Getting an Edge: How Scanning Can Benefit Your Vacation Rental Business with Gavin Sharp

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In this episode, we sit down with Gavin Sharp, the lead engineer for 720 Scanning, to discuss how scanning technology can give your business the competitive edge.

Join your hosts, Jordan and Tony, as we dive deep into the benefits of vacation rental scanning. Gavin shares his insights on how scanning can help increase bookings, incorporate affiliate links for additional profits, and documentation for insurance claims, as well as how it can be used to showcase a property to guests.

Throughout the episode, Gavin provides practical tips and advice on how to implement scanning technology into your vacation rental business strategy. 

Whether you’re a seasoned vacation rental owner or just starting out, this episode will provide valuable insights into how scanning can benefit your business and help you stay ahead of the competition.

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This editable transcript was computer generated and might contain errors. 


Tony Stancato: Hey Gavin, thanks for joining the podcast, appreciate you being here.

Gavin Sharp: Of course, thanks for having me here.

Tony Stancato:  I heard you’re in Michigan. Coming from Ohio, correct.

Gavin Sharp:  Yeah, that’s correct. I took a little short, five hour drive up to Michigan. Hoping for some lake days, but, you know, no good weather. So, what can you do?

Tony Stancato:  Yes, Cincinnati’s probably fair in a little bit better than we are up here in Michigan right now.

Gavin Sharp:  Surprisingly, so 72 degree days and it’s hard to beat I guess.

Tony Stancato:  Yeah, so hey you’re with 720 scanning. We actually just use you guys for a project, really cool project. You guys did a awesome job so thought it would be great to get you guys on here. Talk a little bit about this product was really impressed with the results. So would you mind just taking a second kind of walking us through what company does? And also just a little bit about yourself and maybe how you got started with company.

Gavin Sharp: Absolutely, yes. So The, the background would be John, our majority holder of the company. He started scanning about 15 years ago with the traditional laser scanners. And that eventually evolved into what 720 is, which is a full service laser scanning and matterport, virtual tour company that can do really anything as far as a matterport goes within the Michigan area. And then we do travel country wide for our laser scanning. A little bit about me would be

Gavin Sharp:  I am currently in my graduate program at the University of Cincinnati, getting my architecture degree. I kind of stumbled upon this job through some relationships and through some connections, and ended up being a great fit because I’m a technology nerd for sure. And then as far as any of the deliverables on the back end, I know a lot of the software that comes along with it. So really it was just learning the hardware application and getting that camera that 360 camera laser scanner on site and doing a lot of the as-built documentation and kind of manipulating that on the back end.

Tony Stancato: okay, and then, I think when we did the walkthrough of the the Lakefront property How did the the owners started with doing like was it? Like what kind of buildings was he doing to get this started? And then he was like, Hey, there could be a second application here in the short front rentals.

Gavin Sharp: Yeah. Absolutely. So started out doing a lot of fixed seating auditoriums. So anything from concert venues amphitheaters. There was some telescopic seating involved in larger field houses with basketball courts, etc, and that kind of slowly morphed into what it is today, which now we’re scanning. Very large. We did just did the Toronto Blue Jays project. Roger Center,…

Tony Stancato:  Well.

Gavin Sharp: we just did the Houston. Dynamo MLS team and those were some, some crazy ones for sure. A few days you stay there, you’re just moving basically moving the scanner up and down stairs, you know, for a few days straight but you know, eventually what we were looking to do and what we’re getting started doing with you guys is that matterport virtual tour especially since it’s a much quicker and more of a marketing side service definitely gives the the pleasing scan, you know, data versus what we do on the back and with a lot of laser scanning which is more technical and so Getting into that matterport stuff and it’s looking really good as far as what it can do on the marketing side of things as well as for short-term rentals.

Tony Stancato: Yeah, absolutely. And you know for the stadiums and stuff he would you guys would tip technically go in, scan it and then you guys would actually like tell the seat manufacturers. How big the seats need to be in all the dimensions and stuff, right? So it’s pretty detailed on exactly all the dimensions and in capturing all that, right?

Gavin Sharp:  Absolutely, yes. So, what we would typically do is, we’ll go into the space and then depend on what their exactly looking for will kind of, you know, conditionally adjust that per project. So, for example, for the Blue Jays, they were looking for a lot of details there. A lot of uprights between each seat. So, in order to get that exact, we had to basically go in scan, the entire 5000 level of the Roger Center. And the basically on the back end it’s registering that because it’s about 18,000 fixed seats.

Gavin Sharp:  Both, you know, riser face and shred attached. So it was a lot of dealing with what the the profiles of those riser faces look like, especially when you’re up in those higher levels, as well as just getting the, the overall size of the seats. Like you said, and then the plates, those rails. So really when you’re in the space, you know, everybody asks, Well, what can it do? And basically the the answer is, It can do pretty much everything. You just have to kind of tailor it to what you’re exactly looking for. And that’s where we’re working to be is having a lot of communication through the entire project, basically, from start to finish because it can do pretty much anything when it comes to as build documentation.

Tony Stancato: Yeah. And one of the things that I would say for us especially and I think we talked a little bit about it on site is using this a lot of times. It’s like Hey, how can we get people on the guest communication side to get really familiar with the property? You can give them the airbnb photos and kind of walk through that talk to them about it. But it’s really hard to kind of get the layout in the feel for that property. Um, immediately when I seen this, I was like, Oh my gosh, we had we’re actually on boarding somebody right now to help with guest communication and we’re taking her through a bunch of different properties. This one I feel really confident that where it’s like, hey I can actually just give her this, she can walk around the whole place and I mean she can get really up close detailed images of kind of all this stuff inside of there. Obviously.


Tony Stancato:  I think we talked a little bit. We can essentially open closets and all that stuff. I don’t think we did a ton of that necessarily on ours but I think it can get pretty detailed in terms of opening cabinets and all that stuff so they can get really familiar with all that stuff in there, right?

Gavin Sharp: Definitely. Yeah. So as far as the application to short-term rentals it’s really good for saving time for management. Like you were basically illustrating there 3D tours. Incredible resource for property managers as well as you know the actual gas experiencing space The software actually allows you to do a lot of things. You can basically pan around in a As built model.

Tony Stancato: With.

Gavin Sharp: You can look at the floor plan. You can, you know, actually snap pictures from within the scan. So instead of going in and taking a bunch of still photography and professional photography, you can actually take that scan and then produce professional photography from it from it. You can really illustrate and call out any amenities. There’s a lot of tagging benefits as well. There, you can, embed, any kind of links for, if you do have additional amenities or services within your property and then basically like you were illustrating before, it just allows you to basically get to that property before you ever actually physically been there. So if there is any miscommunication on the back end or the front end of what that

Gavin Sharp:  Would look like for the guests, you can do a lot of that before you even get to the space, whether your states away, countries away, whatever that may be with just, a simple link walk through it, decide whether or not, this is something that is, you know, good for you. And then also on the integration side of things VRBO supports the matterport tours directly. So you can just go ahead and when you’re posting your property, You can upload that as well. And that’ll just basically show up just like any of your other images within your property and then airbnb, you can just essentially, you know, tell them Here’s a forwarding link. Once you know, you’ve booked and we can basically walk through any of the concerns or questions you may have about the property. And overall for advertising me, Once you have the scan, It’s, it’s pretty much endless, you know, you can take that and you can market it However you want to however you want to do it. So there’s a lot of versatility within the scan rather than just getting a still photographer photographer to come in there. And then overall. Yeah, just really allows you to show off the amenities of your property.

Jordan Painter: That’s really cool. You’d mentioned tagging in. So I’m just curious. Have you guys had any experience or any anybody that you’re doing this for, you know, trying to always find different ways to maximize profit potential. So could you like tag a couch, for example, and then get an affiliate link from Amazon, and people order it is that kind of technology built it somehow.

Gavin Sharp:  100%. Yes. So essentially the software itself has a tagging system. So you would basically go ahead and drop in within a 3D space. A call-out tech and within that, you can embed images, you can embed links, text, whatever you really need in order to call that out. So, for example, when we were helping out scan that property on Lake, Michigan, you know, they had, you know, some telescopes and just other cool features that I think would be interesting if you got that, you know, tagged and you actually did in bed and Amazon link or wherever it was actually purchased from. Yeah, you can absolutely boost that for the sellers as well.

Tony Stancato:  That’s awesome. And then I think the other thing when we were there, you also have kind of the ability to do like a scan with a drone, right?

Gavin Sharp: Yeah so there’s you know within the scanning world, there’s a lot of solutions and and when it comes to marketing for short-term rentals there are a lot of solutions there as well. Now I would say for drones as far as mapping the property you can 100% do that. There’s a lot of software that actually allows you to get essentially what you’re seeing inside. As a 3D tour, you can essentially get that on the exterior as well. I would say, You know, as far as when drones do apply to the short term rental business, it would be more for those marketing videos and those types of things. But you can. Yeah, 100%, it’s something called photogrammetry. And essentially, that allows you to, within a certain radius, do a top-down photo, shoot with your drone. And basically, on the back end, there’s software that allows you to take all of those images and then map them to the 3D space and then using GPS and multiple other things. You can essentially get a exterior kind of Google Maps, 3D model of your property.


Tony Stancato: Yeah, that’s awesome. I think we were talking hey you could start out way you know out at the lake kind of show the the beach and then kind of work you’re with the guest could actually just kind of zoom into the property and then get that full walk through there. Unfortunately, when you guys were there, I think the winds were somewhere around 50, 50 miles an hour, something. So we didn’t get we didn’t get a chance to do the drone flight. But yeah, that would be that would be a great way to just kind of showcase that lakefront experience there.

Gavin Sharp:  Absolutely. And, you know, with our services we’re always happy to come back and kind of expand upon that. You know, we want to be as easy to work with as possible. So, if there’s any kind of strange, you know, weather conditions because a lot of the stuff can be whether dependent will always come back and do that job, you know, and finish that up and get that tied up in a bow. So, um, you know, another big thing is with the new camera that Matterport actually just came out with. There’s a lot of capabilities with outside scanning. So, another huge feature that they’ve now just introduced is If you have any kind of outside amenities a pool, you know, really anything outside. You can also document that alongside your internal virtual tour, so really it’s just an all-in-one, you know, inside outside and then you can also get that drone footage as well from marketing purposes, and then again, if you’re interested in that photogrammetry type scanning with the drone, that’s always definitely a huge solution as well.

Tony Stancato: Yeah, that would be awesome. I’m just thinking about, we just listed a pretty cool property last week and they just had this really nice backyard pool space and how cool it would be to actually just be able to walk around the pool and backyard area to get a feel for, you know what that that’s faces. Like because I think it would show really well with the scans that you guys did. I want to go back to the affiliate link thing that Jordan was talking about now Let’s say you guys have already done this. You’ve put the you put some pegs on there. Telescope this and that. Now, if I want to go back in and add some affiliate links to different things. After you’ve already done, the skin, is that something that I do or is that something that I reach out to you guys and you guys do that?

Gavin Sharp: Yeah definitely a great question. So you know when it comes to the spaces is actually it’s really dependent on on how we can do this. So, you know, as far as hosting it goes, it’ll stay within the 720 platform and essentially, while it is on the 720 platform, we would you would have to contact us and then we could update any of those links. And it’s 100% edible from start to finish, two years down the road, five years down the road, it doesn’t matter. You can edit it, and it’s always being updated with the software. So, regardless, if you scan to space five years ago, it’s always going to be as up to date as possible. Now what a service we can offer is we can set you up with your own accounts and essentially you know if you have multiple properties that you want to host yourself, the space can actually be transferred and then we can do a little. I would say, like lunch and learn type thing to show. You all the features of the actual platform itself. And then you can do any editing within that space that you want.

Tony Stancato: Okay and then I think there’s a couple, other things use cases that we haven’t talked about from a insurance standpoint. I mean, this seems like it’d be a super valuable scan to have just for insurance purposes. Right, like, Do a full, I mean, essentially we can see everything that’s in this property, at least that’s not in a drawer or in a cabinet, but like, all the really expensive stuff, is it caught in that? And I mean, you can get really detailed on looking at all that stuff, right? Is that a big possibility, or a big use case for that?

Gavin Sharp: Absolutely. And and what’s crazy is, the applications are kind of endless. So, as far as insurance goes, You know, I think a question we were addressing on site was, you know, could we essentially get a property manager, you know, scan and then, could we kind of filter that to be more of a marketable scan? So say, you scan every single closet, every single maintenance closet, whatever it may be, you can do that all in one scan. And then, essentially, you can provide that to your property manager for insurance purposes or whatever it may be. And then we can actually take that and filter out any unwanted data and then republish that as an additional space. And then that could be your, you know, actual marketable space versus what would be for insurance purposes. For really, just peace of mind of what your space look like before. Maybe you have renters or somebody that came into the space but as far as yeah for insurance purposes in the 3D laser scanning world, you know what the terrestrial scanners it’s definitely a huge industry. You know, when you go in and document a space as built some people even do it as frequently as every week.

Gavin Sharp:  You know, so that way you’re seeing, you know, what does it look like from week to week and then you can actually go back through your backlog and see if anything is messed up or has been ruined due to, you know, whatever the case may be for definitely for insurance purposes.


Tony Stancato: Okay. And then the other thing I’m thinking about is Let’s say I like the one that you did, right? There’s a table in there. I don’t have the receipt or I can’t remember where I bought it. So I don’t really know what the exact dimensions were of that and maybe I’m in a different location and I know that tables damage I need to order a new table. Can I just like, click and drag different. You know, things in there to find out what the dimension of that space is, or the dimension of that table, so I can reorder something of a very specific, you know, size.

Gavin Sharp: Yeah, that for sure. So, really right now there’s actually the software’s developing currently and it has kind of a edible space so you can essentially go in and it’ll take it as a 3D model essentially. And then it’ll take basic shape blocks and you can actually, yeah, you can go ahead and pop that kind of stuff in, you know. But a big big part of it is if you do know that you need to measure something for example, and you have essentially now your space in your pocket, you can go ahead and pull it up on your phone, tablet computer, whatever it may be, and you can essentially take that and you can measure any space within that scan. So there’s actually a measuring tool within the software and then you can do that. You can you can measure walls. You can measure floor to ceiling whatever you really need to know. Whether it’s the, existing table size, the existing wall, whatever it may be, you can measure with anything within the space within an inch accuracy. So it is, it is very helpful. I’ve used it personally when it comes to furnishing homes and that kind of thing, you know, if you scan a space when it’s completely bare and you need to know, can I even fit this piece of furniture in my room?

Gavin Sharp:  You can go ahead and pull it up, you can measure it and then you can actually decide that on the go.

Tony Stancato: That’s awesome. Yeah, so I mean I feel like with what we’re talking about it’s really hard to do it any justice. So I’ll definitely make sure that we include the link that to the property that you guys actually did for us. So anybody that’s listening, go ahead and click on the link. It’ll be in the podcast notes. You guys can check out the tour. I mean, it is really quite incredible. Is there anything that we missed or that we didn’t cover about the technology about you Guys’s offering

Gavin Sharp: Um, I would say, I mean, as far as you know, the use cases, I know a lot of people that are probably listening will be in the short-term rental business. So yeah, this is a great tool 100%. If you are wanting to get your space, digitalized 100% think about doing something like this as well as if you’re looking at integrate. It with, like I said, earlier, any of the host platforms that you use, you know, it’s just a quick link to go ahead and pull that up and it also could be integrated within Google Maps and, and a lot of other things as well. So, really, You know, in my opinion, I’ve been doing this for about three years now, from just, you know, regular scans and big auditoriums big stadiums, whether it be real estate, whatever. I mean personally and a little bit of bias here, you know, there’s no reason to not have a digital version of your space these days. I mean there’s so much technology out there to do it and it is so accessible too so you know as far as you know whether or not you’re trying to show off the space or even just have it for personal use. Yeah. 100% think about doing something like this?

Jordan Painter: Just quick question, what kind of feedback like What’s the positive feedback that you’re, you’re getting, that would be good for for the marketing side?

Gavin Sharp:  Yeah definitely. Um So as far as we’re specifically for short-term rentals, I mean we’ve never had a negative feedback as far as you know, other maybe then constructive criticism, you know. Hey could you scan the space additional to what you actually scan before? But really, you know, anybody that actually tours the space, you know, we’re seeing about a 15% additional increase in occupancy for those for short-term rentals with a virtual tour versus just still photography.

Gavin Sharp:  So, you know, if it’s, if you’re looking to just even increase your occupancy rate, like I said earlier, you can just have a digital version of your space, you know, this is definitely a great solution for that and then even just statistics, as far as it goes from, you know, traditional scanning, whether it be, you know, you’re trying to get it to a contractor, do an install, whatever it may be, you know, we’ve had an insane decrease in that, you know, issues on site. So, you know, having a digital space, instead of having to travel back and forth, two years space whether or not you’re managing that from out of the country. Like I said, earlier, you know, instead of having to travel 11 hours, to go visit your space and check out your short-term rental, you can just pull that up in your pocket. So, yeah. There’s, there’s a lot of applications for it.

Tony Stancato: That’s awesome. So, where is the best place for people to connect either with you or reach out to 720 scanning if they want to maybe start a discussion around using this this technology?

Gavin Sharp: Yeah, definitely. So we do have social media. So Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, all that stuff is going to be at 720 scanning and then we actually do have a website as well. So you just, you can just Google 720 and we’ll have a Contact Us page. So you can go ahead and shoot us an email there. And then personally my email is Gavin at 720 So you can go ahead and reach out to me anytime and I’m always happy to connect walking through some additional spaces. We’ve done show off anything that you really want to see in order to make sure that this is the right solution for you.


Tony Stancato:  Awesome. Yeah. And just again make sure you guys check out that link in the show notes, It is really quite incredible. Gavin, thanks for coming on today, sharing about the, the technology, the company, and a little bit about yourself. So we really appreciate it.

Gavin Sharp: Yeah. Thank you guys very much for having me. I’m super excited to see what will come of it for sure. Thanks.

Tony Stancato:  All right, take care.