As a real estate agent, you have to use every tool available to be as efficient as possible. Selling homes is not a walk in the park and if you are successful one month it doesn’t mean that things will continue to run smoothly for you. Being a tech-savvy person can be an advantage in this day and age – you can beat the old-school competition with the help of virtual staging!
First, we are going to explain what virtual staging is. We will also tackle some other things that will help you to become a successful real estate agent and enhance the usage of such technology. Second, we will briefly define where virtual staging is often applied and how it works. Third, we will display some of the benefits of using this advanced technology for both agents and buyers.
Use the scroll on the image below to see an example of Virtual Staging. Which picture do you think will get more buyers in the door?
While there are a large number of companies that provide virtual staging services to real estate agents, we’ve picked only one – Virtual Staging Solutions. You will get an in-depth analysis of why this particular company could be the best in the business and why you should consider it.
It is an ever-changing world and a dynamic industry. Real estate agents should make constant adjustments in order to survive, let alone strive. This will be our last point of the article as we are going to connect all the dots together and create a full picture – a virtual staged one!
Now that we’ve got your attention, let’s start.
- Ins and Outs of Virtual Staging
Virtual Staging has emerged as one of the advanced techniques for home staging. In other words, you can equip the interior of the house with the help of the graphic editor – without actually moving the furniture and looking for the furniture.
This technique is used all over the world in different industries with real estate being one. By using virtual staging you can create a high-quality image of an empty home or a room and show it to your client. Other than real estate brokers, photographers and interior designers use this approach in their work.
A lot of real estate agents cooperate with virtual staging agencies when they are selling homes. If you ever thought about entering this field of work, we must point out that everyone can become a home stager. Unlike the real estate agents who need to go to school and pursue a license to sell homes, staging doesn’t require any official certification. However, not everyone can be a reliable and high-quality home stager.
The History of Virtual Staging
Before we started using the word “virtual”, there were just stagers. It is hard to pinpoint when exactly staging homes for sale started, but many agree that Barb Schwarz, a Seattle real estate agent came up with the idea around 1972. She decided to use the word “stage” as she was working in the theatre as an actress. Transferred to real estate, “to stage” means to prepare a home (usually empty) for a sale.
In recent years, the technology has developed and as we are approaching the end of 2020 we now have virtual staging, which is becoming more and more prominent with an increasing number of brokers using these types of services.
Up Your Tech Game
For real estate agents, utilizing technology appears to be a rational step forward in their careers. However, having this tech at your disposal won’t really help you become a better seller. These technologies are undoubtedly an advantage, but you should still look for some other ways to improve your career.
For instance, you can acquire several designations and certifications related to technology. By choosing such online courses, you will get the necessary knowledge on how social media, digital marketing, virtual staging, and other tools could work to your advantage. It will definitely come in handy as you grow in some other areas as well.
Virtual Staging Basics – Check
Now you know what virtual staging is, in case you were not familiar with it in the first place. This leads us to our second point of the article.
- The Application of Virtual Staging
Most commonly, real estate agents use virtual staging services when they are selling vacant homes or they have an empty room which they would like to equip before they show them to the people who are interested.
It is more difficult to sell an empty home than an occupied estate for multiple reasons which we are not going to discuss now. Also, brokers often take a different approach when they want to sell a vacant house and it has been proven that they stay on the market longer.
In a nutshell, virtual staging is used for empty rooms, apartments, and vacant homes. There’s no reason to use such technology in a set place because the clients can see how it looks like, even if they decide to change up the furniture after they move in.
- How it Works
As a real estate agent, what are you supposed to do to get access to such services?
First things first, you need to find a company that will get the job done. As we’ve already mentioned, we are going to offer one company later on in this article. For now, let’s just see how such companies function.
At this point, you’ve already contacted the company and you decided to opt for this team in particular. You’ll need professional photos of the vacant rooms that they will use to add furniture and decorate the rooms.
There are two pathways you can take:
- Hire a Photographer
Hire a Photographer
A large number of real estate agents choose to hire a photographer. You will explain to a photographer what the images are for and you can rest assured that they will get the job done. You don’t have to stress out whether the images are of a high-quality or too wide. Find the right photographer and they will be just perfect.
In case you don’t want to spend money and hire a professional, you can always take the photos by yourself but we wouldn’t ever recommend that. If you feel confident with cameras and technology in general you can give it a try.
However, when you are at it, make sure that you use a high-quality camera. Often, phone cameras might not cut it, so you could borrow it from a friend. Furthermore, the rooms should be cleaned and bright without anything standing in the way.
Furthermore, avoid the fishbowl effect, which is achieved when the camera lens is too wide. Make sure the camera is set up properly before you start capturing. Last but not least, pay attention to light and find the best spot where you can stand.
If you are uncertain how to take the photos by yourself, the virtual staging company can give you tips and tricks free of charge. At the end of the day, you can find someone to come with you and help you get the job done!
Choosing a Furniture Set
Usually, virtual staging companies have their own furniture sets you can choose from. You will not have to select each piece and instead of that, you should only opt for one set. Which set you pick depends on what your clients want – if they, for instance, prefer a contemporary look, there’s probably one offered as an option by a virtual staging company.
You don’t need to worry too much about it. But, we want you to know that these companies got you covered.
If the clients have something specific in mind, you can add some set pieces which aren’t in stock. This complicates the process a bit, but it is possible to do it. However, potential buyers usually aren’t that picky. Selecting furniture closely to their taste in these photos should do it.
If they become an annoyance and start demanding a plethora of specific pieces, you can simply remind them that you aren’t an interior designer and that you aren’t currently designing their home. It is only to show them what their future home might look like!
Choosing furniture with a virtual staging company can be a separate topic, but we will stop here, as you get the idea of how it works.
Always Go For Quality
Keep in mind that virtual staging isn’t something that can be done via Photoshop by someone who has a basic knowledge of editing. You don’t want your photos to be the work of an amateur because they will do more harm than good.
The clients will notice poorly executed photographs and that will shift their attention from buying a home to asking you about photos and furniture…They might perceive you as unprofessional, which is the worst-case scenario.
TIP: If you want to do virtual staging – do it right! Otherwise, don’t do it at all.
In a nutshell, this is how virtual staging works and how a majority of companies approach it. You are here to learn how to use these technologies in real estate sales, and here we are…yacking solely about virtual staging without showing you the benefits, without giving you a solid company recommendation.
Without further ado:
- Benefits of Using Virtual Staging in Real Estate
While traditional home staging is still widely used by real estate agents across the country, its virtual counterpart is a much more affordable option and now, you will see why.
Powerful Digital Tool
What do you do when you start searching for something? We are confident that you “Google it”. In fact, over 90% of people start their search online when they decide to buy a home. If the Internet is the first thing they reach for, it means that technology plays a big role in selling homes.
While this article is comprehensive and full of useful information, it is high-quality images that the buyers first spot! Not many people read lengthy articles nowadays…. Therefore, having a listing which is visually compelling is a must for every real estate agent.
Virtual Staging helps the sellers stand out from the others. You can use those high-quality photos to show the buyers empty rooms and how they look like with furniture inside. By seeing it this way, with one mouse slide, buyers can visualize their new home more easily, eventually leading to contacting you and not someone else.
Plenty of Options for Both Parties
A large majority of virtual staging companies offer a lot of furnishing options for real estate agents and buyers to choose from. One vacant home can be furnished in various styles, depending on the buyer’s preferences. Therefore, you can present one home in different lights and that will attract people with different tastes.
Convenient to Use
It goes without saying that the sellers or agents can make necessary modifications from the comfort of their homes. If the people still live in a home they want to sell, you can still do a virtual staging and remove the items which remained there.
Of course, you as an agent need to set this up without disturbing the piece of the homeowners. With things being a few clicks away, virtual staging offers a clear advantage here. Tradition staging in this scenario would be impossible.
It is a Way Cheaper Option
Real estate agents have already seen the benefits of hiring these companies to help them sell homes. One of the main reasons why this is becoming more popular, besides the obvious advantages, is the low price.
On the same token, the return on investment can be significant for some agents, that they are willing to pay as much as necessary to get good imagery. This is especially true for larger homes, where you know you can get a good price. It doesn’t really pay off to do so if the house’s value is low.
Buyers Feel At Home
By seeing decorated rooms instead of empty ones, buyers will be able to imagine themselves in their new home. They will be more inclined to make the purchase. Also, they can clearly see how much room they have inside with all the furniture in place.
This is one of the most important benefits virtual staging brings to the table and it is a win-win situation for the agents and buyers.
Great First Impression and Memorable Home
Last but not least, real estate agents who use virtual staging often leave a great first impression on the clients. Buyers can immediately tell that they are working with professionals and someone willing to step up and do everything they can to present them potential houses in the best way possible.
Not only will the buyers feel at home but they will memorize it. As they scroll through different houses and photos, yours will definitely stick in their mind. After a while, they might return to it and initiate contact.
By now, you know everything there’s to know about virtual staging for real estate agents. You got the idea of what it is, how these companies operate, and what the benefits are as well as where virtual staging is most commonly applied.
And now, as promised, we want to present to you a company that is one of the leaders in virtual staging and which can provide useful services for any real estate agent who is selling a vacant home.
- The Best Virtual Staging Option – We Chose Virtual Staging Solutions
We already said it, over 90% of the searches start online – and Virtual Staging Solutions knows this. Therefore, they branded themselves a company accessible to people from 120 countries worldwide. They can be easily contacted on their official website and they will get down to business immediately.
We will review the company below and show you why they are the best option when it comes to virtual staging for real estate agents. The categories we are going to address include:
- Virtual Staging Furniture
- Customer Support
In order for a company to stand out, they need to offer a variety of services that will get the real estate agents what they need. Virtual Staging Solutions are straight on point. Not only do they have the much-needed services, but they also placed them transparently on their website. Here’s what they offer:
- Virtual Staging
This is expected since we are talking about a company that specializes in virtual staging. We’ve already described how the virtual staging process works and Virtual Staging Solutions aren’t an exception. After you send them your photographs, you will have to choose a certain style. This is all that it takes from your end…
Wait for a day or two and you will get high-quality photos that you can use to sell your home. In case something isn’t according to your taste, you can always ask them to change things up and they will do so free of charge. Having this option is beneficial for both the real estate agent and the company because sometimes, miscommunication takes place.
The homes you sell might contain outdated furniture, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and any other room you can think of. While a certain style can be appealing, nobody is a fan of old-fashioned chairs, tables, and beds.
Such a home will not be the most attractive for buyers to see. Therefore, you need to kick it up a notch. Following trends is crucial for staying at the top of the game, but you cannot take all the furniture outside the house. Virtual Staging Solutions can help you give a modern touch to outdated homes.
A refresh might be everything you need to make a sale. Their professionals proved to be great with removing items from the past and changing the elements which take away from the beauty of a home. Agents rated this service with the top grade and they use it often – it can be a game-changer.
Vacant homes aren’t only those that are older and which owners left a few years ago. These could be new homes and apartments, which are still under construction, or fully constructed but without furniture.
What better way to show your potential buyers their new location than to fill up the empty rooms and show them the potential of the new home. Decorating could be one of the couple goals and it is exciting to work on such a massive project with the person you love. What you give them is a sneak peek of a job well done. They can envision their future in a new home and all of that wouldn’t be possible without Virtual Staging Solutions.
Last but not least, the company offers printing services as well. Most of the photos remain online and are distributed on the Internet, but sometimes, real estate agents demand hard copies. You have the option to select the size of the images and whether or not you want the company to provide extra support with the matboard.
Once you order the prints, they will arrive in 1-2 days via UPS/FedEx Priority. The shipping is free, which is a relief, not having to pay for that as well. Pricing depends on the size of the photo, but we will discuss each pricing option in a second. The quality of the print is undeniable and you can use these images on multiple occasions.
When it comes to the services regarding virtual staging, we listed everything this company offers. You must ask yourself: “How much will this cost?”
Virtual Staging Solutions offer competitive prices and a large number of options for real estate agents. For some services, you can choose either a Basic or a Pro package. What’s included in each depends on the service, but the prices are different and that is important to know. A single set of four photos starts at $75 per photo and goes down from there depending on quantity ordered.
So for example, the usual virtual staging photos start at $300 for four images. You can go up to seven photos in total with the cost rising to $375, $450, and $525 respectively.
These are the prices for the basic deal that includes 2 revisions and up to 48. What you also get is a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the job and realistic images. Lastly, the package includes removing the existing furniture from the photos (if necessary) and research when adding new furniture.
The Pro package includes much more – they can paint the wall for you in a different color, change the floors, and different lights. All of this is included in addition to the basic package. Let’s not forget that you get VIP support and a chance to customize furniture.
The prices for the Pro package range from $396 for the lowest tier that includes four photos to $693 for seven images. For five and six photos, you’d have to pay $495 and $594 respectively.
In this segment, there aren’t different packages to select and this is pretty straightforward. You can tell them how many photos they should remodel and they will charge you $159 per photo.
The same deal goes for envisioning, but here, the price is slightly steeper – $499 per photo. The higher price is understandable because there’s more work to be done and it isn’t as simple as virtual staging.
Last but not least, if you need prints, three pricing options are available:
- Small (8×12”) – $15
- Medium (16×24”) – $40
- Large (20×30”) – $55
Let us remind you that the buyers have an option of a matboard. The matboard is charged an extra $5 for the small print, an extra $8 for the medium one, and an extra $10 for the biggest. According to the company, people usually go with a large print.
Virtual Staging Furniture
When we wrote about how virtual staging works, do you remember that we mentioned that a large majority of companies had their own furniture sets and that you should select the one you liked?
The same goes for Virtual Staging Solutions. As a separate section on their website, they included different designs and you can preview these before you even contact the company. It is amazing that you can see how the images look like – yes, they are high-quality pictures.
They make the selection easy for you. The company included all rooms at first but you can always pick a category you need and find a theme quickly. What should you know about Virtual Staging Solutions when we talk about this segment?
You can choose pieces from different photos and mix them however you like. Of course, not all sets appeal to everyone and that is why this option exists. The freedom of choice really makes it possible to create unique photos that will help you sell the place quickly.
Not only can you mix and match different pieces, but you can also switch the coloring. This is yet another advantage to why you should choose Virtual Staging Solutions.
The greatest thing about this list is that it gets updated regularly, so it is basically never the same list. The company follows trends, so if you’ve cooperated with them in 2019, for instance, you probably won’t find the same sets today.
Even though the company doesn’t offer customer support around the clock they will be here for your questions and concerns. You can contact them in various ways. They recommend that you send an email that you can find in Help.
In case you aren’t too keen on writing emails and going back and for with a company representative you can give them a call and ask your question. Make sure you check the FAQ first because there is some useful information and your question could have already been answered. The working hours of the company are 9 am – 5 pm EST, Monday to Friday, so it is best to contact them at that time.
We’ve listed all the details regarding Virtual Staging Solutions and now it is your turn to take action. But not before we add a few more lines.
Yes, Virtual Staging Solutions offer a wide range of services, competitive prices, a plethora of adjustable furnishing options, and the opportunity for everyone to earn some cash on the side. In addition, they are active on social media and they keep in touch with their followers and clients, constantly updating them about what’s going on.
With the pandemic going on, it is great to have a company by your side. You can find them on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Whatever works for you!
As promised at the beginning of the article, we gave you an in-depth analysis of one of the best companies in the virtual staging business. Hopefully, you can see the benefits as well, but if you have any questions whatsoever, make sure to contact them. They will be glad to hear from you.
- Real Estate Agents Should Constantly Adjust in an Ever-Changing World
A majority of the things we talked about – the benefits of virtual staging, the history of it, the company review, and how all of this can help real estate agents are all true in theory and practice. However, in practice, there are many more factors affecting you and how you handle your work.
For instance, you get your images from Virtual Staging Solutions and they are looking amazing. You are ready to sell that vacant home and move on to the next property. However, you haven’t sold vacant homes before and this is your first one. Yes, you know about tech, but how do you approach a sale?
The answer to this question lies in education. You always need to improve on every aspect imaginable on a personal and professional level. Even if you know how to put the technology to great use, your communication skills might let you down. Therefore, adjustments need to be made continuously.
The Ever-Changing World
Experienced real estate brokers know that the industry is demanding. They’ve probably modified the way they sell homes multiple times buy now. For instance, just a few things back, smart homes didn’t exist. All of a sudden, you now have to sell a smart home to someone who might not even know what is buying.
The technology in 2010 has not been the same as the tech we use in 2020. In the next ten years, the tech will become more advanced, making you do all the shifts again. Not only does this affect the way real estate agents approach sales, but it also changes the way they build their business and how they manage their time.
At this point, virtual staging is growing in popularity and it will be used in many years to come by real estate agents all across the world. But, who can guarantee that a new line of technology won’t appear and revolutionize the industry? A couple of decades before “virtual staging” never existed. And we progress faster every day…
Our advice is to utilize the technology you have available at the moment, but keep your eyes open for what’s to come. It is the only way to see a change coming and adjust on time.
The entire article is about virtual staging in real estate. When we talk about changes, we refer to technology. Just as a reminder to everyone, tech is not the only shifting factor – the laws and regulations are modified, new laws are enforced, trends are different each year. But we don’t want to go astray here. It is just food for thought.
Modern technology penetrated the real estate market, just like every other existing market worldwide. For some, this can be devastating, but others can benefit. And we want to see you succeed.
That is why in this article, we talked about how staging and virtual staging entered the real estate industry. We also noted that this technology is used in selling vacant homes and filling out the empty rooms.
By displaying how virtual staging works, the benefits of it, and telling you what else you can do to upgrade your career, we wanted to motivate you to make virtual staging work to your advantage. Once you know something, it is much easier to accept it and make it your own.
Most importantly, we’ve connected you with one of the most reliable companies in the industry – Virtual Staging Solutions. If you’ve been in the dark, you know everything necessary to get started at this point. And you can save all that time you would spend on finding the company in the first place.
This technology is extraordinary and real estate agents all over the world use it. The benefits are clear as a day and the expenses aren’t high. However, we cannot see the world through rose-colored glasses.
After all, it is the world pandemic, and the real estate market has been affected. That is why in the end, we wanted to remind you that the industry is demanding and requires constant improvement. There will be some ups and downs, but you should keep pushing.
We want to end things on a positive note. As long as there are real estate agents who fight to become better and provide the best service to their clients and companies such as Virtual Staging Solutions that work meticulously to fulfill the needs of brokers, everything will work out for the best.
That is a virtually staged photo of the world we want to see! Visit: Virtual Staging Solutions
About The Author: This article was researched and published by Tim Schroeder. As a husband and wife real estate team residing in Florida, Tim Schroeder brings deep expertise with over 8 years of experience as a licensed real estate agent.
Deb and Tim Schroeder have earned numerous real estate industry awards and recognitions. They have been recognized by Orlando Magazine as a “Top 100 Real Estate Professional” as well as earned Top Producer Designations with the Orlando Realtor Association for 6 years straight.