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Here are 10 things that will change the face of real estate marketing:
1. Do-it-yourself virtual staging technology will become widespread as more 3D furniture becomes available.
Until recently 3D furniture has been low quality even though platforms to move it around within a picture have been available for several years. As a result virtual staging has been expensive and only offered by full-serve staging companies. Virtual Staging full service and DIY providers will grow as interest in higher quality listing pictures increases.
- Furniture companies will start making virtual models of their collections.
A few furniture companies have licensed full-serve virtual staging companies to make 3D pictures to use in their staging projects. Furniture companies will see the benefit to hire photographers to make 3D collections for main-stream distribution including their own websites.
- Property management companies such as apartments will use virtual staging for their online presence.
Until now apartment ads online have been just really bad! That comes from dark, out of focus cell phone pics of a room. Most do not have staged models. Even non-wide angle shots can be brightened, straightened and virtually staged for a professional look.
- Real estate companies will bring on self-staging models for their agents.
Information is power and agents now realize that first impressions last. This applies to the MLS pictures that buyers are scanning on real estate search engines. In general, vacant homes don’t cut it online and many sellers can’t afford home staging. Enter DIY virtual staging for vacant listings at a price that brokers can afford to do themselves.
- Builders will start offering virtual staging for their spec home online presence.
Many builders list their new homes on the MLS. They have the same competition as pre-sold homes that have furniture in them. The larger builders create an online professionally-staged demo on their national site. At the local level and for spec homes however many are unstaged. Virtual staging will now allow builders to increase awareness at the local level.
- Home Stagers will offer a choice between traditional home staging or virtual staging.
When do-it-yourself plumbing supplies first came on the market at Home Depot plumbers must have thought the store was moving in on their business. Plumbers now buy their supplies from home improvement stores as well as DIY home owners. The few home stagers that feel intimidated by virtual staging companies will hopefully stop their online rage of a new industry that is here to stay.
- Real estate photographers will offer virtual staging as an add-on service.
Many real estate photographers suffer from underpriced, inexperienced competition as realtors® are looking for budget listing options. Photographers have the computer skills necessary and copyright ownership of their pictures to virtually stage vacant shoots for clients. Many have already established accounts with DIY virtual staging companies or access them through their virtual tour memberships.
- Virtual tour companies will make DIY software available on their sites for customers.
Tour companies aggressively add features for agents and photographers that use them. Several of them already have post production tools within their platforms to straighten and lighten photos. It makes sense to add staging right where users are uploading the pictures.
- Interactive virtual tours will come onto the market in the MLS.
What’s even better than virtual tours with music and motion on the real estate search engines? Tours where visitors can move furniture around a room directly within the tour. It’s already here with VisualStager’s SocialStaging™.
- Online real estate search engines and apartment guides will start offering staging options for visitors.
Getting people to play around with furniture within a tour will revolutionize how people shop for homes and apartments. Giving people this ability on search sites will keep viewers longer on their sites leading to more showings. People that create images and tours will benefit when end-users of these sites can have more online interaction with the properties.
There are currently 2 or 3 do-it-yourself virtual staging platforms on the internet. Only VisualStager carefully filters what can be staged keeping realtors® within guidelines. Staging for the MLS should not include flooring, wall colors, landscaping or changes that do not convey with the home. Look for a followup blog on what should and should not be staged on the MLS.
Author and owner of Staging Pads and national distribution and trainer for VisualStager