Hasten Team's Blog

Check thoughts and ideas of Hasten Team - best provider of Virtual Staging in the USA. 
You can find here some useful information for real esate professionals, and recent interviews as well!

Virtual Staging: An Innovative Way to Attract Buyers

As technology continues to improve, growing numbers of home sellers find themselves looking into the benefits of using virtual staging to help sell their home. But just what is virtual staging and how does it stack up against physically staging a home to sell?

As the name implies, virtual staging is done on the computer rather than in real life. This means that, unlike traditional staging, you don’t rent any furniture, decor, or accents. Instead, virtual staging digitally inserts all of those same items into photographs of empty rooms in the home. This, in turn, helps to attract potential buyers online to tour the home, where they can then use their imagination and consult the virtual staging photos in order to envision how each room would look with furniture inside.
 

Preparing for Virtual Staging

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One of the most important steps when preparing to virtually stage a home is to professionally photograph the rooms that will be virtually furnished. It’s crucial that these images are high-resolution to ensure that the final listing product is perfected for online buyers.

Make sure to remove any unwanted items before capturing each room on camera - this will speed up the process of editing. Once the photos are primed and ready for staging, the virtual stager can add furniture and decor to compliment the overall style of the home. High-quality listing photos improve the final staged product by giving the stager the opportunity to work with an ideal canvas.
 

Why Choose Virtual Staging?

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Virtual staging has a number of benefits but the biggest is of course price. While staging an apartment in New York City the old fashioned way costs an average of $2500 per month, virtual staging typically costs between $39 to $199 per room. What’s more is that this fee is a one time cost as you don’t have to pay for renting furniture. As the average home for sale in 2018 stays on market between 34 to 53 days, this means that virtual staging could save sellers several thousands of dollars. And that’s not even considering that many stagers require a minimum contract!

In addition to saving money compared to traditional staging, virtual staging can also increase the value of your home as well. In fact, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), 33 percent of buyers’ agents said that staging a home increased its’ value by one to five percent when compared to similar homes that were not staged. Not only that but 39 percent of sellers’ agents said that staging a home greatly decreased the time it spent on the market.

Another pro of virtual staging is that gives sellers the opportunity to create a strong first impression with potential buyers. As Jen Williams, Redfin Market Manager, says, this is important because “buyers will imprint on the first photos they see of a home and will develop their first positive feelings and attraction to a property at that time.”
 

Important Tips

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If you choose to stage your home virtually, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, remember to provide potential buyers with photos of the empty rooms as well as their virtually staged counterparts. This will help to show buyers that the home they’re thinking of touring not staged in person so that they are not confused when entering the home.

Virtual staging can be an incredible asset when you’re selling a vacant home, or one that has wild-card tenants or dated décor. It allows potential buyers to view the right vision of the home – not empty, but one that’s comfortable and easy to live in.

Written by Angie Bersin

Heidi Klum Buys $5.1 Million Soho Loft Impressed by Hasten Renderings

 Heidi Klum and 515 Broadway (Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Heidi Klum and 515 Broadway (Credit: Wikipedia Commons)

Heidi Klum finally bought a home in New York — now she is the new owner of a Soho penthouse loft. Although loft is in need of a total gut renovation, Hasten virtual renderings must be a great source of inspiration.

 Hasten 3D visualization for 515 Broadway

Hasten 3D visualization for 515 Broadway

Klum had previously stuck to the West Coast for her property holdings. The former Victoria’s Secret Angel paid $9.88 million for a nearly 12,000-square-foot Los Angeles mansion in 2013, per Variety, which she bought right after her split from ex-husband, Seal. The former couple had resided in an impeccably renovated eight-bedroom Brentwood estate, which sold for $24 million in 2014.

 Loft 3D visualization by Hasten

Loft 3D visualization by Hasten

But now, Klum has paid $5.1 million for a top-floor co-op at 519 Broadway, which is part of a three-building complex that includes 515 Broadway and 84 Mercer Street. Klum used the limited liability company Hk East Coast LLC to complete the transaction.

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The loft was listed by Edward Hickey of Compass and had been used as an authentic art studio for the past 30 years. However, it's unclear if Heidi plans to use it for business or turn it into her new home.

http://observer.com/2018/04/heidi-klum-buys-soho-loft-penthouse-new-york/

Drone 3D Models in Real Estate

drone 3d models in real estate

How Drone-Generated 3D Models are Changing Real Estate

Real estate and how it's sold hasn't changed all that much over the years, but the way sellers get buyers' attention has been revolutionized more than once throughout history. That's good news for both buyers and sellers, because it keeps things moving forward and helps real estate continue to evolve. As a business that's important for agents, but there's more to the story. People who are selling their homes and people who need homes are both focused on getting what they want from a transaction, and the more they can work together openly and honestly from the beginning, the easier that transaction could be.

Online Listings and Pictures Changed the Game

Before the internet took over, real estate was sold through print magazines and through going into a real estate agent's office and asking what they had available. Then buyers drove around to houses and took a look at them, trying to decide which one they liked best. Eventually they picked one, and the negotiations began. But when agents started posting listings and pictures online everything changed, and the way buyers found what they were looking for became different.

Seeing a Model From All Angles Can Affect Buyer Perspective

One of the ways that 3D models generated from drones could change the real estate game is through perspective. Buyers don't always see everything they want or need to see in the listing or pictures taken, and even driving by doesn't always give a complete picture of the house, yard, and surrounding area. With a 3D model generated by a drone, the buyer would be able to see the outside of the entire house, what's close by, the size of the house in relation to the yard, and other factors that can all change the buyers' perspective of what the house has to offer.

Great Looking Homes Could See Big Benefits

For homes that are already very nice, there could be big benefits to 3D drone models. This comes from giving buyers even more of a chance to love what the house has to offer, and from showcasing features that the buyer might not be able to see from the street. That can make a big difference in whether the buyer decides to choose that particular house, or whether they would prefer something else. In many cases, especially with high-end homes, a 3D model could help the house get sold even faster, and for a better price.

Sellers Can't Hide Defects and Related Issues

Another big benefit with 3D drone models is that sellers can't take outside pictures in strategic ways to hide big problems. They aren't able to make the house look better or the yard look bigger, because the 3D model will show everything that they tried to cover up. With this in mind, perhaps agents will stop thinking of external looks of a home in terms of "curb appeal" and shift their thinking toward "3D Appeal" or "Aerial Appeal". That can either steer buyers away or force sellers to choose a more realistic price point for their home. In either case, it can lead to the right buyer coming along and the seller getting the house off the market and into the hands of someone who really wants to buy it.

Making Fast, Informed Decisions Moves the Selling Process Along

By creating 3D, drone-generated models for homes that are for sale, the selling process may move along faster. The more buyers can get information on the home before they go to see it, the more they will research the home and get all of the knowledge they can about it. They may have mostly made up their mind to buy it by the time they contact an agent and ask to get inside. That speeds up the process, because the buyer doesn't have to wait for an agent to get back to them in order to get a lot of the information they really need to make the right decision.

Both the Buyer and the Seller Can Have a Better Experience

When a seller can move a home quickly and a buyer can find something they love fast, both parties benefit from the experience. Having a 3D drone model doesn't guarantee that buyers and sellers will be happier, but it does provide the opportunity for everyone who is party to the real estate transaction to get information, learn things up front, and not need to worry about a lack of transparency. In short, having everything on the table right from the very beginning makes buying and selling a home easier, faster, and less stressful.

Will the Standard for Real Estate Change With 3D Imaging?

Right now 3D, drone-generated imaging is far from standard. Most real estate companies and sellers don't offer it. But there are many good reasons to start providing it, and the indication is that it could change the face of real estate again. Eventually, using drones and creating 3D images may become standard, and when that takes place both buyers and sellers will be able to benefit from the increase in technology for their real estate transactions.

Take a 3-D Apartment Tour to See the Real Estate Listing of the Future

333 East 91st St Teaser Video

MANHATTAN — Real estate broker Bianca D'Alessio was taken by surprise when a woman relocating from Boston to New York called last week with an offer on a new condo in an Upper East Side building, saying she had already done a “walk through.”

D'Alessio never took the woman on a tour of the model apartment at the Gianna, at 184 E. 64th St., but the buyer felt as if she had already seen enough of space, since there’s a 3-D model of it on the building’s website.

“I received an offer based on a visual tour,” said D'Alessio, of Nest Seekers. “You can zoom in on the quality of the finishes and see the magnificent fixtures. As you’re ‘walking through,’ you can see the detailing on the closets. You can zoom in and see there’s a Toto toilet and a Sub-zero refrigerator and Wolf range.”

Offering 360-degree three-dimensional tours is taking the presentation of real estate listings to the next level, brokers said. The tours will soon become more commonplace as technology has made creating such virtual tours cheaper than ever, many believe. 

3-D listing (Image courtesy of GeoCV.)

"For your client [who is selling], you want to be getting the right people through the door," said Alessio, who began incorporating 3-D listings in June. "I think it even weeds some people out. When you have this tool, it's almost their second showing, and you know they're interested as soon as they walk through."

GeoCV has been offering its services — including the 3-D tour, high-quality photos and a dollhouse-like floor plan — to brokers like D'Alessio since June. It plans to unveil a do-it-yourself kit at the end of the year for brokers to rent or buy, with a special 3-D camera that attaches to a smartphone using the company’s custom-made rotation device, explained Anton Yakubenko, GeoCV's CEO and co-founder.

It takes about an hour per 1,000 square feet to do a photo scan of an apartment and two days to turn around the finished product. The company currently charges 10 cents per square foot for its services, with a minimum of $199 per listing.

“It’s really a disruptive price for the market. It costs two or three times more from others,” Yakubenko said about other companies offering 3-D services.

His company uses "new generation" smartphones with 3-D cameras, he said, and is moving toward using a regular smartphone with a special attachment. Other companies tend to use pricey special cameras rather than smartphones.

His company is also developing an application to create virtual-reality tours of real estate listings, which new developments are increasingly using to give potential tenants a better feel for how the spaces will look when finished.

The demand for VR, Yakubenko noted, is less than the 3-D model right now, since few people have VR headsets at home to view listings. But he envisions a future where brokers have headsets in their office or can bring them to clients’ homes.

“It’s time-saving for agents and clients,” he said of the tools that can cut down on unnecessary trips to open houses.

The 3-D tours even help apartments that may need work and don’t show well in photos, he said.

“An agent was selling a townhouse needing significant renovation. He wanted buyers to understand the work involved,” Yakubenko said.

While some homes in similar condition often languish on the market, this particular townhouse, in Crown Heights, sold in a couple of weeks, he added.

D'Alessio agreed that more transparency can help apartments with potential pitfalls.

“It’s better to know what you’re walking into than be surprised,” she said.

Originally written by Amy Zimmer dnainfo.com

CityRealty Interview with CEO of Hasten

 Aleksandr Lanin, CEO of Hasten, and one of their virtually-staged units

Aleksandr Lanin, CEO of Hasten, and one of their virtually-staged units

Anyone trawling through apartment listings may have noticed the upsurge of virtually staged apartment photos. The technique has proven to be a cost-effective and speedy alternative to traditional methods of staging vacant units. For those of you not fully warmed-up to the computer-aided technique, your reservations are understandable. Photos are the most important element to viewing listings online and we’ve all seen unappealing virtually-staged photos with disproportionate furnishings and unrealistic treatments. However, over the years, the realism produced by virtual staging companies has vastly improved – to the point many of the images are indecipherable from real photographs. 

In New York City, Hasten is one of the companies leading the way in producing life-like listings furnished remotely through renderers and computer programs. Their website touts that 84% of the city’s top-selling brokers use the company for virtual staging and that their net turnaround time is an incredible 12 hours. We had a quick chat with Hasten’s CEO, Aleksandr Lanin, to get the scoop on virtual staging and its price and time advantages over traditional methods.

 One of the units virtually staged by Hasten, before image shot by Ralph Modica

One of the units virtually staged by Hasten, before image shot by Ralph Modica

Can you give me a brief overview of your company? 

Hasten's virtual staging department was founded in 2014, and nowadays more than 25 specialists are involved in the field of 3D visualization, architecture, design, and programming only for virtual staging itself. There are also analysts who track trends in design and advanced tools for working with 3D graphics, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality. More than 3,500,000 agents and photographers have contacted us since 2014. We contribute to the realization of more than 115 apartments per month only in New York.

 Apartment at 400 Fifth Avenue staged by Hasten

Apartment at 400 Fifth Avenue staged by Hasten

How did you find your way into staging interiors and how long have you been doing them? 

Until 2014, we were engaged in visualization of interiors and exteriors, and acted as designers, working on the stylistics of the premises. Then, agents from different real estate companies of New York began asking us to work on their listings. At some point, we realized that we enjoy doing staging - now we spend over half of the whole workflow on it. Every year it becomes more and more actual in the sales process.

 Before applying of 3D Visualization 

Before applying of 3D Visualization 

 Result after 3D Visualization made by Hasten

Result after 3D Visualization made by Hasten

What is the cost of a virtually staging a single room and what's the typical turnaround time? 

The price ranges from 49-59 dollars, when the agent trusts us with the development of the concept and design of the room, and wants to receive the processed photos as quickly as possible. And does not exceed $150 for large rooms, as well as for the rooms where you need to do some 3D visualization. 

Our turnaround time record was when we delivered a client's images in 3 hours after the receipt of all the necessary details and materials. Typically, however, it takes 24-48 hours. The turnaround time depends on the agent's preferences, the number of photos, and the quick feedback —the more fluid the correspondence, the faster we understand of what client really wants.

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The overall benefits are fairly apparent, but can you brief us on the advantages of virtual staging over physical staging? 

Physical staging has several drawbacks compared to the virtual staging: the price certainly, the limitations of types and sets of furniture, sometimes it is not possible to realize physical staging appropriately for luxury apartments -- furniture has to fit the style, and decor should be high-end, etc. 

The main advantages of virtual staging, however, are speed and convenience. Prior to our technical work, all the agent just needs to send us photos of empty rooms, describe preferences, choose favorite furniture sets and wait until the processed photos are ready. The speed, diversity, and simplicity of digital technology greatly outweigh the laborious solutions of the past.

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What's been the overall feedback from clients? Have you measured the response between staged photos vs non-staged photos

Judging from our client feedback, sometimes a prospective buyer/renter can be found the same day when the listing with staged photos was posted on real estate websites. Usually, it takes a week or two. We’ve had customers who could not sell an apartment for more than six months or a year using unfurnished photos, and the number of calls and requests dramatically increased the same day the photos were improved to virtual staging. So, we can say with certainty that the popularity of the listing grows exponentially, compared to the usual empty room photos — they just do not catch your eye, unlike the staged images.

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What are some of your favorite furniture pieces to stage with? Do you have different collections for varying tastes? 

The most important thing for us in the working process is to keep the harmony in form, color, and the materials used. In most of our works we use 3D furniture models of well-known brands such as Scavolini, BoConcept, Minotti, Poliform, etc. Working on the project, we do not adhere to the concept that all components should belong to the same manufacturer. Each project is treated individually, and both furniture and decor depend on the interior itself. 

In some cases, the client chooses their own furnishings, indicating this preference from the onset. After receiving a draft version of the work, the client makes corrections, and only until everything suits him/her, the final image is signed off on. The last word belongs to the client — we always provide our customers with what they want. That allows us to be the best in our business.

Originally written by Ondel Hylton for CityRealty and 6sqft.