If you’re looking to rent an apartment, you probably have heard of at least two different types of tours (virtual and in-person). However, there are actually several other innovative ways to tour apartments these days, including 3D tours, live video tours, pre-recorded tours, and self-guided tours.
In this guide, we’ll learn what these tours mean and which ones could benefit you the most.
#1 – Normal In-Person Tour
This is the most traditional tour where you schedule an appointment with the leasing agent who will take you through the apartment at a specific time.
You may or may not be required to schedule an appointment in advance. Some people will do a full day and see multiple apartments in one day.
- Traditionally best way to view an apartment
- Get best feel for everything
- Can ask questions along the way
- Least amount of flexibility for scheduling as usually requires booking appointment during business hours.
#2 – 3D Walk-Through Tour
A virtual 3D apartment tour makes use of technology like Matterport or Pano that allows you to navigate through different areas of the apartment with your mouse. This type of tour allows you to scan through the apartment at your leisure.
Example: Matterport Apartment Tour
- Great for initial viewing
- Can see it at your leisure
- Can go through multiple times
- Can share with friends/family
- Can get helpful information with labels
- Not as good as viewing in person
- Can appear to be “choppy” if the tour is not stitched together well
- Can’t immediately ask questions of the leasing agent
#3 – Live Video Chat Tour
On this type of tour, an agent may walk you through the apartment through a video chat. Think Zoom, Facetime or some other type of video chatting technology. You can ask questions while the agent is taking you through the apartment.
- More flexibility in viewing
- Great for viewing if you live out of state or far away
- You can ask questions while interacting with the leasing agent
- Can’t see everything that your eyes would normally catch if you were there in-person
- Potential for choppy or inconsistent experience depending on wifi or signal strength
- Might not be a smooth experience
#4 – Pre-Recorded Quick Video Tour
This is essentially a pre-recorded video of the leasing doing a tour of the apartment and typically covers all the features the agent wants to highlight. You typically only see what’s in the leasing agents walking path, so you may not see everything.
- Get a quick jolt of information – all the highlights likely in less than 5 minutes
- Save time
- Can view at your leisure
- Not seeing everything in the apartment
- Can’t ask questions of the leasing agent
- Can’t see complex amenities
#5 – Self-Guided Tour
On a self-guided tour, you see the apartment on your own. There is no agent to take you through the tour, so you let yourself into the apartment and walk through at your own pace. You’ll likely need to schedule in advance.
- See the apartment in person without the influence of others
- You can take your time
- You can likely view at off-hours when the leasing office is closed
- You can’t ask questions of the leasing agent as you’re taking the tour. You may have to wait to hear about availability, specials, and application
- It may not be as “fun” to interact and enjoy a great apartment complex with an energetic, passionate leasing agent.
Not every apartment complex offers all tour types so be sure to ask ahead for what types of tours are offered, and then decide what’s best for you. The good news is that you can often mix and match and do a variety of tour types depending on your needs and desires.