All vacation rentals require pictures to capture online bookings, but we are seeing more and more sites including short video tours of their properties. Apps like Instagram and Vine have made these easier to produce and share. The development of Hyperlapse from Instagram has also seen some vacation rental managers including high speed video tours of the local area on their sites. These video tours have given some hosts the platform to show their property, and some of their personality in a professional and exciting way. But are they better than pictures and will they become an industry standard?
Words; pictures; videos; virtual reality. Is this just a natural progression or will high quality pictures always suffice for vacation rental sites? Having too much content, too many videos of your property could just ruin the surprise of arriving somewhere new. Everyone likes to know exactly what they are paying for but would this damage the ‘wow factor’ of your property? Do people want to know everything they can expect before they arrive or is the element of surprise part of a holiday?
Freshly emerging from development and heading toward production are virtual reality systems.
The SkyScanner industry report suggests that in ten years’ time we will be able to use virtual reality to feel the texture of the furniture in an apartment, experience the sea-breeze on the balcony before even booking. This immersion will let guests effectively stay in your property and then decide whether they want to book it or not. Would you want this level of prior knowledge before booking accommodation? There are definite advantages to being able to see all parts of a property before booking, but is this too far?
As ever, just because technology may make something possible, it is no guarantee that it will then take off commercially. For many, the point of a holiday is to try somewhere new and different. Vacation rentals have a wonderful advantage of being separate and mostly unique places to stay. Every property has its own charms and characteristics that make them remarkable. They have managed to attract a large range of customers that find this much more appealing than a standard and uniform hotel room. To be given the chance to see, and even feel every part of your holiday before you arrive feels somewhat like defeating the purpose of exploring somewhere new.
However, some major portals already give owners the option to add short video tours and people have been using Youtube to advertise on for a number of years. The question is, if having a video tour will be ubiquitous in the future or just the reserve a few technology minded owners. If they do take off, how will the most successful websites use videos to their advantage and what will be the features that make them remarkable? Any videos you create should be worth sharing and highlight the attractions of the city as well as your property. If your site does not currently have the option to host video content, see how Kigo's custom website designs and templates can provide this capability so you can stay ahead of the curve.
When considering vacation rentals, we think the best videos are the ones that will leave guests intrigued and wanting to see more. Rather than giving a full demonstration of everything in and around your property, effective videos will give your guests answers to the questions they need to know. Things like the number of rooms, the size of your property and the amenities it offers. But the actual experience should aim to go above and beyond what can be seen in your video tours. Guests will be given the confidence to book, but you can still retain that ‘wow factor’ for your property with the things that cannot be conveyed by technology. These are things like your service and knowledge, the personal touches you include and the overall relaxing atmosphere of your property. No matter how prominent video tours may get, these touches they can’t convey will always remain more important to your guests.