How is 360 Virtual Staging done?

360 Virtual Staging requires two components and three steps to be done. Component One: Panoramic 360 photo of a space and Component Two: Virtual Staging provider of DIY software. Step One: Photos are inserted in the application; Step Two: the 3D spherical scene is generated, and Step Three: 3D furniture and decors are imported. The software processes everything into a 360 virtually staged photo.

If you visited this article to learn how to do 360 Virtual Staging, watch the video above, and then go to the Virtual Staging Software page. 
For those who want to learn more about the process, to understand how 360 Virtual Staging is done, what does it cost, and what are the pros and cons, continue reading.

Let's start by answering the question What 360 Virtual Staging is?

360 Virtual Staging also (Panoramic virtual staging) is gaining speed by day as an add-on service to real estate marketing used for promoting listings. 360 Virtual Staging is an enhanced panoramic photo with embedded 3D virtual furniture and decors.

What is the best 360 virtual furniture staging software?

By far, the best professional 360 Virtual Staging software is Autodesk 3Ds Max. 3ds Max is a 3D graphics application first released 25 years ago, and since then, it has been evolving.

At first, the application is used mainly by game and animation professionals. Around 2008 – 2009, more professionals from the field of architecture, interior design, and real estate started using 3Ds Max to create real estate marketing and concept development projects.

To settle things straight, 3Ds Max is not software for newbies without experience. It may be the best Panoramic Virtual Staging application, but it’s not easy to learn and expensive, $1,700 yearly subscription. Along with the application, additional add-on plugins are required, plus the need for 3D furniture libraries. 

Overall the services produced with 3Ds Max towards real estate fall into the medium to luxury category.

Is 3Ds Max different and better than Matterport?

To answer the question briefly, Is the Matterport better than 3Ds Max; It is not because it is a different application with a very multi-purpose application. In fact, both applications can with used together to produce 360 virtual stagings.

360 virtual staging
360 virtual staging

What is Virtual Tour with Matterport?

Matterport is used to produce virtual tours. It is a Laser-Camera rotating device that makes captures laser-scanned photos of spaces (interiors, exteriors, and others)  by rotating around a central axis; Once the data is scanned, everything gets sent to a cloud-based system that compiles the laser scanned data and panoramic photos into an interactive online environment called Virtual tour. 

Is 3ds Max better in virtual tours than Matterport?

There is a fundamental difference between both. 3Ds Max can produce virtual tours, but not from photos but a 3D modeled environment based on 2D floorplans and BIM documentation. With the help of the 360 virtual staging workflow, 3Ds Max can enhance the panoramic photos produced by Matterport or DSLR cameras stitched into panoramas. 


Panoramic Virtual Staging made with 3ds Max (example)

What does it cost 360 Virtual Staging to produce?

  • Prices for 360 Virtual Staging varies between $45 up to $250 per one panorama. The wider range of prices depends on:
  • virtual staging provider
  • their skills and experience

On average, with the first two points on the list, prices fluctuate between $45 and $150. Virtual Staging providers make up their prices based on their regional demand and experience.

  • the complexity of the space and project
  • quality of the panoramic photos

The second two points from this list are capable of increasing the cost of the 360 staging image. Bad photos will require more editing and virtual enhancement (still, the ultimate result can’t be guaranteed). Large complex spaces are tricky to do in general because of the quality of the lenses used by the 360 cameras. Amateur and Semi-Pro 360 cameras produce lens distortions affecting verticals.


What to look out for when ordering Panoramic Virtual Staging images?

Most of the mistakes made by realtors ordering 360 virtual stagings happen because they are not aware of the above factors. The main breaking point of a 360 project can be the quality of the panoramic photos;

Mostly photos taken with a smartphone or amateur and semi-pro virtual tour cameras like Theta Z, Insta 360, and others. These cameras are quick in producing 360 photos but they don’t perform well in badly lit environments. The results are blurred images at medium resolution with drastic light changed, halo and glow effects around all bright sources.

We’ve listed some general advice and tricks for those new to the concept of real estate photography.

Is 360 Virtual Staging worth it?

360 Virtual Staging is an amazing add-on to your real estate marketing tools, providing an opportunity to prospective buyers to explore and engage with the listed property.

Pros of Panoramic Virtual Staging

  • It’s working best with vacant spaces. Staging empty units is always preferred demonstrates potential layout and furniture solutions to the new buyers.
  • It’s almost effortless from the realtor’s side of view;  Being non-invasive 360 stagings requires a 360 camera to capture the spaces, and the staging provider does the rest.
  • It’s fast. A few 360 staging panoramas can be done in the matter of 4-5 days
  • You can make changes, interested buyers can make changes and explore different options

Cons of Panoramic Virtual Staging

  • Deception; If not done right, it can be perceived as misleading by some buyers. Always make sure to state that these are virtually enhanced images or artistic impressions.
  • It can put off; If not professional stagers perform the 360 stagings, it can put off buyers in combination with low-resolution cameras and low quality.
  • It can be expensive; For some listings or agents where budget is everything, staging 360 panoramas can be an expensive task, especially if property done by expert virtual staggers

How do you know if Panoramic Virtual Staging is right for your listing?

If you are the kind of realtor that cares about prestige, clients and are always adopting new technology, probably 360 staging is a perfect tool in your toolbox. 

Even if the listing’s budget is not on point, nothing stops you from comparing apples to apples.