The AI virtual staging companies you need to know

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The AI virtual staging companies you need to know

March 25, 2024
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Successful real estate agents know that virtual staging can make the difference between “sold” and “old.” Platforms that can transform a photograph of an empty room or even a messy room into a delightfully furnished and well-decorated space represent a huge amount of value. Case in point: data from the National Association of Realtors found that 81% of buyer’s agents say staging makes it easier to visualize a property as a future home.

Not all staging services are made equal, though. There are a million options out there, and now, AI solutions are redefining how quick and cost-effective staging can actually be. In this article, we’ll take a look at traditional versus virtual versus AI staging, identify the ideal use case for each one, and explore some of the best AI staging solutions on the market today.

Physical, virtual, or AI?


Traditional physical staging is the old-school max-effort approach. A real estate agent will hire an independent company to come in and place physical furniture and decor throughout the home.

Pro: Highest-possible image quality due to real furniture

Pro: Gives the staged experience for open houses and tours as well as online

Pro: Ability to rely on a real interior designer’s expertise

Con: By far the most costly option

Con: Takes time and scheduling hurdles

Con: No way to directly alter a staging after completion


Virtual staging typically involves taking photos of an empty room and sending them to an outsourced graphic design company, which can digitally erase clutter and add in furniture and decor pieces. Virtual staging still requires a turnaround time, but this is usually hours or days, not weeks of planning ahead of time.

Pro: Relatively quick turnarounds - hours to days

Pro: Numerous customization options

Pro: Cheaper than physical staging

Con: Can appear less realistic than physical furniture

Con: Images are not substantially better looking than AI

Con: Typically still involves a lead period


AI staging is similar to virtual staging, but instead of relying on a real person to manually perform image editing, the lynchpin is an AI program that can execute these duties with a minimum of human intervention. AI staging typically takes seconds to minutes to complete.

Pro: The cheapest option

Pro: The quickest option

Pro: Details and styles can be rapidly tested and iterated on

Con: Can appear less realistic than physical furniture

Con: Automated design touches less appropriate for high-end listings

Con: Minimum human contact; less applicability for super unique situations

Which is right for you?

Now that we’ve covered the differences between the three staging types, which option is really best?

Physical staging’s value proposition

Comparing the three categories, there are two core use cases for physical staging:

1. High-end listings where every detail is of critical importance

2. Situations where staging for open houses and tours is needed

Staging a home with real furniture typically costs in the high hundreds to low thousands of dollars. Consequently, the juice may not be worth the squeeze for homes at a lower price point.

Virtual staging versus AI staging

At the time of writing in 2024, virtual staging is in a tenuous spot. It produces imagery that is not substantially higher in quality than AI staging, and costs more time and money as well.

In a way, virtual staging is in a similar position to massive stock photo sites, now that generative AI tools have made custom visual creation so easy. They still have value when exact, specific outcomes are needed, but if the goal is to take an empty (or a cluttered, occupied) property from “boring and outdated” to “attractive and livable,” the cheaper cost, quicker turnaround, and parable quality of AI staging is probably the way to go.

AI staging platforms to know

What are the leading AI staging platforms out there today? Most offer free trials, so in this section we’re looking at particular strong points and the cheapest paid options each offers. We also trialled each of our recommendations and are including those images as well.

Virtual Staging AI

One of the original companies in the niche (and a PropTech Consulting partner), Virtual Staging AI focuses on offering a streamlined and easy option for real estate agents who may need numerous properties staged every year. Virtual Staging AI’s cheapest plan is $16/month for six images. If you’re interested in trying the platform, use our discount code PROPTECH for a free month of access.

AI Home Design

With an emphasis on a variety of design options and styles, the cheapest option offered by AI Home Design is the $10/month Lite option, good for up to four virtual staging generations.

Apply Design

With a wide range of furniture options available, Apply Design’s cheapest option comes out to $15 for a single staged image. During our image generation, we noted that this option took much longer to generate a staged image than our other two recommendations, but we like how specific users can get with their furniture preferences.


This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to understanding the scope of the PropTech options for today’s real estate teams. If you’re looking for additional specific advice on how to integrate a cutting-edge tech stack into your real estate business, get in touch with our team.