Self-Guided Tours

Self-guided tours for prospective residents have never been more important than they are today.

The benefits of self-guided touring include:

  • Giving prospective residents the ability to see your property and apartments on their own time.
  • Maintaining social distance between prospects and building staff.
  • Increasing both efficiency and the number of tours you can provide since your building staff doesn’t have to be physically present.

It’s safe to say self-guided apartment tours are here to stay. However, offering self-guided apartment tours requires some thought.

Before you implement a touring solution, consider these three important questions:

  1. How do you maintain security at your property while also enabling access for prospects?
  2. How do you know when to follow up with prospects after they’ve completed their tour?
  3. Can you offer self-guided tours without replacing your existing infrastructure?

Thankfully, ButterflyMX makes self-guided tours at your property secure and convenient. Plus, it doesn’t require any new infrastructure. Best of all: If you’re currently a customer, it’s included.


Watch how ButterflyMX works:


Three steps to offer self-guided tours at your property with ButterflyMX:

  1. Install a ButterflyMX video intercom at the entryway.
  2. Install a smart lock on your demo unit.
  3. Place a WiFi camera in your demo unit for follow-up and security (Optional but recommended).


Step 1: Install a ButterflyMX video intercom at your property’s entryway

Our video intercom does a lot of things:

  • Allows residents to open doors and gates from their smartphones.
  • Ensures visitors — such as family, friends, and delivery people — can always access your property.
  • Allows property managers and owners to maintain control over everything.

The intercom also enables self-guided touring — here’s how:

When a prospective resident approaches the entryway of your property, they have two options to gain access:


Self guided tour visitorOption 1: They tap the ‘Self-Guided Tours’ button on the video intercom’s touchscreen.

Pushing this button calls the predetermined building staff (leasing agent, property manager, etc.) via our mobile app on their smartphone. Your building staff can then see and speak with the prospective resident before granting them access to the property.

This is a great opportunity to share useful information with the prospect, such as how to navigate the building, what’s special about the property or unit, or simply just a friendly touchpoint before they proceed on their tour.


Self guided tours virtual keyOption 2: They tap the “Virtual Key” button and scan a time-limited QR code at the intercom.

Your property staff sends them this QR code in advance. Virtual keys provide access to the property only during the times you have selected. What’s more, you’ll receive a push notification when your prospective resident has used the virtual key, along with a picture of their face to maintain security.

Learn more about how virtual keys work and how to create them.


Step 2: Install a smart lock on your demo unit

Now that you’ve provided building access for your prospective resident, you need to give them access to your demo unit. The easiest way to do this is with a smart lock.

There are many smart locks available to choose from, each with its own pros and cons. For example, some are hardwired, others are battery-powered. Some use BlueTooth, while others rely on WiFi.

It’s important to select a smart lock that makes the most sense for your needs. That said, we do have a favorite for self-guided tours because it’s easy to install and use: the August Smart Lock.
Smart Lock and Smart KeyPad

The August Smart Lock is designed to be simple. Keep your existing locking hardware and just place the August Smart Lock directly on top of it. Installation requires only a screwdriver and about 5-10 minutes of your time.

The lock runs for about six months on four AA batteries. As a result, you won’t have to hire an electrician to cut open walls and run new wiring. Most importantly, the August Smart Lock not only allows you to grant unit access via an app on your smartphone, but it also has an optional Smart Keypad you can place outside your demo unit. Prospective residents can enter a code to get in. Whenever someone enters that code, you get a notification.


Step 3: Place a WiFi camera in your unit for follow-up and security (optional but recommended)

Following up with residents after they’ve toured your property is crucial. Their likelihood to sign a lease falls by the minute, so you have no time to waste.

Additionally, it’s important to know when a prospect has vacated your demo unit because sometimes you need that peace-of-mind. A WiFi camera gives you both.

Ring CamPlace a Ring Indoor Cam or Google Nest Cam inside the demo unit pointed at the doorway. These cameras send you and your staff a notification when they detect motion. They also allow you to check-in on the unit after your prospect has left to make sure everything is in order, remotely lock-up, and confirm that it’s time to follow-up with your prospect.




Ready to offer self-guided tours at your building?

As renters’ preferences continue to change, ButterflyMX is committed to providing our customers with added value and services. If you’re a current customer and need assistance setting up your intercom with a ‘Self-Guided Touring’ button, please reach out to our support team and we’d be happy to set up this functionality for you.

If you’re considering ButterflyMX for your property and would like to learn about all the ways our products and services can help you run a smarter building, please reach out to our sales team.


Offer self guided tours with ButterflyMX

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ButterflyMX is your complete property access solution, providing a secure, convenient, and affordable way to manage and grant access on the go. Empower your tenants and building staff to open doors, gates, and elevators with a smartphone and ensure they never miss a visitor or delivery. Enjoy easy installation and cut costs by eliminating building wiring and in-unit hardware, and save time by integrating with popular access control and property management systems. Join the 10,000+ multifamily, commercial, gated community, and student housing properties that have made access simple with ButterflyMX. To learn more, please visit or call (800) 398-4416.