The Impact of VR on the Holiday Rental Industry
Most independent holiday rental business owners who want to stand any chance of succeeding online understand the importance of doing as much as they can to make their listings stand out. Adding high quality photos, detailed descriptions and genuine reviews are all fairly standard practices these days, but many holiday rental business owners have now gone a step further by incorporating virtual reality into their listings. According to Google, listings on Google Maps with a virtual tour are twice as likely to generate interest, and now business owners in other industries like the holiday rental industry are realizing that including similar virtual tours on their own websites can produce similarly exciting results for their business.
As with Google Maps, you can hire a Google-approved photographer to visit your property and take photos for a virtual tour. While it would be possible to potentially take these photos yourself and to create your own virtual tour, it is a much better idea to hire a professional. Ultimately you want the tour to reflect your business as well as possible, and getting a professional to handle the images is the best way to ensure that the end result looks great.
There are more than a few benefits to letting potential customers see your property via virtual tour before they visit, with the main benefit being that it immediately establishes trust. There are so many sites out there claiming to have the best property in the world, and uploading highly edited photos of their rooms to make them look as spacious as possible. But it's near impossible to create the same illusions with a virtual tour, and they show potential customers that you have nothing to hide.
Another benefit that not a lot of companies seem to talk about is that having a virtual tour shows your customers that you're willing to invest money in your business to provide as much information about your property as possible. Trust us when we say that people will appreciate this effort! A virtual tour is also much more impressive than a boring slideshow of images, helping your property to leave a lasting impression on anybody who views it. I always picture a parent showing their kids 2 holiday properties online that they're considering renting out for summer – one with a virtual tour and one with a slideshow of images. Which one do you think they'll pick?
Finally, virtual tours keep people on your website for longer. As search engines like Google develop more advanced algorithms and methods of determining where to rank websites, the length of time a user spends on a page has started to increase in importance and now correlates with higher organic rankings. If you can create a really detailed virtual tour that users spend lots of time interacting with and even revisit, then you're telling Google that the page is valuable and you may notice an increase in your organic visibility.
If you can't tell yet, we're really excited about the potential of virtual tours and the impact that they could have on the holiday rental industry. It's a great opportunity for smaller and independent rental properties to stand out from the larger competitors, many of whom have remained reluctant to add these tours to their websites in fear of what users may uncover. If you have nothing to hide and can afford a Google-approved photographer, then what are you waiting for?
Max works for SuperControl Holiday Booking (http://supercontrol.co.uk)