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You can find here some useful information for real esate professionals, and recent interviews as well!

Select agents offering 3D views

Craig Neil

Craig Neil

Real-estate marketing continues to evolve exponentially. For decades, agents looking to advertise homes for sale had one option, besides planting signs in front yards: the print media. Then, in the mid-1990s, the advent of the internet shook the status quo. But that only offered a wider, and cheaper, exposure for Realtors’ still photographs. It took almost another two decades for dramatic advances to appear. Now Realtors are expanding their presentations with drone photography, virtual staging, and 3D tours.

The best 3D tours are a real step up from the “virtual tours” that appeared a few years ago. Those either seem stilted or tacky in comparison to the 3D tour, and sometimes turn out to be simply slide shows with music. The more naturalistic 3D tour allows you to move around in the room, and among the rooms, and zoom in to inspect details.

You either navigate with the computer mouse or arrow keys, or your finger with touch screens. Moving through a property on the smartphone can be more fun than on the computer, although you’re limited by the smaller screen size.

For a more immersive experience, you can get a pair of Google Cardboard goggles for $10 and view these house galleries in a realistic dimensionality.

All of these options are available for a few home listings at homesantafe.com, the website of Realtor Paul McDonald (Sotheby’s International Realty). “I do think there is an issue with the users’ familiarity with technology and their desire to do something like this, so it would seem to me to appeal to the younger of mind,” he said. “It’s pretty rare that someone has said they want to buy a house as a result of just seeing the 3D tour. Like other technologies that are tiptoeing in these waters, it’s more about the selection process.

“I think like any technology it’s kind of clunky at first; whether it ever gets to critical mass I don’t know. I have a good friend in business who said, ‘The problem with your industry is the delivery of your product: you have to get in your car and go out and see it.’ This gets us one step closer.”

McDonald has his own Matterport 3D camera. The Matterport has nine lenses: three down, three straight ahead, and three up. The photographer attaches it precisely level on a tripod, then makes a series of exposures in a circle, repeating the process at 30 or 40 locations in the house. When you later view the 3D imaging, there is a circular figure at each location and you can progress from one to the next to move wherever you want in the home.

The Realtor has heard that Zillow is testing a similar technology that would allow the average real-estate agent to assemble a dimensional home tour using an iPhone. “The other part of this technology is looking at it in terms of the three mantras of business — faster, better and cheaper — and if the Zillow model works, you don’t have to go buy a Matterport camera [for about $3,000] and it doesn’t take you a couple hours to do a house.”

The Matterport facility also offers viewers another perspective, focusing on the plan view, looking down on the room layout from above.

Check out the Tesuque Creek property listed on McDonald’s website and you see an example of virtual staging. “This is another technical aspect of marketing a home that’s not real, if you will. They take a CAD drawing, they select things they want to dress it up with [furniture, rugs, paintings on the walls], and then send it ovenight to India, using massive computing power, and when it comes back... you’re not going to believe it’s not really staged when you look at the image.

“I feel like these two technologies are competing in this arena. We see this virtual staging assisting new-construction projects. I’ve used it on a home that was empty and I wanted to get going on the marketing. I think these are both tools that we didn’t have a couple of years ago that are going to be with us forever.”

Another Realtor using the Matterport system is Craig Neil with Keller Williams Santa Fe Realty. He said the resolution of the Matterport pictures has improved to the point that the agent can often use captures from a 3D tour of a house for websites and even brochures. “You’re saving money because you don’t have to do both 3D and regular photography.”

Neil and his business partner Sarah Said own their own camera. “Sarah has been a Realtor for more than two decades but I’ve just been in real estate for two years,” he said. “I come from the tech side; I worked for Apple for three years and I worked with Google doing Google ‘business view’ shooting, which is linked to Google Street View. I used my Nikon D7000 with a wide-angle lens and I’d take three different exposures at four angles of a circle, then composite those 12 images together to make a circle and then connect them to other circles.”

Neil said he agrees with McDonald that the 3D technology appeals more to a younger audience. “I would guess 5 to 10 percent of people use this.

“The two things I think are of the most benefit to me as a Realtor is that for people from out of town who have seen the 3D tours, they’ve already walked through the houses and they know which properties they want to see. And most important, if they were here and walked through the actual house and later they can’t recall where the kitchen was. They contact me and I give them the link and they just go online and they can see it all.

“The market is so competitive right now that people want to get a head start. They see the listing come up and say, ‘We’re thinking of coming to Santa Fe in three weeks,’ and I have to tell them, ‘Well, that house is going to be gone in three days.’”

By Paul Weideman

Virtual Staging: Optimizing Vacant Listings as a Marketing Technology

As it is known, demand creates supply and real estate business is a perfect marketplace for introducing new technologies and marketing tools. Surely, people do want to buy and sell homes but let`s remember, that year after year consumer becomes more and more uncompromising.

Real estate virtual staging is not a new service, it first became available nearly 10 years ago, but at that period it was not very popular. And do you know why? Because the quality of virtually staged photos was far away from perfect, the colors were sharp and bright; furniture looked like it was taken from a graphically poor computer game.

Technically, they lacked the most important element, which guarantees virtual staging effectiveness – realism. But there is also another requirement virtual home staging should meet – it is intended to help the buyer to visualize his future home, to see himself living in it, to catch a feeling of sweet home, not just bare-walled construction. This aspect deals with psychology, here is important to influence buyer’s decision and that is the most challenging part of every business.

Virtual Staging Services – The Idea & The Way It Is Achieved

So, it becomes obvious that somewhat funny pictures with terrible graphics cannot reach out the buyer`s heart but, fortunately, 3D technology development does not stand still as well as the professionalism of 3D designers. Nowadays, these two have reached incredible heights and in 90% of cases, it is impossible to distinguish real interiors with ones modeled in 3D.

The process of creating virtually staged room is described many times on the web, so there is no necessity to go into details. The idea is to add virtual furniture, design and decor elements on the photo of a real vacant room, received from real estate agent. Before starting work on the project, сustomers are asked to send pictures of interior designs they like to make sure they will be satisfied with the style and general conception. It is also possible to replace existing furniture or to change colors or textures of walls, flooring, and ceiling. But this variation of virtual staging services is more expensive because it requires full recreation of initial design in 3D.

Internet And Money Rule The Business

Just a small question, where is real estate photography used to make much money? You all probably guess it right; the answer is real estate brokers websites!

Now we’ve reached the point of online listings because this is the area where virtual home staging can bring maximum benefit. Excessive explanations are unnecessary, photos of empty rooms look ugly and unattractive, the buyer sees just walls, floor, ceiling, windows and at the best they are in good condition.

Now imagine 10, 20 pictures of this kind. They do not cause interest because they are not special (we have already spoken about consumers hunger for all the most beautiful and outstanding). Nearly 80% of realtors proved that use of virtual furniture for real estate had increased online sales to a significant degree.

Virtually staged pictures developed by the professional talented designer are able to cause wow-effect being published online. It is the same with showing before – after photos, customers love to watch them so much and this is only to your, real estate agents, advantage.

Is a good product always expensive?

The price for virtual staging services varies depending on a number of photos, turnaround time and reputation of 3D visualization company. On average, in 2017, it is about $60-$100 per photo and, in fact, some real estate agents consider this price high. However, as always, everything is known in comparison.

For example, traditional staging is much more costly arrangement when realtor can pay up to $2000 for a house of medium size. In addition, physical staging implies monthly payments due to the contract, so if you sold the properties in some days after staging, you would pay for some months anyway.

Of course, you can save and not use the service at all and if you are patient enough to wait for some months to find the buyer this variant will go with you. After all, the growth of our business is our personal responsibility and it is up to you to choose the strategy of its development.

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Should You Consider Visual Marketing Tools for Your Business?

Visual content is in higher demand than ever before. There is no real estate company in the world that has not used any visual tools to market their property. It goes without saying that development companies can present their product only by means of 3D architectural visualization, 3D interior design renderings, cinematic flythrough videos, 3D virtual tours, etc.

So Why Should I Consider Visual Marketing Tools When Selling a Home?

A recent social media examiner report revealed that 74% of marketers use visual content in their social media marketing - even more than blogs. In fact, visual marketing is considered to be the second most important form of marketing content after blogs. What if it’s a combination of a blog post and a luxury virtual staging of an expensive apartment somewhere in Soho? No doubt it will grab potential buyers' attention. Fortunately, there are many awesome, yet affordable tools that can help your properties compete more effectively in the real estate market.

Virtual reality is drastically changing real estate marketing as well as social and online media have done once and for all. That is because our audience has also changed. Your clients are no longer willing to read your long-winded mailouts. You have about 3 seconds (as recent studies show) to capture their attention.

Real estate marketing is 85% image-based. It is a fact that visual content gets shared more often on Facebook, pictures are liked twice the rate of text updates, and videos are shared 12 times more often than texts and links on Facebook business pages. VIsual content is great for search engine optimization (SEO). Search engines now incorporate social signals into their ranking algorithms. The sites that have the biggest impact are Google Plus, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram, of course. By sharing visual content that increases your engagement rates, you are increasing your SEO.

Real estate professionals are constantly on the go, and most of you strive to find enough time to market yourself and your business. Luckily, Hasten, the leading virtual staging company in NYC, provides a vast variety of visual marketing tools for real estate that will be your time-saver. We will have a huge impact on your potential buyers together and will contribute to selling your properties faster. Augmented reality and real estate cannot exist without each other anymore.

Top 5 Visual Marketing Tools for Real Estate

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1. Virtual staging

Virtual staging for real estate has become an essential part of real estate marketing. 84% of top selling brokers in NYC use Hasten for virtual staging. Virtually staged images with a sophisticated touch is a much better solution than a bare, blank apartment with a window and a door.

Why does almost everyone choose virtual staging over real home staging? It is cheaper. It is faster. It looks way better.

Stop wasting your time and money on “luxury home staging”. Try the best virtual staging by Hasten. You are a 21st-century person!

2. 3D Architectural Visualisation

You don’t have photos or your property is full of bulk furniture? Is your property still in construction? Do you need a possible reconstruction option of an existing property?

These are the main benefits of the 3D architectural rendering. You do not need anything except the floorplan.

Impress your audience with high quality interior renderings. Hasten team can bring your boldest idea into reality.

We also provide 3D exterior renderings for development companies that help present your building better than any drone.

3. 3D Virtual 360ᐤ tours

Augmented reality is a total breakthrough in real estate marketing. You can smoothly guide your clients through high-resolution HDR panoramas, showing different design options of your property using your smartphone! Giving an immediate understanding of the space, layout, and feel will distinguish your listing among thousands of others. 3D walkthrough house interior can even allow you to hold a virtual real estate open house!

4. Flythrough videos

A cinematic real estate video is crucial for having a huge impact on your potential buyers. Hasten team creates eye-opening flythroughs and slideshows that is a peerless visual tool to showcase all the features of the property and sell its benefits to future residents.

5. Real estate professional photography

Proud to partner with best photographers in NYC who know the secret of giving potential buyers a reason to fall in love with the home.

Having an eye for detail and finding the best camera angles - they capture magic in every shot.

A true passion for photography is what makes their images extraordinary.

Are you still questioning “Why should I use this”? We can answer any questions you have at hello@hasten.me

Hasten Recently Featured As One of the BEST Virtual Staging Companies

Recently Hasten was featured as one of the “best of the best” virtual staging companies after being selected to participate in a test that was being conducted by Get LISTED Realty.

The test consisted of virtually staging 3 photographs of a vacant living room, dining room and master bedroom with minimal instructions. Here you can see how Hasten completed it.

Get LISTED Realty, judged Hasten and other virtual staging companies on the quality of their virtually staged photos, uniqueness of their staging choices and professionalism to work with.

We are proud to come out on top and the results of this test were consistent with Hasten’s values as a company.

It was an honor to participate in this exciting project that allowed us to showcase our services to the home selling community that visits Get LISTED Realty’s website.

Check out full story, the results of the project, and images staged by other virtual staging companies here: https://getlistedrealty.com/virtual-staging/

Virtual Staging: An Innovative Way to Attract Buyers

As technology continues to improve, growing numbers of home sellers find themselves looking into the benefits of using virtual staging to help sell their home. But just what is virtual staging and how does it stack up against physically staging a home to sell?

As the name implies, virtual staging is done on the computer rather than in real life. This means that, unlike traditional staging, you don’t rent any furniture, decor, or accents. Instead, virtual staging digitally inserts all of those same items into photographs of empty rooms in the home. This, in turn, helps to attract potential buyers online to tour the home, where they can then use their imagination and consult the virtual staging photos in order to envision how each room would look with furniture inside.
 

Preparing for Virtual Staging

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One of the most important steps when preparing to virtually stage a home is to professionally photograph the rooms that will be virtually furnished. It’s crucial that these images are high-resolution to ensure that the final listing product is perfected for online buyers.

Make sure to remove any unwanted items before capturing each room on camera - this will speed up the process of editing. Once the photos are primed and ready for staging, the virtual stager can add furniture and decor to compliment the overall style of the home. High-quality listing photos improve the final staged product by giving the stager the opportunity to work with an ideal canvas.
 

Why Choose Virtual Staging?

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Virtual staging has a number of benefits but the biggest is of course price. While staging an apartment in New York City the old fashioned way costs an average of $2500 per month, virtual staging typically costs between $39 to $199 per room. What’s more is that this fee is a one time cost as you don’t have to pay for renting furniture. As the average home for sale in 2018 stays on market between 34 to 53 days, this means that virtual staging could save sellers several thousands of dollars. And that’s not even considering that many stagers require a minimum contract!

In addition to saving money compared to traditional staging, virtual staging can also increase the value of your home as well. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 33 percent of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased its’ value by one to five percent when compared to similar homes that were not staged. Not only that but 39 percent of sellers’ agents said that staging a home greatly decreased the time it spent on the market.

Another pro of virtual staging is that gives sellers the opportunity to create a strong first impression with potential buyers. As Jen Williams, Redfin Market Manager, says, this is important because “buyers will imprint on the first photos they see of a home and will develop their first positive feelings and attraction to a property at that time.”
 

Important Tips

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If you choose to stage your home virtually, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, remember to provide potential buyers with photos of the empty rooms as well as their virtually staged counterparts. This will help to show buyers that the home they’re thinking of touring not staged in person so that they are not confused when entering the home.

Virtual staging can be an incredible asset when you’re selling a vacant home, or one that has wild-card tenants or dated décor. It allows potential buyers to view the right vision of the home – not empty, but one that’s comfortable and easy to live in.

Written by Angie Bersin