The Benefit of Virtual Tours for Vacation Rentals Listings on Airbnb & VBRO

November 14, 2021 - 6 minutes read

According to Vacasa, listings with virtual tours have an increased booking of 12% and 300% greater engagement than other listings in their area.

Virtual tours increase bookings by 14 percent

With the rise of popular vacation rental sites like Airbnb and VRBO, many people are now turning to the internet to find a good place to stay. However, as we all know, it is difficult to get a sense of what the place looks like by just looking at pictures and reading descriptions. That is why virtual tours can be such a great way for potential guests to see what they will be staying in before they commit and spend money.

give it a try small

Why professional virtual tours are important for Airbnb & VRBO listings

  1. Professional virtual tours make you stand out from the crowd 

    Airbnb is usually crowded with listings in your area. In most cases, there will be properties that appear more appealing compared to your own. Because of increasing competition, it will be important to make sure your listing stands out from the crowd.

  2. Triggers guest’s emotions

    Your property’s potential may be clear to you, but many guests are unaware of it. They’ve never been to your home before. With professionally virtual tours of your property, emotions are triggered, you will be one step closer to getting bookings for your rental.

  3. Helps you get more bookings

    When your listing stands out from the crowd, you will get more bookings. Vacasa data shows that listings with professionally taken virtual tours have on average 14% more bookings than listings without.

  4. Increase your income

    So, professional virtual tours increase bookings and nightly rates. And what do higher nightly rates mean? Higher-income! According to Airbnb data from 2016, listings with professionally taken photos had 40% higher revenue than listings with self-taken photos. This same logic would apply to virtual tours on your listing.

  5. Give worried guests reassurances

    Booking a vacation rental for the first time can be stressful. Virtual tours give the customer an interactive experience where they can get a full understanding of the space, layout. Virtual tours also present it in its best light and will make it more appealing and reassuring.

How to add a virtual tour to your Airbnb listing.

There is no easy way to add external resources, such as a virtual tour, to Airbnb listings. Links or embeds are not supported. But there is a clever workaround for this problem that is quick and easy to implement.

There are two options for Airbnb: you can add an URL in the description or a QR Code in the image gallery.

Option 1: Add a tour link to your description

Simply add a caption ‘Virtual Tour:” followed by your tour link in the description of your listing.

Airbnb limits the number of characters you are allowed to use in a description, so a long URL will not be accepted. Therefore, you’ll need to shorten it using a service such as Tinyurl.com or Bit.ly.

Note: The URL will not be automatically turned into a link. A visitor can only “copy and paste” the URL off the Airbnb site, which is not very intuitive.

Option 2: Add a QR code

You can improve the experience by adding a tour link to the description, as well as an image containing a QR code.

You can create a QR code with a dedicated generator, for example, QRCode Monkey. It’s easy to create a QR code – just enter the tour link into the box on that page and download the resulting image. You can customize its colour and also upload a logo. We recommend darker colours which are easier,faster for most mobile phones to read.

qrcode monkey for airbnb virtual tour links
qrcode monkey for airbnb virtual tour links

When you upload the downloaded QR code to Airbnb, it is cut off when viewing the listing. You can add some padding around the image using you favourite image editing program and add instructions such as: “To view the virtual tour, scan this code” on the bottom outside of the code for some context.

When you upload it to Airbnb, you can paste the tour link again in the caption window.

We suggest adding the QR code to your Airbnb listing as the second or third photo, but not the fourth image as the “show all photos” button will block the code. The visitor can use their camera to scan the code and be automatically redirected to your virtual tour!

Here’s an example of how an Airbnb listing will look with both the QR code image and URL.

Virtual Tours for Airbnb
Virtual Tours for Airbnb

Now users can scan a QR code or type a short link into a mobile browser or copy and paste the URL on desktop. While this doesn’t offer the optimal user experience, it’s the best way to add a tour. At least for now, until Airbnb decides to simply allow links in descriptions.

More information on our photographic & virtual tours packages for vacation rentals

If you would like to get virtual tours for your Airbnb & VBRO listing contact us in the Gold Coast & Brisbane regions.

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