Home staging remains the best way to gain interested buyers. There’s no doubt about it because buyers won’t purchase a home until after they’ve seen it. That’s why if real estate agents can afford to home stage, they should do so.
But for those real estate agents on a budget (which, let’s be honest, is most of us!), home staging might not be the way to go. It takes effort to stage a home. It also takes time and money. Not only must we find the right furniture for the right rooms, we must also find a way to get the furniture to the home and then we must manage to set everything up properly.
That’s why it’s important for agents working on a budget to consider virtual staging. Virtual staging involves using software to virtually stage a home. Although it won’t lead to more sales, it will lead to more interested buyers. Then, when those buyers see the house in person, they can envision what it would look like outfitted with furniture.
That’s the goal with virtual staging, to burn images into the brain of potential buyers before they show up to the home for sale. Then, when they enter the home, they can envision what it could look like.
We recently published a blog on virtual staging dos and don’ts. Make sure to refer back to that blog once in a while. Right now, check out a comparison of 6 separate virtual staging software solutions. Each offers something that should appeal to most real estate agents. They’re slightly different. So, in addition to reading this blog, make sure to dig deeper on your own before making a purchase.
Here’s our comparison of 6 real estate agent virtual staging software:
1. Virtual Staging Solutions
The Pitch: Virtual Staging Solutions gives the impression that it’s the big dog on the block. Like most of the sites on this list, the company provides a virtually staged photo on their home page. The virtually staged photo, of a home in Laguna Beach, CA, perfectly demonstrates how the software can help real estate agents.
One thing Virtual Staging Solutions does in it’s pitch is only give snippets of information. For example, they write something like, “Be Ahead of the Game. Surprise and delight buyers and sellers. Stand out from competitors, presell new builds, get buyers into their dream home and help sellers show the potential of their property.”
That’s all well and good, but they don’t give hard specifics about how they do it. The goal with Virtual Staging Solutions’ pitch is to get you on the phone. One thing that’s interesting is that they do tell real estate agents how much each photo costs.
Cost: The reason it’s interesting is because Virtual Staging Solutions charges $59 per photo. That’s much more than either BoxBrownie or VRX Staging.
Bottom Line on Virtual Staging Solutions: The site certainly appears like they know what they’re doing and that’s a heck of a virtually staged room they’ve got on the home page. However, it’s hard to know exactly what’s the value you’re paying for. BoxBrownie also has a nice site and the cost for one of their photos is only $32.
Make sure you know why you’re paying more before biting. The goal is to save money when we virtually stage homes for sale.
2. Visual Stager
The Pitch: While companies like BoxBrownie and Virtual Staging Solutions pitch about their customer service, Visual Stager has decided to do something different. From Visual Stager’s perspective, real estate agents know exactly what they want. They don’t need help from outside sources.
Visual Stager has decided to be the low-cost leader in virtual staging software. They make no bones about this. On their home page, they describe their software as a “DIY Virtual Staging Software”. Their pitch line is, “The do-it-yourself virtual home staging software that lets you stage your photos in minutes!”
Virtual Stager provides a 4-stage, self-service process for real estate agents to virtually stage a home:
1. Click – Click a photo and upload it to Virtual Stager
2. Erase – Optionally have them remove any other furniture
3. Stage – Select photos, click, drag, and stage
4. Flare – Save on the cloud as a flarelet, or share staged photos as JPEGS
Cost: This is where Visual Stager separates itself. Real estate agents purchase credits and then they use those credits to stage a photo. The pricing’s actually more than fair. To stage a single photo costs $15. If you prepay, the cost per photo drops to $6.99. You must prepay $700 to get the $6.99 per unit rate. That’s not a bad deal, though, if you plan on virtually staging multiple homes.
Bottom Line on Visual Stager: The flexible pricing is where Visual Stager’s real value rests. Through the flexible pricing, real estate agents like us can actually try out the software before making a commitment. Then, we can go all in if we like it more than some of the others on this list.
The Pitch: PadStyler fashions itself a virtual staging company for the everyday real estate agent even though they pitch the fact that Drew Scott from Property Brothers has used their services. It offers you the chance to chat with one of their representatives so that you can get to know exactly what differentiates them from their competitors.
They’ve got a nice before and after photo on their home page. Not only that, but like any good company involved in real estate, PadStyler provides plenty of testimonials. Instead of painting themselves as a software company first (which Virtual Staging Solutions and BoxBrownie seem to do), PadStyler envisions itself as a company created by former real estate agents for current real estate agents.
Cost: Although the website gives off a friendlier feel, PadStyler does charge $59 per photo just like Virtual Staging Solutions. That’s a lot for a photo when BoxBrownie only charges $32.
Bottom Line on PadStyler: Like Virtual Staging Solutions, if you want to pay the extra cost, make sure you know why your paying the extra cost. The good thing about PadStyler is they at least allow you to chat with a customer service rep or sales rep on their site. Do your homework. If you’re comfortable, who knows? Maybe, they’re worth it to you.
4. Virtual Staging Lab
The Pitch: You’d be forgiven if you confused Virtual Staging Solutions and Virtual Staging Lab with one another. Both created sites in the new, modern, style. Like Virtual Staging Solutions, Virtual Staging Lab purports to be experts in staging homes online for real estate agents.
The main difference appears to be cost. Virtual Staging Lab only costs $40 per photo while Virtual Staging Solutions costs much more.
Cost: Like what we wrote above, Virtual Staging Lab charges $40 per photo. They offer plenty of discounts to help with the cost per unit.
Bottom Line on Virtual Staging Lab: The discounts under their Promotions tab are definitely helpful. Plus, the site looks great, but when you click on About Us, it lacks any real information. It also appears cobbled together as if Virtual Staging Lab wanted real estate agents to not even look into who they are. That’s not a great sign.
The Pitch: Like so many others on this list, BoxBrownie’s main pitch is that they use technology to provide the best possible customer service. BoxBrownie makes a point to say that they’re cloud-based. They also offer a 3-image free trial.
One part of the pitch that could send clients their way is that BoxBrownie doesn’t charge a subscription rate. Per their site, “Pay only for what you use with no subscriptions – just pay one fixed low rate per image.”
The 24/7 Customer Service is another reason to consider BoxBrownie. Like most virtual staging software companies, BoxBrownie also offers free revisions.
Cost: What is BoxBrownie’s rate? How bout $32 per image? Not bad, right?
Bottom Line on BoxBrownie: They offer a relatively low rate. Not only that, they’ve got a great service they call Day to Dusk where for $4.00, they’ll enhance your image for you.
6. VRX Staging
The Pitch: VRX Staging claims that it’s more affordable to virtually stage a home than it is to “traditionally stage” a home. They’re right, of course. Virtual staging is much cheaper. That’s not their only selling point. Their main selling point is speed.
VRX Staging says that they can get virtually staged photos back within 2 days. Their competitors, per their site, take at least 2+ days to return photos. Not only that, but their competitors are often “more expensive” than they are.
The final part of their pitch makes a simple statement, “Photos of vacant properties online does not attract buyers or renters.”
Cost: For their virtual staging product, VRX Staging charges $35 per photo. That’s actually cost-effective. The price for 4 photos is only $140.
Bottom Line on VRX Staging: VRX appears very cost-effective. Not only that, but they offer other services. Most real estate agents won’t go wrong with VRX Staging.
The 6 companies described above provide many of the same services. They’re all different in one way or another, though. Make sure to do your own research before purchasing any virtual staging software. Also, ask as many questions as possible before purchasing.