get permission to remedy issues. Following on from this, the property leased quickly (at a better rent than was asked before repairs).
I’m Robert Woolmer, Business Development Manager for LJ Hooker City Residential in East Perth, Western Australia. Being full time, being in the office now, coming up for six years. We’ve adopted virtual walk-through tours, the virtual reality into our business in the leasing part of the business. So when we’re marketing properties, we’ll go through it and capture the property with the 360 camera, piece that together in the office and then add that to the listing to add, no pun intended, an extra dimension to the marketing. That affords us the opportunity to show the property to people who are not necessarily in Perth at this point in time. They could be at another part of the world, relocating to Perth. In our area, we’ve got a lot of transient workers, so FIFO, in and out of mine sites. They might be 800 kilometers away and their lease is coming up. They can look at a property at three o’clock in the morning when they’ve finished their shift.
Similarly with the executive properties, if you’ve got really time poor executives, if they’re in between meetings or they’re in a transit lounge, flying over the mountain for a meeting, they can look at properties at their own leisure. So, really really improves our leasing efficiency and it gives us the point of difference where I can say to a prospective owner, we’re the only agent in Perth right now that can show you a property 24/7 while all the other agents are asleep. I think that’s a really good point of difference and I don’t think anyone can come up with anything to beat that.
Our leasing efficiency has improved dramatically. We don’t have to show the property as often anymore. Tenants now are really really information hungry. So they want to be able to see a floor plan. They wanna go through the property and they can do that from home so we can kind of weed out people with the properties not gonna be suitable for. So we know the people that are coming through, they already know everything about the property. Coming in to see it is formality. I suppose if you are opening the door and you’re getting people in, who already know everything and they’re coming in, they’re more likely to take it. So we don’t have to keep going back to the same property time after time after time, especially if they’re viewing it online. They’ve already seen it. They know most of it. It really just helps cut down with our efficiency to lease them faster.
Having the 360 tours is a really good prospecting tool. For us, it gives us a real point of difference. At the moment, we’re the only people, that I’m aware of, that have it. So I can say to an owner, look, not only can we market your property, we can showcase your property in a way that makes it accessible to anyone, anywhere in the world, 24/7. We can show the property when everyone else is asleep. So, if you’re having issues with the agent, maybe you don’t feel they’re opening the property enough, they don’t get enough people through. We can fix that for you by capturing your property with the 360 tour. So, really good way to, I suppose appease one of the owners biggest concerns.
VTC is very easy to use. Admittedly, I probably didn’t pay enough attention at the beginning as I should, with watching the videos, so I ended up bothering Tom probably a bit more than I should but didn’t seem to be a problem. So, cool. I’m kind of at the point now, where I’ve got full command of it. I don’t really need any help. It’s pretty easy to learn. If you’ve got an iPhone or a smart phone and you can use the camera, you can use the 360 camera. It is really that simple. In terms of photographing or capturing a property, it probably takes five to 10 minutes to get a full property depending on the size. I think it helps if you can have all the lights on, open all the windows and blinds and just make sure the house is ready to go straight away. Once you get the hang of it, you know where the camera should be. You know the angles. It’s really really simple. It’s a really fluid process. It doesn’t take too long at all. One thing I found from I suppose, trial and error, you need to download the photos from the camera to your phone. So, what I’ll do, once I’ve captured the property, I’ll download the photos, either while I’m still at the property or I’ll leave the camera on on the car and download them coming back to the office, so I can upload and put that to the listing straight away.
Another really cool feature with this is it’s a good way if you’ve got owners that are absent whether they’re out of state or in a different part of your state, maybe even overseas, there’s the option for when using it for routine inspections. Similarly, if you’ve got a property that’s got some maintenance issues and you’re trying to explain this to your owner, perhaps the photo doesn’t really tell the full picture, you can go through and get a walk-through of the property and you can point out all the areas of concern, the areas that are maybe holding tenants back from applying or areas that are holding them back from getting their maximum possible rent. If you can capture their property and give them that experience, like they’re there, remotely it’s a really good way. We’ve definitely used it a few times for getting owners to make some basic remedial repairs to improve rentability of the properties. I think sometimes if you’re communicating with an owner who isn’t able to come and see the property for themselves, taking a photo doesn’t always give a holistic representation of how the property really presents. So, if we can actually go through and capture the whole property, the owner gets to receive the experience of what a tenant sees when they walk in to the property and they’re assessing what’s gonna be in their next home for the next six, 12, 18, 24 months. If we can capture the property and the owner can see it’s not presenting to a satisfactory level or there’s room for improvement, in an immersive way, that they can look around every which way, it’s easier for them to comprehend that there are things that need to be addressed and it should be done sooner than later and one photograph of a wall or a chip doesn’t necessarily convey that as convincingly. We’ve had some really good experience using that to get some work done that was really needed and once the work gets done, the property gets leased so, it covers itself really from generating rent faster.
In my best working experience with Virtual Tour is I was approached by a lady who is getting relocated for work from Melbourne to Perth. She booked in some time off to do a viewing tour, a viewing caravan, if you wanna call it that, of some properties around Perth. She had a short list of properties that she was interested with us. And it just so happen, one of the properties that I hadn’t yet launched to the market, I’d done the 360 tour of. So, I sent her the link to this property. She was able to see it before it went on the market. She fell absolutely in love with it. And she pretty much made the decision before she got on the plane. This was the property for her. It’s too late for her to cancel the flights and obviously she still has to see the property in person but she came over, which was basically, in fact complete already, the decision was already made based on the 360 walk-through. What was special about this property in particular? It was a waterfront property with a boardwalk around the river. So, we took the camera down from the apartment to the boardwalk and did a walk around the area so she could actually see from Melbourne what it’s actually like to be there that google maps, google earth can’t show you which is sort of an intangible for someone on the other side of the country, which this side of Australia is half a world away. That’s just information you just cannot get unless you’re there or unless you go through a 360 tour.
Virtual Tour Creator is probably the best thing that I have adopted into my business. Maybe ever. Definitely in the last 12 months. Wish I knew about it sooner or wish it existed sooner cause it would’ve made my life so much easier.
Our leasing efficiency, it’s always pretty good. But now, it’s absolutely sky-rocketed. Our market at the moment is sort of 50 to 60 days on market. I can tell my owners, generally speaking, anything with a Virtual Tour will go within one to two weeks. So, it speaks for itself really but why didn’t I know about it earlier.