Virtual staging company BoxBrownie announced Tuesday it’s significantly cutting the prices of its virtual staging services, explaining that a surge in interest over the past year has helped it increase its scale and efficiency.
The Australia-based company previously charged $32 to create an image of a real room filled with virtual furniture and decor. However, in an conversation with Inman, BoxBrownie manager Peter Schravemade told Inman the company decided to pass along savings to its customers after it saw surging interest in its services over the course of 2020. As a result, the company will now charge $24 per virtually staged image.
“COVID has been a massive catalyst to sort of drive the price drop forward,” Schravemade said. “We could sit at $32 for the rest of our days, but we have a policy of giving back to the consumer when we can.”
The price drops come after a brief period of uncertainty, followed by rapid expansion for BoxBrownie. Schravemade said that in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic last year, the company wasn’t sure what was going to happen and initially feared revenue could drop by as much as 25 percent.
Some of BoxBrownie’s existing clients did indeed stop using the company last spring, but Schravemade added that “what we didn’t anticipate was the huge waves of Americans that would sign up.” Ultimately, the company saw between 6,000 and 7,000 new customers during the first two months of the coronavirus pandemic, which Schravemade said represented a 175 percent jump in customer signups.
Schravemade attributed the growth to lockdown restrictions, which made conventional staging illegal in some places during the pandemic, and to a growing awareness that virtual staging can be an effective and cost-saving measure for many homesellers. And the result was that BoxBrownie has been able to increase its scale and capacity.
BoxBrownie’s success is just the latest example of the pandemic pushing more and more real estate professionals toward virtual services. Beyond staging, virtual tours exploded in popularity over the past year, as did high-tech communication tools such as Zoom.
Founded in 2015, BoxBrownie offers an array of services, including 3D tours as well as virtual staging. The company has made significant inroads into the U.S. market, and offers a simple and subscription-free pricing structure that charges for each image an agent or homeseller wants virtually staged.
In addition to reduced prices for static residential images, BoxBrownie is also cutting the cost for commercial staging, as well as for 360 degree home and office staging.
A company statement adds that thanks to the price cuts customers can expect to save “between $500 and $1000 each year based on average usage.”
Schravemade also said that even though there appears to be a light at the end of the pandemic tunnel at this point, and physical staging is now generally allowed, BoxBrownie’s new customers have stuck around.
“Our numbers are saying that the people who used us, they are still using us in the same capacity,” he concluded. “Those people have stayed.”