Updated 12/26/2011 12:02 AM
"Envision Program" Virtually Renovates Properties
New virtual simulations of properties are being used to sell renovations. NY1’s Jill Urban filed the following report.
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Most brokers say that it’s a lot easier to sell a furnished apartment than an empty one, which is why virtual staging has become a popular tool, and some companies are taking it to the next level.
Instead of just dressing up an empty home, they offer services that will virtually renovate and restore it.
“The biggest challenge to get over is for buyers to be able to envision their space. You can walk into a space and tell a buyer we can open this kitchen or knock down that wall, but people don’t see that. So, this is a chance for them to render it out,” says Vince Collura, president of the Gotham Photo Company.
Their "envision program" allows for all types of digital work on a home, from simply removing clutter or changing out wall colors to cutting out walls and renovating kitchens.
“We are replacing any areas in the photo that we need to replace. So, if it’s a photo where we are adding French doors or changing the size of a hallway, we are creating a wire frame of that unit, then altering it, rendering it out and blending the photos together,” says Collura.
Lauren Wagner, senior vice president of Prudential Douglas Elliman, says this tool is extremely helpful. She had one unit on the market for 10 months. After she virtually renovated it, it sold in just a couple of weeks.
“It’s more cost-effective for the seller. We don’t have to pay a company to come in and remove things. I don’t have to pay a contractor to renovate. I can show a buyer what it would look like as the finished product, so it saves the seller a heck of a lot of money and it excites the buyers because it gets the buyers’ creative juices flowing, and then they think about how else they can renovate the space,” says Wagner.
At Gotham, it costs about $120 per room to digitally renovate a listing photo, and Collura says the brokerage firms he works with require full disclosure so that buyers are well aware of which images were altered.
Aside from changing photos, the service is also changing the way homes are marketed. Buyers no longer need to rely on their imaginations, as this tool helps them see that virtually anything is possible.