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Virtual Staging: Is It A Viable Product For Real Estate Photographers?

Published: 23/02/2011
By: larry

Last week I was talking to Kris Bjarne Haug, a real estate photographer in the Greater New Orleans area and noticed that Kris has a site dedicated to his virtual staging product.

I've gotten mixed feedback from agents and photographers on this subject so I was anxious to get Kris's perspective on how things were going with his product.

Kris made several points about his virtual staging product:

  1. It's difficult to judge this products true potential because he is not currently marketing it as a stand alone product. Kris is just offering it to his real estate photography customers that need virtual staging.
  2. He says it's a good add on product that he sells to many agents that hire him to shoot vacant listings.
  3. Kris says, the agents that have used to product are very pleased and some even think it makes a difference in making the sale faster. Although he doesn't have any statistics to measure it's effect.
  4. He says he is very careful to not virtually stage Viking Stoves or change light fixtures or do anything different than a standard staging person would do so chances of misrepresentation are minimized.
  5. Kris says that when he makes a sales presentation to an office full of agents, a product like virtual staging adds to the professional image of his company. Agents are impressed by the capability.

In summary Kris believes virtual staging has a big potential but doesn't see that it is currently a viable product by itself.

I think as agents, buyers and sellers become more familiar with virtual staging, it will become more accepted and popular. Some believe there is an element of deception involved because when the buyer physically gets to the home it will be vacant. But in fact, this frequently happens with conventionally staged homes because when market times are long home sellers frequently don't want to continue to pay monthly charges for furniture rental so they cancel the staging and the home is vacant but the listing photos are staged. We've had this happen many times with our listings.

9 comments on “Virtual Staging: Is It A Viable Product For Real Estate Photographers?”

  1. The product seems to be first class. The problem will be the cost.
    Most real estate sales budgets aren't going to include this sort of upgrade. We recently bought a home in San Diego and many of the shots were so poor, even for the more upmarket homes, that we weren't even slightly inclined to take a look at them. I wish them luck as it's a good product but that's no guarantee of market viability is it?
    I enjoy looking at the before/after shots though.

  2. I think its a good idea and would is valuable in certain circumstances (agents budget etc). As an add on to his photography it is a great idea, offering a little more than the next provider might just get him more listings.

  3. I'd thought about whether this could be done - but I was also thinking homes not vacant - you know the rooms - the ones with no "pop". Adding a vase of roses to a table, or an object 'd art on a bare shelf... I know some folks put a fire in the fireplace, and a picture on a blank tv screen.

    I'd love to learn this process and do it myself. I'm sure that as one of the requirements of the photograph is to show at least two corners, the PS expert can then extrapolate the angles / proportion of the room to adjust the image layer (chair, bed...).

    I'm facinated

  4. I've had photos virtually staged many, many times and the samples from the above site don't look nearly as good. If you want something realistic check out Virtual Staging Solutions ( http://www.virtualstagingsolutions.com ) they have been leading the industry with virtual staging and to date are the only virtual stagers I know of that are able to do it realistically. I've had nearly all of my vacant listings staged by them and they do some incredible work. I've never worked with the above mentioned company but I've seen some of their advertisements and like the work of virtualstagingsolutions.com better - it's much more realistic and had nothing but great experiences with them.

  5. Hmmm. Not my cup of tea, though it looks like he does it well. For me, virtual staging and actual staging are two different things, and virtual just doesn't see quite right.

  6. Nothing beats the real thing but this sure is better than leaving the home empty and forcing a buyer to try to use their imagination. What an excellent 'would you like fries with that?' add-on to a real estate photographer's business plan.

  7. I've worked extensively using virtual staging in real estate. The best available source for Virtual Home Staging is ( http://virtuallystagingproperties.com ). Not only did they pioneer the trade but are the only ones to actually use real digital photos of real furniture for their virtual staging. The others use digital or cad mockups and the quality just isn't the same.

  8. The of virtual staging of the photographs above can't even be compared to the company that I use for all the properties that I renovate and flip. If you want real furnishings and photos staged by realtors and professional stagers and not CAD generated, you gotta contact Jay at http://virtuallystagingproperties.com.

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