Hi everyone, and welcome back to another Momentum Monday!

Like all of you, here at Momentum 360, we’ve been working hard during the Coronavirus to provide the best service while making sure to keep our staff and clients safe. It hasn’t been an easy road for anyone but at Momentum, we take difficulty in stride and let it motivate us to work smarter and harder.

The Coronavirus has served to prove what we already knew: virtual tours are the future of the real estate industry. Before the pandemic, virtual tours were a way to get a leg up on the competition and to make your properties stand out and be seen. Check out our blog about how all branches of real estate can benefit from virtual tours. Now, in the face of COVID-19, virtual tours are more important than ever for realtors. There is no better way to show clients every inch of a home or apartment than to let them walk through it with the click of a button.

In our efforts to keep innovating and offering clients even more tools, Momentum 360 is offering a brand new tool: Virtual Staging!

Matterport began including virtual staging properties in March of 2020 by partnering with London-based studio VRPM. As a company that works exclusively with Matterport technology, we are excited to be able to offer this service to our clients, too!

In today’s blog, we’re going to go over what virtual staging is, what it is used for in virtual tours, and how helpful it can be to realtors everywhere!

What is Property Staging?

When someone says “property staging” or “home staging” in reference to real estate, they are talking about the set-up of a residential property to make it easier for potential buyers to see themselves living in a space. This usually involves renting furniture and decorating the home.

Home staging, according to an Investopedia article, is an important and necessary tool in the buying and selling of residential real estate because “Potential buyers aren’t just looking for a structure to inhabit—they’re also looking for a way to fulfill their dreams and improve their lifestyles. Staging can create a more emotional purchase for the buyer, which ultimately can generate more money for the seller.”

Staging a home is an important aspect of selling residential real estate because it can increase both the price of a home and the speed in which it sells. Because of the constant fluctuation of the real estate market, it is in the best interest of the realtor to sell the property quickly and for the best possible price.

Nevertheless, staging a home for a tour or open house is quite an investment because it isn’t cheap to hire, deliver, and arrange furniture and because it isn’t required, many elect not to do it. Stagings are expensive, time-consuming, and may ultimately delay the tours and open houses associated with the sale of a property.

What is Virtual Staging?

Virtual staging is, in many ways, very similar to traditional home staging. It has the same effect, which is to create a living space so realistic that potential buyers can hopefully see themselves living in the house. The main difference, and the one that will provide the most for realtors and their clients, is the cost. With virtual staging, the images of furniture and home decoration are added in digitally, which eliminates the external cost of hiring, renting, and placing the furnishings.

The way Matterport describes a virtual staging as opposed to traditional home stagings is that “virtual staging enables the placement of computer-generated furniture into 3D models to create a beautifully furnished space. This is often done using 2D imagery, but VRPM is able to virtually stage a property within a Matterport 3D model to create a fully immersive experience. Now, agents who want to promote unfurnished or vacant properties can save thousands of dollars with virtual staging.”

This VRPM technology combined with Matterport’s 3D technology allows for an elimination of the time and monetary cost associated with staging while still producing the most optimal results.

According to BoxBrownie, staging can increase the sale price of a home anywhere from 1 to 15 percent. Virtual staging can offer the same incentives as traditional staging, with furniture, carpeting, wall decorations, and more can all be added into the virtual tour.

Why Virtual Staging Works

With technology as new as virtual staging, it is normal to feel skeptical about the results. We get that.

Virtual staging works because it fixes some of the problems virtual tours can create for potential buyers. When you’re going through a virtual tour, it is harder to get a sense of the dimensions and size of a room from your computer screen. By adding in digital images of furniture like couches, entertainment systems, or beds, we get a better understanding of what can fit in the room. For example, in a virtual staging of a master bedroom, if we see a king-size bed in the middle of the room, we are able to comprehend how much space is left, rather than just seeing the empty room and trying to imagine how a bed would look inside of it.

Additionally, by providing a virtual staging, potential buyers can envision actually living there much easier than they could in an empty room. A living room with a couch, television, and wall decor appeals to us much more than an empty room with no furniture and no hints of life.

Plus, the majority of buyers start their home search online, and by providing a real example of what a property looks like, a furnished place is much more likely to entice people to explore further than a property that is just empty rooms.

Benefits of Offering a Virtual Staging

As already outlined, we know that staging a virtual tour is one of the best things you can offer your clients in real estate. If you’re still not convinced, here are a few more reasons to do so:

  1. Virtual Staging is a powerful tool in digital marketing.

90% of home buyers start their search online. Especially in the wake of the Coronavirus, when almost nobody wants to be going out and mingling with people they don’t know, the internet is a starting point for all those trying to find a new home. Virtual staging helps show a property in the best light and shows its greatest potential. A vacant room can often be too difficult for buyers to imagine themselves living in, and staging the perfect room takes the pressure off of them.

  1. Virtual Staging is way cheaper than traditional staging

The cost of staging a home to be sold is often placed on the seller. Though there is a significant return on investment for traditional staging, many sellers decide that the upfront cost is just too much and opt to not stage their home. This results in the home being on the market longer and sold for much less.

  1. Virtual Staging can be done without the seller clearing out their own furniture

Most sellers will live in their home until it is sold and they have to move out. When trying to sell the house or apartment, it can put a lot of strain on the seller in trying to move their personal belongings out of the way so that it can be empty for potential buyers. With virtual staging, the seller’s furniture, personal items, and decorations can be altered or removed to make the property as attractive as possible for potential buyers.

If you’re a realtor looking to give your properties an extra edge, consider staging your 3D tours virtually with Momentum 360. Trust us, virtual staging is the way to go when selling a property online.

Momentum 360 is proud to support small businesses and realtors everywhere as we all attempt to keep moving forward in a difficult and often-troubling time. We are excited to continue opening Momentum 360 locations all across the country including Philadelphia, Princeton, Boston, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Brooklyn, Pittsburgh, and State College, PA.

As always, stay safe and keep washing your hands! These are trying times but before we know it we will be out living our lives again.

Here at Momentum 360, we want to make growing your business easier than ever. Investing in a virtual tour is without a doubt an imperative step in making that happen. Our society is prioritizing digital content now more than ever, and we likely will not see a decline in this mindset in the future years.

If you are interested in learning more about Momentum 360 Virtual Tours or would like to have one made for your business, feel free to email us or schedule a call with Sean or Mac. For more information, visit our website! Mac Frederick and Sean Boyle, owners of Momentum, have over twenty years of experience in the digital marketing field and have a passion for helping businesses reach their fullest potential.

We post our Momentum Monday and Small Business Saturday blog every week, so feel free to subscribe and make sure you are up to date on the latest trends in the industry. If you have any questions or concerns, leave them in the comments below! From everyone at Momentum 360, thanks for the love, stay healthy, and until next time, build Momentum!