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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

Virtual Staging for an Open House

Open House is a great way to get your property noticed. 

If you have ever held a Open House you are aware of the fact that bare walls don’t produce good impression. However, the bulky staging won’t encourage potential buyers to get the property either.

Moreover, estimation of the property scale is of great importance. It is not really possible when the room is stuffed with things that, besides, may not appeal to a client. 

You should plan everything beforehand including your budget. We believe you don’t want to waste thousands of dollars on staging the house with furniture and décor that will be removed afterwards, and in case the property won’t be sold you will have to pay for staging AGAIN. Is it worth it? 

Definitely not when there is such a unique and cost-neutral option as VIRTUAL STAGING.

There are lots of advantages to choose this method of presentation of possible interiors of your property.

First of all the prices are really attractive comparing to real home staging, the difference is just crazy. The average price for real home staging is $675, however, it is the cost only for stager’s service. A full staging will cost about 1% of the sale price.


With virtual staging you will spend a couple of hundreds of dollars that will be totally worth it as you can use the images not only for showing them to your client but also for putting them on your website and sale platforms such as StreetEasy, Trulia, etc.

Once we had an ASAP request from a real estate agent to virtually stage 3 photos: a master bedroom, a home office, a child's room. So the photos must have been done in… A DAY. Just to let you know, it takes about 18-30 hours per photo to recreate the space in a special program, choose preferable furniture and décor, place it into a photo and put it on a final render. Haven’t mentioned the time spent on corrections? (+ several hours depending on how quick the client’s feedback is).

So we threw all our forces to make it happen and it did. The work was quite intense, however, our main goal is to make everything possible to meet the demands of the client. 

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.

Original link

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.