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The Purpose of Virtual Staging (and Other Digital Marketing Tools) in Real Estate Success

May 27, 2022
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Read Time:
7
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The world is surrounded by visual content, and the real estate sector is no exception. No real estate company can find ultimate success without using some kind of visual marketing tool. As technology continues to grow and change, many of these tools are fully virtual, offering convenience for companies and consumers.

A recent social media report indicates that 75% of marketers are using visual content for marketing on social media channels – surpassing the use of blogs. Visual marketing is considered one of the premier forms of marketing content. When a post combines information from a blog with stunning virtual staging, it’s enough to grab consumer attention and make them want to learn more.

The good news is that virtual staging tools (and other digital marketing tools) are now affordable and full of imaginative features. Implementing virtual staging is an excellent way to compete with everyone else who wants a piece of the real estate pie. Virtual staging works because it attracts attention fast − marketing today has about three seconds to do that.

What Is Virtual Staging?

As someone in real estate, you likely have a vast knowledge of what staging is about. So, what makes virtual staging different? When you use virtual staging software, you can take a photo of a home and add décor and furniture. There’s no need to step into the physical home at all. A few clicks can increase the value and appeal of a property.

The leaders in virtual staging use gaming and 3D software technology advancements to ensure that staging looks just as magnificent as it would with physical décor and furniture. In the best-case scenario, you could look at a picture of two property’s living rooms and have no idea which one has real furniture, and which has been virtually staged.

While virtual staging is a wonderful opportunity, only a handful of staging services employ designers to manage the process. That’s why many real estate companies take it on themselves. It acts to share details about a home with a potential buyer. By adding in the right furniture and belongings, it reveals the potential of a space.

Despite feeling creative, it can be hard for many to look at a home and see all the potential it holds. When virtual staging is used, potential buyers can really see the size of a space, how it can be used, and what it would be like if they were to purchase it.

If virtual staging hasn’t come across your radar much, there’s a reason. It looks the same as physical staging. Most people have seen properties that were virtually staged but simply had no idea that was the case. It just goes to show how refined this technology can be, when in the right hands.

The Basics of Home Staging

When someone mentions home staging, it includes both traditional staging and virtual staging. Both types can be utilized to market a listing better, bring in additional buyers, and make the home seem more valuable than it would if it were empty and barren.

Going deeper, with virtual staging, the process means optimizing and editing listing photos for real estate. A company that does this kind of work might stage an empty home, but it could also include:

  •  Removing current items to add new décor and furniture
  •  Enhancing the orientation and lighting of photos
  •  Changing cabinet, trim, and wall color
  •  Applying effects to photos of the home’s exterior
  •  Changing flooring
  •  Modifying landscaping
  •  Adapting ceilings
  •  Modifying door, trim, and exterior wall colors

Now that you have some information on what virtual staging is all about, we want to share more information about it. We’ll share why virtual staging is so popular and what you can expect when using it.

Why Visual Marketing Is Essential in Real Estate Marketing

Virtual tools are changing the face of real estate marketing in much the same way that online and social media have already done. Today’s real estate audience is much different than what was once the norm. Clients and customers no longer want to read long letters and brochures. They want to be captivated, and virtual staging is one way to make that a reality.

Most of the real estate marketing world is focused on photos and images. Keep in mind that content with photos is shared more on social media, with pictures gaining twice the number of likes compared to text-only content. Video goes beyond that with a 12 times reach compared to links and text distributed by businesses on social media.

On top of that, search engines now pull from social media in their ranking algorithms. Sites that have the biggest pull include giants like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. When you share visual content, you pull in better engagement, which can help you with search engine rankings.

The Top Benefits of Using Virtual Staging

Any type of home staging can help a home sell for a higher price and more quickly than others. Buyers who see visual content can imagine themselves in the property, something the National Association of Realtors has agreed with. This also applies to tenants who are looking for condos and apartments. Virtual staging can help fill vacancies or even allow you to ask for more in rent.

Some investors in real estate who work with huge apartments can keep a staged unit that each potential renter can see for themselves. However, that isn’t a possibility for everyone. What can be used by any real estate investor is the thrill and engagement of virtual staging.

As we mentioned, virtual staging lets you enhance photos of a property with décor and furniture. Whether you choose to hire a professional or use an app, there are options. If you use traditional staging, this next section will go into the details about why virtual staging might be the better option to create online listings that get clicks.

Ability to Save Money and Time

When you choose to hire a traditional home stager, the cost can be anywhere from about $1000 to $3000 for the services. However, the cost depends on how large the property is, how much furniture is used, and the amount of décor added. While this can be done on your own, it takes a huge amount of time to arrange spaces. Plus, all the furniture inside needs to be moved out before you start.

Rather than hauling around furniture and moving it between rooms, virtual staging lets you rest your muscles. All you have to do is take a high-quality photo of a property. Then you can use a staging software or app – of which many are available for various platforms – to easily add décor and furniture into the space.

You can DIY the photos on your own or hire someone who is experienced in real estate photography to handle the process. Either way, it saves both money and time. However, prices can vary, so consider how large the space is that you intend to stage and then investigate the services that fit your needs.

Easier to Attract Buyers

When you choose to stage a house with physical furniture and décor, you also need to make some challenging decisions. Since it takes a great deal of time and money to purchase and place the items, you can only stage it to offer one aesthetic and layout. While that might not seem like a huge issue, it can mean that some buyers won’t like the appearance and may decide to move on to another property.

Think about it this way, you choose to stage a home as a minimalistic and modern space with all the furniture young professionals need. Then a family with several children comes along. You’d either have to fully re-do the traditional staging to appeal to this buyer or lose out on a prospective customer. 

But, if you choose to go with virtual staging, this problem is only a minor one. You can easily use the photo you had originally and include décor and furniture that are more appealing for each family lifestyle. If you want to go above and beyond, you can even post several photos of each room to a listing. This ensures buyers know all the potential uses for the rooms.

Tidy Spaces are Easy to Showcase

Sometimes, showing a home can be stressful if someone is still living in it. The same applies if not everything has been set up to appear perfect for the potential buyers. This is one of the most common issues that occur with real estate owners who wish to sell a home that someone is currently living in. 

When you get access to the space to show it, you might be displaying a messy or cluttered home, which is not likely to create a good impression on the buyer. With traditional staging, you must wait until the occupants move out to transform the space. Otherwise, there’s bound to be some disarray as people still live there.

Virtual staging makes this a problem of the past. You can create staged photos that show off the home or business in the best possible light. Even if the home is filled with items, they can be removed from photos so you can add in high-quality décor and furniture that buyers will fall in love with. After you have the cleaned-up photo, it can be used for listing photos as many times as needed.

Other Ways to Boost Your Real Estate Marketing Through Virtual Tools

Now that you have a good idea of why virtual staging is so useful, you might be wondering if other tools are good investments. We’ve found several that can be useful for anyone who is selling properties as a real estate owner. When used in tandem with virtual staging, it can amplify your chances of success when a home goes on the market.

3D Architectural Visualization

Sometimes, you may not have great photos of your home. Or maybe it’s filled with furniture. This software can be used even if your property is still being constructed or you want to consider the reconstruction options available with a property that is already standing. 

What makes 3D Architectural Visualization so outstanding is that you don’t need anything more than a floor plan. Potential buyers will be impressed by the excellent interior renderings that can be created. It displays what a property could be once it’s finished, emptied, or renovated, without waiting for all that work to be done. 3D exterior renderings are also available to help with your home and business sales.

Virtual 3D 360 Degree Tours

One of the most impressive technologies for real estate marketing in the modern world is augmented reality (AR). Rather than only showing off photos, even if they’re beautifully staged, you can do even better with amazing tours. These are high-resolution panoramas that let buyers see every nook and cranny of a room. Plus, they can be viewed on computers, smartphones, and tablets.

A 360-degree tour gives a buyer a better idea of the layout, space, and feel of any building. It’s another way to guarantee your property stands out from others like it on the market. Having a 3D walkthrough tour of the interior lets people get a feel for what it might be like to live in a home without having to travel to it and step inside.

Flythrough Videos and Professional Photography

Cinematic videos are an absolute must for anyone who deals in real estate. It’s sure to have a huge effect on the buyers who might be considering a property. Slideshows and flythrough videos are an unprecedented way to visually present your space. You have the opportunity to show all the best property features and give potential buyers an idea of the benefits of choosing your property.

In tandem with the videos, professional photography from real estate experts can also make you stand out. These experts know how to present your home and make it appealing. It’s a great way to get people interested in what you have to offer. 

Final Thoughts

Virtual staging is a low-cost, convenient, and simple option for marketing real estate. Choosing a company that does the work for you enables a quick turnaround time so you can get listings up with ease. Plus, you have millions of design options that you can use to ensure buyers appreciate all the best features of your home.