The tours for apartments or single-family homes often get sidelined because our days are booked with back-to-back appointments, and before we know it, the property we were looking forward to is off the market. But an entrepreneur from Tampa has found an innovative fix that doesn’t require any party to be present on-site for a tour.
“We’re disrupting the idea that you have to visit a property before signing a lease,” stated Christopher Vasilakis, founder and CEO of Guided Virtual Tours. “Everyone is moving toward a mobile-centric offering — you can get food on demand, and now you can tour properties on demand.”
Guided Virtual Tours was formally launched by the longtime virtual reality entrepreneur back in November 2020.
“We knew it would be more efficient, but after Covid, it became a necessity,” he added. “An apartment still needed to give tours, so this became a higher priority.”
Even though a lot of apartment complexes have adopted the digital norm and offer virtual tours but with the Guided Virtual Tours tech, they can offer a more thorough by integrating their current system with the company’s platform. The photography and creation of the in-house tours are being taken care of by a company called MatterPort Virtual Reality. Their output is further overlaid with a voiceover that highlights the specifics of the property.
“Normally [users] have to endlessly click through the property, and you may not have seen everything,” Vasilakis said. “It’s not guiding you, you’re wandering around this apartment or property, and no one is explaining anything. It’s the equivalent of giving the keys to someone and saying, ‘Go look around,’ and that’s not how you sell. We try to replicate an organic property tour.”
The guided voiceover highlights the properties’ key points during the tour. The functionality for asking questions in real-time is not there yet, but it does act as a building block for a lot of questions that a potential renter might have.
“That’s what we tell everyone; it doesn’t have to be the end all be all,” he said. “But it will allow people to come to your property, interact with your site, and then they can message you to take a tour or if they have more questions.”
The company currently has 45 properties across the nation and has been bootstrapped. But this is Vasilakis’ fifth startup, has seven full-time employees, and is “quickly growing.”
“This is especially important with Covid now, but even if things are back to normal, you have to schedule a time to tour, and now you’re doing that with five properties,” he said. “Having this is basically like having your best leasing agent giving a tour. You can do it 24/7 around the clock and give thousands of tours a day, and the ‘agent’ never gets sick.”
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