Virtual Reality: The Secret Hotel & Multifamily Marketers Need to Know
Virtual reality is coming full steam at marketers, ready or not. With the rise of Oculus Rift comes a very affordable virtual reality experience for everyone. Facebook’s Oculus Rift will be much more accessible for the masses than Google Glass which has a high price tag entry point. While virtual reality has been around for a while, it’s about to hit the main stage and prime time as we head deeper into 2015. There is a key factor that hotels and multifamily operators should know before they start investing in this up and coming technology. We’ll dive into three big problems below that all forward thinking marketers should be aware of as they move into the virtual space.
We are seeing many hotels and multifamily operators starting to get very excited for virtual tours which will lead into virtual reality applications very soon. They see the huge benefit for marketing as the consumer gets more demanding when booking travel or looking for a place to live. With virtual tour production, you have the choice to go with the hot, new Matterport 3D virtual tour technology or you could go with a panoramic photo based virtual tour. Google Business View is the best provider of panoramic photo based virtual tours. Pricing can vary with both Matterport and Google Business View based on the operator. There are no hard rules on pricing as each operator can set their own pricing. There are some huge differences between the two services. Matterport is ready in hours compared to Google’s offering which can take up to 2 weeks to be approved within the Google infrastructure. Google uses high quality DSLR cameras as Matterport captures images using a 9 lens proprietary camera. Image quality is superb with both. Google has inherent search engine optimization value as a Google produced tour can be integrated with your business’ Google listing. Although that benefit is marginal as you could link your Matterport produced virtual tour within your Google business listing in the “info” area.
We chose to offer our customers the Matterport solution for many of the reasons above and more. But, there are a few problems that are a bummer for hotel and multifamily operators. There is also one big killer that should be the reason you choose the Matterport solution over Google Business View…Virtual Reality. You will want to be in the virtual reality space if you are going to be competitive in the hotel and multifamily marketing space.
Problem #1 for using Google Business View (GBV) over Matterport is in the hotel space. Google will not allow GBV operators to provide their services to hotels, resorts, villas, etc. directly. You know what that means? You bet you do…Google sees that space as ripe and wants to handle all of that business for themselves and you can bet it’s going to come with a price. A big price. Using our Matterport solution, we are doing hotel and resort properties all over the world with fantastic results. Hotel and resort operators are very excited about the technology and it’s starting to fill up travel websites across the globe. Below is an example from the exclusive St. Regis Bal Harbour Hotel in Miami.
Problem #2 for using GBV over Matterport is in the multifamily space. Google forbids GBV operators from capturing any “living” space under any circumstances which includes apartments, homes, vacation homes and the list goes on. They allow you only to capture public spaces like a leasing center. Yeah, that sucks. If you choose GBV over Matterport you could never capture and market an amazing apartment like this gorgeous one bedroom at Walton Westside in Atlanta.
Are you ready for the biggest advantage of all for using Matterport over Google Business View?
Problem #3 for using GBV over Matterport is in the multifamily space and the hotel/resort space. If you go with Google you are getting panoramic images and not data that can be ported into a virtual reality experience. THIS IS BIG. With Matterport 3D virtual tours you will also get an “OBJ” data file that can be converted when you are ready to take your marketing into the virtual reality space with hardware like Oculus Rift. We provide this powerful data with your virtual tour at no extra charge. Each scan we do of your property with our Matterport camera captures detailed data on top of the already powerful virtual tour asset. With Google, you get a picture. Get the picture?
We are very confident you will make the best choice for your marketing campaign by going with Matterport 3D virtual tours. We are happy to answer any questions and give you any more details about this amazing technology.