This article is an excerpt from our eBook, How to Achieve Your 2021 Enrollment Goals with brightwheel. Download your free copy today!
Virtual tours are quickly gaining popularity among early education centers during COVID-19. Not only do they limit the number of individuals coming in and out of your facilities, but they can also help to save hours of time that would otherwise be spent cleaning after in-person visits. While there are many perks to virtual tours, it can also be difficult for parents to trust a childcare provider they haven’t met face-to-face. For this reason, you’ll want to give a great first impression while hosting virtual tours of your center.
Follow these 5 steps to create a wonderful virtual tour experience for your prospective families!
1. Choose a tour format that meets both your needs and your families’ needs.
You can host virtual tours through a number of mediums—choose one that makes the most sense for your center and the families you’re hoping to attract. For example, a live Zoom meeting with a staff member guiding families through your facility can feel very personal and allow for back-and-forth conversations. Or you might opt for a short recorded video walkthrough instead if you want greater control over the quality and less room for surprises.
If someone in your community has equipment and is willing to help film and edit the footage, you could also consider producing a longer, more professional recorded video. A series of slides with photos could also work well, especially if your prospective families might not have access to fast internet or advanced video capabilities on their phones and computers. You can even design the slides to feel like an actual walkthrough by posting the photos in order as you go room-to-room.
2. Plan the logistics of your tour.
If you’re doing a live video call for your tour, choose a time that’s usually quiet for your center and that’s convenient for your family participants—in many cases, this might be before or after standard working hours. In your communications, make it abundantly clear to families that the tour will be virtual and they don’t need to come to your center. You can also send a calendar invite so no one forgets to join! If you’re using Zoom or another live video tool, include the login credentials or download information they’ll need in the invitation as well.
If your tour is a recording, make sure you think through where the video will live and how people will access it. Will it be available for anyone in the public to view, or will families need to fill out an interest form first? Remember to include details about how families can get in touch with you if they have any questions.
3. Make sure your center is video or photo-ready.
Clean each room beforehand—this is especially important during COVID-19, as a tidy center helps communicate safety to families. If you’ll be recording or photographing staff members, let them know beforehand so they can look their best. Another important factor to consider is lighting. Open the windows and let in as much natural light as possible. If you’re using your phone camera, remember to clean your lens off beforehand so everything looks clear and fresh.
4. Exude confidence and be yourself.
Even if your face isn’t on camera, don’t forget to smile—it will come through in your voice! As the director of your center, it’s your job to get prospective families excited about what your center has to offer. Set the tone with your speaking voice and body language. Don’t forget to share a few highlights that you’re most proud of and help your center stand out, especially if you’ve adopted new safety practices during COVID-19. Prospective families will appreciate the proactive communication and the extra thought you’ve put into keeping your students healthy and safe!
5. Include a clear call-to-action for your prospective families.
If you’re doing a live video tour, don’t hesitate to invite families to enroll with you as you wrap up, and share the next steps to take if they’re interested. If you’re using recorded videos or a photo slideshow, include all pertinent enrollment information in your communications so families have everything they need to apply right away. If a family needs more time to decide, let them know you’ll follow up with them shortly and that you’re available for any questions they may have in the meantime.
It’s more important than ever to build trust with families throughout every step of their enrollment process. By hosting a great virtual tour, you’ll make a memorable first impression and increase the number of families interested in your program!
Learn more about how to attract families to your childcare center and download our free eBook, How to Achieve Your 2021 Enrollment Goals with brightwheel!
Brightwheel is the complete solution for early education providers, enabling you to streamline your center’s operations and build a stand-out reputation. Brightwheel connects the most critical aspects of running your center—including sign in and out, parent communications, tuition billing, and licensing and compliance—in one easy-to-use tool, along with providing best-in-class customer support and coaching. Brightwheel is trusted by thousands of early education centers and millions of parents. Learn more at www.mybrightwheel.com.