We recently sat down with TruPlace to talk about how interactive floor plans are helping short term rental owners to convert interested travellers into upcoming guests.
If you’ve ever wondered how to make a floor plan online, TruPlace is the team for you. They design a glossy, coherent floor plan, and then knit it together with photos of your property – either provided by you, or taken by their photography pros. Guests and prospective guests can take a guided tour of your short term let, from the comfort of their own sofa!
We chatted to TruPlace about the precise benefits of an interactive floor plan for your holiday rental property, and how you can make the most of it as a part of your digital marketing toolkit.
Watch the full conversation here, or read on to dive straight into their golden nuggets of advice (if you’re really feeling wild, why not do both..!).
Three reasons why it’s a good idea to create an interactive floor plan
Why should you consider buying an interactive floor plan? Well, the short answer is that it helps you to entice more guests to your vacation rental property and prepare them more effectively for their stay with you.
If you’re interested in a smidge more detail, read on to discover exactly how it boosts your vacation rental marketing and guest experience offering.
1. Interactive floor plans persuade guests to book your vacation rental property
An interactive floor plan gives prospective guests the best of both worlds. They get:
a floor plan which conveys detailed property information
polished photographs which help them to imagine the property layout
Sumptuous photographs help to fuel travellers’ imaginations. They can picture themselves cooking a family meal in the kitchen, or relaxing by the pool. Matching these photos with a floor plan helps them to figure out the practicalities of renting your holiday home. Is there enough space for the kids to play? How many people would share each bathroom?
In fact, TruPlace finds that their interactive floor plans keep visitors on a direct booking site for 3-10 minutes, demonstrating that users really do appreciate the opportunity to explore the property they’re considering a stay in. Travellers who spend that long on your site are far more likely to book your holiday rental property than travellers who simply skim through your photos and then leave.
Plus, visitors spending a long time on your site is great for your Google ranking. Google gets a strong message that you’re meeting people’s needs, and so it pushes you further up its search rankings, meaning that you’ll likely see an increase in organic traffic. The more organic traffic you attract, the more likely you are to be discovered by guests who want to book a stay with you.
The photos are for marketing the property, they sell it to guests. The floorplan is information – you communicate the info visually. You provide information and gorgeous marketing visuals.
2. Interactive floor plans clarify unclear or unusual property layouts
An unusual property layout often adds to the charm of your holiday let – it feels even more unique! However, it can make it difficult for guests to visualise exactly what their stay with you will look like.
TruPlace was actually started because its founders wanted to rent out a property that was built into the side of a mountain. They didn’t feel that their photos did justice to the rental’s quirky feel, and so they designed their interactive floor plan software.
If your property has its own unique structure, an interactive floor plan can help guests to fully appreciate its character. It can also help them to understand how well it meets any accessibility requirements they might have.
Free up time for your support team
When people understand your property in more depth, they’re less likely to contact you with questions. TruPlace floor plans actually reduce calls to reservation agents by 33%. That’s one-third of the time that your team currently spends on the phone to potential guests, freed up for other stuff.
A tool which clarifies your property details engages potential guests and gives your team more time to crack on with the really important things. If you want to maximise these effects, combine your interactive floor plan with a Touch Stay digital guidebook. Discover how a digital guidebook helps hosts and property managers to captivate guests, free up time for their team, and welcome more five-star reviews.
3. Elevate your guest experience with an interactive floor plan
Prepared guests are happy guests! They feel secure in the knowledge that they know exactly what to expect when they arrive with you.
An interactive floor plan helps your guests to concoct a pre-arrival plan of attack. They can use it to answer questions such as:
Who gets which bedroom?
Who gets priority access to the en suite?
Which bathrooms belong to which bedrooms?
Rather than a bundle to claim bedrooms as soon as they open the door, your guests will arrive knowing exactly what’s up. If you can avoid a family argument, you truly will become their holiday rental superhero!
It’s hard for everyone to have a good time if you show up to the property and people start fighting over the rooms! We prevent fights – we share that link out and everybody can claim their room
Plus, guests will understand how much space there is in the kitchen to cook family meals. They’ll know if the deck is big enough for them to all eat together outside. No nasty surprises makes for calm, prepared guests, primed for a wonderful stay with you.
A digital guest welcome book fills in all the extra details. Guests can see from your interactive floor plan that you’ve got a kitchen big enough for entertaining, and they can check your guidebook to find out how to work all the different appliances. Your digital guidebook app also fills guests in on the crucial local area details, such as which store stocks the freshest produce.
Combine the two tools and answer guest questions before they even know they have them!
How to make the best use of your TruPlace interactive floor plan to attract more guests
The trick here is, essentially, to use your interactive floor plan wherever you possibly can. We’ve already covered how it supports your direct booking site: by embedding it on your website, you encourage visitors to spend longer exploring your property.
In the short-term, those visitors are more likely to book a stay with you, and in the long-term, longer engagement times on your website will drive more organic traffic.
Where else can you put your floor plan to use?
Include screenshots of your floor plan in your booking site listings
Whilst you can’t yet embed a TruPlace interactive floor plan in your listings on Airbnb, Vrbo, or Booking.com, you can include screenshots of your floor plan amongst your photos. Users can view your floor plan alongside the professional shots that TruPlace crafts for you in order to comprehensively understand what your property offers.
Avoid a long-winded description of your property’s every nook and cranny. Set yourself apart from the (extensive!) listing site competition with a concise visual illustration of your property’s layout. Prospective guests know everything they need to know, and they haven’t had to read a short novel’s worth of information.
Embed your interactive floor plan in your Touch Stay digital guidebook
You can also embed your interactive floor plan within your Touch Stay digital guidebook. Combining these tools will help you to:
attract guests to your short term rental property
prepare guests for their stay with you
Attract guests to your property by converting your digital guest welcome book into a digital marketing asset. Simply hide any sensitive information (such as access instructions), and link to it from your:
Placing it in these public forums allows potential guests to gain an insight into your property, and into the care with which you communicate information to your visitors. Embedding your interactive floor plan within your digital guidebook app enhances this effect by allowing interested travellers an even greater insight into the ins and outs of your property.
By sending your digital guidebook app to guests before they arrive you then help guests to prepare for their stay with you. They can easily access a wealth of information, from directions to your property and a list of the toiletries you provide, to your personal local recommendations.
If your floor plan is embedded within your digital guest welcome book, guests can easily find it again when they’re allocating rooms. No need for them to painstakingly navigate back to the right page on your website. Your floor plan has its own section in their guidebook, making it easy to find anytime they need it.
Touch Stay x TruPlace: a partnership to support your vacation rental marketing
We’ve partnered with TruPlace to bring you access to a new holiday rental marketing tool. An interactive floor plan, with glossy, professional photos, will engage prospective guests and help them to prepare for their stay with you. No need for any drastic changes – attract more guests just by showing them a new angle of your property.
At Touch Stay, we’re equally committed to setting guest expectations as a way of laying the foundation for a stellar guest experience. If guests feel prepared for their stay before they even arrive then they’re primed for a great first impression. And a great first impression paves the way for a five-star review!
When guests can access all your property info, including a detailed TruPlace floor plan, via your digital guidebook, they’re also less likely to pepper you with repetitive questions. Fewer questions means more time for you to focus on the things that bring you joy, and that take your short term rental business up a notch.
Wave goodbye to long-winded email chains and late-night phone calls with Touch Stay. Start your 14-day free trial today.