You know about virtual tours through real estate, showcasing properties and housing for sale. You might even have seen them in action at hotels, colleges, or hospitals, previewing the in-person visit experiences while communicating vital information. But even thinking within these industries can still be limiting. In reality, virtual tour software can benefit any organization, in a variety of ways.
Put simply, virtual tours aren’t just a fancy marketing tool. Produced the right way, they become core components in solving central business challenges. And in the age of COVID-19, they’re even more critical to get vital information across to your target internal and external audiences.
So let’s dig in. Within this article, you’ll find six challenges that (almost) every business and organization faces, alongside the ways in which virtual 3D tours can alleviate them.
Business Challenge #1: Recruiting High-Level Talent
Talent shortages and high-quality applicants being sought-after by multiple firms in your industry consistently rank among the top recruitment challenges employers face. The pandemic has only made matters worse, making it more difficult for organizations to break through the clutter. That cafeteria tour, or the simple visit to meet with your team? It’s near impossible.
Virtual 3D tours can’t entirely replace these in-person experience, but they can come close. They allow you to showcase your physical space, giving your audience (potential employees) a better idea of what to expect. That, in turn, can have a vital impact on your ability to recruit top-level talent.
Now, you’re able to build more specific expectations. With the right tour in place, you can make sure that candidates not only come to the (virtual) interview more prepared, but are also able to meet higher expectations for the questions they’ll be asked. You’re attracting the right talent and are able to select the right candidate as a result.
Business Challenge #2: Building Your Employer Brand Through Virtual Tour Software
The above is largely connected to your physical presence. Of course, when it comes to recruiting and retaining top-level talent, intangibles matter just as much. Culture ranks among the top reasons for job satisfaction in almost every industry.
You need to showcase that culture, which is also known as building an employer brand. Just like consistent marketing around a core value proposition attracts more customers, the same thing is true for your employees. That employer brand, a consistent message based on your core values, can make all the difference in showcasing what a great place to work your organization truly is.
Think about the areas your virtual tour software can highlight:
- Your employee working spaces, whether you’re setting up in an open office environment or individual spaces.
- Common spaces, including break rooms and leisure activities that promote working together and collaboration.
- Your cafeteria or other food and snack accommodations.
Companies like Google and Amazon have built their employer brands based on these types of showcases. Combined, they showcase your organization as a great place to work, building greater affinity for potential employees.
Business Challenge #3: Integrating Your Operations into the Surrounding Area
Almost regardless of industry, the integration of a business in its surrounding area and community is a vital part of organizational success. For universities, town-gown relations are absolutely crucial to attract students and build positive connections. But even hospitals, hotels, and other organizations with a large footprint need a similar positive relationship.
That integration has to include communication about how the business interacts within the local community while showcasing local resources. Of course, that’s not always easy to do, especially in rural areas that might not have expensive resources dedicated to showcasing the area.
Again, a virtual 3D tour can help. It allows any visitor to make a detour away from campus and into the area, with filters available from local attractions to other, related businesses. Do you think those parents visiting for a campus tour would like to know about the local restaurants? How about a hospital visitor needing to find a flower shop before stopping in to see their friend or relative?
Once again, these benefits expand beyond the typical 3D tour industries. If any business can benefit from showcasing the surrounding areas and its resources, any business can leverage virtual tour software to do just that.
Business Challenge #4: Showcasing Your Response to COVID-19
Without a doubt, COVID-19 has brought significant disruptions across industries. How organizations responded to the new challenges has led to dramatic new business opportunities, but also to cratering businesses (and entire industries) that just didn’t have the bandwidth to fight back.
Where your organization stands depends at least in part on your response. But one thing is for sure: it’s the number one topic across the United States and the world, and will continue to be for the next few months. So why not leverage that fact into solving a core business challenge that has recently arisen?
Put simply, your customers want to know about how you’re responding to the virus. Your stakeholders, from investors to organizational partners, want to know the same thing. How are you ensuring the safety of both your visitors and your employees? How have you adapted your core business practices to live and thrive in this new normal?
Leveraging a virtual tour software can help you respond. You can show, not just tell what practices you’ve put in place. Meanwhile, you can also reduce the physical footprint within your premises, and highlight the fact that you’re doing just that.
Business Challenge #5: Highlighting Diversity and Inclusion at Your Organization
Only diversity and inclusion-related topics have rivaled COVID-19 in recent months in terms of news coverage and everyday conversations. In today’s votalite age, it’s more important than ever to showcase the way in which you prioritize diversity initiatives, creating an inclusive environment for all of your internal and external stakeholders.
Beyond the public relation aspects, it’s a more basic business challenge. Millennials and Generation Z, the two generations with the most staying power in today’s workplace, are the most diverse in history. They care, and they’re not afraid to talk about the fact that they care; challenging their employers to create environments designed for everyone.
Diversity and inclusion initiatives, of course, go far beyond communication. They’re institutional priorities, developed through every level of the organization. Still, virtual tours can play a core role in highlighting the opportunities already taking place across your business.
That can take a number of forms. Most obviously, you can highlight the physical ways in which your organization creates an inclusive environment, like highlighting all-gender bathrooms on your campus. But it can also get more nuanced. For instance, narrated tours can talk in more detail about the initiatives currently taking place, and the goals set for the future to embrace diversity and turn it into a core business advantage.
Business Challenge #6: Prioritizing Community Work and Outreach
You’re likely familiar with the concept of corporate social responsibility, the idea that any organization (as part of its larger community) has a responsibility to that community and should use at least part of its resources to maintain and improve it. Much like diversity and inclusion, this is a topic that goes far beyond communication. But perception matters, and you can communicate your CSR initiatives through your virtual 3D tour.
That might include just a few examples of showcasing your community work and outreach:
- Leverage off-campus hot spots, as described in business challenge #3, to show where you’ve done work.
- Highlight some of the spots on your premises where you’ve hosted community events, invited local leaders, etc.
- Incorporate and embed visual media, like photos and videos, that show your past community and charity work.
Of course, the possibilities go far beyond that. And there’s a bonus, as well: incorporating your community work into your virtual map can actually help you prioritize it further in the future. In this environment, you can begin to see the broader overview of past activities, helping you find blind spots and improvement opportunities for future initiatives.
Are You Ready to Solve Core Business Challenges With the Right Virtual Tour Software?
The last few months have caused almost every industry to comprehensively look at its core business models. That has uncovered some new business challenges coming to light, but also existing challenges that have simply become more obvious in a near-digital only world. How you solve these challenges, in communication and beyond, can play a vital role in your future success.
Virtual 3D tours, it should be clear, are not the magic solution to these challenges. But, leveraged the right way, they can play a core role in communicating out your efforts and optimizing your marketing to all audiences, maximizing your chances of building that internal and external brand.
Of course, you need the right partner to make that happen. That means finding virtual tour software that’s not just comprehensive and allows you to create immersive experience, but also is flexible enough to adjust as the external environment changes. We’d love to help—just contact us to get the conversation started.