Driving revenue in university accommodation
The University of Sheffield wanted to update outdated 360º stills photography with something more dynamic to better show off the range of accommodation.
Utilising our state-of-the-art, interactive, 360º video tour platform — Browzer Explore — over four filming days, Sheffield's accommodation was captured in immersive 8K 360º video, resulting in nine interactive tours. We also designed and created a bespoke front-end filter system, complete with floor plans and room prices, so prospective students and their parents could fully understand the residences on offer. Prospective residents are able to book rooms from directly within the Browzer Explore environment.
Since launching in February 2020 the results have been extremely impressive.
2022 IN NUMBERS (SO FAR)
Over 57k sessions have been logged on the platform so far this year, with an average of just over nine pages being viewed per session in an average time of four-and-a-half minutes. This shows that users are not only visiting en-masse, but they are also engaging with the content whilst they’re there.
In addition — we track the number of users who go on to click the ‘Apply’ button to book their accommodation from the site. 304 people have clicked ‘Apply’ directly from Browzer Explore so far in 2022. Taking in to account the 2022–23 rent rates, we estimate that to be an additional £1 million – £3 million in rent revenue for the University in 2022 alone.
Users by time of day
By understanding when your incoming students are most-likely to be online you can make informed decisions about what day and what time to post content online once they arrive in order to maximise engagement.
Top 10 accommodation pages
Knowing the most-popular accommodation types and locations — and by how much — helps understand what students really think about your portfolio. Consider if the popularity of accommodation matches the numbers of beds available — if not, decisions can be made ahead of time to address this. Users by device.
Users by device
We know students are mobile-first, but they're not 'mobile only'. There's clearly still a place for desktop-based apps but we should consider how platforms can work across both in order to be the most effective.
Top 10 traffic source by country
Knowing what country potential students are viewing you accommodation from can inform the demographic of future cohorts. Here UK-based users top the rankings significantly, with Chinese and Indian users up there too — but also a significant number of users from other countries. Perhaps future Res Life events could focus around these cultures to make people feel more at home.
The Big Picture
Since launching in February 2020 the Browzer Explore platform has had over 1.6 million page views.
Average Session Length
Browzer Explore has maintained a healthy number of pages per session and average session duration since its launch in 2020.
Every August–September are clear peaks in viewership, which suggest the right people are looking at the site at the right time.
Despite being nearly three years old, there are no signiﬁcant drops in any engagement metrics, which show there’s still plenty of life in the platform. Browzer Explore continues to provide value to the University of Sheffield’s accommodation portfolio year-on-year.