Google has been on the forefront of enabling small and large businesses to communicate COVID-19 related updates on their Google My Business listings. For the multifamily industry, properties can inform prospects of in-person and virtual tour policies within a specific COVID-19 section of a property's GMB profile. While multifamily communities in many states are re-opening to various degrees, while abiding by state social distancing guidelines, virtual tour capabilities will likely continue to play a large role in leasing efforts for the foreseeable future. Google recognizes that and is here to help.
Online Tours In Search & Maps
Google is taking additional steps that will allow multifamily properties who are verified with Google My Business to add "online appointments" to their profiles. In one of their most recent announcements, Google claims "in the coming weeks (this feature) will be visible on merchants' Business Profiles in Search and Maps." This will better inform prospects of your community's tour capabilities when they are searching for apartments in your market.
Online Appointment Bookings
Perhaps more importantly, Google has announced it is expanding online appointment bookings directly within a business's Google My Business Listing. With humanity's shift to a more virtual world, Google is making the ability to book appointments more available for business who have transitioned their services online i.e. online virtual tours. This roll out will enable multifamily virtual tour providers and self-booking CRM's to offer online bookings directly on your properties' GMB profiles. The booking feature has the ability to create a friction-less user experience by automatically uploading a virtual tour appointment to a prospect's Google Calendar. Even better, the calendar invite will include information on how your prospects can join the virtual tour with your preferred video platform. Check in with your CRM and/or virtual tour providers to see how they can assist in rolling out this feature for your communities as it becomes available. Enabling this enhancement will help utilize your Google My Business profile as a key part of your multifamily marketing strategy, while creating less friction for your prospects during their apartment search.