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These stats with sell your 360 and VR work

In today's episode, we're going super practical, we're going to dive into the statistics that will do the selling for you when it comes to VR, and virtual tours.

Read on for the full transcription or listen to podcast episode here

So for those of you new to the podcast, I am trying to keep this podcast as kind of varied and non formatted as possible. I want to do lots of different things. Q and A's, guests, motivational inspiring stuff, but also a big part of it is taking you along my journey, researching and exploring lots of different things within the world of immersive and virtual reality and entrepreneurship in general creativity.

So in today's episode, the inspiration for this really was the fact that I've been seeing lots of really, really interesting statistics coming out around marketing and the changing landscape due to COVID. One of the most interesting things I kind of found and I'm gonna paraphrase this because I couldn't find the exact study that I was reading that came out with this statistic, but it basically implied that the innovation the I guess, the momentum and the shift in consumer behaviour towards e-commerce and buying online in the last six months has been the equivalent of 10 years of traditional kind of progress.

So, because of the pandemic because of the chaos, so much has changed. Is has wreaked on physical locations and traditional consumer behaviour because we have literally been confined to our houses and the level of transformation and the advancements in e-commerce technologies infrastructure, and the buying experience has advanced the equivalent of what would have usually taken 10 years. How insane is that? I mean, it makes sense total sense. But it's still crazy when you kind of look at that statistic. And it got me thinking about, when I first got into VR, there was loads of these statistics running rampant, and maybe partly that really carried on encouraging me to stay in the industry. And I know for certain when I first started work in industry, I used to love to throw these statistics out about increased engagement and generating you know, x percentage of leads, like more than traditional video and all this kind of stuff. And just purely because these were the figures that were coming out around the time. But I was thinking when I was reading that study about e-commerce, I wonder if there's been any updated statistics around things like virtual tours or 360 video virtual reality because there's been a slight dip in the level of engagement or the kind of lacking interest.

What am I trying to say? I'm not in the most eloquent of mood guys, and I do apologise. If this is your first episode listening, please go back and listen to other episodes where I can speak a little bit more concisely on the subject. All all the kind of regular listeners are now laughing at the concept of me being a concise speaker, because anyway, as is evidenced by this two minutes, segue ramble. So what am I trying to say?

I basically was really curious to see whether they were updated stats around VR, because when I first got into it, there was lots of buzz. There was lots of money being spent from brands from research bodies, everyone was really looking into all of the science and all of the the stats behind VR, but fast forward five years now that interest is waned, and there's not as many new studies coming out. So I thought I would go and do a bit of research to see what the latest was. And lo and behold, I couldn't find any really, really concrete, brilliant, you know, research backed statistics. But I did come across two very interesting studies that I think had statistics that could definitely be used in your marketing to sell virtual tours and virtual reality.

So the first one, let's start with VR trading. So this study was done by, I believe it was by the US team at PwC. Price Waterhouse Cooper, which for those of you who don't know, is one of the big four global consultancies. They're massive, and I very fortunate to be to work a lot with the UK PwC team. We do

a lot of very varied kind of projects, but the majority of the stuff that I work on with them is a lot in the realm of virtual reality training. And usually this is focused on soft skills training. So unconscious bias or leadership. And basically in the US, PwC I believe, this is what's linked on the website anyway, has done a study into the benefits of virtual reality training versus traditional classroom training, and e-learning. So I found that the most interesting statistic was that virtual reality was four times more focused than that e-learning peers. Right? And also, people being trained through virtual reality, and completed their training faster than in a traditional classroom setting. And there's like a couple of other statistics like, virtual reality trainees were 275% more confident to apply their skills that they had learned after the training. 275% that's massive. And those VR trainees were 3.75 times more emotionally connected to the content than classroom based learning. So I think the key stat coming out of that is four times more focused than that e-learning peers.

Now why might that be an interesting stat to focus on? E-learning is where a lot of companies kind of focus, right? Because e-learning saves time and money for companies because it's not classroom base. So it doesn't require as much resource. And it's scalable because employees can do it online in their own time. And it's it's relatively cheap and scalable because of the nature of e-learning platforms.

but why I think that study is really interesting, though, is more focused employees means that they will retain more information, if they retain more information, combined with the fact that there are 275% more confidence to apply those skills, they are easily going to outperform classically based training, classic based training or e-learning. When it comes to them going and putting that training into action, why is that important? That's important because companies do, in fact save time and money when they have well trained employees. And when it comes to soft skill based stuff, that can be the really insidious things that you might not think about in a company. So for example, unconscious bias training is massively important because there's so much research around the fact that diverse workplaces have a much higher success rate. They, they kind of execute ideas faster. They end up increasing revenue for companies faster because when diverse teams work together naturally you have diverse thinking going on. And lots of different people pulling lots of different background, lots of different skill sets together, working harmoniously creates better results overall for companies. So unconscious bias training is super important because people need to be checked that they aren't leaning on, like natural biases that they've been socially conditioned to have, which then means that they don't necessarily promote diverse teams. They don't necessarily work harmoniously with people who are not like them. And which then will lead to an increase in animosity or a hostile workplace, it will most likely lead to a massive divide in diverse leadership, and it all trickles down from leadership. So if you don't have diverse leadership, then you're not going to have kind of your that's not going to trickle down and you're not necessarily going to retain as much diverse talent.

Now I know that diversity has become a little bit kind of a buzzy thing and something that a lot of companies are shouting from the rooftops about now, especially during a kind of, you know, a climate like ours is currently in 2020, where not only do you have the kind of the effects of the pandemic wreaking havoc on the economy, and really emphasising class difference, but you've also got the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement with the murder of George Floyd, which is really bringing the under representation of black talent in all workplaces, as well as across the board I'm sure but specifically, I've been reading a lot about lack of recruitment and promotion, and the statistics around the black community, and the list goes on and on.

And obviously diversity covers such a broad range of things from class, race and gender, sexual orientation, even things like remote working verses in person working, which leads to different bonds forming within teams, there's so much to it is such a complicated subject. And you couldn't possibly necessarily cover all of that just from a little e-earning kind of training programme, but especially when you're trying to communicate the severity of something like unconscious bias. Watching a video is probably not going to do as much justice as stepping into the shoes of someone of a different background to you either, regardless of what that might look like. And so I've gone off on a bit of a tangent there, but when it comes to using statistics to sell virtual reality training, I think that's a really powerful one to lead with.

There's lots of anecdotal statistics that you could look at, though, including, and on forgetting the name of the company that did it. Let me just Google it...Walmart, in particular have been fantastic at putting out the company behind their VR training, puts out amazing case studies online and they're quite open with their statistics. So definitely check them out as well. So the company I couldn't remember is called strivr, they basically are the VR company behind Walmart's really famous VR training. And they've released loads of stats on their website and on their blog content around the benefits.

So using those statistics to your advantage when you're having those early conversations with clients is going to massively increase your chances of converting them and of course, this the thing right, when you're asking someone to part with really quite substantial money and, and that could be anything from 1000 pounds right up to 150,000 pounds, whatever it might be. When you're asking someone to part with that kind of money, they have to know that it's going to be worth it compared to probably the more easier, more established more proven route of something like traditional classroom, or e-learning, which probably more applicable based on the fact that we're in COVID, and no one's doing classroom paced trading, really. And so that's the first one.

Now let's talk about virtual tours. And this was the one that I was really interested to read about. Because, again, I remember when I first started getting into 360 quite seriously and I saw a lot of statistics, even from Facebook themselves about the level of engagement that 360 photos and videos had over their traditional counterparts. I think I remember reading at one point, something like 200% more click throughs or something on 360 photos than just a traditional one. And, again, an increase of something like 2.5 engagement, meaning that people would, you know, take longer and repeatedly come back to the same images and want to engage with them over and over again, rather than just a normal photo. Which maybe they'd scroll on by because again, it was something new, something different, but this was years ago. And funnily enough, I couldn't find any really concrete new statistics around the use of 360 photos and videos apart from this one company who basically conducted their own research. And this is really recent. This is from literally a few days ago, so early August 2020. And this company, they are themselves a virtual tour, 3D model photography business, basically they're called LCP 360. And based on (admittedly I haven't done like a massive deep dive into their website but they've got lots of really interesting blog posts) it looks like they're based in America. I think I remember seeing New York somewhere but I might have made that up. So, somewhere in America, and they did their own personal survey on their own clients and they look like they are quite a big company so it looks reasonably well surveyed although I couldn't see from the the paper that I'm kind of referring to how many people that they they surveyed. But the statistics were really mind blowing.

So get this - so one of the quotes in this Coronavirus response survey that they've done which I'll link to in the show notes but it will also be in the newsletter if you're signed up to that, it says virtual tours are no longer a nice to have option. Gone are the days when virtual tours were simply optional marketing tools, after the pandemic struck in the spring, visual and immersive content quickly became a necessity as multiple family communities closed off, amenities shut down, leasing offices and people stayed inside for months on end. We asked marketing professionals to share some insight on their community virtual tours, both before and during the pandemic. Before the pandemic 30% of marketers say their properties only offered unit tours, which has since changed with a sudden closures of onsite amenities form online property tours that showcase it, meaning these are now essential for renters who want to tour the grounds and facilities of their future home. So the key statistic that I'm about to tell you is, and this is the one I think might be really useful for any virtual marketers out there. 90% of marketers say that virtual tours have directly contributed to an increase in leases on sights unseen. So what they're saying there is that 90% of marketers have seen if they had a virtual tour on a particular property, that has directly increased on people leasing properties without ever having stepped foot in them, without ever visiting the place? They have leased properties based on listings that had virtual tours. How insane is that? That is incredible, 90% and again, we don't have any context for how many people they surveyed, but I feel like that's a really interesting change from 30%.

And then there was another statistic - we found that virtual tour activity is still on the rise even while some communities start to reopen of the tours. We examined on average there was a 329%

increase in virtual visits from February to May. That is so fascinating. So that is pretty dramatic, isn't it? I mean, can you imagine if, this thing when you frame it to a potential client, you have to think about the fact that, say for example, their usual conversion rate is, you know, maybe they have 100 people click on a photo that they see listed. And then out of those 100 people that click on the photo, maybe 50 people follow through and call them to arrange a tour, like a physical tour. Now imagine if you could increase the amount of people that would even look at the property by 300%. I'm terrible at math. So I'm not sure why I've started to use these numbers, but let's say okay, let's even just make 100% more. So if you've got 100 people that would usually click through on a photo now all of a sudden 200 people are going to click through on that photo and out of those people, if 50% were doing it before without a virtual tour, but that increased again, because of the fact you've got a virtual tour, so now you're going to have... I can't even do that math, but it's way more than 100.

I feel like we've talked about this before on episodes but you know when you look at photos, and they're so painfully obviously manipulated and they're using a fancy wide lens and they've really oversaturated and really beautifully manipulated but they're so it's so obvious that that's what they are. Whereas actually, you have a virtual tour, all of a sudden you have a much better sense of that space. So now those people that are going to call through are going to be so much more qualified, which is going to save that agent so much more time from time wasters, because they already know that they are interested in the property.

It's like, everything is changing right now, like this is never been a better time to be going out there and getting work in our industry. People now more than ever are waking up to the digital revolution and the fact that it's no longer good enough to just rely on your physical locale. You have to be online, you have to be digital and not only that, you have to stand out from the competition. You have to offer something out, as close to the physical experience as you can, using online tools, and virtual reality, virtual tours, 360 photos, 360 videos, they are that next level tool.

This is what you need to take to new clients. Taking stats like this and using them in context, and not plucking them out of thin air. So make sure that you're smart and make sure that you, do a little bit of digging around a statistic, but I thought these two in particular, were really strong because PwC very reputable has done very thorough research in this and this other company LCP 360, clearly quite a big company with a large variety of clients who have done their own personal research and presented it in a really clear, concise way that made me kind of think that they were trustworthy and again, using their statistics will be anecdotal, but potentially could be the hook in your marketing that will get people just even to have a conversation with you.

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