Do You Provide Virtual Staging? What Software/Service Do You Use?

November 12th, 2015

FurniturePeter in Canada wants to hear about the subject of virtual staging. He says:

I know you have covered virtual staging before but it’s been a while. My questions are:

  1. How many of you out there do virtual staging?
  2. What’s the best or most popular software for this?
Yes, we discussed virtual staging about a year ago. Here is my crack at answering Peter’s questions:

  1. How widespread is it being used? My sense from looking at a lot of real estate photographers websites and from comments on past posts on virtual staging is it is not widespread (my guess is about 5% of real estate photographers provide virtual staging services). The reason is, it’s not easy to do well and it’s time-consuming and expensive so you need to charge as much for virtual staging a few rooms as for the rest of the shoot if you are going to make money at it. Not all markets will accept this extra cost. It probably works fine in upper-end markets.
  2. What’s the best or most popular software for virtual staging? From the research I’ve done, there are a number of online DIY staging websites. Realtourvision.comVisualstager.com and virtualstagingsolutions.com. And there are probably some I’ve missed. The reason these are all online subscription sites is that a large part of virtual staging software is access to an extensive library of 3D furniture. This is not something you’re going to do with Photoshop and some photos of furniture from past shoots. Furniture needs to be in 3D form so it can be rotated around to look natural.
How many of you use virtual staging and what software or service do you use?
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16 Responses to “Do You Provide Virtual Staging? What Software/Service Do You Use?”

  • Doing my first one tomorrow for a rock-star Seattle area builder. Wasn’t my idea, got it about 30 minutes ago on this page. What a great site this is – thank you!

  • I use Virtual Staging Solutions http://virtualstagingsolutions.com/

    They are NOT a DIY solution, they do the whole process and return great results. I do not want to invest in the software and libraries and go through the learning curve.

    Instead, I use their affiliate program, and direct my customers to their site via my affiliate link. An easy solution to Virtual Staging…

  • For now, I like Mike Cartwright’s solution of using an affiliate like Virtual Staging Solutions. That’s a great idea. But I would be interested in making a profit or kick back from referrals somehow.

  • I saw a need for this a couple years ago, and played with it a bit last winter when things where slow.
    To get my furniture and wall hangings, I went into local furniture stores (shooting several angles of each piece or set).
    Using Photoshop to remove all background, I was able to build a decent library.

    The problem came in actual use.
    While many rooms were straight forward enough to get good results, the time involved with re-sizing, tweaking angles and adding shadows turned out to be more than I wanted to invest.

    At some point I might give it another try, but (at least right now) I’m busy enough to keep it on the shelf.

  • MLS in my area does not allow virtually staged photos. Make sure you check with your MLS before you invest in software or market it to your clients.

  • Founder of Virtual Staging Solutions here. Thanks for the mention… When we first launched there was no one else offering this service and in the last 7 years it has grown quite a bit. There’s still many agents that don’t know about it though.

    We do have an affiliate program that a lot of photographers are using where you can refer clients to us and receive a 15% commission on their orders. We also have a white label reseller program if you prefer to keep everything under your own brand.

    We’ve invested a lot upfront to build a comprehensive furniture database and our own custom software in order to scale for high volume orders and make the process as fast, reliable and photo-realistic as possible.

    @jimmt – I’ve only heard of one other case where an MLS didn’t like the use of Virtual Staging but they eventually allowed it as long as a disclaimer of “photos virtually staged” was put in the listing description. Usually it is not a problem at all though and we work with clients in every state and multiple countries.

    If you have a link or contact to more info regarding the MLS and virtual staging in your area I’d love to speak with them about it. Typically the issue would come from the MLS not being very up to date with innovation or tech trends and not fully understanding the concept.

    Some also get confused if they have a clause about modifying a photo for nefarious reasons (hiding damage etc..) but that doesn’t apply to Virtual Staging. It’s really no different than photographing a house with the owners furniture in it but then they move out a few days later and the home is shown vacant.

    Happy to chat with anyone on the subject or answer any questions: bryan@virtualstagingsolutions.com

  • I just can’t justify the cost of some of these sites… $75 a photo?!?! How in the world can you mark that up?

    I’ve only had one client in the past two years ask for virtual staging and that was at the request of the seller. When you add up the cost for staging 5-6 rooms you’re not to far off of having it staged for real. The other issue is that when a buyer gets to see the virtual staged home, there’s nothing there… an empty house and disappointment. “Oh, this isn’t the house that I saw in the MLS” It’s almost like a bait and switch. With real staging, at least there’s really furniture.

    But back to the point at hand. To me, all those virtual staging services are overpriced and have you over a barrel because they own the proprietary software. In comes AutoDesk, (yes the maker of AutoCAD) and offers a FREE app called Homestyler. While it’s not as robust as some of these service based companies, it’s FREE and it works pretty darn well. Now, you do have to upload your images to your tablet and process them there, but… did I mention that it’s FREE! There is also a web-based service that is also FREE but to me it’s quite a bit more cumbersome.

    I haven’t had a chance to use it for profit, but I can see myself doing just that the next time I get a request for it. And… I can do it for something way more reasonable than $75 a photo.

    Check it out… http://www.homestyler.com/mobile

  • I am the founder of VisualStager, and I want to thank photographyforrealestate for covering virtual staging software as a topic. VisualStager is a patented technology for DIY staging that works entirely inside a browser. allows anyone to stage a photograph using our library of over 2,000 items, in minutes. There is nothing to download or install and it works on a Mac, PC and even an iPad using Chrome or Safari. There is no subscription, and you can stage a photograph for under $8. Hundreds of photographers from across the world are using VisualStager to offer Virtual Staging Services to their clients, roughly for $50-$80 per photo. Once they are familiar with the library, many of our customers can stage a room in 10-20 minutes. We are constantly updating our library, adding dozens of items each week.

    VisualStager also offers interactive staging, where you can publish what you have staged as a unique link. Anyone who has that link can rearrange the furniture. Agents or prospective home-buyers, can take their iPads to the vacant home, and interactively visualize the potential of a room on their tablets, while standing in the room.

    When you sign up, you can stage one of your photographs for free – with no obligation and without having to enter any credit card information.

    Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or need any clarifications – paragtope@visualstager.com

  • I’m using guys from http://www.cravip.com although they don’t advertise virtual staging on their website yet.

    As I understood they are still working things out.. as they are doing mainly 3D floor plans. They have done few sets of virtual staging for me and I can say best quality and most realistic look so far out of the providers I have tried previously for about half the price you mention here. I can easily double that price for my clients. Photos look like real life with right shadows and lighting. Worth trying out if you are serious about this service. I’m sure you can ask them for some trials before committing.

  • I have had great success using Staged3d.com.

  • Hello guys, I’ve been outsourcing a lot of real estate images, esp Virtual staging to http://www.outsourceimages.com for the past 4 years. They are exceptional for me, top quality yet affordable. I would strongly suggest you guys give them a try. I’ve visited their office and they are really a friendly and a professional bunch! You can tell them my name and I’m sure you’ll get the awesome pricing too (hopefully!)

    Afterall, money saved is money earned, isn’t it? 🙂

  • Very timely! I’ve had a couple of clients ask me about this in the last couple of weeks … now I can provide them with some resources. If it works out, I’ll add it to my list of services (for a modest fee, of course). 🙂

  • Hello guys,
    I thought I was the only virtual stager in the world.
    Someone corrected me and said it is called digital staging.
    I am left over from the 1900’s. I used to be a interior designer now I do OK as virtual stager in my area.
    I use Photoshop. I can build things from very little information and manipulate the image and its layered it on over the photo of the room.
    Of course if I shoot the space I angle the shot just so that it is going to accommodate the virtual staging.
    I would love to hear from anyone.
    alexcaydamdesign.net

  • Hi there, virtual staging or digital staging is actually very practical although most clients wish to discuss and imagine design improvements with the home stager in situ.
    I’ve tried out some virtual staging offers and most of them are pretty decent.
    An architect will always offer more because of his training, experience and technical abilities to adjust every detail to the customer’s desires.

  • I haven’t got any idea about virtual staging until my colleagues advised me to use http://www.hasten.me I was absolutely stunned by realism of the images. I emailed them to ask for further information. The feedback was super fast. The prices appeared to be very attractive so I made my first order without any hesitation. The turnaround time is about 24 hours which seems so little for such a great job. Virtually staged apartments went of super quickly. Now i don’t even think about using real staging. Virtual staging is a true break-through. Have been using Hasten ever since.

  • Hello All,
    Thank you very much in advance. This page alone has been a wealth of knowledge. I am new to real estate photography and want to be able to provide the best service I can. I am not tech savvy so for me the digital services are going to be a huge blessing. Since this post is a yr old. Does anyone have any new opinions about digital staging providers?

    Thank you.
    Newbie

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