If you have an unfurnished (or badly furnished) property on your hands, there are two main ways to market it with furniture included: property styling or digital furniture.
Both property styling and digital furniture come with different pros and cons, and so the question as to which is most appropriate varies from situation to situation.
That’s why I’ve put together this post – so you can compare and contrast your options in order to make the right decision on a case-by-case basis.
What is Property Styling?
Property styling is a service provided by property stylists.
When you use property styling, you engage a stylist to inspect the home and hire appropriately styled furniture to fill it. They’ll select furniture that not only matches your property’s style and colour palette, but also creates the “feel” and “look” you want. Your stylist will install the furniture at the beginning of the marketing period, and remove it at the end (usually 6 to 8 weeks later).
With property styling, you can feature your hired furniture in all your real estate photos. This allows you to present the property to best advantage, creating enticing images that compel buyers to book an inspection time with you.
Property styling can be used for populating a vacant home with furniture, or for replacing the existing furniture. This may be necessary if the current furniture isn’t flattering, or if it’s inappropriate for your target market.
What is Digital Furniture?
Digital furniture – or digital furniture styling – is the virtual version of property styling.
The digital furniture styling process is handled by your real estate photographer. After taking photos of your unfurnished or furnished property, they’ll use Photoshop and an extensive library of digital furniture items to add virtual but realistic furniture to your images. Voila! – the property will be virtually populated with furniture.
This option works for both furnished and unfurnished homes. If the property is furnished, your photographer will erase the existing furniture from the images before adding appropriate digital replacements.
Much like property styling, using digital furniture allows you to create attention-grabbing images to attract buyers to come and inspect the property.
Property Styling: Pros and Cons
Property styling comes with two key advantages.
The first is that your property will be populated with furniture that’s been selected by an expert to fit the home perfectly. The furniture will match the colour palette, and it will create the exact look and feel you want. This is the ideal recipe for creating powerful property marketing photos.
The second advantage of property styling is that your buyers will see the same furniture when they inspect your property. Not only will this match their expectations and showcase the home to best advantage – it will also allow them to experience the look and feel you want them to experience. This creates a great feeling when they walk around the property, and allows them to more easily imagine themselves living in it.
Of course, no solution is perfect, and the main downside to property styling is the cost. This can range from $1,500 for a partial style, to up to $10,000 for a full style with high end furniture. So for some properties, property styling may be out of your budget.
That said, it should be noted that many real estate agents and owners find that they receive their property styling investment back 10 fold via the price it helps them to achieve for the property. So property styling is still worth considering, especially for your premium and boutique properties.
Digital Furniture: Pros and Cons
The key advantage of digital furniture styling is the cost. Starting at as little as $45 an image, it’s a very affordable service.
Digital furniture styling can also be combined with other editing services, such as digital decluttering. This involves removing the existing furniture from the photos before replacing it with virtual furniture. You can learn more about digital decluttering in this post.
The main disadvantage with digital furniture styling is that the furniture won’t be there when potential buyers come to inspect the property. Instead, they’ll walk into an empty house that they thought would be furnished – or they’ll walk into a home with very different furnishings to what they expected.
The other disadvantage to using virtual furniture is that you’re restricted in terms of choice. Your photos need to be taken from the right angle, and there are only so many items of furniture in the digital catalogue.
Which Will You Choose?
As you can see, your choice of property styling or digital furniture will depend on the property you’re marketing, and on your budget.
If you can afford it, property styling is a worthwhile investment. But if your budget is a little tighter, digital furniture will definitely pay off, as it allows you to market your property with much more appealing images.
So, which will you choose for your next property?
To find out more about our digital decluttering and virtual furnishing services, click here.