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

Published: 13/11/2015

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. and 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?
Larry Lohrman

29 comments on “Do You Provide Virtual Staging? What Software/Service Do You Use?”

  1. 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!

  2. I use Virtual Staging Solutions

    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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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:

  7. 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...

  8. 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 -

  9. I'm using guys from 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.

  10. Hello guys, I've been outsourcing a lot of real estate images, esp Virtual staging to 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? 🙂

  11. 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). 🙂

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. I haven't got any idea about virtual staging until my colleagues advised me to use 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Hi, guys!
    Spotless Agency for virtual staging has been already mentioned on photographyforrealestate and 2 months ago I placed my first order. The results impressed me a lot, their pictures are exetremly realistic and the entire process took only 24 hours! Their facebook page has lots of testomonials, so I am not the only person satisfied.

  17. Hasten provides best virtual staging and 3D visualization solution. Spotless agency has been constantly copying our style, however, we still are and will be leading virtual staging company.

  18. I represent virtual staging and we are the only company that offers a money back guarantee, price match promise and unlimited free revisions. We do true photorealistic 3D virtual home staging and not just photoshop like most virtual stagers. We are a sponsor on this forum and look forward to helping you with your questions about virtual home staging. We also have a Partner program for photographers:

    - Exclusive photographer discounted pricing
    - White label service so you can build your brand
    - Listing on PadStyler Photography Portal to bring you additional business
    - Marketing material and sample images to help you market our service
    - Free web design service to showcase virtual staging on your existing website
    - Preferred partner order priority for faster delivery
    - Unlimited order revisions free of cost to ensure client satisfaction
    - Dedicated account support and consultation 7 days a week

  19. Can anyone recommend virtual staging software that is available for a one-time purchase? We are a small property management company, but we have single family homes and duplexes, so it would not be cost effective to pay per photo to be able to have staged pics of our 50+ floorplans. We currently have a 3D design software, but it never looks very realistic, especially for older homes. Thanks in advance!

  20. Hi Lisa,

    Unfortunately that's probably your only option right now. We personally use a collection of 3 different tools, including one that we custom built over the years. Our designers have also been working in 3D realism for 3+ years.

    When you add up the cost of our software, the cost of our furniture library, the time it takes to virtually stage a photo and the learning curve, you'll likely be paying way more than you would if you had hired an agency. Remember, time = money and is probably better spent on your core competencies.

    There are some tools out there for you to plug things in and get some resemblance of virtual staging but the hard part is the realism. This requires a high quality furniture library that doesn't come with any out of the box software but also extensive knowledge in 3D lighting, modeling and perspective matching.

    This is why a whole industry exists for virtual staging, just as it does for doctors, plumbers, mechanics, etc... you may be able to hack something together but it's likely better left up to the professionals with domain expertise. Plus you're still saving thousands over physical staging.

    I'm happy to chat with you to see if we can help in some way and make something fit within your budget. Feel free to reach out to me at

  21. Hey everyone - i see people are posting a lot about which virtual staging companies are great.

    I just wanted to share that i used and they are great!

    I didn't really know which company to choose and I looked up some reviews and gave a call. Their company was very easy to work with and the results were fantastic! They were, from my understanding, the only company that actually allows you to tell them what you want. They give you the flexibility to really go above and beyond in what I was looking for in the staging. Also, their prices were SO MUCH BETTER compared to some other companies that produced either the same quality or worse.

    I highly recommend anyone to check them out! - Its Virtual Staging & Rendering Group.

  22. I'm looking for something similar where I can superimpose different roofing materials and colors. One where I could show my roofing clients what their house would look like with new gray shingles vs a metal roof. I'd love to be able to send them to my website where their photos could be hosted and viewed. Would anything mentioned above work for exteriors?

  23. We've got a lot of listings in the Calgary real estate market and virtual staging is becoming more and more necessary for homes that are vacant, any current recommendations? Ideally a software solution and not the credit system I keep coming across.

  24. Cody,
    A DIY software can never produce the high quality virtual staging renderings that today's Real Estate Agents expect. Secondly most Virtual Staging orders go through a fair bit of revisions because interior design can be so personal. That is why we continue to offer this as a reasonably priced service to our customers. We offer same day delivery, free revisions and 100% money back guarantee. Try us out you will love it.

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