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Real Estate Porn and Floor Plans
What are buyers really looking for online these days, and where are they searching for it? These stats may surprise you. There are a whole lot of things to look at on the internet these days. Recently, GrowthBadger put the number of active blogs at somewhere around 600 million, with another 1.7 trillion websites indexed by Google. Of those, I'd wager that a hefty percentage are devoted to food. When Twitter and Instagram first became a thing, everyone used to joke that "No one wants to see what you had for breakfast." At last count, I follow 37 Instagrammers who only post pictures of food. So I'd argue that there are a lot of people who do, actually, want to see what's for breakfast. In fact, Brandwatch named food as one of the biggest online search trends of the last decade. But we are heading into 2021, and there is an even bigger trend than food. These days, it's all about real estate porn. Like almost every other adult I know, I am more than a little addicted to looking at other people's houses. Given the opportunity, I could easily burn a couple of hours dreaming about that NYC loft, that stone cottage, or that mid-mod houseboat, à la Sleepless in Seattle. I know I am not alone in this obsession, because look: Or A quick search will find you hundreds of similar messages. And those websites mentioned are just a few of the sites that offer a visual buffet of gorgeous kitchens, bedrooms, and gift wrapping rooms. Gift-wrapping rooms, y'all. Can you imagine? While I do love me a good real estate website, I also spend a considerable amount of time on that other amazing invention: Pinterest. Boasting over 322 million monthly users, Pinterest is as popular with Millennials as Instagram, according to Sprout Social. Not to mention, over 5% of all referral traffic to all websites comes from Pinterest. That's an insane stat. Not just for wedding planning or recipes, Pinterest also has a plethora of real estate related content. Best of all, there are floor plans. Floor plans are the holy grail of real estate porn. Not only can you drool over the photos, you can actually go so far as to mentally move in your furniture. Or, in my case, mentally ditch all your old furniture and buy new. I am not alone in my love of floor plans. Rightmove released a study that suggests that real estate buyers consider floor plans not just a nice extra, but essential. One in five said they would ignore a property without a floor plan. They also rated floor plans as more important than photos and the description of the property. On the flip side, when sellers consider hiring a real estate agent, Rightmove found that 42% wouldn't hire an agent who didn't offer a floor plan. And before you say, "Yeah, but that is the UK and maybe they are funny over there. After all, they like cricket!" check this out. In the NAR 2019 Home Buyers & Sellers Generational Trends Report, floor plans were ranked third in terms of buyer requests, ranking higher than virtual tours, sold properties, and even agent contact info. In fact, adding a floor plan to a real estate listing can increase click-throughs from buyers by 52%. That's twice as many eyeballs, folks. The problem is that most real estate agents aren't placing the value on floor plans that they should be. Common excuses for not offering floor plans include cost, hassle, and liability issues. The reality is that floor plans are not difficult to get and they aren't as expensive as you might think. Sources like iGUIDE make it super easy and economical to give buyers that mental move-in experience. In this day and age, it's not just about getting your customer's attention. It's about keeping it. Each and every second of attention spent on your marketing matters, whether you are using social media or a search portal. Want to drive more traffic to your listings? Go the extra mile and give us real estate porn stalkers what we want: floor plans. (And more gift-wrapping rooms.) To view the original article, visit the iGuide blog.
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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 to Draw a Floor Plan without a Laser Measure
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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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Is the Square Footage of Your Listing Fake News or Are You Selling Properties Using Accurate Square Footage?
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Why Are Floor Plans Important?
Real estate agents may be surprised to hear that a 2018 report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that home buyers don't just want to see a floor plan as part of the listing, they think it's essential information that must be provided with every listing. In fact, homeowners rated floor plans as the third most important part of a listing and more important than neighbourhood information. According to a study from Rightmove, one in five homeowners will even ignore a listing that doesn't include a floor plan. However, floor plans aren't just important because buyers want them. They also offer value to real estate agents too. Floor plans can become an essential part of your real estate marketing efforts, and save you time. Here's how.
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Understanding the Difficulty of Differing Residential Square Footage Standards in North America
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How Real Estate Agents and Homeowners Can Get Accurate Square Footage Measurements
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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Food, Facts, and Floor Plans
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4 Visual Extras to Give Your Property Marketing Plan a Boost
Nearly 90 percent of overall consumers search online when buying a home. Today's consumers can use online tools to refine and narrow down their property choices. This makes the buying process quicker and more efficient for both buyers and their agent. This means agents must think beyond a few grainy photo snaps from a cell phone to market their listings. Marketing a home is about highlighting the best features of a property. If your property marketing plan needs a boost, think beyond the photos! Consider using these four visual extras to give your next property marketing plan a boost.
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Stand Out in Your Market and Win Listings for Less with All-in-one Marketing
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Using Floor Plans and Photography in Real Estate Ads
Guest contributor Ian Grace of REALTOR®Mag says: In my advertising sessions, both face-to-face and webinars, I'm often asked about use of floor plans and photography. I'd like to share a few of my thoughts. Floor plans When people are looking to buy a new home, floor plans are provided. These floor plans give potential purchasers a feeling for where their furniture might fit, where the study might be located compared to a bedroom or perhaps entertaining areas, or how close the children's rooms might be to the parents' bedroom (perhaps closer preferred when they are younger so they can be heard, and further away when they are older for everyone's privacy). However, the moment that property is sold and becomes a second-hand or lived-in property, the floor plans tend to disappear from the ads selling those properties. Why? It would seem to make sense to include floor plans to sell existing properties because they get the potential purchasers involved, and many progressive agents and real estate groups are doing just that. To get potential buyers really involved, you can use interactive floor plans with little icons in the rooms and outside. Then, every time an icon is clicked, it pulls up a photo of that room or video. It's fantastic interaction.
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