4 Surprising Ways Hybrid Floor Plan Tours Streamline Operations

When TruPlace set out 16 years ago to create a floor plan tool, our focus was on guest use and marketing. It didn’t take long for our vacation rental manager clients to share with us additional ways they were using our signature product in their internal operations. These added benefits have since become a valued part of our product development in today’s vacation rental climate of ever-shrinking margins where every operational minute count. We made sure our new Hybrid Floor Plan Tour took this to heart. The resulting combination of our signature 2D floor plans and professional photos with strategically placed 3D spins delivers instant returns not just in better booking conversions but in time and cost savings for back-of-the-house teams.

And as any experienced vacation rental manager will tell you, better operations lead to happier guests, which in turn generate more five-star reviews and repeat bookings over the long term. Homeowners, too, value efficient and effective operations when deciding to contract or renew with a property manager. Here are four surprising ways our new tour will help streamline your operations for immediate and long-term benefits.

Shorter Call Times for Reservations

Vacation rental managers who have been using our Hybrid Floor Plan Tours or even our signature floor plans may not be as surprised by this one. Reservationists spend an average of eight minutes per pre-booking call answering questions about a property and its surroundings. Hybrid Floor Plan Tours help significantly cut down or eliminate this time by giving guests answers to their common layout questions, things like “Which bedrooms are on which floors?” and other information they need to have the confidence to book. This saves your reservationists’ valuable call time to focus on conversions and other guest service needs.

Quicker Response and Reduced Property Visits for Maintenance and Repairs

We have heard from countless property managers how their maintenance teams use floor plan tours to help triage issues without a separate trip to a property. Technicians and other staff use floor plans and images to pinpoint where problems are occurring or to identify parts or equipment they’ll need to bring to the property. The addition of 3D spins in our new Hybrid Floor Plan Tours lets staff investigate in even greater detail in the areas repair needs are reported most, like living rooms and kitchens.

Faster Orientation and Quick Reference Guides for Housekeeping and Inspecting

Similarly, we’ve heard from many clients about how their housekeeping teams use floor plan tours as training tools and property standards references for cleanliness, inventory, and staging. This is made even more detailed and thorough with 360o images in the most critical property spaces. Orientation is quick and easy for new cleaners and new properties, as is identifying specific replacement items when guests call for extras or backups.

Easier Insurance Claim Submissions

We hope no homeowner or property manager has to submit an insurance claim, but when they do, our Hybrid Floor Plan Tours make the process faster and less painful. Floor plans with image tags serve as a ready-made catalog for insurance adjusters of a property’s pre-claim state. Coincidentally, our strategically located 360o spins provide even more detailed coverage of areas likely to have more expensive claims, such as decks with pools or hot tubs.

 

What are other surprising ways your teams have used Hybrid Floor Plan Tours? Let us know in the comments below!


NEW: The Hybrid Floor Plan Tour from TruPlace

The best of 2D and 3D in one

Here at TruPlace, what matters to us most is what truly moves our clients’ businesses forward by giving their end customers exactly what they’re looking for. This means user-friendly, affordable, and effective visuals – rather than simply the latest shiny marketing penny. That’s why we’ve created the Hybrid Floor Plan Tour, our signature layout tool with the beautiful photos and easy navigation clients love plus newly added TruFusion 3D spins in the rooms they care about most.

About the Hybrid Floor Plan Tour

Our new Hybrid Floor Plan Tour combines the convenience of 2D and the immersion of 3D:

  1. Beautiful Property Photos: Your TruPlace photographers capture your properties’ interiors, exteriors, and amenities in sharp detail and vivid colors with our TruFusion technology.
  2. Precisely Measured Floor Plan: While there, the photographers also measure the property for a detailed floor plan that includes windows, doors, stairs, and other key features. We then tag the floor plan for easy smart-touch navigation across all devices.
  3. Immersive 3D Spins: Now, your TruPlace photographers also take TruFusion 360o images in the areas guests or buyers most often want to see in more detail or have more questions about, such as kitchens, living rooms, or decks and views.

The Hybrid Floor Plan Tour is quickly becoming a favorite among our early adopter clients, and for good reason: users can easily jump into a property in 3D in important spaces without all the steps (and cost) of a virtual tour. Plus, our professional imaging captures all 360 degrees in unbeatable clarity from the spacious waterfront backyard to the sparkle of a granite countertop.

TAKE A TOUR >

For Vacation Rental Property Managers

For professional vacation rental property managers, robust and effective online property listings are no longer optional. Guests often need to understand property layouts to be sure it will meet their dynamic needs and have the confidence to book. The Hybrid Floor Plan Tour lets guests imagine themselves on vacation with strategically placed 360o views and TruFusion 2D images in every room, all a single click away on a smart-touch floor plan. The tour acts almost like a virtual assistant, helping to answer common pre-booking questions like “What is the view like from this room?” or “Can all of us sit together for dinner between the table and breakfast bar?” This saves reservationists’ valuable call time so they can focus on converting bookings.

For Real Estate Agents

The Hybrid Floor Plan Tour is perfect for large brokerages that need professional visuals at scale, for individual agents looking for the brand power of a national firm, and growing teams in between. Two-thirds of home buyers cite floor plans as important factors in deciding which homes to consider, and property sellers want to know you have what it takes to get those eyes – and offers – on their homes. We created the Hybrid Floor Plan Tour to serve agents, sellers, and buyers collectively. Agents and brokerages can win more listings with an effective, professional visual tool that impresses sellers. Those listings, in turn, can drive higher-quality leads by answering many of buyers’ make-or-break questions in minutes, deepening interest when a home looks like a good fit and saving the time of a showing when it’s not.

 

To learn more about our new Hybrid Floor Plan Tours, email discovermore@truplace.com or call 301-972-3201.


DC Metro CHPA Network Connection Recap

Nick Estrada, Suzi Cusack, John Stokinger, James Corry

TruPlace is pleased to have co-hosted the DC Metro CHPA Networking event with Streamline CHS, Corporate Apartment Specialist, and Attaché last Thursday evening. The event took place at Ballston Place in Arlington, VA. with phenomenal attendance.

Before the actual event, a few of us had the opportunity to volunteer at DC Central Kitchen helping to prepare meals. Annually, DC Central Kitchen prepares over 3 million meals for those in need around the capital and offers vocational training and other resources to help combat the problems facing the area.

Nick Estrada, Director of Membership at CHPA, volunteering

The evening networking event brought in industry leaders from across the region and the highlight of the night was guest speaker Christina Winn, the Director of Business Investment for Arlington Economic Development. Since 2014 Christina has led Arlington’s efforts in business retention, national recruitment, and entrepreneurial support. She was instrumental in the recruitment of Amazon HQ2 to the National Landing area and presented on the impact of Amazon on the region and specifically with regard to housing and business tourism.

Christina Winn, Director, Business Investment Arlington Economic Development, delivering speech

Here is a link for the unabridged version of the presentation

Tania Odabashian stated, “It was a great event. The networking was great as always, but the speaker was amazing. For TruPlace on behalf of CHPA to land Christina Winn, Chief Architect of what Washington Business Journal is calling the “Deal of a Lifetime” was a major score.”

CHPA Members Networking

We’d like to thank everyone who volunteered their time and everyone who attended this event. It was our first go at organizing and sponsoring a CHPA event and it will not be our last. Thank you.

“This event was a resounding success. It showcases the value and importance of connecting with your industry colleagues and expanding your and your company’s networks. CHPA is so grateful for the support provided from Corporate Apartment Specialists, Streamline and TruPlace in coordinating and managing this opportunity for DC metro members and professionals,” remarked CHPA Director of Membership, Nick Estrada.

A huge thanks to Move For Hunger for organizing the event for us, we love working with you!


April 2019 Newsletter – Next Generation 3D Virtual Tours!

“Quality is the best business plan” – John Lasseter

As technology evolves, the expectation for quality increases. The experts at TruPlace created the Next Generation 3D Virtual Tour – TruFusion 3D, the highest quality 3D tour on the market. Our clients were requesting better quality virtual tours and a hybrid tour, where the end user can choose how they view a property. Our 360 spins integrate seamlessly into our Floor Plan Tours, allowing potential buyers to dive deeper into the rooms that matter. Don’t worry about the lighting, waiting for the tour to load, or spending hours at the property with a photographer. Better yet, don’t stress over doing it yourself. We are here to take the headache away!

Why virtual tours? Buyers, more than ever, are searching for homes online. Virtual tours serve as a 24/7 open house, allowing potential buyers to become quickly engaged.

Explore a Demo


It’s Here! Virtual Twilight Catalog

Dramatic Virtual Twilight Comparison

Are you looking for the perfect attention grabber for your properties but don’t want to spend the extra time onsite with a photographer? Our team of experts can take an exterior image that was shot during the day and digitally transform into a stunning dusk image.

 

Simulated Clear Skies

 

You now have options. Our brand new Virtual Twilight Skies catalog gives you 14 options of dramatic or subtle skies to make a lasting first impression.

 

Simulated Nightime for House

 

Did you know? According to Inman.com, the click-on rate is nearly quadrupled when the “hero” shot contains a virtual twilight enhancement.

 

Question for the reader: Have you used Virtual Twilight on one of your listings?


Wow! 10 Million Photographs

All of us at TruPlace are proud to have achieved an amazing milestone. We have processed our 10 millionth photograph. Yes, 10 million! To our national network of photographers, to our incredible staff, and especially to our amazing clients, we say thank you – 10 million thank you’s.

We have no idea how many other photography companies have achieved this milestone, but we want to think there aren’t that many. What it says is that we must be doing something right – providing great quality photography and interactive floor plan tours at a great value.

Now it’s on to 20 million. Our shutter fingers are growing blisters just thinking about it.


CHPA Event and Outreach

TruPlace was thrilled to be a part of the Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA) Regional Conference held Monday and Tuesday of this week at the Gleacher Center in Chicago. TruPlace Vice President Suzi Cusack was in attendance and also participated in the Monday volunteer activity at the Cornerstone Community Outreach.

This amazing organization helps to raise the quality of life for low-income residents in the Uptown area of Chicago. Over the last 24 years, CCO’s programs have expanded to serve nearly 500 men, women and children every day.

Suzi and the others in the group (shown here) helped prepare and serve meals as well as pack and organize donations. It was both a challenging and rewarding experience for all.


Don’t You Love That New Tour Smell?

It’s hot off the production line and coming to a screen near you – the BIGGER, BETTER, BOLDER TruPlace Tour. We made the photos BIGGER so that they fill your desktop and mobile screens. With more and more people using their smart phones to access everything, a BIGGER mobile view is really important.

We made the tours BETTER by making the floor plan fade out and movable, giving the viewer more control over what they see. And the slide show is more intuitive and BETTER than ever.

All of this makes for a BOLDER experience for people viewing a property. And did we mention that there’s no extra charge for this update? That’s the new smell we all love!

You can check it out HERE.


5 Reasons Professional Property Photography Is Better Than Amateur Property Photography

1. Professionals use better camera equipment.
Yes, your iPhone takes good photos of your kids and pets, but it just can’t compare to today’s advanced DSLR cameras. DSLRs have larger sensors with more pixels, better controls and interchangeable lenses. With a DSLR, you’re going to get better white balance that is more visually appealing. And the 3:2 aspect ratio of a DSLR makes for better compositions. But then, you can’t order a pizza using your DSLR.

2. Professionals know how to capture the best angles.
Amateurs typically just walk into a room and shoot. Professionals take into account the entire frame – from left to right, front to back, top to bottom. Does the angle of the bed look appealing? Is the entry to the bathroom in the frame? Is the camera height sufficient to capture the entire counter top? Does the selected lens capture the entire room without distorting the image? Professionals see all of this and more, plus know when to shoot multiple angles when necessary to capture everything a room has to offer.

3. Professionals understand lighting.
An amateur will usually close the drapes so that the sunlight coming in doesn’t “blow out” the detail in the room. This typically results in a shot that is too dark or too light.

A professional with the right equipment can capture the image in a room the way your eye sees it – with details inside the room, and window views of the outside. With today’s modern equipment in the hands of a professional, more detail is captured, colors are more vibrant, and lighting is perfectly balanced.

4. Professionals can enhance the image after the shot.
Images on TVs, fires in fireplaces and anything else that is moving do not photograph very well. This is why most professionals will turn those things off when shooting. But using post-production technology, images can be added to TVs, fires can be added to fireplaces, pool water can be made more inviting, grass greener, and the sky can be transformed to blue, even though it was cloudy the day of the shoot. While not appropriate for cosmetic enhancements that “fool” the viewer, this technology is very useful (and ethical) for enhancing things that come and go.

5. Professional photographs outperform amateur photographs.
Home buyers spend 60% of their time looking at photos and only 20% on descriptions (Wall Street Journal). Pro photos produce 7% more demand for vacation rentals than amateur photos (Airbnb). Homes with professionally photographed pictures can sell for up to $19,000 more (marketleader.com). Homes with high quality photos receive 47% higher asking price per square foot (cbsnews.com). With so much riding on photos, why go the amateur route?

 


What Does Punxsutawney Phil Know About Real Estate Sales?

Today, the most famous rodent in the country, Punxsutawney Phil, announced to the world that he DID see his shadow, which means 6 more weeks of winter. If the little fuzz ball is right, that’s not good news, at least for those of us who don’t live in San Diego. But given his dismal 50% record, I don’t think it’s wise to bet on the rat.

If he’s wrong and Spring comes early, that would mean more buyers will be out shopping for properties, and more sellers will want to list their properties.

Groundhog shadows aside, there are other reasons to be optimistic (check out this Forbes article). Interest rates and home prices are both expected to climb, which should give a lot of buyers the incentive to move sooner rather than later in order to take advantage of current conditions. Add to that the increase in disposable income enjoyed by the majority of Americans due to the recently enacted tax reform legislation and there is the potential for very strong demand.

So, in spite of what Phil says, now is the time to start preparing for more listings. At the top of your list(ing) should be photography and virtual tours. To help you get a property ready for photography, we’ve developed a comprehensive Pre-Photography Checklist, which you can access HERE. In it, you will find some great tips for making sure the property looks its absolute best for the photographer. We’re sure even Phil would approve.