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I had a phone call Saturday morning while I was out enjoying the yard while feeling guilty for not being out working photographing a home.
The caller was a home owner who had just listed her expansive home in Colorado which was completely vacant. She saw on my photography site that I also offer virtual staging. Like many home sellers, she was there on the weekend doing her agent’s job trying to figure out a way to improve the online marketing to get more showings. Not able to afford the several thousand dollars for traditional staging she wanted to know if I could help her virtually stage her rooms.
So I told her that not only could we do that but if she ordered five staged rooms our September online special would include a tour format to syndicate to the MLS and real estate sites. She could have it to list by Monday for about 1/10th the cost of traditional home staging! Since her agent had used a professional photographer I explained it was just a few quick steps to have the agent ask the photographer for approval to send us 5-6 images for staging and a tour. Two hours later I continued my yard work feeling guilt free – without putting 1 mile on my car!
For photographers it’s really a matter of creating additional income streams from your base of services and marketing them to the right audience. Virtual Staging is about to explode because sellers know that great photos are the primary vehicle to showings. In many cases pictures of vacant homes look better staged. As a realtor and real estate photographer I can say first hand that when sellers move they generally take what little is left of their money with them. Asking a seller to stage a house after they move is not generally successful, this also applies to virtual staging. But when they are staring at a $3,000 staging job that is the time to give them the options and show them examples.
There are 1,000’s of photographers shooting vacant homes that would benefit from affordable virtual home staging. Agents deserve a choice that will allow them to do what’s best for their clients. Sellers need a full range of options so they can make the best decision for their staging.