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Why Your Buyer May Be Dissatisfied with Their New Home
Everyone wants to know that their purchase is satisfaction guaranteed. But FOMO (the fear of missing out) has led to "I can't get no satisfaction" for many people across the nation. Homebuyer's remorse is not something you want to hear about when trying to build your real estate business. It is difficult for buyers to fully understand a property when there is a lack of reliable information. Quick listings and even quicker property sales have led to many dissatisfied homeowners. However, there are ways to help your clients get the satisfaction they deserve by giving them the tools and resources to work with. Understand the buyer's needs It is said that there is a buyer for every house. That may be true, but how do you know which buyer is for which house? Focus on the needs of your clients. Forty-three percent of homebuyers are concerned with commuting costs and convenience to their jobs, according to a 2022 NAR report. They want to own their home, but the past couple of years and the fear of missing out has led to impulse decisions. You may find a home within the ideal proximity to their place of employment, but the buyer needs to know that their new living space will accommodate their furniture, family, and lifestyle. Examining floor plans and 3D tours helps everyone understand the fit and flow of a home. Things of regret The majority of homebuyers over the past year experienced some form of homebuyer's remorse. Regrets include miscalculating the overall costs of owning a home, paying too much, poor layout and wrong location. Though not much can be done about unforeseen maintenance costs, a buyer would benefit from an accurate floor plan if one was provided before the purchase. Highly detailed floor plans with intuitive navigation allow potential buyers to understand the space before moving into it. Advanced measurement tools make it easy to measure for future renovations to avoid spending extra money on mistakes. Try before you buy Fear of missing out can have your buyer seeking a new home before they have settled into the one they just bought. That may sound like the perfect opportunity to make another sale, but a dissatisfied buyer may also seek out another agent who can guide them on their buyer's journey with better results. The "try before you buy" method of understanding the fit and flow of a home can help. Interactive floor plans and 3D tours allow a buyer to picture living in the space. Proptech tools offered by companies like iGUIDE® assist the buyer by giving them the ability to play with the space by virtually changing colors and fixtures or modifying floor plans. Caveat Emptor: Let the buyer beware! One way to avoid a serious case of homebuyer's remorse is to be aware of the big picture. Help your clients with a little "construction" criticism. All houses have the potential to be the perfect home when you remove a wall here and there or add an extra bathroom. However, before beginning any major or minor construction, it is wise to speak with an architect to discuss the viability of the property's floor plan. Theoretically, you can change any home with an unlimited budget, but in reality, changing the house to match that 3D tour you loved from HGTV requires time, money and a whole lot of planning. Foresight is better than hindsight The fear of missing out has led homebuyers into a frenzy of grabbing up properties without fully considering all the facts. Now some of those unhappy homeowners will want to re-sell their pandemic purchases. With home sales falling back in 2022 you can give your new listings a competitive edge by using 3D tour technology and floor plans to successfully market properties. Have a little foresight by ensuring measurements are ANSI-Z765-2021 compliant and ready for Fannie Mae appraisal requirements to help speed up the mortgage process. It may be better to regret doing something than to regret not doing something, but not when it comes to one of the largest acquisitions in someone's life. According to a recent article from Zillow, homebuyer's remorse is as high as 75%. You can help the buyer avoid regretting their purchase by communicating the important aspects of every home, from location to floor plans. Make those regrets too few to mention. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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Real Estate and Floor Plan Frustrations: Why Consistency Matters
Real estate is one of the most inconsistent industries on the planet. Each state has a different set of rules and standards set forth by several different real estate boards and associations. Supply and demand drive the market up and down. Several factors affect whether or not you make the sale, but none are as important as accurate measurements. Here's the thing—understanding property value and how measurement standards play a key role is vital to any real estate agent. When you are assisting the consumer with making the largest purchase of their life, you had better be consistent. One of the most important topics to focus on is how to get accurate floor plans. Floor plan frustrations can and do occur when determining the size of a property. Should it be measured from the interior or exterior, or should you just grab a few numbers from a blueprint? Are you skilled enough to get consistent measurements every single time? Accuracy is key when it comes to consistency. Floor plans created to comply with the ANSI-Z765-2021 measurement standard help enhance consumers' understanding of space and how it relates to value. Consistent methods of measuring floor plans not only compute into accurately measured space, but provide a method that the industry can rely on for comparing one property to another. Frustration #1: How to get accurate floor plans The creation of a floor plan is difficult for a real estate agent to do on their own. A series of measurements are required to compile the details of a building to draft a true portrayal of the gross living area. Not only should your measurements be correct, but the numbers need to reflect an accurate depiction of the space. Handheld laser devices and manual measuring tapes can result in a huge margin of error due to operator inconsistencies. Then there is the know-how of drafting a floor plan from the data. You want the consumer to be able to rely on the finished results. Leveraging the services of industry leaders like iGUIDE® offers you a way to get accurate floor plans and a way to provide consistent measurements you can be confident with every single time. Frustration #2: What rooms to measure Every property is different and, as such, it may be difficult to decide which rooms should be included in a floor plan. What the ANSI-Z765-2021 measurement standard aims to do is to eliminate the confusion of which measurements are to be included in every single-family home. Rooms above grade with a minimum ceiling height of 7 feet for at least 50% of the space will be part of the gross living area represented on a floor plan. Areas with a ceiling height of 5 feet or less shall not be included. For comparable measures, an iGUIDE floor plan with advanced measurements offers a method to examine the space in both 2D and 3D. Frustration #3: Photos alone can be misleading A picture may be worth a thousand words but pictures alone fail to provide the entire story when it comes to the reality of space. The best way to get an accurate depiction of a home is to present it in a logical format through a precisely measured floor plan. How often have you browsed through a series of real estate photos only to discover that the floor plan was different than what you had imagined? Consistency is one of the reasons that Fannie Mae has decided to adopt the ANSI-Z765-2021 measurement standard and requires appraisers to measure, calculate and report square footage accordingly. "Since appraisers are not inspecting the property personally for the desktop appraisal, we anticipate they will commonly receive the floor plan from a third party, so it makes sense that all parties (including the appraiser) would be using the same standards of measurement," says Fannie Mae. Every real estate agent knows that a property appraisal can make or break a sale. So when you know how to get accurate floor plans from the start, you offer a way to present your listing with information everyone can understand from the seller, the buyer and through to the lender. According to a recent article from NAR: "Many home buyers rely on floor plans in real estate listings to decide whether to purchase a residence, and their ability to secure financing for that transaction is often contingent on an appraisal that requires the creation of a floor plan," the brief reads. "After acquiring a dwelling, homeowners will often make floor plans to help them tackle installations, arrange furniture and complete do-it-yourself projects… [And] many jurisdictions require homeowners to submit floor plans before they renovate their property." How to provide consistent measurements every time Fortunately for every real estate agent, there are simple solutions to your ongoing measurement frustrations. How to get accurate floor plans every single time is to implement the same standards of measurement as Fannie Mae. In an ever-changing market, you can rely on valuable technology to provide you and your clients with a consistent defensible method of measurement. iGUIDE can help. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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5 Simple Ways to Increase the Screen Value of Your Online Real Estate Listings
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Real Estate and the Importance of Square Footage
In real estate, there is no number more important to the built environment than the square footage. Real estate square footage is the basis for any number in the build space. It's the basis for the budget that you use when you're creating or building a space. The square footage is used in determining the value of a piece of real estate – during and after construction. So as a real estate professional, when you're advising a client on how to set that selling price or what you should go in as an offer, you're really using square footage as some of that determination because you're comparing it to another piece of real estate, maybe down the street. "Well, the square footage is about the same," or "It's a little bit less, so let's go under." The square footage is really important to you when you're determining value and comparing options. You and your buyers. And this is very much about the buyers, too. Real estate square footage is about comparing one space to another. It is a basis for comparison, a number that people can use as a starting point for comparing one thing to another. And thirdly, it's a space planning tool. So when you get a square footage number, somebody wants to rip up the flooring, maybe rip up carpet and put in hardwood or put in ceramic, that area number becomes very important because it helps determine the cost of materials, potentially the cost of labor and anything. When it comes to construction, everything really is time and materials and, again, square footage. That number becomes extremely important when you look at planning a space. When we talk and discuss real estate square footage, it really is about its importance for you during that whole selling process and trying to relay that back to you. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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How Real Estate Agents Can Decrease Interruptions in the Home Selling Process
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Client Story: The Right Move for Every Part of Our Real Estate Transaction
We recently sold our home, bought a new one and used the benefits of a technology offered by the listing agents of both homes. iGUIDE made our real estate journey memorable and easy while making the moving process smooth for everyone involved. Here are just a few reasons I will always insist on my real estate agent using an iGUIDE when selling or buying a home. Using 3D tours for virtual showings when marketing a home helps to attract higher offers and reduce days on the market. However, using accurate property information like interactive floor plans extends far beyond the marketing stage. The iGUIDE can be used as a tool to help the home buyer understand the fit and flow of the property and also facilitate accurate estimates from multiple service providers, including movers, painters, and renovation contractors. The easily navigated floor plans are also convenient when sharing property information with appraisers or insurance companies. Our mortgage lender sent out an appraiser who needed all kinds of information about the interior of our new home, like accurate square footage, finishing details, and the layout of each level. However, due to Covid restrictions, only the exterior of the property could be viewed in person. Thankfully, all the information the appraiser required was available on the iGUIDE and we were able to send a link to share every detail of our new home. Next, our insurance company wanted not only the same information as the appraiser, but also needed details about all the fireplaces, mechanical room, and the pool size. iGUIDE to the rescue again. One distinctive feature of the iGUIDE is that it can be downloaded and stored on your computer's hard drive or USB drive for future reference. This offered a handy way to get our insurance in place before the closing date. We wanted to freshen up the paint in our new home before moving in and reached out to several local painting companies for quotes. iGUIDE was immensely helpful here too, as we could not arrange for all the contractors to visit the new property before the closing day. Using iGUIDE, we could indicate which rooms we wanted to be painted and used the tagging feature to describe which paint colour we wanted for each wall within the same room. This allowed us to get all the painters to provide an estimate of the work based on the same well-documented project description. When the painters needed the dimensions for walls, ceiling height, and window size on each level, we showed them how to use the 3D measurements feature in the iGUIDE to get that information. This was a huge help for them when estimating how much paint was required. The first thing we did after signing the final paperwork for both homes was hiring a moving company. Our move was scheduled for the end of a month when moving companies are extremely busy. We heavily leveraged Google Maps and iGUIDE for this task. We looked at moving companies that had pins on Google Maps in our area and created a shortlist of candidates based on good reviews. Each moving company has their own way of estimating the cost of the move. Some movers wanted to come out to see our old home, which would have been pretty disruptive for us. Instead, we sent them links to the iGUIDEs of our old and new homes along with the desired moving dates. This allowed us to obtain quotes from a few companies further out from our town and one was able to provide a very competitive quote, so we ultimately chose them. The highlight of this story is how we used iGUIDE to facilitate the move itself. We first used the iGUIDE integration with Floorplanner.com. We easily exported iGUIDE floor plans of our new home into the Floorplanner web application with one click of a button. Using Floorplanner, we were excited to plan where all of our furniture would go in our new home. After a few rounds of discussions and trials, we settled on where we wanted to place couches, tables, chairs, and accessories. It is so much easier to move a couch a dozen times on a computer screen than to do the same in real life! Floorplanner has hundreds of models for all kinds of furniture pieces, and you can easily find close enough matches to your furniture's style and size. You also can adjust the dimensions of those models to exactly match your existing pieces or any new furniture you want to add to your home. That capability, plus the accuracy of iGUIDE floor plans, allows for really good space planning to avoid any nasty surprises later, like, "I told you this couch was not going to fit in that corner!" After the planning was done, the time to pack and prepare for the move came quickly. We purchased sets of moving labels from Amazon and labelled all the rooms in the Floorplanner to match using the same font and background colours. We also got labels in the form of coloured dots to designate each floor of our new home. We affixed labels to every box and piece of furniture indicating its destination room and floor within the house. What we found during the move, however, was that we should have waited for the movers to wrap the furniture first and then let them place the labels on the outside of the wrapping. Lesson learned for any future moves! When moving day came and the movers showed up, we quickly explained our labelling system and how to use it together with the floor plans. We gave them half a dozen floor plans printed out in color. Of course, they managed to forget their stack of floor plans at the old home, which they discovered only after arriving at the new place. I had a hunch that might happen, so it was a good thing I kept a set of spare floor plans at the new home as well. We taped them at every entrance and on each floor so the movers did not have to ask where we wanted each piece to go. All in all, the move went extremely smoothly. The boxes and furniture were placed by the movers in the correct locations which made unpacking and finding things so much easier over the next few days. We were able to avoid any heavy lifting or moving stuff placed in the wrong rooms. My back thanked me, the movers, and the iGUIDE for lightening the load! The movers were very impressed with the efficiency of the new unloading process, which also saved us time and money. We spent more time doing our thing instead of directing movers where to place every box and piece of furniture. To sum it up, we used iGUIDE in several different ways – for selling and buying, for getting home insurance, getting a mortgage lender appraisal, and for painting and moving contractors. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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Why Are Floor Plans Gaining New Importance?
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How to Show Off Your Listings Remotely
The goal of remote home showings is to provide the most in-person experience we possibly can without actually being there in person. Transparency is key. Buyers need access to as much information as possible. They want their virtual viewing experience to feel as emotionally compelling as an actual showing. This might require some agents to try out technology and tools they haven't used in the past. Let's break down some of the options available to Realtors, and the best ways to use them to help your buyers shop for their new home, from home. Virtual 3D Tours Nearly everyone is using the term "virtual tours" right now. Essentially, this means that a buyer can take a visual walk through the home. Years ago, this term was used for still photos that were stitched together to make a video. But times have changed, and true virtual tours are no longer just photos set to elevator music. A professional virtual tour now allows you to stand in the home and look around in 360-degree turns, taking in the entire space. Buyers love the ability to see every room, just as they would in person. When paired with a floor plan, virtual tours give a sense of space, flow and light. Speaking of floor plans, a professional floor plan is a huge bonus for virtual shoppers. Floor plans provide an understanding of how a space will work. They show room dimensions, which way doors swing, and storage space. Buyers gain an appreciation of where windows are and how their furniture might fit in the space. A 3D tour without a floor plan can be confusing, leaving buyers to guess how rooms are connected to one another. Many real estate portals and online search sites are now accommodating virtual tours and 3D tours, allowing buyers to view them before booking a showing. This is perfect if you want to show off real estate listings remotely. Looking for a photographer or videographer that creates 3D virtual tours and floor plans in your area? Search here. Video Tours Many agents are also using the power of video to showcase their listings, creating both live and on-demand videos to take the place of open houses or showings. Most portals and real estate search sites already allow for on-demand video links, but live video has never been easier to produce. Agents are using Facebook Live to show off their listings and pre-screen for potential buyers. Instagram video and IGTV are also great places to host short video walkthroughs. Both Realtor.com® and Zillow offer the option for buyers to choose "video tour" when booking showings. Having a video created and available to send to buyer leads is all the more important when showing remotely. Virtual Staging For vacant homes, give your buyers the ability to picture themselves living there by utilizing virtual staging. This can also be used to freshen up and declutter your furnished listings as well! This is a great way to get those virtual and online shoppers to emotionally fall in love, before ever setting foot in the home. Marketing your listings remotely means getting creative and taking advantage of the tools available. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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How @Realty Agents Benefit from Using Virtual Tours and Interactive Floor Plans
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Make Your Next Marketing Strategy Local
What does it mean to be a local real estate agent? By focusing on a targeted area, you become an expert in a specific geographic area. You regularly attend events and have your eyes and ears tuned into the pulse of the community. The relationship you have with a specific area is second nature and you know about all the new developments, where the best schools are located, the Walk Scores, and crime rates. To put it into perspective, you are the consumer's go-to when they need to find out who's who and the buzz in your area. When questions arise about planning, zoning, and environmental concerns or the selling price of the property down the street with a similar floor plan, you have the answers on the tip of your tongue. Honing in on a local area will make your brand stand out and get you recognized as the local expert. What are some secrets to becoming a local expert? Use virtual tours in your new real estate marketing plan It's no secret that consumers are using technology at a faster rate than ever before. Homebuyers are especially enamoured with searching online. According to NAR, 97% of them use the web in their quest for a new home. Sure, traditional and old-school marketing can add some nostalgia to your advertising, but it is time to embrace the digital age and focus on having an online presence. By incorporating real estate marketing tools like immersive 3D tours and interactive floor plans, you not only highlight the fit and flow of each property, but you highlight the fact that you are current with real estate technology. Be the agent the locals recognize as the tech-friendly marketing expert for all their real estate requirements. Following the leads and leading with followers You can lead by following. Follow the social channels of local businesses, including professional services, retail, recreational facilities, and builders and developers in the area. Take the lead by asking your followers questions on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to initiate conversation. Listen to the voices of the residents and use your time to engage with the community by sharing stories on your social channels, including virtual open houses, 3D tours, and market updates. Did you know you can guide a buyer through a property by sharing a link during a virtual showing? Social connections can drive leads from your apps directly to a potential sale. The importance of standing out in a highly competitive field There are plenty of intelligent real estate agents who know the rules and abide by the fundamentals of the industry standards. But you need to be more than the "standard" Realtor. Marketing tools from companies like iGUIDE® can make you stand out. How you present a property listing should inspire, entice, and engage the consumer. How can you accomplish this? Use real estate marketing tools to reel in the consumer and make a connection. Buyers and sellers want information including accurate measurements, property-specific details, and community amenities. By offering floor plans and easily navigated virtual tours in your digital marketing, you can tie it all together with your expert knowledge of the geographic region. Create your brand identity with niche marketing One of the best marketing tools for real estate agents is building your brand through consistent messaging. Leading real estate coach Tom Ferry suggests you master a specific niche as one of the marketing ideas to elevate your brand. Every listing is an opportunity for you to reach out to the public and show them the value of choosing an agent who can offer good advice, accurate information and present it all in a timely manner. Doing this builds trust and recognition in your brand. When focusing in a specific neighborhood, it is imperative to help the community identify you as the "expert" in the area. You will get recognized as an agent specializing in a specific geographic area when offering things like virtual tours and precise floor plans in your listings. With the proper branding and dedication to your targeted area, your name becomes synonymous with the "go-to" agent for both buyers and sellers in your niche market. Details matter Focus on a single demographic region to uncover and learn the intimate details about schools, parks, Walk Scores, and community happenings. Little details about a neighborhood matter to buyers, as much as the fit and flow of a property. When you guide a potential buyer through a virtual showing, you can have a conversation with them about what it would be like to live in the home. Highlighting property details makes it easier for a consumer to imagine how they will fit into their new home. Working in a niche market doesn't mean you can stray away from the environs periodically. After all, plenty of opportunities will arise while networking within your chosen locale. The key to your success is to use the best marketing tools for real estate agents to distinguish yourself from everyone else out there.
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Trending Now: Smart Technology, Smart Marketing, Smart Realtors
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Time is of the Essence for First-Time Home Buyers and Fresh Listings
Working with first-time buyers is rewarding and often very challenging, but as a real estate professional, you know how to guide them through every step of the process. First-time homebuyers want it all. Like seasoned buyers, they want to have a home suited to their lifestyle and needs, in the ideal location, and for the best price. But the question is, what are new homebuyers looking for when it comes to taking the plunge into today's real estate market? The vast majority of first-time homebuyers want a variety of features in their new home. High on the list of wants are garages, finished basements, yard, the ideal size of the home, and an open floor plan. It is your job to help the buyer navigate their maiden voyage and arrive at their "home sweet home" destination in the least amount of time. The shortlist Ideal floor plan Location Price and affordability Size – accurate square footage Who are first-time buyers? According to NAR, 31% of all buyers in 2020 were first-time buyers. More than 80% of buyers between the ages of 22-30 purchased a home for the first time. This demographic is followed closely by older millennials between the ages of 31-40, making up 48% of their age group. Twenty-two percent of buyers between 40-54 years of age were also buying their first residence. So how do you attract first-time homebuyers? Why buy a home? The reasons for purchasing a home range from the need for larger or smaller square footage to the desire to accommodate multi-generational family members under the same roof. Moving from a rental or moving out of the family home are also motivating factors. But the biggest reason first-time homebuyers are getting into the real estate market is the desire to own their home. Forty-two percent of those buyers want to live in their new home for at least five years subject to any unforeseen changes to their employment, family or geographic variations. What are new homebuyers looking for? Provide information. You will find that the majority of first-time homebuyers are familiar with scouring Realtor websites and MLS listings on the web. User-friendly sites with virtual tours are like eye magnets to the curious buyer. Your online listings fulfill the need for instant gratification when a buyer wants to know how the property fits and flows. A simple click here and there on the virtual tour provides a satisfying user experience as they engage and interact with a property. The buyer builds a strong connection while examining the details of a home. Reinforcing the buyer's memory after an in-person viewing is just one of the benefits of 3D tours and interactive floorplans. It is difficult for anyone to retain every bit of information about a property from a 15-30 minute showing. When there is no time to physically see the property, buying a home based on 3D tours is not a scary proposition for the first-time buyer. Their comfort level is heightened by the opportunity to examine a home's features multiple times through virtual tours then write an offer sight unseen. Buy them time – here today, gone tomorrow With record home sales still hitting year over year highs, the decision to buy a property has to be made quickly. Buyers have very little time to view, process, and make a decision before signing the purchase contract for one of the biggest acquisitions of their life. Often a new listing is sold within days and sometimes within hours of it hitting the market. How can you help? You can attract first-time homebuyers and buy them more time by providing floor plans and virtual tours with your listing information. The buyer can check off all their requirements and review the home multiple times online so when they arrive at an in-person showing, they'll be ready to have you write up the purchase contract on the spot. Regrets, they've had a few Buying a home for the first time can come with a few regrets. One of the main things that trigger buyer's remorse is the size of the home. Living with a house too small or too big for the desired lifestyle can really throw a curve into the buyer's journey. You can help minimize the anguish by providing floor plans and accurate measurements so your buyer can easily map out the property before the FOMO (fear of missing out) sets in and they buy the wrong home. Sure, they may have to compromise on a few things they want like solar panels or updated bathrooms and kitchen, but the size is something that needs to be taken seriously. Size matters and the best way to judge it is with a virtual tour and accurate square footage from a floor plan. As an added value, a floor plan will certainly come in handy when that compromised kitchen renovation becomes affordable. Any time someone does something new or outside of their comfort zone, they look to someone with experience who can offer advice and give insight. The same is true when buying a home. First-time homebuyers in 2021 are certainly more tech-savvy and computer literate than their home buying predecessors, but they still need the tools and guidance you can provide them like virtual tours and 3D tours. Remembering the entire layout of a potential new home is difficult, but saving time and reinforcing memory is the key to attraction. What are new homebuyers looking for? They want accurate, easy-to-follow information available day or night at the click of their mouse.
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The Importance of Property Information When the Market Is Frantic
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6 Feet Under: Stop Killing Your Listings with Inaccurate Measurements
Ever been in a position where the house that you just sold ended up being not as presented? What if the square footage of the property was not as per the measurement standards that it should have adhered to, as you just went by some old property data that you had access to? Well, nobody expects you to be a master of measurements. But the expectation of professionalism, reliability, and accuracy is something that every real estate agent is held accountable for. It all begins with best practices when it comes to marketing a property, by targeting one of the most important factors of any listing: accurate square footage. You can hit the sales bullseye by having your listings measured with precision and accuracy. And the best way to do that is to start with the right tools. A simple digital camera and measurement app are not good enough to provide the consumer with the best possible experience. If you want to lead the way, you need the latest technology backed by proven raw data. Measurements fall into three categories: reliable, reused, and reprehensible. Are you hitting the right target or are your listings six-feet under? The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Residential Measurements The Good Measurement standards, like ANSI and the American Measurement Standard (AMS), provide one set of rules to accurately represent the size of a property. Why is it important to have accurate measurements? Both buyers and sellers look at size as a way to compare the value of each property. When laser-accurate measurements are paired with an all-in-one package of photos, floorplans and 3D tours, a buyer can see the value and develop a deep understanding of a property. For the seller, the benefit is better marketing through reliable information to get top dollar for their home. For you, the real estate professional, accurate measurements help build trust with the consumer, elevate your brand, and encourage better leads and referrals. The Bad Relying on your ability to self-measure a property is not the best practice. Sure, you were a math whiz in school and even part of your university's Calculus Club, but real estate agents with measuring tapes and old school devices can be a problem. Knowing what to measure and what not to measure becomes a challenge and often leads to misrepresenting a property's size by either too big or too small. Another no-no is using blueprints, someone else's expired listing measurements, or relying on tax data. Blueprints are often altered when homes are being constructed, and the homes themselves go through renovations long after the initial build is complete. Obviously, your competitor's expired listing information poses a few dilemmas, which may include inaccurate square footage calculations or perhaps even missing sections of the home altogether. Then there is tax data. Municipalities do not always have updated information on a home's measurements past the submission date of the original build. What about that additional mother-in-law suite that got added a few years back? Not including or excluding renovations will get you off the dean's list and onto the probation list. The Ugly Wrong measurements, either by accident or on purpose, like missing laundry rooms and walk-in closets, or adding in areas like open stairwells, exterior patios, decks, and porches are a whole lot of ugly. Misrepresenting the size of a house just to increase price based on square footage is a fraud, but marketing a home using inaccurate data can get you, the buyer, and the seller involved in a lengthy and pricey lawsuit. As a real estate professional, you owe fiduciary duties to the consumer that include providing accurate square footage for every listing. You cannot assume every piece of the floor plan is living space. Can you really include both bay and bow windows, dormer windows, and crawl spaces in the square footage? These areas are difficult to measure and should not always be added to the total size of a home. Ceiling height is an important factor when it comes to usable living space. Having a precise floor plan can show you whether or not you should actually consider the attic in the total square footage. How do you calculate accurate square footage? Do you measure around the exterior perimeter of a home or the interior? A condo plan represents size using the exterior method of measurement when, in fact, the actual living space is measured from the interior walls, a substantial difference in square footage. When there are so many questions surrounding square footage calculations, you need to hit the mark every time. How can you inch your way up to the top of the real estate leaderboard? Residential measuring techniques vary from place to place throughout Canada and the United States. How do you know which numbers you can trust and does it really matter? Accurate measurements affect the CMA of a home. When a home is measured precisely to a set of standards, it provides value, fosters communication, and builds trust. Companies like iGUIDE partner with professional real estate photographers to provide a reliable, consumer-conscious method of calculating square footage. With laser accurate measurements backed by cutting-edge technology, you can market properties and give your clients the best consumer experience. If a picture paints a thousand words, a detailed floor plan with precise square footage speaks a thousand tongues. Show your professionalism and get your measurements done by a professional. Accurate measurements, together with precise floor plans, communicate value to both the buyer and the seller. Ugly measurements mar the real estate industry, bad measurements interrupt the consumer's journey, but good measurements are like a Shakespearean sonnet that allow for accurate rhythm and flow of every home with no poetic license. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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Real Estate Porn and Floor Plans
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Think Inside the Box: Visualizing Inside a Home with Floorplanner
The world is always trying to get everyone to think outside the box. Yes, getting the wheels spinning with new advancements in real estate technology makes interacting with consumers faster and easier. There are accurate ways to provide square footage calculations, offer detailed room dimensions, and create 3D videos and floor plans. Working with sellers and buyers has never been more cyber friendly. But real estate marketing is more than signing listings and for sale signs, it's about creating connections. Using virtual staging turns the seller's house into the buyer's home. Give your buyer a way to imagine their new home as more than just a shelter from the storm. The year is 2020 and it's time you started focusing your sights inside the box. A House Is Just a House Every house is like an intricate box carefully constructed from a floor plan. The structure is built on a foundation framed to reflect accurate square footage calculations with varying room dimensions. But how and when does that house become a 'Home'? As a Realtor, you must help the consumer feel emotionally attached to every room so they can visualize what life would be like in the house. Buyers' interest in virtual tours has increased by 50% in recent weeks. Bring the buyer's imagination to life by implementing a fun way of integrating a detailed iGUIDE floor plan with the ability to add furniture, lighting, and finishings by using Floorplanner. The house becomes a 'Home' when the consumer can picture living there with their family and visualize their personal belongings, knowing everything fits perfectly even before the moving day. A Chair Is Just a Chair Help with your real estate marketing plan by introducing a cost effective way to virtually stage a home for your seller. The user-friendly Floorplanner application impresses your seller and helps to prequalify buyers. Sure, the seller has some great furnishings but their favourite easy chair may not be exactly what an interested buyer has in mind for décor. A listing can be presented using virtual staging techniques that allow the buyer to place optional images of chattels similar to the ones they currently own. Replace the seller's comfy chair with a chaise lounge or sofa to see how the buyer's personal choices work with the layout and the actual room dimensions. Allowing them to visualize their coveted pieces in each room creates emotional connections with the home. The picture they create is worth more than a thousand words and a half dozen visits. Time After Time So why would your seller want you to use Floorplanner to help showcase their property? Time. Once the real estate photographer has completed shooting the 360° tours and 3D videos, you want prospective buyers to spend as much time interacting with a home as possible. Allow the buyer to take advantage of visualizing the property the way they want to see it. By using the virtual options to recreate each room setting, the buyer connects by seeing the space as their own. Full floor plans with virtual setups can be shared with friends and family. Save time for your seller by limiting multiple visits from a buyer considering some renovations. Answer questions like, "What is the square footage calculation of the living room?" or "What are the room dimensions of the kitchen?" simply by having a floor plan and 3D tour. Ideas can be shared with their contractor or interior designer to find the perfect fit. Time saved by the seller is time well spent by the buyer interacting with the property. Plan A or Plan B Use the accurate square footage calculations to showcase the multiple possibilities of a property. Sometimes best-laid plans can go to waste, but not with Floorplanner. If the child's bedroom in plan A does not appear suitable for the work from home office, try virtually rearranging the furniture to make the room ideal for morning Zoom meetings. Integrated features can show how natural lighting affects each room depending on the time of day. Help the buyer visualize what their life would look like by providing real estate technology tools at the tip of their finger or a click of a mouse. Plan B never looked so good. Adults Playing (with Their) House Einstein once said, "Imagination is more important than knowledge." With extrapolated measurements from iGUIDE floor plans integrated with Floorplanner, your buyer gets both. Knowledge in the form of accurate square footage and individual room dimensions along with the freedom to use their imagination to play with their new house. With the right amount of chemistry and a little help from some great real estate technology, you can present the dream. Showcase your listings from a unique perspective that allows the buyer to play before they pay. Your real estate marketing plan is an ever-evolving way to connect with consumers. By simulating real-life settings, you offer both sellers and buyers the opportunity to visualize the future. Truly what matters most is on the inside when it comes to making a connection. To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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How 3D Tech Is Ensuring Accuracy and Transparency in the Transaction
A residential property was measured and photographed. The living room looked big enough to fit the new owner's suite of antique furniture. The staging photos certainly made it look like the right size. What's the worst that could happen? It's a story all to familiar to most and, as it turns out, a good deal can go wrong. Staging photos can give the impression of more space. Eyeballing a room's size (no surprise) isn't the most reliable system of measurement. Even legacy floor plans can prove to be suspect. There is no substitute for an accurate representation of the space itself, and physically being there has been the only way to get it—that is, until now.
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Avoid liability and be sure of the size of the home you're buying or selling Buyers care about the square footage of their potential home more than almost any other metric. However, there are no mandated measurement standards for single dwelling homes in almost any province or state. How can a buyer or seller be confident that their home's measurement is accurate? Kevin Klages, CEO of Planitar, argues this uncertainty can create problems for everyone. "When there is no 'standard,' then buyers won't know if the presented measurements include balconies, decks and other spaces that other agents may not include in other listings," he explained. "This creates major problems for the industry." Professional and ethical real estate professionals need to be sure that their measurements are consistent. Buyers want to know how large a home is, and providing that information helps you attract them. However, listing an incorrect measurement may open you up to liability. Many real estate agents rely on measurements from other sources, such as tax records, sellers, builders, or assessors. How do you ensure that those numbers are accurate? 1. Hire a Professional Chances are, a number provided from a homeowner, builder, or assessor is not what your buyers are looking for. They want to know a home's gross living area (GLA), which is a measurement of the space inside the home. Most measurements you'll be provided with are exterior measurements that may even include the garage and basement. Adam Fingret, CEO of Extreme Measures, recommends that as a real estate agent, it's best to hire a professional to get consistent measurements that are in-line with the expectations of the buyers in your area. "If I was a broker, I would insist that I, my firm, and the other professionals I deal with are armed with whatever local practices and information is available with respect to floor area measurement," he said. The advent of laser measurement technology has made measurement companies more popular and affordable than ever. Consider the iGUIDE, a tool that makes virtual 3D tours of a home, detailed floor plans, and produces highly accurate measurements at the same time. A quick walk through with the machine, and you have a reliable measurement that is consistent from home to home. Prospective homeowners may be less willing to engage a professional measurement company to measure every home they consider. However, if square footage is important to you, and may change what you consider offering on a home, verifying with a professional is the best way to protect yourself. Ron Usher, a B.C. lawyer and notary who specializes in real estate, told Zolo that homeowners and prospective condo buyers should get a professional measurement. He said, "With any aspect of a real estate purchase, if there's something that is really important to you, then you need to get it verified by a professional." 2. Know the Basics and Ask What Measurements Are Included A home's square footage isn't the whole picture. Without a measurement standard, you can't be sure what that measurement includes and excludes. What about areas with reduced ceiling height, open areas, or front porches? Don't assume that a number you're given only includes the home elements you would include, or that it follows even the most common standard (called the ANSI Home Measurement Standard). Instead, ask the real estate agent or current homeowners what is included in the measurement. In particular, ask about the basement, garage, and balcony, which Fingret argues are the most common problem areas. You also need to watch out for exterior measurements. These include the exterior wall space and often space from garages and patios, which inflates the square footage. For an accurate home measurement, insist on an interior measurement, especially when comparing two houses which, after all, may have dramatically different sized garages. Klages suggests that real estate agents who are looking to explain the difference between these two measurements showcase images of the home's floor plan with the measured areas shaded in. That way, homeowners can visually see which spaces you counted, and which you did not. 3. No Measurement Is Perfect Why is it that you and your agent have come up with slightly different measurements for the same home? According to Klages, small discrepancies are to be expected. Walls aren't always 90°, and even professionals well-versed in a measurement standard won't come up with exactly the same number for the same home. Instead of aiming for perfection, the goal is to get the number as consistent as possible across homes so that buyers can make a realistic comparison between them. 4. Get Your Square Footage in Writing Don't rely on verbal confirmation from whoever is providing you with the measurement to protect you in court. Homeowners should also be aware that the MLS has a disclaimer in most states and provinces indicating that the square footage listed is only approximate. If the square footage of your new home matters to you, it needs to be accounted for in writing. The written purchase agreement isn't always enough protection. Various states and provinces include different square footage disclaimers in the purchase agreement. Idaho and Mississippi, in particular, place the responsibility on the buyer to verify square footage. Wisconsin and Minnesota's purchase agreements state the square footage of the home is approximate. For many in North America, buying a home is the most significant investment they will make. It's worthwhile to have a real estate lawyer examine your purchase agreement. For real estate agents, professional measurements and the advice of legal professionals can help mitigate your risk, so you can still provide buyers with the square footage measurements they require. Brought to you by Sara Penny, Communications and Marketing Manager at Planitar Inc. the makers of iGUIDE®. Follow the link for more information on how iGUIDE provides all the listing information your clients demand.    
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Using Floor Plans and Photography in Real Estate Ads
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