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

3D Real Estate Photography Is Now A Reality - And A Must-Have

A rendering of a light-filled unit at the Hub, the 600-unit luxury rental complex at 333 Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn. Steiner NYC

A rendering of a light-filled unit at the Hub, the 600-unit luxury rental complex at 333 Schermerhorn Street in Brooklyn. Steiner NYC

Tech disruption of the real estate industry shows no sign of slowing. From Zillow attempting inroads into agent-less offers to multiple players upending traditional broker-agent and agent-client relationships, real estate professionals ignore the changing business landscape at their own peril.

Another level of disruption has come in how clients discover and get to know properties. Until recently, online photos and video tours have been the gateway for potential buyers to narrow down the field of options for their new home. Google Earth and drone video allow us to get to know the neighborhood and the look and feel of the home itself, without the need to schlep across town or across the country to gather that crucial information.

But static photos and videos paint an incomplete picture. When a client arrives to tour the actual home, pictures often, one way or the other, don’t quite do a property justice.

Three-dimensional virtual reality (VR) is becoming one of the latest tech disruptors and Springs Homes, where I run sales and marketing, has embraced the disruptive capacity of this increasingly crucial tool. Here's how it works and some ideas for leveraging it in your own brokerage.

How To Use 3D VR As A Full-Service Brokerage

The visually all-encompassing nature of 3D VR has been a benefit in several ways: First, clients can see our listings in an immersive way, experiencing the home or apartment as if they are there. But 3D can also provide a valuable record of the condition of a property at a given point in time.

For a brokerage or property management team, this is a great way to head off potential conflict around condition before it starts. By creating a full record of the condition of a property, managers can go back and look at the data, account for normal wear and tear and make clearer decisions when a lease expires and new potential renters are exploring option. Buyers and renters appreciate knowing there is a record of what they are signing on to as well, so what is promised is what is delivered. We also use it for tradespeople who have visual confirmation of what needs fixing and where — the less guesswork in these situations, the better.

One benefit we didn't think of at first: for sight unseen leases, or when one spouse is not available to walk through the property, 3D VR is a great tool to expedite decision-making so the client doesn’t lose out on the opportunity to someone else.

Unsurprisingly, 3D VR can give your firm a competitive edge, from the listing appointment through the whole customer experience of the brand and level of service. In a 3D virtual tour, that pile of boxes, that hole in the drywall, has nowhere to hide. It encourages sellers to put their best foot forward and gives buyers and property managers the “same page” to work from in terms of the condition of the property.

New construction is another area a full-service brokerage will benefit from 3D VR. We use the 3D camera to take pictures and do virtual walk-throughs for clients in the building process. When a homebuyer or builder is relocating, the search, the purchase and the build process can be a logistical challenge. With a virtual walk-through, instead of the client needing to make multiple trips, they can simply take a 3D tour at major milestone points. This way, they can look at every nook and cranny on their own terms. Buyers also send these tours out to their friends and family to show progress, which is a special bonus. Our client feedback on this service is overwhelmingly positive, and it demonstrates to the builder that they are a true partner in the transaction.

My firm is now exploring the idea of using this technology to showcase what’s interesting and inspiring about a given neighborhood. The idea is to scan, say, an area rec center or club house, and offer the organization a link to the content created by us that they can share. At the end of the day, we want to be disruptive in the most positive ways possible.

Like any real estate brokerage should, we are keeping our eyes open for the next disruptor on the horizon — perhaps the “Smellovision Open House” app is coming next, with the scent of baking bread wafting through your VR home tour! For now, 3D VR can give your brokerage an edge and added confidence in your work and reputation as a trusted resource in any real estate transaction.

Originally written by Joe Boylan for Forbes

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

Rendering vs. Reality: Can These Virtually-Staged Photos of Available NYC Apartments Fool You?

Traditionally-staged listings against Hasten's virtually-staged apartments.

Traditionally-staged listings against Hasten's virtually-staged apartments.

Gone are the days of physically staging an apartment – well, mostly. Anyone who's been on the hunt for a new home has likely come across hundreds of virtually staged photos, many of which are obviously fake with disproportionate and cartoonish furniture, but some are incredibly realistic – they even fool us real estate professionals! The best we've seen come from Hasten (read our interview with Hasten's CEO Aleksandr Lanin here), an NYC-based company that 84% of top-selling brokers trust to produce life-like listings that sell faster. And if you don't believe us, get ready to put your skills to the test. 

Below, we've compiled a mix of listings, some of which have been virtually staged by Hasten and some that use the traditional (and costly) method of physically staging. At the end, take our Rendering or Reality quiz and see if you can decipher what's real and what's not.

1. 634 Washington Street, #3A – $1,150,000

2 Beds, 1 Bath | West Village    (Compass)

2 Beds, 1 Bath | West Village

(Compass)

4 Beds, 4 Baths | Carnegie Hill    (Corcoran)

4 Beds, 4 Baths | Carnegie Hill

(Corcoran)

2 Beds, 2.5 Baths | Chelsea    (Stribling)

2 Beds, 2.5 Baths | Chelsea

(Stribling)

1 Beds, 1 Bath | Greenwich Village    (Compass)

1 Beds, 1 Bath | Greenwich Village

(Compass)

1 Bed, 1 Bath | SoHo    (Compass)

1 Bed, 1 Bath | SoHo

(Compass)

2 Beds, 2 Baths | 1,392 SF | Harlem    (Compass)

2 Beds, 2 Baths | 1,392 SF | Harlem

(Compass)

2 Beds, 2 Baths | 1,323 SF | Fort Greene    (Stribling)

2 Beds, 2 Baths | 1,323 SF | Fort Greene

(Stribling)

5 Beds, 6+ Baths | 5,937 SF | Tribeca    (Corcoran)

5 Beds, 6+ Baths | 5,937 SF | Tribeca

(Corcoran)

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

Drone 3D Models in Real Estate

drone 3d models in real estate

How Drone-Generated 3D Models are Changing Real Estate

Real estate and how it's sold hasn't changed all that much over the years, but the way sellers get buyers' attention has been revolutionized more than once throughout history. That's good news for both buyers and sellers, because it keeps things moving forward and helps real estate continue to evolve. As a business that's important for agents, but there's more to the story. People who are selling their homes and people who need homes are both focused on getting what they want from a transaction, and the more they can work together openly and honestly from the beginning, the easier that transaction could be.

Online Listings and Pictures Changed the Game

Before the internet took over, real estate was sold through print magazines and through going into a real estate agent's office and asking what they had available. Then buyers drove around to houses and took a look at them, trying to decide which one they liked best. Eventually they picked one, and the negotiations began. But when agents started posting listings and pictures online everything changed, and the way buyers found what they were looking for became different.

Seeing a Model From All Angles Can Affect Buyer Perspective

One of the ways that 3D models generated from drones could change the real estate game is through perspective. Buyers don't always see everything they want or need to see in the listing or pictures taken, and even driving by doesn't always give a complete picture of the house, yard, and surrounding area. With a 3D model generated by a drone, the buyer would be able to see the outside of the entire house, what's close by, the size of the house in relation to the yard, and other factors that can all change the buyers' perspective of what the house has to offer.

Great Looking Homes Could See Big Benefits

For homes that are already very nice, there could be big benefits to 3D drone models. This comes from giving buyers even more of a chance to love what the house has to offer, and from showcasing features that the buyer might not be able to see from the street. That can make a big difference in whether the buyer decides to choose that particular house, or whether they would prefer something else. In many cases, especially with high-end homes, a 3D model could help the house get sold even faster, and for a better price.

Sellers Can't Hide Defects and Related Issues

Another big benefit with 3D drone models is that sellers can't take outside pictures in strategic ways to hide big problems. They aren't able to make the house look better or the yard look bigger, because the 3D model will show everything that they tried to cover up. With this in mind, perhaps agents will stop thinking of external looks of a home in terms of "curb appeal" and shift their thinking toward "3D Appeal" or "Aerial Appeal". That can either steer buyers away or force sellers to choose a more realistic price point for their home. In either case, it can lead to the right buyer coming along and the seller getting the house off the market and into the hands of someone who really wants to buy it.

Making Fast, Informed Decisions Moves the Selling Process Along

By creating 3D, drone-generated models for homes that are for sale, the selling process may move along faster. The more buyers can get information on the home before they go to see it, the more they will research the home and get all of the knowledge they can about it. They may have mostly made up their mind to buy it by the time they contact an agent and ask to get inside. That speeds up the process, because the buyer doesn't have to wait for an agent to get back to them in order to get a lot of the information they really need to make the right decision.

Both the Buyer and the Seller Can Have a Better Experience

When a seller can move a home quickly and a buyer can find something they love fast, both parties benefit from the experience. Having a 3D drone model doesn't guarantee that buyers and sellers will be happier, but it does provide the opportunity for everyone who is party to the real estate transaction to get information, learn things up front, and not need to worry about a lack of transparency. In short, having everything on the table right from the very beginning makes buying and selling a home easier, faster, and less stressful.

Will the Standard for Real Estate Change With 3D Imaging?

Right now 3D, drone-generated imaging is far from standard. Most real estate companies and sellers don't offer it. But there are many good reasons to start providing it, and the indication is that it could change the face of real estate again. Eventually, using drones and creating 3D images may become standard, and when that takes place both buyers and sellers will be able to benefit from the increase in technology for their real estate transactions.