As marketing professionals in the building industry, we see the full gamut of photos from blurry and unprofessional, to professionally designed and staged. And we believe that every builder can benefit from incorporating virtual staging into their content strategy. Doing so can help attract both new and old buyers. All home buyers search online during the home-buying process, so having a professional online appearance is more important now than ever.
Today, buyers love and often expect, to see a furnished home in order to picture themselves living in the space. Professional photos are great, but if the rooms are all empty it’s hard to visualize how the space lives. Virtual staging has been a game changer in the real estate world, but many still do not see the full potential of its use. Here are the top reasons to consider virtual staging for your company!
#1 Virtual Staging Can Make New Homes Stand Out
Virtual staging can benefit builders who have one model home, no model home, or have ten or more. While virtual staging shouldn’t completely take the place of fully merchandising a model home, it can be a cost-effective way to supplement. Virtually staging at least one of each floor plan option can help to put your best foot forward. One of the most beneficial uses is for quick move-in homes (QMI Homes). Professional photography can be taken and virtually staged so that your home’s listing stands out both on your website and when it’s amongst hundreds of other homes on Realtor.com or Zillow. It’s a great way to show an unfurnished space in a way that potential buyers can see what the move-in ready home could look like, making it feel more like a home.
#2 Showcase the Full Potential of a Space
Inspire your home buyers to visualize where they would put their couch in the open living space, how much room they have in the kitchen for a dining nook, and where the perfect spot will be for their dog bed. A staged home, whether virtual or merchandised, helps buyers truly envision living in the home. It also gives you the flexibility to show multiple design options for one room. This can come in handy if you want to show a flex room as an optional bedroom, a home office, or a media room for example. Take it one step further and tailor your staging to various interior design styles to appeal to your market – offer a design with a modern farmhouse living room, a coastal design, or even both!
#3 Virtual Staging is a Fast & Affordable Option
Virtual staging is relatively inexpensive when compared to the price of physically staging or merchandising a home. Most start at around $20 per photo and even allow you to choose the design style of the room. This is a great and affordable option to stage any empty QMI homes you have without spending a lot of money.
Another major benefit is the short turnaround time. Most virtual staging can be done in as little as 24 to 48 hours, which means you can save time and money. It also gives you the option to refresh your design styles as needed like adjusting the colors to match an upcoming campaign. With virtual staging, you don’t have to worry about paying a merchandiser to switch things out when interior design trends change, it’s a simple revision within the image instead. The quicker the images are done, the sooner you can get new photos up on your website and MLS listings, and start selling homes!
#4 Perfecting Imperfections
We know there are always last-minute touch-ups that need to be done, blue tape on walls before photographers come, or sometimes appliances that still haven’t been installed. The great thing about virtual staging is that while furnishings are being added, items can also be edited or removed from your images. Blue tape on the walls, no problem, a dumpster in the window..gone! Weather not cooperating when the exterior is being shot? The sky or background can even be retouched. A stunning dusk shot with a sunset is even an option.
#5 You Could Be Losing Potential Homeowners
If you were looking to purchase a new home, wouldn’t you want to see its full potential? Far too often we see builders with outdated photos or completely empty rooms with no furniture. This is especially true when your homes are listed on syndicate sites up against other listings – both resale and new construction. Showcasing a beautifully furnished home helps create an emotional connection with the space you’re providing. So don’t lose out on potential customers and start making it possible for them to picture their day-to-day life in one of your homes.
In order to stay ahead of the competition, it’s imperative to showcase your beautiful home designs with professional images, whether they are virtually or physically staged. Overall it will help elevate your brand. Not only that, but it’s pretty fun to do! Some of our builders’ favorite platforms to use for virtual staging are Box Brownie and Oda Studio. What’s stopping you from increasing your marketing potential today?
Written by Alena Collins