To sell or rent a property, you need traffic—traffic that is generated online. The Internet has empowered home buyers, and that power means that real estate has suddenly become a lot more like online dating than any of us probably ever anticipated! And much like online dating, if the pictures of your listing are not attractive, you won’t get a wink of interest—certainly not the outcome you want.
The obvious solution is to hire a professional home stager and then put those new and improved images online. However home staging is not wallet-friendly, especially for luxury homes and homes in need of work or a new look. According to recently published articles in New York and San Francisco, hiring a professional to stage a luxury home ranges from $30K to $200K.
Luckily, there’s an alternative that will make your listing pop online, generating interest as well as traffic: virtual staging. Virtual staging, in which a property is staged realistically by computer (and not in real life), is a hot topic these days in the real estate industry, and it’s only getting hotter by the moment.
It offers a number of advantages:
• Speed and Convenience
• Flexibility and Choices
Does Virtual Staging Work?
Even as a growing number of top real estate firms now offer virtual staging to their clients as part of their marketing services, the trend remains the object of much debate, especially on the issues of whether or not it can be misleading for home buyers, and whether it actually works. As a luxury home staging expert, I answer those issues with the reminder that the practice of using 3D renderings to sell homes is nothing new. Developers have been selling homes and condos on paper through architectural renderings for decades, well before the first actual brick is ever laid. The reasons are obvious: home shoppers are visual.
It may be "virtual" but it is still "home staging".
You need someone who knows what they’re doing to appeal to multi-million dollar home buyers. If you don't have the budget to hire a luxury physical stager, a $30 color-by-numbers virtual staging is not an alternative.
When a professional staging consultation costs on average $250-$500, what can you possibly expect when you’re paying $30 to virtually stage a room? You get a tech person overseas who knows nothing about staging luxury real estate in the US. When millions are at stake, that’s a really unwise choice.
My company, Ilaria Barion Design, offers a unique approach: superior staging expertise and high-end design with state-of-the- art digital implementation that saves home sellers 90% of the cost of physical home staging. We work as a traditional stager up until the implementation. We choose to implement our design digitally over a physical staging, because it’s the most cost-effective way to give life to our imagination. If a complete remodel, a pool, or a new kitchen is the best way to show-case the potential of a home, we can do it. It’s perfect for new developers who want to start marketing a building before it is completed or for properties in estate condition.
Is Virtual Staging Deceiving?
As long as it’s clearly disclosed, virtual staging isn’t misleading in any way, and it’s actually the best marketing tool out there when it comes to selling or renting a home (unless of course you are ready to budget for “real” home staging).
Ultimately, the better your images, the greater your traffic.