Photo Magic with Virtual Staging & Photoshop

Photo Magic with Virtual Staging & Photoshop

Save Time & Money with Virtual Staging & FPO Editing

We can do a lot with a blank space, or we can fix issues with existing spaces.  This post highlights some of the examples and details the benefits.  As part of our standard photo editing for each full service order, we will do the following tasks.  Additional editing can be requested under Tour Upgrades for typically $10 a photo.

  • Blue skies on all outside photos
  • TV blackouts or the front home image on TV screens
  • Removal of blemishes or distracting power cords
  • Flash reflection removal
  • Cloning out small imperfections not property specific

Example of using Photoshop to remove a moving Pod

Examples of our Virtual Staging

We can also convert blank spaces into virtually staged rooms.  According to one Seattle area agent, a quote for a partial real staging of a 4000 sq ft house was going to run a minimum of $8,000 for the first month.  At $65 an image, we can save you a bundle, and these images can be used for the life of the tour.

Since virtual staging is done after we have the processed photos, you order virtual staging on our Custom Services page.

The Market is Changing

The Market is Changing

What a difference a few months make.  With the rise in interest rates and inflation, we have seen homes go from selling almost before the ground is broken for the sign, to now homes are sitting on the market for days, if not weeks.  For example, according to Altos Research, while one Seattle bedroom community, Sammamish, is still listed at the edge as a strong seller’s market, 37% of homes durinng the first week of June had a price reduction.
Sammamish Market Profile

Courtesy of Altos Research

Seattle has also seen 24% of listings with a price decrease, despite there being less than 500 listings overall and it being an extremely strong seller’s market.
Seattle Market

Courtesy of Altos Research

In contrast, another hot market, Austin, has seen 32% of the listings with a price decrease on close to 1,200 active listings.
Austin Market

Courtesy of Altos Research

And even a market like Fairfield, CT, with less than 100 listings, is seeing some downward price pressure.
Fairfield CT Market Profile

Courtesy of Altos Research

Or over in the Southeast, Charleston has also seen 31% of it’s 202 listings with a price decrease.
Charleston, SC Market

Courtesy of Altos Research

 
So, what are the implications?  Well, the market is obviously in a correction period and we can expect properties to sit longer.  The question is, how do you adjust?

Our view is you increase the marketing exposure for your listings, and you. Leverage the listing you have by differentiating yourself online, which is where buyers and sellers are going, and stand out, with an outstanding marketing presentation for your listing – the FloorPlanOnline virtual tour. It has been proven to get agents more business.  And it can increase the traffic to your listing, just like Laurie experienced with her first listing put into FloorPlanOnline.

Game Changer.  

That’s what you say when something new comes along and shifts how you do something, and I can honestly say FloorPlanOnline and their 3D Walkthrough Tour is a Game Changer. The photos are amazing, that is the first thing online buyers see, and they leave a lasting impression.  They are backed up with the immersive 3D walkthrough and 2D & 3D floor plan tools that can even get converted into a video to complete the ultimate marketing presentation. 

My first listing with FloorPlanOnline had over 400 social media video views of the 3D WalkThrough Video, much more than I ever had in the past. The results also speak for themselves. Most properties in the immediate area sell for 106% of sales price over list price. My listing sold for 114% over list.  Average days on market for the area is 12 days, this property sold in 36 hours.  

Let me say it again.  Game Changer.

Laurie Jorgensen

REALTOR, Jorensen RE Group, ReeceNichols

Also, create more and better content.  If you have just photos or a photo tour, upgrade to add a floor plan.  If you have a FloorPlan Tour, upgrade to the 3D Walkthrough Tour.  According to Zillow’s own internal data, listings with 3D tours are saved 53% more often and they get 81% more traffic, as our previous blog post detailed. And, because our patented process we call Brandkeepr (patent #11,328,374 ) can keep your brand on your virtual tour on the top sites like Zillow, Realtor.com, Redfin and Trulia, you have an opportunity to get more leads from more places, for free.  So leverage the tour you already have into a lead capture machine.

At the end of the day, you never know who is looking at your listing, and for what purpose.  It could be someone looking to add to their rental portfolio, and they are sitting in a $3 million home that they want to sell in a year.  Or, it could be an older seller who is looking to downsize, and they have both a home to sell, and one to buy.  So leverage your listing to differentiate yourself online, and it will lead people back to you.

What if you don’t have a listing?  Use the free Demo Tour you have in your account and create a Facebook post on your Facebook business page and show people how you would market their home.  Boost it to convert it into an advertisement and target your market.  It is this tour but with your info on it.  It should have an active Matterport 3D tour so you can show prospective sellers how you will market their home but the best tech available and the best photos for the money, hands down.   If for some reason your Demo Tour does not have an active Matterport, see this post or contact customer care and we can add it on for you.

The post text can be something like this:

Inventory is still low, so list now before rates climb higher.  I use the best technology to sell your home faster, safer and with less hassle, as you see in our example tour.  We can do the same for your home.  

It would look something like this.  When you boost the post you then have an opportunity to pick and area and budget.  Or do this with an existing listing, showcasing a real example and help your seller at the same time.

example facebook boosted post

Post the Unbranded Video to Your MLS

Post the Unbranded Video to Your MLS

How to Tip – Post the unbranded slideshow video link to your MLS.

One of our customers wanted to post the unbranded slideshow video to their MLS as one of the 3 virtual tour fields.  While we do not show the video link in your tour links section, you can easily grab the video url right from the unbranded tour.  See the video below on how to do it, or just mouse over the 3 dots on the lower right, right click and select copy the video address, and then paste that in as a virtual tour link into your MLS.  Just make sure you are on the unbranded tour when you grab the video URL.   We always suggest putting your FloorPlanOnline tour as the first virtual tour, Matterport second, and a video as third, if you have more than one option, or use the FPO tour link if you only have one field, since with Brandkeepr, we keep your brand on your tour on the top search sites.

3D Tours Increase Exposure 81%!

3D Tours Increase Exposure 81%!

According to Rich Barton, CEO of Zillow, listings with 3D Tours far exceed other listings in terms of engagement.  Internal Zillow user data has shown that homes with a 3D Tour were saved 53% more frequently, and they got on average 81% more views than listings without.

More exposure = more demand = higher sales prices

How does this translate into higher prices?  Its about supply and demand.  We know supply is low, but as an agent, you can increase demand to create a perfect storm for you and your seller.  Check out this new testimony from Laurie Jorgensen, an agent with ReeceNichols in the Kansas City area, on how 3D tours can increase the demand, and final sales price.

 

Game Changer.  

That’s what you say when something new comes along and shifts how you do something, and I can honestly say FloorPlanOnline and their 3D Walkthrough Tour is a Game Changer. The photos are amazing, that is the first thing online buyers see, and they leave a lasting impression.  They are backed up with the immersive 3D walkthrough and 2D & 3D floor plan tools that can even get converted into a video to complete the ultimate marketing presentation. 

My first listing with FloorPlanOnline had over 400 social media video views of the 3D WalkThrough Video, much more than I ever had in the past. The results also speak for themselves. Most properties in the immediate area sell for 106% of sales price over list price. My listing sold for 114% over list.  Average days on market for the area is 12 days, this property sold in 36 hours.  

Let me say it again.  Game Changer.

Laurie Jorgensen

REALTOR, Jorensen RE Group, ReeceNichols

Matterport and others have lots of data on how 3D content can drive engagement and increase sale activity, selling for up to 9% MORE than the market average.  Hearing it from one of our customers just hits it home.  When you look at Laurie’s specific data, selling for 8% more than the market average means Lauie effectively saved her seller the 6% agent commission, and made another 2% on top of the market average.  And sold it 8 times faster.  Talk about looking like a hero to your client!

The good news is “3D Tours” do not have to be Zillow’s own 3D tour.  In fact, the content FloorPlanOnline creates can qualify as a “3D Tour” on Zillow and get a special 3D Tour icon, especially if Matterport is added as the secondary virtual tour link in the MLS (if your MLS only has one spot we recommend our tour – see below on Brandkeepr).  In a recent search in the Seattle area, most of the “3D Home” listings were not Zillow’s version.  Plus, per FPO discussions with Zillow personnel, it looks like they are interested in getting more and more content, regardless of source, embedded on Zillow.  Why?  It increases their engagement stats and they can monetize in other ways via online advertising.  Increased engagement is why Redfin has been pulling in all kinds of content and embedding it on their website for several years now. Click on one of these screenshots to see how a listing on Redfin looks so much richer with all the different content options.

While we do have an upgrade option for the Zillow 3D Home tour, we limit it to buckets of 5 360 image locations per bucket.  Why? So we (collectively) do not give Zillow all the data of a home.  They already own more than 50% of the market using the industry’s listing photos.  What if they had 360 tours and floor plans on homes as well that they have exclusive rights to, which they do if you read their terms of use?   Since ZIllow is a brokerage, why give them content they can use against you down the road? It would be like a Keller Williams agent using a Remax app to create content exclusively for remax.com.  Why would you do that????  So if you really want a Zillow 3D Tour benefit, we can shoot 5 shots and upload the 360s via the app, and you get the badge on your listing.  Or, do Matterport and get it without giving them any content!

Now, we hear from some agents that they don’t like Matterport, because it makes them dizzy or just takes too long to view.  One thing we do is automate it, so the user pushes the play button, and we walk the user through the home in a few minutes.  It takes a lot less time to do this than to get in the car and drive to a listing.  Plus, it is safer for your sellers, and it is much less hassle, because they and you have an “always show ready home” via the virtual tour, 24.7.  This convenience is extended post sale as the buyer can use both Matterport and our floor plan tools to measure for paint or flooring estimates, count door knobs or windows, or share with their contractor for remodel planning.  This saves everyone time and effort up through close.

At the end of the day, it really should be about what your customers want.  And your customers are both buyers and sellers, and they want 3D Tours:

  • 99% of sellers think 3D Tours make their home more competitive online
  • 88% want to work with agents that offer 3D Tours
  • 55% of all buyers, 64% of Millennial buyers, say they would by a home sight unseen if the listing had a 3D Tour.

Again, more demand (driven by anyone with an Internet connection) = higher sales price

Leverage our tour with Brandkeepr. Finally, with our newly patented Brandkeepr feature, we keep your brand on your tour on the top sites people use most, including Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and Redfin.  This is a breadcrumb left back to you and it has helped our clients be differentiated to win more listings, and as you have seen above, to win the sale by selling it faster and for more money.  See the video for a quick Brandkeepr overview, as well as how Redfin is really doing a nice job with embedding content, driving more users to their site and increasing engagement as well, moving up to a solid number 3 spot in the most recent consumer website rankings.

Photos in the context of the floor plan sells!

image of a 2D interactive floor plan

Neighborhood POI Photos

Neighborhood POI Photos

Neighborhood POI

Add callouts to point out local points of interest (“POI”) such as the grocery store or location of the nearest Starbucks, drive time to downtown or other area attractions.  It adds a little pizzaz to your images, and it can also be added to any aerial video taken as well.  Priced at just $10, we will add up to 5 POI’s per scene for the editing fee.  Add as many scenes as you want. 

Check out the before and after to see how it can really enhance the aerial image.

2022 Update

2022 Update

Welcome to the Spring 2022 Listing Season

As we begin our 17th year serving you, we are recommitting that we will provide the BEST customer service and home-related platform in the world, offering you features and functionality you will not find anywhere else, including:

  • Brandkeepr – our patented process that keeps YOUR brand on YOUR tour on the top sites like Zillow, Realtor.com and Trulia.  In fact, 98% of the Top 10 real estate search sites can display your brand on our tour.  This leaves “breadcrumbs” back to you, and has proven to get agents more business, both on the sell and buy side.
  • Real-time editing tools to configure your tour, edit your flyer, sequence/enhance your video and even edit/enhance your floor plans on demand.  No other tour provider has their own floor plan tool because they all use a 3rd party to create just a floor plan image or PDF file.  We create a true 3D model that can be used by you and the owner throughout the whole ownership lifecycle, including on our tour with the drag and drop furniture planner and in HomeDiary as a management tool for the owner, or keepsake for the seller.  Coming soon – Gross living area calculations for each property that adds wall factors in addition to the internal area, so you will have a more comparable result against the tax records or appraisals (which can, and often, are not correct).
  • HomeDiary integration that lets the content live on post sale – through our “Claim Home” menu option, the photos and the 3D floor plan model are copied to the buyer and seller’s private HomeDiary account upon request (and your approval).  Soon, we will also have ways you can create a digital closing gift and more on the buy and living side with our transition to HomeDiary PRO.  This will keep you in front of your clients by enabling you to add relevant content into your client’s HomeDiary accounts for their lifetime of ownership.

You can see the full list of the value of our tour , platform and the various services we provide in our feature list below.

 

We want your feedback.

We want to be your go to provider for all your property needs.  So we have implemented a new quick feedback mechanism.  Please submit your feeback here.
5 stars

  Check Out Our New or Coming Soon Value Adds:

  • BLUE SKY GUARANTEE. Weather less than desirable? We have you covered.  Starting now, we will replace those gray skies with pretty blue ones for NO CHARGE for all exterior photos.  Other companies charge extra for this included service.
  • LIVE: Beta Testing of the new Order Management System with new features for HomeDiary PRO, an industry first platform that not only allows you to create tours, or Stories, for your listings, but you can curate content for the buy or living side with our Sponsored Diaries option.  Over the past year plus, we completely recoded our whole system we spent the last 17 years building, with new functionality you will not find anywhere else in the world.  So stay relevant by populating the Diary with closing docs, a recommended “To Do’s” list from the inspection report and more.  You can even add quarterly or annual professional CMA’s right into a user’s HomeDiary, compliments of, and branded by, you as a way to stay relevent with your key clients over time.
  • The best floor plan tool will get even better in 2022 with gross living area (“GLA“) calculations in addition to the internal measured area, so you can corroborate the county tax records or the calculations of an appraisal. Stay tuned for this in the coming months.
  • Added a Voiceover Service starting at $25 that can be ordered on any of our video services
  • Added a Matterport Walkthrough Video add-on service for just $50 when you order a 3D Walkthrough Tour
  • Added Virtual Staging Service  with the ability to add similar furniture to the space on the floor plan tool, starting at just $65 per image.  We can even convert an unfinished basement into a finished space for $20 more.
  • Added a new Custom Brochure process – We are now leveraging Canva to create custom flyers that you can then edit and get printed at your local FedEx store for cheaper and faster turn around.  We also created an editable handout using Canva you can provide your prospective sellers – Download it here.
  • We are working to update the social media videos to a “story” format that is portrait sized so it matches Facebook, Instagram and TikTok specs for story videos.

Pricing Updates for 2022

As of April 1, we have adjusted our pricing in various markets.  Please use our price calculator to estimate a price for your area.  Just note the calculator does not reflect any custom pricing that may be in place for your company (login to your account to see custom pricing in effect).  

Costs have gone up significantly – from gas, to food, to people costs.  We have not increased our prices in over two years, so we will be increasing prices in most markets to ensure continued excellent service for you by our collective team.  We pay our service providers much more than most other national competitors, in some cases 2 times as much.  Why? Because we believe having a quality individual to service your needs year in, year out, is more important than squeezing as much money out of people as possible (which causes high churn of photographers in other companies).  In addition our proprietary photo process is more detailed and time consuming, but the end result really beats the competition in terms of a superior quality photo. Our production team spends upwards of 5 hours per tour producing the best content for your listing.

Why our Platform, and Service, is the Best

 
All Tours include:
  • Fast loading, optimized tours hosted for up to 1 year on Amazon Web Services with CDN content cashing for the optimial user experience (see below for Matterport hosting)
  • HD sized Photo gallery for big, full screen viewing of the photos, optimized with a scroll view on mobile
  • Downloadable photos with on demand custom sizing to fit every upload need
  • Editable & downloadable slideshow video with text explainer slides and floor plans sync’d and built-in (if applicable)*
  • Editable & downloadable flyers, with floor plans built-in (if applicable)
  • Embeddable code to post on your website or blog
  • Branded and unbranded versions for the MLS and beyond with auto linking of the virtual tour (and sometimes photos) for select MLS platforms
  • Brandkeepr* – our patented process that keeps your brand on your tour on the top sites like Zillow for free leads from the websites people actually use most
  • Claim Home to HomeDiary* – the buyer and seller can claim the home right from the tour and get a copy of the photos and floor plans (including our 3D Designer tool) put into their private HomeDiary, and you get attribution on the content provided (note you are NOT the “official sponsor” by default so there should be no “anit-competitive” issue here).
  • HomeDiary Sponsorship* – invite your clients first to HomeDiary to become the Sponsored agent when they claim the home, or invite all past clients using your HD invite code, and give each client a free HomeDiary account, a benefit of your free FloorPlanOnline account membership
  • Mobile responsive on any device – everything works, including the interactive floor plan* (unlike the competition)
  • Unlimited customer support, 8 am to 8 pm EST

* features you will not find on ANY other virtual tour platform

 

The Feartures aross the Ownership Lifecycle can be summarized in this table

We also put a lot of work into the production of a tour.  Here are things we do.


Photo Editing. Premium HDR Photography that uses a proprietary process to blend 2 flash and 5 ambient images into one crisp and stunning HDR (“high dynamic range”) image.  All HDR is NOT created equal so don’t be fooled by claims of automated tech or cheap pricing – you get what you pay for…  We take the HDR image and finish it with our standard editing processes done at no extra cost (whereas competitors charge extra for some of these tasks):

  • window replacement for clear views
  • exterior sky replacement – blue skies guaranteed!
  • TV black outs
  • fire in fireplaces
  • lighting and color adjustment
  • straightening and perspective correction
  • cloning out small imperfections such as dangling power cords or flash reflections
  • Blurring Agent Sign info, license plate numbers, pictures of children

Additional editing available for an extra free per photo

  • grass replacement/green grass
  • Recolor of skies, water, etc.
  • Blue skies through interior windows
  • Images on TV screens
  • cloning out larger items
  • removing items or other advanced Photoshop work
  • Aerial Property boundary lines/point of interest callouts

FloorPlan Production.  We draw the floor plan based on the source file and add basic details such as windows, doors, bath and kitchen layout.  We provide the total interior measured and drawn area, with gross living area (“GLA”) square footage coming in 2022 using a standard wall thickness of 6.5 inches, but we CAN adjust for wall thickness, so if a property does have thicker walls, it can be taken into account.  Standard output is a black and white plan in jpeg and PDF format with an included 3D model and 3D Designer, our drag and drop furniture planner/designer that brings an HGTV-like floor planning tool to every listing, and home. You can also edit the floor plan in real-time, enhance it on your own with flooring details or furniture, and even create unlimited 3D snapshot photos of the 2D and 3D views.

Additional enhancements for an extra fee include:

  • Colored FloorPlans – we add a color scheme to the standard black and white floor plan
  • 3D Enhanced FloorPlan – we match flooring and wall colors of the property, add more detail to kitchen and bath layouts
  • Coming in 2022 – 3D Enhanched FloorPlan with Furniture – we virtually stage the floor plan with furniture to provide more perspective and show the layout to help people visualize the space more

Matterport/3D Walkthrough Production.  We sequence the walkthrough of the property based on how a user would conduct an actual physical visit of the home – starting at the front door and going through the whole house, top to bottom.  Most providers do nothing other than give you a link.  With the push of the Play button, users are taken through a typical home in around 2-3 minutes, saving them and you time and simplifying the 3D Matterport experience.

Additional enhancements for an extra fee include

  • Walkthrough Video – a recorded video of the walkthrough with floor plan overlays that can be separately downloaded and embedded, shown on social media, etc.
  • Separate downloads available for the Matterpak or E57 file on request and based on camera used for an extra fee

Matterport Hosting.  Please note the active Matterport portion of your tour is hosted for the shorter of the active listing period OR 12 months.  The Matterport does not need to be active on the tour after a short period of time post close, so in order to control your costs, and for the privacy of the new owner, we archive the Matterport portion of the tour once the property is marked either sold or off market. 

FYI, most homeowners do not want their tour visible on the Internet once closed. We receive requests weekly to remove tour and videos on sold properties. So, please, if you have a special need to keep a Matterport active after the property is off market, contact us for options in those unique cases.

Want to showcase a virtual tour with an active Matterport to show prospective sellers to win the listing?  No problem.  Each account has a free “Demo House” tour included, that is basically this virtual tour but with your branding.  It includes an active Matterport, so you can show people how you will market their home on your laptop or iPad in real-time, and “wow” them with the custom home website and all of the tools you will provide.  It is certainly a way to differentiate at the listing appointment, as well as online, and since we can show your brand and contact info on your tour (using Brandkeepr) on the top sites, it is a great way to get more business and win that silent interview with both sellers and buyers that go online first.