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  • Chris Seher

Virtual Realty Tours are Benefitting Multifamily and Student Housing Markets

Updated: Jun 15, 2023

Clearly, technology continues to enhance the way business gets done, and virtual reality (“VR”) is an excellent example of such a technology. VR decreases transactional cycles as well as related costs. Given potential tenants can quickly and effortlessly evaluate spaces of interest using virtual tours, many are favoring landlords and brokers who are making these tours available. A simple ROI analysis will show that price is no longer a reasonable impediment to using this technology.

Effective pre-leasing/pre-sale results are key to a project’s success. When the physical space is not yet available to market, a virtual tour can jump start this process. Virtual reality affords potential residents an immersive tour of the finished space so they can start their decision-making process. The VR tour provides a CAD-accurate representation of each unit, including the furnishings and exterior views, as well as the ability to customize the space. This improves the confidence a potential tenant/buyer may need to make a commitment. This alternative is especially useful for out-of-state prospects who may not want to incur the time and expense of a personal visit.

The ability to allow prospects to access and evaluate a property from any location, at any time, even pre-construction, becomes a game changer.

Example VR Experience

Student Housing

While feeder markets may be a factor in the Multifamily Market, they are critical to the Student Housing Market. Virtual reality is breaking down geographic boundaries by increasing demand in these feeder markets. A market no longer needs to be constrained by its proximity to a college. For example, by using virtual reality an interested student living in Baltimore can remotely explore the USC campus, visit its housing options and determine their interest without investing in a cross-country trek. This ability increases the potential pool of students this market may draw upon.

Market Outside the Leasing Office

Virtually depicted spaces can be experienced various ways without requiring a visit to a leasing office. Any internet-connected devise, such as a computer, tablet or phone can be used for this purpose. Given most VR models are web-enabled, an ordinary computer is all that is needed to access the virtual world. With this basic hardware, a student or parent can easily tour a potential housing unit and it surroundings by navigating around on the screen to “walk” the property and experience an accurate portrayal of the real-life space.

If a more immersive tour is preferred, a head-mounted display creates tremendous realism and increases the overall effectiveness of the virtual experience. Many student housing developers are creating apps to facilitate the use of VR property models for remote selling. The creative marketers are fostering interest by using the headsets, or kiosks in their leasing offices to differential their offerings. These virtual tools promote decision-making by the students and their parents often without a visit to the property. This is particularly useful for pre-construction properties.

Multimedia Marketing


Link a VR model to your e-brochures or create unlimited renderings to create traditional collateral


Include a property tour link in targeted or mass email campaigns

YouTube Ad

Use your property tour as a YouTube ad to reach thousands of potential residents every day


Send tours directly to potential residents’ phones via text


Virtual tours typically live on your website and are self-guided

VR Viewer

Bring the tour to your prospects on campus, at housing fairs, on pop-up leasing events, sporting events and more. Branded VR viewers are a great give-away.

Social Media

Make it easy for people to share your property tour by uploading it to social media.

They can send it to their friends, family, and roommates with a click of a button.

VR Benefits

Virtual reality can successfully reach a wider market through its immersive qualities and remote-viewing capabilities. This means that developments have the long-term potential to experience increased viewer excitement about a property, greater interest and more pre-sales/pre-leases when units are presented through this medium.

Staff related overhead is reduced when VR is used in the development’s leasing office, website or app to tour available units. Transaction times are also reduced resulting in an increased ROI. By incorporating VR into leasing activities, the prospective tenants have a better idea about what it would be like to live in each unit, thus encouraging quicker decision-making.

Housing developments across the country are utilizing virtual reality. It is already proving its worth by generating higher unit-closing rates. Case studies have shown pre-leasing results of 95% – before construction completion. As for Student Housing, VR is engaging students and promoting quicker leasing activity. While the future of virtual reality is not set in stone, with results like these, it’s difficult to see a future without it.

To learn more about how Web-enabled VR can help facilitate your preleasing/sales, please contact us below:

· Or call +1 281.299.3159

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