Virtual Staging AI Is a Game-Changer for Real Estate Photographers and Realtors

Virtual Staging AI Is a Game-Changer for Real Estate Photographers and Realtors

I know the term "game-changer" is a tired cliché. However, having put Virtual Staging AI through its paces, I see it's a phrase that should have been reserved for this software, as it will revolutionize the real estate photography market.

One of the things I do as part of my work is photograph properties. Mostly, they are fully furnished vacation homes. Recently, I have been speaking with a realtor to look at providing images for their sales properties. Occasionally, I get asked to photograph these houses after the furniture is removed.

The Problem With Empty Buildings

Empty buildings are uninspiring. Furthermore, many people struggle to visualize how great a bare property could look when it is furnished. I certainly do. That’s why many empty properties are temporarily furnished specifically for taking the photos. This is called staging, and traditionally, there are two ways of approaching it. Each has major disadvantages.

First, the traditional staging of a property takes time and money. Installing furniture and other decor for a photoshoot is time-consuming, cumbersome, and expensive.

Second is the virtual service offered by DIY stores that uses computer software. That attempts to show how a room will look when filled with its furnishings. However, the software is invariably clunky. It also takes time to learn, and you need skills to use it, too. Moreover, the results look very unrealistic, and not every buyer is enamored by a property that looks like a Looney Tunes cartoon version of an Ikea showroom. However, although that software has its drawbacks, it’s usually cost-free.

How Virtual Staging AI Comes to the Rescue

Those drawbacks are why Virtual Staging AI is a great alternative. It is an affordable tool that overcomes those issues. It takes a photo of an empty room and adds furniture to it. With just a few clicks of a button, images of rooms can be repeatedly refurnished in different styles. Their furnishings can be changed too, suiting different room functions.

Consequently, when real estate photographers use Virtual Staging AI on their images, it enables realtors to demonstrate to buyers the various options of what could be done with that space.

An example of Virtual Staging AI, with the empty room on the left and the selected AI staged image on the right. Below are the variations I generated for that photo.

How Does Virtual AI Staging Work?

One answer to that question is "very easily." It's an online app. You sign into the website and then upload a photo of a room to it.

Next, you select your room type. There are six room options to choose from: bedroom, living room, kitchen, bathroom, home office, and dining room. From a second drop-down menu, you pick the furniture style you want. These styles include standard, modern, Scandinavian, Industrial, Mid-Century, Luxury, and Coastal.

Now, you are ready. You just click the Add Furniture button, and within seconds, the room appears fully furnished. Currently, the system only supports empty rooms, but they are developing it so that soon, it will remove and replace existing tables, chairs, cupboards, and beds.

There isn’t a pre-determined library of furniture. The AI system analyses the room and generates furniture to match it. Consequently, new furniture is produced each time, so no two rooms will have the same furniture. When you have chosen the styles you like, you can save as many of the rendered images you have created as you like.

If you are not entirely happy with one rendering, you can create further variations using the same or different furniture styles, or you can choose a different room type altogether. Why not make this space a home office instead of a bedroom?

How to Choose the Correct Style

Different properties have different inherent characteristics, and I found that choosing the correct style for a house and keeping that standardized throughout the building worked best. It’s also important to match the style to the tastes of the potential customers. Of course, it’s perfectly possible to produce several portfolios of images of one home with different styles in each to match the diverse tastes of the assorted prospective buyers.

When I am photographing vacation homes, I advise my clients to minimize the spaces and remove clutter, as it looks much better in the photographs. Likewise, choosing simpler layouts using the Virtual Staging AI gave more appealing results.

Once you have rendered and saved the images you want, you can then download them, including, if you want, a personal watermark.

This is an extremely easy process. The production of the images is very quick. It delivered fabulous results with the images I uploaded in less than 10 seconds.

The Financial Benefits of Virtual Staging AI

If you consider that the cost of using virtual staging is, on average, 97% cheaper than traditional, physical staging, it suddenly becomes a very attractive proposition to real estate photographers and realtors alike.

Virtual Staging AI has a sliding scale of charges with varying prices that depend on the number of photos you upload. It starts at a basic $12 per month. That allows you to upload six photos per month but gives you unlimited room types, styles, and renders. For $19 per month, you get the standard plan, where you can upload 25 images per month and images are stored forever.

The $39 Professional Plan gives you 100, and for $69, the Enterprise Plan gives 250 uploads per month. Both of those options give you 24/7 access to a personal success manager, and the latter also includes API access.

That’s all well and good, but does Virtual Staging AI Make a difference in property sales? Absolutely, it does! Properties that have images created by Virtual Staging AI have been shown to have a positive impact on 83% of buyers. Then, not only did those properties sell 73% faster than those that had not been staged, but the offers on the houses were 25% higher too. The increased return on investment from both the savings and improved sales make this a superb move for real estate photographers and realtors.

What I Liked and What Could Be Improved

I was really impressed with the simplicity of Virtual AI Staging. How well it worked and its ability to reimagine rooms in different styles made me realize how powerful this tool is.

Of course, advertisers will need to be honest about the use of AI to furnish the rooms. Realtors offering Virtual Staging AI are giving ideas to clients and not representing reality. Currently, on some of the renderings, it is possible to tell that they are AI-generated, but they are realistic enough to give clients a good idea of what is possible with a space.

There’s no doubt that AI is revolutionizing the photography industry, and there is kickback against its use. But just like all the other innovations that came before it, AI has the potential to help photographers, their clients, and related industries like real estate sales to work smarter and serve their clients better.

This technology is going to hit those whose revenues rely on providing staging for real estate photoshoots. However, technological progress has changed the way we work throughout history, and those who don't embrace this exciting new technology and evolve their businesses will get left behind. Virtual Staging AI is something that realtors will adopt.

I can see the home buyers being attracted to using this software too. There’s a free trial, and if you are thinking of buying a new home, then you can get some idea of how it will look with furniture.

My Conclusions for Virtual AI Staging

For those selling properties, it will bring financial benefits. Meanwhile, property buyers will better see the potential of their prospective new homes. It's already a great tool, and further improvements are planned for it. It's certainly something I look forward to offering to my clients.

You can try and buy Virtual AI Staging by clicking or tapping here.

Ivor Rackham's picture

Earning a living as a photographer, website developer, and writer and Based in the North East of England, much of Ivor's work is training others; helping people become better photographers. He has a special interest in supporting people with their mental well-being through photography. In 2023 he became a brand ambassador for the OM System

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