There are few things as effective for selling a listing as a good home staging. But traditional staging is expensive and time-consuming. What about virtual staging? In this post, I’ll go over nine of the best virtual staging software for real estate you can use for your real estate business.
What is Virtual Staging?
Virtual staging is the process of editing photos so that the property appears to have undergone interior design. Virtual staging software offers a lot of advantages:
- You can stage a property very quickly, without even having to go there.
- Your seller doesn’t have to spend the money on a home staging service.
- You can stage with elements that would otherwise be too expensive.
- You have complete control over the look and feel of the property.
- You can try out multiple virtual staging designs.
But since virtual staging software is also fairly new, many people don’t have a “go-to” virtual staging company.
Choosing the Right Virtual Staging Tool
Before we look at the virtual staging tools that are popular in 2021, let’s briefly go over the types of tools there are. There are two types of virtual staging services:
- Professional staging. You take photos or videos and then upload them to the company’s platform. You tell them what you want to be done with it, and they return it to you, usually within 24 to 48 hours. The advantage of such a service is that you don’t have to do anything; just send it in and forget about it.
- DIY virtual staging. You take the photos or videos and then use your phone or tablet to edit them yourself. You can drop in 3D furniture or use filters to remove items, boost color and contrast, or even change the time of day. DIY virtual staging puts the power in your hands to stage the properties, but it means you need to learn the software yourself.
DIY apps are cheaper, and you can use them on-demand. But professional virtual staging services are significantly easier to use.
With that in mind, here’s some of the best virtual staging software out there for 2021.
9. iStaging – $5
Best for: A real estate agent who wants an all-in-one DIY staging tool.
iStaging is one of the best and most affordable DIY staging solutions out there. You can create panoramas, a 3D tour, customize your tours, and create a showroom.
For $5 a month, you get access to the online editing platform, a smartphone capturing application, and Google Street View. You can create virtual spaces, host live tours, and use features such as on-demand blur.
While iStaging isn’t as robust as some of the more expensive suites, it has a very low barrier to entry. It’s more than enough to create a virtual stage for listing photos.
8. Visual Stager – $15
Best for: A real estate agent who wants an affordable method of staging their listings.
Visual Stager is a DIY virtual staging software solution that includes a wide array of furnishings. It’s one of the easiest systems to use.
In Visual Stager, you first upload your photo. You can upload a regular photo or a 360 photo, which many devices (smartphones and tablets) now support.
You can use “erase” to erase any items that you don’t want in your photo. Then you can select from thousands of different furniture and decor options.
Once your photos have been designed, you’ll be able to download them from the virtual stager as a JPEG. This allows you to use them anywhere.
Visual Stager doesn’t look entirely realistic (it’s obvious that it’s a virtually staged photo), but it has an extraordinary amount of breadth and flexibility. And it’s affordable.
7. Real Tour Vision – $15
Best for: A real estate agent who wants both the option of a DIY app and professional services.
Not only can you produce your own virtual staging, but you can also produce virtual tours. You can let people tour the property from the comfort of their own homes, which can make them far more likely to schedule an appointment with you.
The most advanced software package they have is $699, but it’s a one-time fee. It includes the software, training, support, and equipment that makes it easier to take 3D panoramic photos.
6. Square Foot Productions – $29
Best for: A real estate agent who doesn’t want to manage their own VRX staging.
Square Foot Productions provides extremely robust virtual staging solutions. In fact, its software is a complete home staging and real estate editing service. Features include:
- Virtual staging at $29 a photo. Put together a completely staged room from an empty one.
- Basic editing at $1.50 a photo. Edit the colors, contrast, and general picture quality of an existing listing photo.
- Occupied-to-vacant at $15 a photo. Make an occupied home look completely empty in the virtual staging app.
- Clutter removal at $8 a photo. Remove clutter to make it easier for potential buyers to envision themselves in a home.
- Commercial virtual staging at $39 a photo. A virtual staging solution for commercial spaces.
And there’s more, such as the virtual twilight feature that can change the time of day that you took your picture in.
However, it should be noted that this software isn’t DIY software; it’s a professional service. There’s a 24 to 48-hour turnaround, and you don’t have total control over the virtual home staging.
5. BoxBrownie – $32
Best for: A real estate agent who wants both virtual staging and virtual renovation services at a low cost.
BoxBrownie is a complete all-in-one real estate virtual staging service. Features include image enhancement, day-to-dusk editing, item removal, floor plans, and renders.
In addition to virtual staging, BoxBrownie also provides 360-degree virtual tours and virtual renovation. The virtual tours start at only $16, and the virtual renovation costs $24.
Virtual staging includes placing furniture, rugs, and decor, while a virtual renovation can do things like changing the color of walls and installing new flooring. But like Square Foot Productions, it’s a virtual interior designer service; the realtor won’t be able to do any of the digital staging themselves.
4. roOomy – $49
Best for: A real estate agent who has luxury listings they want virtual tours for.
The roOomy software suite uses Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) to create a virtual staging solution. It’s $49 to make a virtual, staged image in roOomy, but roOomy is special-it can also create a virtual tour for around $400 to $1,700.
They provide their Design Studio App, through which realtors and homebuyers can continue to design their rooms. Realtors will be able to place virtual furniture as desired and will be able to assist home buyers and renters in creating their own staged photos.
roOomy is a very robust technology that is best for luxury listings.
3. Cedar Architect – $59
Best for: A real estate agent who wants a DIY application for virtually staging homes.
Unlike some of the other solutions on this list, Cedar Architect is a subscription-based service. For $59 a month, you can create unlimited projects. That includes both HD renderings and virtual visits.
You can try out Cedar Architect with a 15-day free trial, which includes three free projects and three free HD renderings. You can also get special “recharge” packs if you need even more.
A special feature of Cedar Architect is the ability to design and re-design exteriors. For instance, you could show a prospective buyer how the outside would look if it had rose gardens, a deck, or a pool.
2. Spotless Agency – $79 to 199
Best for: A real estate agent who wants an all-around virtual staging and 3D rendering solution.
Spotless Agency provides premium virtual staging, 3D rendering, floor plan, furniture rendering, and virtual tour services. While it’s more expensive than some staging software, it also does provide virtual tours—something that not every staging software does.
With their virtual tour, Spotless Agency makes it possible for buyers and renters to view a property through 3D glasses. They can envision themselves inside of the home just how they want it.
The cost of a virtual tour starts at $600. An advantage of the virtual tour is that a prospective buyer doesn’t even need to be in the same state or country as the home. The staging software can be used on the buyer’s own technology—and they’ll see it as though they’re really there.
1. Hasten – Call for Pricing
Best for: A real estate agent who needs professional, fast turnaround for high-end properties.
Hasten provides virtual staging, photography, floor plan, 3D visualization, and 3D virtual tours. Everything is done by the Hasten team rather than being a DIY solution. And because it’s a premium solution, you do need to call for pricing.
The advantage is that Hasten does absolutely everything for you. You provide the source material, and Hasten will turn it into everything from a virtual staging photo to a 3D rendering.
FAQs on Virtual Staging Software
What’s the difference between DIY staging and professional staging?
In DIY staging apps, you create the staging yourself. You move digital items around the scene, export the photos, and place them in your listings. With professional staging, you send an image in and they do all the rest of the work for you. This often produces more realistic virtual staging.
If you need to do advanced work, professional staging companies are usually better. For instance, a professional virtual staging company can actually remove existing furniture from photos and replace it with something new—hard to do by a non-professional.
What are the downsides of virtual staging?
As with anything, you do have some limitations when you’re working with a virtual stage. You’re limited to the 3D furniture that’s available—if you can’t find a 3D model, you won’t be able to place an item in the scene. (You can pay extra to have some services model examples of physical furniture.)
It can take some time to complete DIY staging on your own and, if you’re inexperienced, the virtual staging image may not look entirely convincing. But most professional services can create a virtually staged photo that looks almost identical to physical staging.
Is virtual staging cheaper than traditional home staging?
You can save money on traditional home staging if you already provide all the decor and furnishings to your clients, or if you have a great deal with a local home staging company.
But for the most part, virtual staging is going to be much less expensive. Even a costly virtual staging company is going to charge less than a physical stager. Physical staging companies simply have so much overhead: they have to purchase or rent items, transport them, and store them.
As a real estate agent, virtual staging can be a service that you provide your customers to sell their houses faster and save them money on their sales.
How effective are virtual tours?
Virtual tours have two benefits. First, they let someone envision what a home would look like when virtually staged. Second, they let someone who is in another geographic location entirely enjoy a virtual tour.
If you frequently get out-of-state referrals, a virtual tour can be an excellent alternative to an in-person one.
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