Many communities have virtual tours available on their websites, providing prospective residents an instant tour of the unit without them having to get up from their computer. While these virtual tours are beneficial for bringing residents to the property, they don’t always provide the hands-on experience residents need before committing to a community and signing a lease. That’s where self-guided tours come in.

Tour24 is one company making inroads in self-guided tour technology.

“Tour24 is the innovative new way for renters to tour apartments on their own using a mobile app without a leasing agent or broker,” said Georgianna Oliver, founder ofTour24.

The app allows prospective renters to schedule a tour, submit their photo ID, get entry credentials to the property and model unit, and even start the leasing process – all from their cell phone. Properties customize tours to ensure that key features and amenities are highlighted. As the resident tours the community, the Tour24 app points out important features and provides additional information, just as a leasing agent would. Tour24 also tracks and reports visitations.

Oliver said the biggest benefit of self-guided tours for renters is convenience. While work schedules make touring difficult during business hours, self-guided tours give prospective renters the flexibility they need to see the property and make a decision. She said the company’s statistics show the majority of self-guided tours take place after the leasing office is closed or on the weekends.

“By offering Tour24, a property can have coverage at all times for prospective renters to view the community and the available or model unit,” she said.

One of the biggest challenges to implementing self-guided tours in a community is having the proper smart locks on model units, Oliver said. Since many properties aren’t customarily set up for these specific locks, Tour24 includes them as part of its product.

At Riverwalk Apartment Homes in Fort Myers, property manager Marilyn Urquiola has used the ser-vice for several weeks and said it saves her from hiring staffers for off-hour tours. She said her company pays about $500 monthly for the service but it’s worthwhile because “that is the future:’

Johanna Rodriguez, property manager for The Exchange Lofts in Fort Lauderdale, said they are about to launch the program and appreciate that it better accommodates prospective tenants with busy schedules. “It’s hard when you have to try to fit that tour in during your lunch hour,” she said. Guests have 30 minutes to tour on their own and managers can determine the hours. The requirement that touring guests submit photo identification adds a level of assurance, Rodriguez added.


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