Who would ever say no to a service that’s been made more affordable, accessible, and rapid? It’s a no-brainer, isn’t it? Well, that’s how virtual staging found its way into the real estate industry and exactly how it has become a common practice in real estate visual marketing.
But bringing you quick services that are available at all times for reasonable prices can go so far. It falls on you as the user to use an efficient service like virtual staging to its full potential. In the following, we’ll brush up on three crucial notions you need to observe when using real estate virtual staging for your properties.
Going Virtual: The Alternative to Home Staging
It was at the turn of the century – when photo editing and 3D imaging had just taken root – that virtual staging was born. The idea was simple: To shoot vacant properties and stage them in a digital space. What was in virtual staging for realtors? Well, it was way cheaper and quite fast, and it allowed potential customers to see the property in multiple designs at the same time.
Improvements in an instant: Time to trust AI
Just as more and more realtors were beginning to appreciate the value of home staging via digital and virtual means, artificial intelligence (AI) was injected into every business around the world. The outcome? Virtual staging that traditionally used to take up to 2 hours per room, was now done by AI in 30 seconds! Thrilling news for realtors, indeed! But there are things to consider here, too. Add AI to the mix, and the most considerable advantages of virtual staging for realtors will be:
- High level of variety
- Enhanced appeal
It may be discouraging for a lot of people to trust AI with their daily tasks, but the truth is AI has witnessed great developments in recent years, and it’s capable of delivering quality work.
If you are a realtor, you’re definitely aware of how virtual staging, or its energized AI version, works, but you still need to try it once or twice and assess its true value.
Look for the best tool
A cursory look on the internet will tell you that there are hundreds of companies that offer virtual staging services. So, you can’t just dive into the first one you come across.
With a thorough search, you’ll soon find a good platform that designs your rooms with amazing precision for a fair price. While there are considerable advantages in virtual staging for realtors, there are also important parameters they should observe to get the best results.
Be and stay honest
When listing the advantages of virtual staging, we mentioned “enhanced appeal” as one of the benefits. Those images on listing sites draw buyers’ attention and give them every reason to visit the property in person.
However, it’s best that you let potential buyers know the rooms are virtually staged. Regardless of using AI or not, customers need to know they’re looking at an image of a possibility and not the real thing. Otherwise, they can even sue you for misleading them or fraud.
If you’re open and honest with clients, when they visit the property, they know that they’re not gonna see the exact same design. Virtual staging is a legal practice allowed in all states as long as you, as the agent or seller, inform house hunters that the rooms are digitally decorated.
Home Staging: Merits and Drawbacks
In 1972, Barb Schwarz coined the term “home staging,” and that concept has been around, in one form or another, ever since. Like any other human invention, there are two sides to home staging, too. You need to swallow the good with the bad; the beautiful with the ugly.
So now that we’ve discussed the paths you should take for utilizing virtual staging as a realtor, let’s take a look at its merits and drawbacks.
Advantages of virtual staging for realtors
- Reveals the full potential: Empty rooms blur one’s imagination somehow while a well-staged home lets potential buyers appreciate the true potential of the property. This makes a world of difference in how many visitors a property has each day and, for that matter, how long it’s going to linger in the market.
- Sells faster: Perhaps it cannot be said about each and every staged house but in general, staged homes sell faster than the unstaged ones. Why is it so? Well, house hunters visualize themselves in the staged property and feel more connected to the property compared to when it is vacant. That’s why staged properties don’t linger much in the market.
- Justifies the price: Staged homes sell for a rather higher price than unstaged ones. Letting potential buyers get a better picture of the property is not the only reason that realtors prefer staged homes. That’s just what we see on the surface. To understand the other reason, an analogy might help here.
- Encourages the buyer: If you want to buy yourself a T-shirt, you would probably want to try it on in the fitting room first. When you do so, you know how much you’re willing to pay for it. That small room in the corner of the shop is the magic box that turns you from a bypasser into a buyer.
A staged room serves the same purpose as the fitting room. Only, it’s bigger! When buyers step into the property, they immediately decide whether they want it, and the price does not scare them off that easily.
Drawbacks of virtual staging for realtors
But as the metal band Poison said, “Every rose has its thorn.” Despite all its merits, home staging in the traditional form has been criticized on several grounds. Here are the main criticisms:
- It’s costly: One disadvantage of home staging concerns its high costs. Basically, realtors must rent the furniture from a staging company. They remain in the house as long as the property is waiting to be sold and this might last for months sometimes. When the house is finally sold, the price for renting the stuff is calculated which could range from $1,500 to $4,000!
This is a considerable amount that not many realtors are willing to pay. But, that’s not all. We haven’t yet talked about the risks involved.
- It’s risky: What would happen if some of the rented stuff is damaged? What if there is a robbery or housefire? Clearly, under such circumstances, the realtor is the one who must pay for the loss. So there is always a constant risk involved in traditional home staging. One that can turn a seemingly lucrative deal into a disastrous one.
- It’s restrictive: Another drawback of traditional home staging is the restriction it brings along. Each home can be staged in just one style and potential buyers can see it in that one style only. This means that some visitors may not like the property, merely because they don’t like the way it has been designed/decorated.
The drawbacks discussed above lead the stakeholders to seek other alternatives. Something that has the same merits, but is clear of all those issues. Virtual staging has dominated the field, and it has been on the rise for the past few years. Now that AI has joined the game, it will probably gain more popularity among realtors. The limited statistics on virtual staging tell us that it is the future of home staging, and we have every reason to believe so.