Real estate agents, brokers and entrepreneurs are all working in a highly competitive market. Distinguishing their properties is a challenging endeavor, so technology is stepping in once again with innovative solutions. Though no longer a novelty, real estate virtual tours are very helpful because they are available anytime, anywhere, to multiple clients. But technology and real estate have taken another leap forward by introducing aerial photography and tools like virtual decluttering, virtual redecorating and virtual twilight images.
Real estate players are finding a variety of uses for the drone technology, whether it is for marketing purposes, construction monitoring or inspections. Developers and managers are looking to make their property stand out because common ground-level pictures don’t seem to be enough anymore. With social media being a powerful real estate marketing tool, drone photography is gaining ground.
VHT Studios CEO & Co-Founder Brian Balduf thinks that aerial photography and video are great for making a first impression, especially when a building has beautiful outdoor common areas such as ponds, tennis courts, swimming pools, grilling areas or other amenities. Moreover, he says, drone imagery can show the proximity to transportation, or the short walk to the beach, pool or clubhouse. “A recent study on commercial properties by the National Association of Realtors has found that some markets have a rising supply of multifamily properties which could put a downward pressure on rents. It’s incumbent on the manager or owner to make that critical first impression and drones definitely fill that role,” he told Multi-Housing News.
It’s all about the internet
Virtual tools and professional photographs are helping agents sell properties faster—32 percent faster to be more precise, according to Balduf. And in an era in which buyers and renters are almost always searching for properties online, the first impression can be decisive. ”If buyers … don’t like what they see in the listing photographs, guess what, they’re not coming for a visit. If you have a vacant bedroom with beige carpet and white walls—that’s boring and unappealing,” Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Associate Broker Michael Maier told Multi-Housing News.
More and more real estate agents are beginning to use the most current technologies to market their properties for sale and virtual tools are becoming a must. Through virtual staging, a professional photographer captures images of vacant or lived-in apartments and virtually changes an apartment’s decor and style choices to make it more appealing to buyers or renters. “Virtual staging is just beginning to take off in popularity for the major role it’s playing in the marketplace for multifamily units. More and more owners and managers are learning how virtually staged photographs of a unit appeal to prospective buyers or tenants,” said Balduf.
Visualizing empty rooms can be difficult for prospective renters. And virtual staging tools are considerably less expensive than physical staging and eliminate all the hassle, Maier said. “I used virtual repaint to remove a navy blue, wallpapered accent wall in the living room. The navy blue wallpaper made the room look smaller, so when we virtually repainted the wall white, it opened up the room and made it look more spacious. Hiring a painter to physically remove that wallpaper and repaint it would cost at least $1,000 for the seller, plus it would have delayed getting the unit on the market by seven to 10 days,” he added.
An inhabited apartment might challenge brokers or landlords when showing it to prospective clients. If a home is filled with someone’s clutter, virtual decluttering can boost the appearance of a unit by magically removing personal belongings and other items from walls and surfaces.
Twilight images are also becoming very popular since they give agents the opportunity to showcase their listings in the best light possible. Image specialists can take exterior shots during daylight and digitally alter them, allowing potential buyers or renters to see the warm indoor lights at night.
Images courtesy of VHT Studios