Anna Singleton: Showcasing Revamped Student Housing in Virtual Reality

by Katie Sloan

There are so many families that are unable to visit student-housing properties in which their children long to live. Virtual Reality (VR) video helps bridge the gap from potential resident in one state to actually owning a property in another while also utilizing the perfect technology to appeal to Generation Z.

Generation Z wants immediate, realistic and technically impressive content. Video VR meets the expectations of this generation. If a student wants to visit a new property, long drives and expensive flights have been replaced by URLs, smartphones and cardboard headsets.  

VR content creators and marketers send out Google cardboard headsets and potential residents can be transported to student housing complexes, sit with real students — or even a dog — and feel what it’s really like to live there. VR tours can be shown on headsets, YouTube or even smart phones. One tactic is bringing the headsets to student housing fairs to show to future residents — VR creates a huge buzz on the floor.

The key to creating entertaining and informative VR is showcasing all of the property’s features. Strong social media strategy is also important for success with today’s students. It is vital to make sure these social media efforts take advantage of visually exciting photography and video and work in tandem with VR components.

Videos can be small budget slideshows or something as elaborate as a cinematic movie with drones. Clients often treat these video creators as an extension of their marketing team.

Incredible photography complements virtual reality and needs to be done in collaboration with the VR team. Generation Z responds well to a property having an attractive photo portfolio and it is important to keep a company’s brand consistent nationwide.

EDR contracted ShowMyPropertyTV (SMP) to create content for 95 percent of its portfolio, which has led to more leases, more time on page and better SEO.

Pierce Education Properties (PEP) now showcases its property transformations using the latest technology in VR, as well. The company also partnered with SMP to bring communities like Valley View Villas in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to life. Under the previous management, the property suffered a bad reputation and was handed over to PEP to turn around.

Valley View Villas is the only villa-style community near the University of New Mexico and Central New Mexico Community College. The property offers students a resort-style living experience with a 24-hour business center, private campus shuttle, clubhouse, fitness center, swimming pool and entertainment den.

The property underwent $1 million worth of renovations and now boasts better security practices and programs. Following the renovation, PEP implemented VR to showcase the new and improved property to future residents with great success.

Anna Singleton is CEO of ShowMyPropertyTV. The company has nationwide capability to shoot VR for student housing and multifamily properties utilizing the latest VR video and editing technology to ensure that those that wear the headsets are transported into a seamless 360-degree world.

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