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3 Types of NYC Renters During the Pandemic and How to Win Them
October 26, 2020 at 4:00 AM
by Rob Eyckmans

The current rental market is like nothing from recent memory.

At Peek, we’ve helped hundreds of agents and leasing offices adapt to the changing rental landscape. Overall leasing volumes are down, but our partners are seeing 3 types of renters emerge in this climate - True Movers, Opportunists, & Just Lookers.

All three have different priorities and there are specific tactics for winning each one. We will get into that below, but it’s important to note that there are two unifying themes for an agent or leasing manager trying to close pandemic era apartment seekers- speed & accuracy.

Speed has always been a factor, but now it’s more important than ever. With so much inventory to choose from and unprecedented competitive rates, you run the risk of your prospective renter coming across the next aggressive rental deal with each day that goes by - anything from 30-50% off (3-6 months free on a 12-month lease).

Everything is compounded by the fact that prospective tenants have lowered their number of in-person visits to 2-3, which means there is an increased need for accuracy. In the past, you could rely on in-person showings to help your prospective renter narrow down their search. In today’s world, they want confidence before they step foot into a unit.

Winning deals means getting the right type of inventory in front of the right buyers quickly and in as few visits as possible.

The good news is that there is an easy and relatively inexpensive way to engage renters with speed and accuracy - virtual tours.

Here is a summary of the types of buyers and how to win them using virtual tours

True Movers- These renters need to move--often on a tight, definite timeline. They’re typically focused on looking for a certain apartment layout (i.e. 1BR) in a certain neighborhood (i.e.Williamsburg). What’s changed significantly is that location has become even more critical to True Movers as their definite timelines are often dictated by work and the value of a walking commute has increased significantly.

How to win: Focus on their neighborhood, apartment layout, and price range. Set Up a Zoom meeting and walk them through a virtual tour of each relevant unit that fits the criteria. Take the top two choices and set up an in-person showing to close the deal. These buyers will appreciate the value add and time saved by going through this process.

Opportunistic - This type of renter is extremely unique to the COVID-19 environment. They are looking to take advantage of all the sweet deals and will make their entire decision on price, down to the last dollar. With landlords allowing their tenants to renew on a month to month basis, the power now lies with the apartment seeker. They can sit back and patiently pounce on the next deal (and there are plenty of them).

How to win: Create a customized collection of your best deals for their apartment type. Don’t worry about the amenities or neighborhood. Show them the hidden gems at the lowest prices. You can win these deals but it needs to be done fast. By tapping into virtual tours, you can cut down your in-person showings from 5 to 1 while they explore your inventory virtually from their couch.

Don’t have exclusives? Using Peek’s Browse functionality, you can tap into over 4,000+ virtual tours from top management companies. There has never been a better time for this.

Just Lookers - They are looking to look, not looking to buy. These folks have always existed, but with virtual tours, you don’t have to waste time with them anymore.

How to win: Don’t. Qualify these folks by sending them virtual tours. No need to waste your time traveling across town. Spend your time with Opportunistic and True Movers.


So there you have it. Virtual tours will help you find success with these three pandemic specific personas.

For those looking to adapt and thrive in this ever shifting NYC real estate climate, Peek is the ideal platform. It’s easy to use and for a flat fee enables you with unlimited virtual tours that you can make in 15 minutes each.

Additionally, Peek is now integrated with StreetEasy, so you can generate more leads by showcasing your virtual tours on the platform.

If you’re interested in learning tips, tricks, and customer success stories, contact us!