Why Virtual Tours and Staging Are So Vital

The real estate industry has taken a giant leap into the future during COVID-19. Here are seven reasons to invest in tools to increase traffic to your site and help you become a market leader. Virtual tours and virtual staging should be at the top of your list for tech tools to incorporate into your business.

Offering virtual tours and staging should be part of your strategy for selling a home during COVID-19.

Hardware for Real Estate

Using a professional videographer that specializes in architecture is not economically feasible for every property. Finding companies that offer video equipment to rent may cause too much work, take a lot of time, and cost money. If real estate is your business, the best ROI is an investment in video equipment or a quality camera. The prices vary, from a few hundred dollars to many thousands.

If you are serious about producing high-quality imagery, do the research, and get the best equipment you can afford. Investigate wide-angle lenses for interior shots. Current smart devices like phones and tablets are capable tools for capturing quality imagery.

Consider investing in a tripod for your smart device and visit tutorials online to discover how to film interiors of homes. Professional photographer Adam Mullins offers some key tips for interior photography on YouTube.

Virtual Staging and ToursSoftware for Real Estate

It is often difficult for people to imagine how a room will look with furnishings installed. Virtual staging is a way to alleviate the fear associated with blank spaces that potential clients have.

Much like in real estate, you often need to hire a real estate attorney; you can hire a professional virtual stager or invest in the current software and do it yourself. Professional virtual staging companies use photos you submit to them, and they can change almost anything in the virtual space from flooring and cabinetry to simply adding stylish furnishings. You choose the options, and generally, the images are ready for your approval in a couple of business days.

Fees range in price dependent upon the amount of work you request. Generally, prices begin at $30-35 per image. BoxBrownie will do day-to-dusk retouching, floor plan redraws, and offers 360-degree services. VRX Staging provides one free revision and only charges $5.00 per revision after that. They will also take the photos for you if the property is in the contiguous U.S.

For a more hands-on experience exploring apps that give you the power to stage rooms, Rooomy is an app available with different tiers of service along with the added capability of making rooms shoppable. iStaging is an app that is compatible with some smartphones and virtual reality cameras so you can create 360-degree virtual tours and then virtually stage the rooms yourself.

A popular technique for real estate sites is to create two images for each room, one that is empty and one that is staged.

Edit

The number of apartments and homes that have been rented for the first time sight unseen has seen an uptick due to COVID-19. Many people have postponed moves, but there are sectors of our society who must relocate for work or postgraduate studies regardless of the coronavirus. Virtual tours or walk-throughs are vital to this population.

Start the preparations to video or photograph a property with a list of what is pertinent in each room, what the natural movement through the property is, and what the highlights are. Mount equipment on a tripod to prevent shaking videos, which are visually disturbing to watch.

Before uploading any content to your website, view and edit the material, potential clients will quickly delete wiggly videos and photographs that are poorly configured. If you forgot to close toilets, if there are dishes in the sink or clutter lying around, go back and re-shoot. Remember, you only get to make a first impression once.

Virtual is Easier

When asked if they love to move furniture, most adults will answer with a snide chuckle and say, “No, not really.” Moving furniture is hard work–unless you do it virtually. Using an app to place furnishings in a room is easy once you understand the features and directives.

If you do not like the 2000-pound sectional sofa on the west wall of the family room, simply use your cursor and place it in the center of the room. You won’t scratch floors or break a sweat!

No Contact

According to Northern Virginia Home Pro, one of the most critical features of the virtual real estate world is that you have little to no contact with other people. The definition of an open house for many is spending an entire day in a closed home waiting for strangers to show up, perhaps with no masks, and maybe they will not be wearing masks.  Virtual tours not only save your health but also your time and money. There is no need to chauffeur clients on day-long jaunts to visit a couple of homes. Your time is better spent perfecting your web presence.

Share and Compare

According to Max Real Estate Exposure, “New home buyers and renters will often visit a home dozens of times online. Often a virtual scrapbook is made in order to look at a home and remember its attributes. With a virtual walk-through online, your potential clients can compare features of various homes, ask questions, and share pictures with friends and family.

Moving is not usually a spur of the moment decision, and today’s clients will research a home, the neighborhood, schools, shopping, and even five-year potential re-sale value. Technology has allowed for a much more sophisticated client.

Imagination

Inspire your client’s imagination with virtual tools geared toward the purchase or rental of a new home. When you make videos for a virtual walk-through or tour, remember to open the drawers that a client would open in real life, look in closets and turn the kitchen sink on for a moment.

The virtual tour you are creating is like kicking the tires on a car for someone buying a new vehicle. Imagine what a client would do if they were in the home and highlight the selling points of the property. Think of yourself as the guide, just as you would be in person.

New buyers and renters are often people who have not had their own place and may not be able to imagine how to place furniture in a space. Use virtual staging to help them imagine their life in this new home.

The tools available to people in the real estate industry are changing rapidly. Pay attention to new technological developments and use virtual staging and touring to help your clients find a new home to love.

Sam RadbilAbout the author: The above article on why you should invest in virtual tours and staging was written by Sam Radbill. Sam is an author at ABODO Apartments, an online apartment marketplace that helps renters find apartments all across the country. ABODO reports on rent rates, the changing of real estate markets, and trends within the real estate industry.