A new report from real estate photography startup HomeJab has found that virtual staging is now more popular than traditional staging, while at the same time agents prefer video tours for their listings over 3D tours.
The study is based on a recent survey of nearly 300 real estate professionals who were asked how they handle visual marketing for their listings. Among the more notable findings was the apparent growing popularity of virtually modified images. For instance, 30 percent of the survey respondents prefer virtual staging, while only 29 percent said they prefer traditional staging.
Virtual imagery is also making its way outside the home; the survey asked about “virtual twilight” photography, which modifies an exterior home shot to make it look like it was taken during the evening, when natural light is softest and most flattering. The survey ultimately found that 76 percent of agents have either used such photography or are interested in doing so.
While the survey and report suggest technology is making its way further and further into real estate imaging, there are limits. The report notes, for instance, that 36 percent of respondents indicated that they prefer video tours over 3D tours. On the other hand, only 21 percent preferred 3D tours.
However, 30 percent of respondents said they use both options depending on what their client wants.
Those findings are significant because they come a year and a half into the coronavirus pandemic. The pandemic forced real estate professionals — along with people in many industries — to reimagine their jobs to allow for social distancing. The result was a huge surge in interest in things such as 3D technology.
The HomeJab report, however, indicates that despite that surge 3D imaging is still not ubiquitous in real estate.
On the other hand, the report does highlight the increased professionalism that is dominating real estate photography. It specifically notes that “nearly three out of four real estate agents hire a professional real estate photographer for every property listing.”
“Despite the advancements in smartphone camera technology, only 7 percent of agents surveyed shoot their own photos,” the report adds.
HomeJab is based in Philadelphia and offers a variety of photo-based services for agents. Among other things, the company can produce 3D tours, floor plans and aerial photography. The company also contracts with local photographers in most U.S. states to do on-site photo shoots.
In the report, HomeJab founder and CEO Joe Jesuele ultimately concluded that “professional photos, video, and other advanced imaging tools are more important than ever.”
“Using professional imaging,” he added, “can mean a faster home sale and enhance a real estate agent’s reputation in the marketplace.”