Guest blogger Tina Merritt is a Realtor® and Real Estate Trainer in Virginia and recipient of NAR’s Realtor Technology Spotlight Award.

Floor Plan ImageA few years ago, my brother and sister-in-law were house hunting and my sister-in-law commented on how much she loved a particular home and how her furniture would fit perfectly in the house.  She proceeded to show me pictures and videos of the home and then, an online floor plan tool that let her place her furniture where she wanted.  When I asked if they were going to make an offer on the property, she remarked, “Probably.  We want to see the house in person though first.”  Yes, she had fallen head over heels for this home and had not even seen it in real life.  Bravo to the listing agent who was able to capture this buyer’s attention by giving the consumer what they wanted.

Buyers search for real estate online.  Buyers want as much information online as you can possibly give them and they don’t want to pay for it nor be required to register for it.  By offering floor plans of your listings online, you are adding ammunition to your arsenal of information for buyers.

Here are a few programs to try out and create floor plans for your property listings:

1. Floorplanner.com. With this program, you enter the dimensions and create the 2-D, 3-D and interactive floor plans yourself using the online tools.  Add your logo and print in hi-res for print marketing pieces.  The interactive floor planner offers a huge library of textures, fencing, and furniture.  Pricing starts at $29/month and you can try the service by creating your first floorplan for free.

2. Diakrit.com. Diakrit is an online tool where you upload a sketch of your floor plan and Diakrit’s designers create 2-D, 3-D, 3-D Special (with light and shadows), furnished or unfurnished renderings per your request.  Turn-around time is next business day.  Prices start at $19.95 per floor plan.  (Disclaimer:  Tina Merritt is an affiliate representative for Diakrit).

3. Sweethome3D.com. A free, open source program that you download and save to your computer.  The user then enters the dimensions of the home and can then view 2-D and 3-D versions of their floor plan.  A limited library is available for furniture placement.

4. Gliffy.com. Gliffy is a free online diagram software where you can create floor plans as well as flow charts and technical drawings.  It also features a “share” tool where you can invite friends to view your creation or blog about it.  Gliffy can also be added to your Google Apps.  Basic accounts are free for up to 5 floor plans and premium accounts start at $5/month.

5. Floorplanonline.com. This program gives you the option of self-service or full-service floor plan creation.  You can choose to sketch the floor plan and take your own pictures, or have someone come out and do it for you, or a combination of both.  You can link your creation to Realtor.com and/or other sites.  Prices start at $59 for a self-service floor plan and $179 for full-service.

Are you using any floorplan technology solutions? Which ones? Any tips?

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