Do’s and Don’ts of Self-Guided Tours

by Jun 26, 2020Blog, Innovation

Some properties have shied away from self-guided since their rise in popularity over the past few years. The adoption of this new tour method has grown exponentially since shelter-in-place orders due to COVID-19 were put into effect. We’ve gathered some Do’s and Don’ts of hosting self-guided tours whether during shelter-in-place orders or not.


Have an easy way for people to sign up

People can’t tour if they don’t know how to sign up. Set up your website with an online tour scheduler that automatically sends prospect information directly to your property team and CRM. With a tour scheduler, you make it effortless for apartment shoppers to book on their own time. RentPress now offers a scheduler that fully integrates with Yardi so you can control appointment time slots and more all while ensuring that your leads are sent to your CRM.

Follow at CDC and other government mandates and guidelines

Keeping residents, prospects, and staff safe is a number one priority. Following government mandates and CDC guidelines will help to keep everyone safe and healthy. Cleaning schedules, distancing, and number of people touring should all be thoroughly considered and planned before implementing self-guided tours. 

Send reminders and instructions

We know that everyone needs a little reminder from time to time. Sending an appointment reminder via email or text message gives you another chance to provide the high touch experience we know properties love to give. These messages can also serve as an opportunity to give your prospects clear instructions and guidelines for the tour. Driving directions, unit entering instructions, time restrictions, and safety/health guidelines should all be included.

Create “points of interest”

When you give a tour you usually have one or two spots where you point out features or highlight interesting information. You can still easily create this experience during a self-guided tour with signs in key areas like the kitchen cabinets, bathroom, or linen closet. Have a particularly interesting feature in a floorplan? Highlight it with a sign that lets the shopper know what makes it special. 

Add a personal touch

It may seem like if you aren’t there to give the tour that you won’t be able to add a bit of personality or that personal touch that can really make a tour special. But that isn’t so! Create a welcome sign or packet for the prospect. When they enter the apartment they will see their name up in lights 


Forget to follow up

Following up or lead nurturing via email and text is imperative to build connections with your prospects. By automating your email campaign you’ll never forget to follow up and you’ll give apartment hunters the property and community information they need to make an informed decision.  For every $1 in email marketing campaigns you invest, you will see a $42 return on investment, according to recent studies

Overbook yourself

Because of safety guidelines, it’s incredibly important to not overbook your apartment. Two separate groups showing up to tour the same unit at the same time is unsafe and doesn’t reflect well on the property. By using an online tour scheduler and email confirmations you’ll ensure that everyone gets a chance to view the apartment safely.

Be afraid to try new things

We know trying new marketing strategies can be a bit nerve-wracking at first. Many fear automation and technology will take over a leasing agent’s job. But we know that nothing could replace the human touch. New marketing technology is there to help make your jobs a little bit easier. And when those tools don’t have to eat up your entire budget then there is really no downside to taking the leap.