What You Need to Know to Hire a Virtual Staging Company
Virtual home staging is a cost-effective and efficient way to stage a property for sale or rental. It allows real estate professionals to present a property in its best light without the expense of physical staging.
By hiring a virtual staging company, you can create a visually appealing and realistic representation of a property that will help you stand out in the competitive real estate market.
By George Nicola (Expert Stager)
In this article we’ll look at how to hire staging company, often know as online staging agency, when is the right time to hire staging company, tips to setup your marketing process with online staging and successfully run its multiple sub-services while retaining high quality.
What is virtual staging company?
Virtual staging companies also called online staging agency provide virtual staging services that help real estate brokers, home sellers, and property owners make their houses more desirable to potential buyers by improving their listing photos.
They are practically home staging company providing digital services being a more affordable choice for those who cannot afford traditional staging.
Virtual staging firms use powerful 3D software to enhance photos first and then to superimpose 3D virtual furniture, decors and textures which at the end becomes a staged photo.
Typical virtual staging service for realtors are:
- virtual furniture replacement
- empty home staging
- staging designs
- virtual landscaping
- virtual twilight
- custom home decor
- home decoration and re-design
- virtual kitchen vision
- real estate video staging and editing
- commercial real estate staging
- virtual renovation and construction
- real estate photo editing
- 3D virtual home tours
- 3D floor plans
Services may vary from vendor to vendor but in general the first 5 in the list above are available with most virtual home staging services on the market.
When to hire online home stager?
Most home sallers hire online home staging agency by the recommendation of their real estate agent. Meaning that the agent is in control of their marketing quality.
Mainly there are two ways a stager gets hired.
1) Sellers hire the online home stager by recommendation of their listing agent after the moving companies have removed all furniture if you need fast, affordable home staging. Online home stagers can provide quick recommendations for furniture rental, layouts, and decor based on photos of the empty home. This allows time to implement their advice before listing the property.
2) If selling an occupied home, hire a stager before taking listing photos. Virtual stagers can suggest decluttering, rearrangement, and cosmetic fixes to highlight assets. This maximizes appeal without the cost of in-person services.
To optimize the outcome, clearly communicate needs and constraints in both cases so stagers tailor recommendations accordingly. Be prepared to quickly implement their budget-friendly tips.
Listing agents always recommend online stagers are hired either when the home is empty to virtually stage, or when occupied to maximize existing furnishings. Their flexible, fast services allow sellers to enhance appeal during time-sensitive steps of the sales process.
How to hire online home stager?
Interview at least three online stagers and ask for a free online staging trial. Compare their proposed scope of services and fees to optimize value, clarifying what’s included versus any à la carte options.
To get the best results, provide the stager access to thoroughly assess your home’s layout, features and furnishings. Be open-minded to their ideas for remodeling, decor and furniture arrangements to highlight your home’s strengths to prospective buyers.
Set clear expectations upfront on timeline and budget parameters to enable the stager to maximize appeal within those guardrails.
A top virtual staging company like TALLBOX have dedicated home stylists who always listen to feedback and helps the client define the best home layout, colors, features and furnishings.
How best virtual home staging companies help real estate agents Increase Sales with Virtual Staging?
The below are five real examples from a top rated top virtual staging company like TALLBOX.
Example 1: Pre-selling to a Databases
Virtual staging can be used to pre-market a house and attract potential buyers by replacing all existing furniture before in less than four days and it gets few offers before reaches the listing portals.
Digital staging can boost a property’s chances of selling quicker than comparable properties and at a better rate by highlighting its possibilities in a matter of days, not to mention the possibility of multiple style options.
Example 2: New homes developments with 360° virtual staging
A second example is with the new home developments. A new home that was 360° virtually staged before it was even finished has helped a seller prepare and advertise their property before listing.
The virtual staging increased interest in the home, which sold before it was finished. 360° virtual staging is similar to matterport virtual tours, where interested parties can interact and move throughout the space.
Example 3: Revive old real estate listings
Reviving old real estate listings that aren’t selling can be challenging, but it is possible with the help of virtual staging software.
Here’s a step-by-step plan of how we do it at TALLBOX for reviving dormant real estate listings:
Examine the Property: Examine the property to see what needs to be done. This includes examining the home’s condition and determining what needs to be repaired or improved. Compare with competitor’s listings, what they’ve got that yours doesn’t, or maybe the price is not right?
Hire Professional Virtual Stagers: Speak with a professional virtual stager about the project and determine what has to be done.
Switch photos: Sometimes the photos are the culprit. Photograph the property again with a professional photographer.
Editing and Virtual staging: The virtual stager will use the photographs to create a vivid visual that best suit the home, complete with virtual furniture and decor in style that is appealing to the target buyers.
Share the Visuals: Staging is a powerful tool and once the staged images are finalized, they should be shared with potential purchasers. Distribute the images via social media, emails, video marketing and real estate listing websites.
Cost of virtual staging: To make it even more appealing to attract new vendors, accommodate the cost of staging and photo editing services with your offering. So your vendors will see this as a benefit in your favour.
Example 4: Outdated listings
For both buyers and sellers, outdated listings can be problematic. Vendors lose money, as if they don’t have resources to bring the property up to standard, it will be marked “as is” and attract low ball buyers typically investors.
For buyers especially first-timers it will be difficult to envision. Virtually staging properties with a virtual construction add-on is an excellent method for revitalizing these difficult listings.
By utilizing virtual construction, sellers may provide prospective purchasers with an up-to-date picture of the property, allowing them to better comprehend what they are purchasing. This also assists purchasers in making more educated selections regarding the purchase of a home.
Using virtual construction, can become the agent’s secret tool to attract and open an entirely new niche for their business.
Example 5: Become the always helping realtor
Caveat emptor is a Latin term that literally translates as “buyer beware.” Before making a purchase, it is the buyer’s responsibility to conduct adequate research, according to a principle of contract law.
In other words, in order to make an informed selection, purchasers must be aware of any concerns or hazards involved with the purchase.
It is the norm for mediocre services including real estate, agents to “avoid” mentioning potential defects or sell’s sellers secrets as being hired by them.
At the same time it is essential for purchasers to be aware of any potential hazards involved with the purchase. You can utilize professional home stagers like TALLBOX, to stage all of your home listings with Caveat emptor in mind.
We provide a specific step by step guide that our clients use to teach and encourage customers to ask questions and conduct research to ensure they fully comprehend the purchase.
It is also essential that virtual staging firms provide correct and current information on their services and products. Additionally, purchasers should be aware of any disclaimers issued by the company.
Buyers should be aware of any local laws or regulations that may apply to virtual staging services. Using caveat emptor responsibly in relation to virtual staging can be accomplished by following these guidelines.
Often because of budget restrains of else, realtors decide to go with the cheapest real estate virtual staging company per image who often doesn’t follow the rules as they should.
Tips to Hire the Best Virtual Staging Company for Home owners
Selling a house is always a stressful event, and today’s chaotic economy is no exception. Much of what your house ultimately sells for has to do with your initial asking price, and that price is largely determined by the value online homebuyers have to decide your home has. The amount of offers placed is decremented by the amount of competitor listings, their asking price, quality and features.
Since 90% of home buyers search online and vet your home before even stepping foot inside, the way your home is presented online is equally (if not more important) than the actual floor plan and condition of your home.
In this blog section below, we’ll discuss how your online listing impacts your home’s sale, how virtual staging works for home sellers, and everything you need to know in order to hire a virtual staging company.
“Hiring a Virtual Staging Company like TALLBOX is guaranteed to improve your listing click-trough rate at least by 50% when compared to other non-staged listings.”
Why Does Virtual Home Staging Matter So Much?
It may seem superficial to focus so much on selling the appearance of your home – just remember that buying a home is largely based on emotions.
If someone can envision themselves in your home and feel like they’re home, they’ll fall in love with it and be willing to take steps to make it look the way they’d like.
When a home is older or decorated to a particular family style, it interferes with their ability to connect with the home as theirs.
While your home may have a great layout and location, it’s crucial to translate its potential to suit market trends and the changes in your neighborhood.
For example, you may have lived in a quiet residential area with the same families for a few decades.
Over the past five years, your neighbors have moved out, the neighborhood has become more developed, and younger families are filling the newly vacant homes.
Although your home is in great condition, it may look outdated and not be recognizable as a good fit for the new crowd.
How can you convince them to give you a shot?
Staging has always been the solution to showing an older or “lived-in” home’s potential.
Here’s what to expect when using a traditional staging company.
What Does Traditional Home Staging Require?
This is what you have to do before you hire home stagers.
The point of staging your home is to mask or remove your family’s mark on the space to make it possible for another family to picture theirs.
That means to remove as many belongings as possible. This includes pictures from the walls, knickknacks from bookshelves, quirky lamps and rugs, collections, and anything else.
While this sounds obvious, don’t think that it is simple ― organizing all of that requires a lot of work, planning and knowledge. If you are not moving out of the home until the sale is complete, then it’s even harder to get it right for open houses, showings and photoshoots for your listing.
Once you’ve cleared the space, the staging company will come and refill it according to your needs and budget.
They can provide furniture and more generically appealing décor to refill the space.
Then you need to live in a staged home without putting everything back to where it was as this will “kill” the scheme.
This can cost anywhere from five hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the furniture’s amount, quality, and time you need.
Professional staging can take a day for soft staging session or up to more than two weeks, depending on the level of design required.
The best staging experience and use of budget when your property is located in a high-priced area, and all rooms are empty.
What do Virtual Staging Companies Require?
An alternative way to traditional staging is to hire virtual staging company.
Virtual stagers use high-quality photos of your home and can do almost anything you want with them (except the legal requirements that we’ll cover later on).
If you’ve never worked with a professional virtual stager before you can read this post to get a feel for the kind of work you can expect.
With the photos provided here a few examples of what a qualified virtual stager can do:
- First, give the room fresh neutral paint color.
- Replace outdated or existing with trending decor, including books, statutes, knickknacks, and plants.
- Replace and arrange new furniture.
- Update a fireplace or other special feature.
- Improve flooring choices.
- Remove clutter.
These services can be for a direct shot, a 360 degrees photo view of the space, or create a virtual walk-through the property.
We offer Virtual Staging at £47 / $58 and £60 / $73 per photo depending on the condition of each space
How does it work?
- you take photos of your space with our photo-guide
- send the photos to us
- we do the staging in a related to home style
- staging comes out
- the listing goes live
What are the Legal Requirements virtual staging companies should comply with?
Before we go further, it’s important to set expectations for what compliant virtual stagers cannot do.
Certain characteristics and properties of your home are legally protected from tampering – failure to do so can open you and the virtual stager up to lawsuits.
There are three categories of changes a virtual stager cannot do:
- Fraudulent misrepresentation: A virtual stager cannot knowingly cover significant damages to the home, like flood damage, a broken roof, or signs of a cracked foundation, to name a few.
- Negligent misrepresentation: A virtual stager cannot present false information about a room from lack of knowledge. For example, a virtual stager needs to represent the actual square footage of a room correctly and is not protected by not knowing the square footage― they are responsible for both knowing and accurately represent it.
- Innocent misrepresentation: This includes removing items that do not threaten health, safety, or structure but do change otherwise permanent features, like removing trees and powerlines from the neighborhood photos.
What Does it Cost to Have Your Home Virtually Staged?
There is a broad spectrum of the cost for a virtually staged home.
Before your home can be virtually staged, you’ll need to have high-quality pictures taken of your home.
You may be able to find a family member or friend with a good camera who can take these pictures for you, but you will likely need to pay a professional to do this.
Professional real estate photographers average $100 an hour as a budget estimate.
The good news is that you won’t necessarily need the photographer to edit your photos if you’re having your home virtually staged.
Virtual stagers can use different metrics to bill their services, from charging per photo, per room, or per hour.
There is also a broad spectrum of costs due to experience and value. Expect to pay somewhere between $40-$200 per room depending on the scope of the changes needed.
What are Signs of a Quality Virtual Staging Company?
Like anything else you hire out, it is essential to know what you are looking for so that you get the desired product.
Here are a couple of ways to tell if you are looking at an excellent virtual staging company.
Reviews provide social proof – we trust products and services that other people have used and recommend. Google a company to see both their posted reviews and reviews on other sites before engaging in a contract.
Check Their Portfolio
Virtual stagers should have a gallery of past projects on their website or should be able to provide samples upon request. You’ll be able to gauge their skill level based on the kind of work they advertise as their best.
List of Services
The more experienced the company, the more offerings they are likely to have advertised on their website. This could include straight-on shots, 360 panoramic views, and a virtual walkthrough of your home.
See What Programs They Use:
Quality virtual stagers will have command of multiple programs to provide the best possible picture for you. A few programs used by TALLBOX are:
- AutoCAD LT: Used for creating 2D floorplans to recreate your room for a virtual makeover.
- SketchUp: Robust 3D modeling software for a more realistic representation of the space and accessories.
- Photoshop/Affinity Photo: Heavy lifting photo-editing software with abilities that range from manipulating the layers of a room to detailed brushwork.
- 3Ds Max and Corona renderer: For rendering the virtually staged scene in a very realistic manner
Check Their Qualifications:
Anyone can advertise that they are a virtual stager.
First, check to see what qualifications the company or freelancer has.
Interior Design Training: A virtual stager is doing the same job as an interior designer at a digital level. You’ll want someone who understands how to balance a room, make colors pop, and draw the viewer’s attention across the entire room.
Technological Finesse: Obviously, you need a graphic designer with exceptional skills with various editing software.
Years of Experience: Degrees and certifications alone do not create a quality artist. Check to see how long your virtual stager has been doing it and if their portfolio is a good representation of the time they’ve been working.
Just in case you are curious how virtual staging is done, check out our blog post with 12 home staging video tutorials.
What Should I Expect in the Virtual Staging Process?
So you’re ready to move forward with a virtual stager! Here’s what you can expect when working with a company like TALLBOX.
The first step will be to share the pictures you want virtually staged to the designer and talk with them about the target buyer demographic and your timeline for listing your home.
Create Mood Board
Sometimes people jump right to picking a few couches or new paint color― but this is approaching the design process in reverse.
Instead of offering furniture piece by piece, TALLBOX’s virtual stagers take the time to create a mood board for the room just as an interior designer would.
Then, after completing this board, they will create a comprehensive design flow to the room, feeling thought-out and intentional.
Review and Make Final Edits
Make sure that everything you agreed upon is covered. If you have any last changes once you’ve seen the virtual representation come together, be sure to communicate them clearly.
Receive a File of the Finished Photos
You will likely receive the photos through Google Drive or Dropbox.
Now you’ve got the exact pictures you need and your Realtor or real estate agent can finally list your home.
You saved money, time, and effort, and you’ve presented your home in the best possible light to attract the right buyers. You are set up to have a quick sale at the price you wanted.
A virtual staging company can help you list and sell your property faster, and show your property to more buyers in a shorter period of time.
Your property will appear as if it’s professionally staged without the expenses or labor that a physical staging requires.
To land that coveted buyer, you’ll want to give them everything they expect, including beautifully staged photos. The right virtual staging tools can make all the difference between a sale and yet another “For Sale” sign showing up in your neighbor’s yard.