August 9, 2021
The value of visuals go way beyond an aesthetically appealing website. Visual content drives traffic to your website, boosts engagement and dwell time, influences consumer behaviors, brings your homes to life, and gets your message across in an engaging format that interacts naturally with the human brain.
As humans, our brains are wired for visuals and the statistics on the power of visual marketing are astounding. The human brain processes images and visuals 60,000 times faster than text and 90% of the information processed by our brains is visual. We remember 80% of what we see, 20% of what we read, and a mere 10% of what we hear. It’s a no-brainer as to where we should be focusing our marketing efforts!
Virtual Tour Technology
Visually supporting your property descriptions with high quality images is essential. You have a short window to grab the potential guests attention, create a first impression and highlight the unique features of your homes, guest services, and brand. Visual content does not stop at images, the world of technology is advancing rapidly, and you can now take your visual engagement a step further with 360 content and virtual tour technology.
Virtual Tours Enhance the Guest Experience
Virtual tours are an innovative tool to showcase and market your homes and give your guests a unique perspective of the layout and atmosphere. These tours turn your still images and panoramic shots into an immersive tour that guides the potential guest through the property room by room, highlighting key amenities and what they’ll experience during their stay. This visual engagement is priceless, allowing guests to visualize where they’ll entertain family and friends, remote workspaces for zoom calls, where the kids will sleep and play, and an immersive view of the entire home.
According to Vrbo, virtual tours are far more immersive than static photos, they help travelers explore the entire home, get a better sense of the layout, imagine themselves in the physical space, boost their trust, and gives them confidence to book a property. Jake Stewart, a senior product manager of virtual tours at Vrbo says:
“While virtual tour technology is not new to real estate and home buying, the travel and vacation rental industry is just starting to scratch the surface. Being able to virtually walk through your property before booking allows travelers to make more informed decisions.”
It is ALL about the guest experience right now! If a guest has engaged with your website and reached the property listing pages, this shows intention. Travelers click on your property page either to make a booking, look back on a property they have already booked, or simply to browse their options for their dream vacation. Clicking on the images indicates browsing, clicking on the floor plan indicates interest, and interacting with your virtual property tours indicates intention. Giving your guests the ability to navigate the home at their own pace and make an informed booking decision enhances the guest experience and offers a higher chance of conversion to a booking.
Virtual Tours Boost Your Brand & Bookings
Virtual content is a key ingredient to your marketing strategy with a high ROI. An engaging and immersive content marketing strategy shows your commitment to a luxury guest experience, building credibility and brand loyalty with your potential guests, and boosting bookings. Research shows that travelers ages 18-34 are 130% more likely to book if a listing has a virtual tour.
In addition, the SEO benefits of visual content are endless. Property listings with virtual tours gain higher rankings on the online booking platforms with higher demand and higher booking rates. Vrbo recognizes property listings with virtual tours and have even introduced a virtual tour filter to lead travelers directly to vacation rental listings with virtual tours. James Stewart goes on to say,
“Property listings with a virtual tour have a distinct badge of a house on the upper left hand corner of the listing in the search view, making it easier for a traveler to determine if a listing has a virtual tour without clicking into the listing itself.”
Xplorie partners with TruPlace for professional and premium property visuals for their client’s property listings. TruPlace interactive floor plans and virtual tours display photos within the floor plans allowing guests to toggle between images and panoramic views and enjoy a truly immersive experience of the home.
Industry Insights: The Value of Virtual Tours
A recent State of the Tours Report by TruPlace shows further insights into the use of interactive floor plans, 3D Tours, and the value of visuals in the hospitality industry.
- In 2019, their virtual tours had around 20,000 to 25,000 page views a day.
- Page views were at their lowest after the travel bans were imposed, hitting a low of 7,757 page views in March 2020.
- By May 2020, as COVID-19 restrictions lifted and Americans began to travel again, page views rose 232% and slowly started to align with pre-pandemic 2019 results, peaking to 30,000 to 38,000 page views.
- In 2020, new users were up 30% with females between ages 24 and 34 making up the highest user rate, likely thanks to remote workers and homeschooling moms looking for the perfect escape that fulfills all their needs.
The takeaway here, travelers are engaging with immersive experiences and immersive experiences enhance the guest experience, boost bookings, offer a high ROI, and add value to your business and brand.
How are you offering your guests the immersive guest experience they deserve? If you’re an Xplorie partner, contact your Xplorie representative to learn how you can enjoy the benefits of TruPlace.