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3 marketing innovations set to transform real estate

By Mike Wheatley | June 13, 2016

Could a drone help sell your home? If you’re struggling to sell in todays seller’s market, a drone might not be such a bad investment to make. After all, low inventories might mean sellers have the upper hand, but that doesn’t make it a given you’ll make an easy sale. If you’re struggling to sell, you might want to try an eye in the sky or some other new technology-based real estate marketing technique to attract more attention.


Virtual staging

The time-tested method of home staging has evolved into what real estate pros call “virtual staging”, which uses tools like Photoshop and other visual effects software to take an empty room, or one that’s already furnished, and transform the way it looks. It’s even possible to change the wall colors or add lights and other fixtures at the click of a mouse.

Virtual staging first came to prominence during the middle of the housing crisis last decades, helping banks and other sellers shift foreclosed homes faster. Virtual staging comes with many advantages over traditional staging, such as allowing the marketer to show off the home in various different interior styles and designs. A relatively new concept is external virtual staging, which wasn’t really possible until recently. Now, a marketer can show how a home would look with a different facade, or in different situations, such as during winter, summer and fall, at nighttime, twilight, or during the day.

Virtual staging is also a lot cheaper than traditional staging too, costing around $100 a room. That compares nicely with the $5,000 a month that some home staging companies charge.

Another advantage of virtual staging is that it’s possible to recreate a room for a different purpose. So for example, if a prospective buyer wants to make the basement into a gaming room, or convert one of the spare bedrooms into a home office, that can be done in a matter of minutes.


Although drones are still a controversial technology, most real estate agents see the benefits of using them to market property. The most obvious benefit is that a drone can overfly the property and take a video of its surroundings, and use this as a marketing tool. The great thing is that drones can fly almost anywhere, so it doesn’t matter if the property is located near to a golf course, on the beach front, or in an urban area.

There are a number of companies, such as CAVU Aerial Photography, that rent out drones for anywhere between $200 to $500 per shoot. Such companies can create full motion videos, photo stills or both, and can do so for both residential and commercial properties.

You could buy your own drone of course, but the chances are you can’t use it legally. That’s because current FAA rules state that drone operators must be licensed pilots. Additionally, drones can’t fly higher than 400 feet, and they cannot operate within five miles of an airport. Most drone companies use GPS so they can quickly tell you whether or not it’s possible to create drone footage for your property or not.

If you do opt to use a drone to market your property, beware that you still need to make it look presentable. Things like trash cans can still be seen from the air, so be sure to put them away or at least make them look tidy. And clean up the yard too!

3D tours

3D tours offer lots of convenience for buyers who may not have the time or inclination to drive around looking at various different properties. With 3D tours, buyers are literally able to ‘walk’ around a property through its various rooms, immersing themselves in it, without actually going anywhere near it.

Not surprisingly, real estate agents themselves are among the biggest proponents of 3D tours, who can use them to save time by narrowing down a client’s shortlist of homes before going to view them in person. 3D tours also make it safer for real estate agents, as it’s far less risky to meet clients at the office then it is out in the field, so to speak.

Various companies offer to make 3D tour videos for around $200 per home, though it depends on the size of the property. Once the video is made, it takes about a couple of days to transform the raw footage into a proper 3D presentation that buyers can navigate through.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
  • 2 comments on “3 marketing innovations set to transform real estate”

    1. We are offering Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality services here in Vancouver helping businesses leverage these technologies to market their products and services. This technology not only limited to virtual staging or virtual tours this article is only scratching the surface of what Agumented Reality and Virtual Reality can do for Real Estate.

    2. The top real estate firms only hire the best, and they hire us. They have for the past 10 years. Founded in New York City in 2005, Virtual Staging LLC is the leader in luxury virtual home staging with over $2.5 billion real estate virtually staged a year and clients all over the country, even overseas. We are the virtual staging provider for firms of the caliber of Brown Harris Stevens, The Corcoran Group, Stribling & Associates, Halstead Property, Douglas Elliman, Edina Realty, Berkshire Hathaway, Baird & Warner, Keller Williams, Sotheby's International Realty, Coldwell Banker as well as for many other smaller firms and developers.

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