What is the process for virtual staging?
I talk with dozens of realtors and builders each week, and without a doubt this is the question I receive the most: How does virtual staging work? It’s a relatively new technology, and it’s also changing (read: improving!) all the time, so I get it. Realtors and builders have heard of virtual staging, and without a doubt seen some bad virtual staging. The majority of real estate professionals I work with have not used a luxury virtual staging company before mine. So, they’re taking a leap. They’re hopeful this new-ish marketing technology will help them sell their listings quickly and for more money. So am I! At Winnow + Gild, our goal is to make you money and make your client money. Virtual staging works to help your potential
buyers engage and connect with a property prior to even seeing it. Getting them in the door is half the battle.
Ideally, vacant photos will be staged prior to listing, but we work quite a bit on vacant homes that have already been on the market a while. Sometimes they’re taken off the market for fresh paint, new landscaping or improved photos. Sometimes a price decrease combined with virtual staging can give it a boost and get new shoppers to take a second look. Either way, luxury virtual staging improves the listing ten-fold and serves to increase views (and subsequently in-person showings) greatly. Home shoppers love seeing
The Nitty-Gritty: Top Five Questions We Receive
1. Who takes the photos? You/your photographer take the photos. There is nothing special about the photos themselves, they’re just the regular listing pictures that you already have. If you know you’re going to virtually stage in advance of listing, here are some tips to create the best digital canvas for your virtual stager:
Have the pictures taken from a tripod set at a height of exactly five feet
Make sure the largest amount of floorspace as possible is photographed
Sometimes wide-angle or even fish-eye lens is a temptation - these photos do not work with virtual staging
Provide lots of natural light
Make sure they are high-resolution! High res digital staging with low res photos doesn’t look right. The staging and photo quality should be the same resolution.
Get 360-degree photos and stage your virtual tour!
2. Can I have input into the design and/or furnishing style? Definitely! We love collaborating with clients when staging a home. Oftentimes, you know exactly what you’d like to see. Be as descriptive as possible with your virtual stager. The more detail we have about what you’d like to see , the happier you’ll be with the finished result! You can use furnishing styles, like “modern,” “rustic farmhouse,” or “mid-century modern.” You can also just describe what you want in each space, like “In the office I’d like a simple black desk, light colored round rug, and a colorful piece of wall art.” You can also be really specific and ask us to show you -- for instance-- all our glass-topped console tables, or all our navy sofas. Don’t be shy! You’re paying for these photos to look how you want them to!
3. Do you stage exteriors? Yes! We love virtually staging exteriors, they are among our favorite scenes to create. The outdoor spaces in a home often get overlooked during staging but potential buyers are really motivated by beautiful outdoor living spaces. Luxury virtual staging can add outdoor couches, patio sets,
galore, rugs, fireplaces and other décor. We can even add a hot tub, a BBQ - you name it! We think it’s important to virtually stage at least one exterior photo in each listing, especially since 2020 when people began spending more time than ever at their homes. Home buyers want to see the potential of all areas within the property, and this definitely includes the outdoor spaces.
4. Can you digitally remove furniture or place virtual furniture over existing in the photos? It depends. If the scene is heavily furnished, we can edit out everything that’s there, but depending on placement and surrounding walls and floors, the quality of “what’s left” after the edit may not be great. One or two smallish pieces of furniture or décor can almost always be edited away successfully. It never hurts to show us your photos and ask! Sometimes, if you can even get back to the property and push a few things out of the scene and take a good photo with your iPhone the result will be higher quality than if we attempted to digitally remove furniture that takes up >50% of the photograph.
5. How long does it take? As luxury virtual stagers, we fully understand that time is often of the essence in staging a home and getting it to market (or back to market, in some cases). We stage photos within 24 hours. If revisions are requested (less than 10% of the time), they are generally completed the same day they are requested. We strive to meet all urgent and time-sensitive requests, so please feel free to let us know the constraints you’re working with. It’s also worth noting that the same level of care and attention are given to “rush” orders and with “no rush” orders.
What’s the difference between virtual staging and “luxury virtual staging?” Well, the distinction lies in several different areas. At Winnow + Gild Luxury Virtual Staging, our furnishing and décor selection is high-quality, and on-trend. It’s also consistently updated so we can stay current and ready to stage everything from classic estate properties to brand-new modern builds. If there are specific pieces of art or wall décor you’d like incorporated, we can accommodate those requests.
The second distinction in luxury virtual staging is that we treat our clients with unparalleled custom service. With a larger, more “big box” virtual staging firm, you’re often just a number and they aren’t aiming for your ultimate satisfaction. With our luxury virtual staging service, your happiness with our service is first and foremost our number one goal. We want you to be thoroughly satisfied so that you’ll tell your colleagues and coworkers about our service. Most of our work is through repeat customers and referrals. We take our satisfaction guarantee seriously!
Practicalities - The Process
First, we send you an estimate for our luxury virtual staging services. We charge per photo, and the first staged photo is always free for new clients! We detail exactly which pictures we would like to stage in your listing.
Second, you accept the estimate, and place a 50% deposit on the invoice via Square. The remainder is due upon completion and your satisfaction. Putting down a deposit protects us both.
Third, within 24 hours, your completed photos are emailed to you. If you want any revisions, now is when you’d request them.
You pay the remainder of the invoice, and upload your photos to the MLS and any other marketing services you’re using.
That’s it! Virtual Staging is a pretty simple process with outstanding results. To see our gallery of before/afters, click here. If you're interested in placing an order or getting more information, send us an email.