Simply put, virtual home staging is the concept of digitally staging a room to enable leads to project themselves in a given space. Many articles and forums online extensively debate the benefits of this practice - but none seem to focus on the practical side to it. Pretty strange for a tool which is supposed to be practical and help you with your real estate marketing, right?
My focus today will give you actionable ways to use virtual home staging.
The article is structured to make you save time: each section focusses on a different facet of your real estate marketing. Headers make it easy to scroll through and read sections which interest you most. Enjoy the read!
As said in one of my previous articles, your website is generally the first medium through which your leads will meet you. This is precisely why you should focus your efforts on making your website stand out - and virtual restylings can be handy in doing so.
Seller and buyer leads aren't looking for the same thing - this is why these 3D renderings won't be used the same way from one type of lead to another.
Seller leads' main focus is to find the agent that will sell their home for the highest amount of money and least amount of time. What they are trying to find out is whether or not you are capable of making their listing stand out. This is why offering extra services can be seen as a huge plus. Introduce virtual home stagings as an extra option.
A good idea here would be to present visual examples along with compelling data or testimonials which demonstrate its added value.
"The restyling service we offer helps potential buyers project themselves in properties which need renovations." - Fabrice Gay-Balmaz, Marketing director at Cardis Sotheby's International Realty
With buyer leads, the focus will be simple: add virtual home staging to your listings. Whether you are trying to market a property which needs renovations, is empty or simply a bit out of style, virtual restylings can shed a light on the true potential of a listing.
It's always best to disclose the fact that a visual has been staged - it prevents leads from being disappointed when they visit a property. This is why certain virtual stagers offer the possibility to create a before/after type of visual.
At Drawbotics, for instance, we offer a static and an interactive slider option. Both are easy to integrate on your website.
As a side-note: it is essential that you make sure your 3D rendering provider is happy to help you integrate iFrames on your website. It will only take them a few seconds and can really be worth it for you.
Online marketplaces like Zillow and Trulia are also great places to use your virtually staged visuals. The reason why is pretty straight-forward: photos are really valued by prospective buyers. The idea is to enable them to fall in love with a property.
Most top agents on Zillow, for instance, tend to include virtually staged images amongst photos of their empty listings. This enables their leads to gain a better sense of space and project themselves. Here's an example of this:
Social Media is definitively a force to harness in Real Estate Marketing today. In fact, I am ready to bet that most of your clients spend more time on social media than on any other type of website. Being active on social media is a convenient way to network, increase the visibility of your business and promote listings. Here is how to use virtual home stagings to do so:
With over 1.86 billion monthly active users (end of 2016), Facebook is without doubt THE social media you should focus on. To keep it simple, here are three different areas where you can use virtual home staging on Facebook:
Your Facebook page is the starting point. Posting relevant content on a regular basis is a really good way to set yourself as the expert in your area.
Here is how virtually staged images become interesting on your Facebook page: the visuals can be posted to promote or create interaction with a listing. Check out this example of a post which uses virtual home staging as a visual:
This marketing tools is also a great way to produce original content on Facebook. Your sliders can be turned into awesome videos to post on your social media channels. If you are on Mac, the app RecordIt is great. As an alternative to this on Windows, you can use LICEcap, which is also free to use and works in a similar way.Videos are gaining in popularity on social media and are a great way to make your marketing dynamic.
Do you want to discover how to create videos and gifs for your social media? We are putting together an actionable article to help you out.
Posting a virtually staged photo on an open-house event you created on Facebook can be used as a nice sneak-peak to spark the interest of your leads.
Facebook's advertising tool is easy to use and can be an option worth considering as it enables you to target specific audiences with ads (which can be great if you focus on a particular geographic area or age group). There are different types of Facebook ads but we will essentially focus on two of them here.
Single Image Ads are the most widespread form of advertising on Facebook.
Carousel ads are really fun to use with virtual staging as you can show the before and after evolution of a listing.
For those of your whom want to discover more about this topic, we will be writing a step-by-step guide to show you interesting ways to promote your business through Facebook advertising.
Pinterest is a visual social media platform that is great if you want to drive traffic to your website and is becoming more and more popular with Real Estate professionals. Here is how this form of staging comes in handy: by giving home design inspiration and helping you promote listings.
Instagram has become huge these past years, and is a platform essentially focused on sharing photos. As it is the case with Pinterest, a virtual home staging here can be used as a cool photo to promote a listing and give home design inspiration.
Emailing is a powerful marketing method which has been used for years now by the Real Estate industry. It's not about quantity of emails you will send but rather the quality. The best way to get your leads to engage with you via email is to make sure each message you send over has an added value for them. Here are two cases in which these 3D renderings can be a great topic to cover:
Adding an interesting twist to your Home tours and Open-houses has never been easier. In fact, all you need for this is your phone, iPad or tablet.
While making your prospective buyers tour a listing, why not accompany the visit of certain rooms with a virtually staged visual?
The great thing here is that you really can stay true to all the qualities and flaws of a home you are selling. Virtual home staging comes to nicely compliment this by showing the true potential of the house when renovations are needed. After all, a home doesn't come with a unique set style and a virtually staged photo can create an interior design which fits your clients' vision. Want a few tips on how to make your Open-houses stand out? Come this way!
I hope that you found this practical guide on how to make the best use of virtual home staging useful. It goes without saying that some ways to use this type of staging have not been covered in this article, but could definitively be the subject to an interesting conversation in the comment section.
Make sure to leave a comment if you have a cool story about how virtual staging has been handy for you!