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Dallas Real Estate Photography : Staging Staging Staging

Gretchen Mikulich: Hello, this is Gretchen Mikulich and Thomas Crosson with Full Package Media. Today we are here to talk to you about virtual staging and what you should look for in your Dallas real estate photography company when it comes to virtual staging. Thomas Crosson and I own Full Package Media and you can find us at We offer a wide variety of post-production editing services, and one of those is virtual staging. Today we want to kind of discuss what virtual staging entails, how ethical is it, what MLS compliance does it involve.

Thomas Crosson: Virtual staging is where your Dallas real estate photography company, hopefully Full Package Media, goes in and places furniture into the home after it’s shot. Traditional staging is super expensive, super time-consuming to move everything around, have a stager in there and then you pay for it. Going forward too, so a lot of times for stagers, either they take a percentage of your commission or they take maybe it’s one month, it’s $5,000, and then every 30 days. After that, to keep the furniture in there is another $1,000 a month or something like that. Compared to virtual staging, it’s a one-time fee and now you have those photos staged forever. As long as that house is on the market, you’re able to use those photos.

Gretchen: Yes, the price difference is just astronomically– It’s so crazy how different is. One, your traditional staging like Thomas said, it’s going to cost you every month that you’re not– that you have the house on the market, that it’s not sold. If you just get it virtually staged, that’s just a one-time fee, and when you virtually stage you have some options. You could do the photo a couple different versions just to show the potential home buyers the different ways they could decorate. Thomas, what are some of the benefits of getting your house staged, whether virtually or traditionally?

Thomas: I think one of the biggest benefits– and I think really the reason staging is done at all- is to take a home that’s vacant and show people what it would be like with their furniture or how it would feel if it’s lived in with the stuff on the walls. Sometimes it’s hard to conceptualize “Okay, here’s my master bedroom, but where would my bed go,” or “Where would my big 80 inch flat-screen TV go,” “What wall am I going to watch sports on in the media room?” “You know what? I work from home and I want a home office, but how is my desk going to fit in here.” Even if maybe put the desk on the wrong wall, that’s what the person envisions it, they can see just in terms of overall of the space, “Okay, this would work for me.” That’s really probably the biggest benefit. It just gives people the opportunity to see that this home is livable and can be lived in, and it’s a warmer feeling.

Gretchen: Yes, and Full Package Media understands this, and really, we can make good recommendations for homes. Not every room in a home needs to be staged. You really have your main rooms that need to be staged that people really live in. Spend most of their time in the kitchen, the living room, the back patio, the dining room. Those are your main ones that really, really make an impact when you stage them. A bedroom, the kid’s rooms, you know you’re going to throw a bed in there, maybe a dresser if they’re lucky, but the master bedroom’s an important one, right? Those are the home buyers. They want to know how they’re going to be living. Where their furniture is going to be, how they can decorate it, what they’re going to see every day.

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Thomas: Yes, definitely, and I think a lot of people that we– A lot of people want to stage the dining room, the living room and the master but we– The kitchen is one that’s forgotten, because you don’t have that much stuff. You might not have furniture but you have little things on your counter that hold your flower, and your sugar, and you have a toaster, and you have some plants over your sink, and you have towels on the oven and all those things, you have a coffee pot on the stove. All those things make a big difference and it really takes a kitchen that just looks very bland and plain and makes it feel like home before it’s home, ideally.

Gretchen: Some of the benefits for the home seller right, they want to get their furniture out of there. They probably bought a new home already and they’re ready to move out. They’re ready to move on, get their furniture in their new home and get settled. It’s a catch for me too. They don’t want to leave all their furniture behind just to help sell the home. They want a realtor who’s willing to spend the money on the marketing and dedicate themselves to investing in virtual staging or staging in general, so staging is very important.

Thomas: Maybe there’s a situation where you are living in the home still but you don’t want someone to see all your furniture. You don’t want them to see family portraits up on the wall, but maybe you have a wall that looks super bland and look horrible without photos on the wall, but you have 20 photos of your family. With object removal, we can remove those and then we can add other paintings or something like that on the wall to make it look great.

Gretchen: Right. In the beginning, I mentioned the MLS compliance and how important that is. Nonetheless, it’s pretty vague on their rules about object removal, object getting in. However, one thing’s clear, they do not allow deceptive marketing. You can’t remove objects that are permanent such as telephone poles, telephone lines, cracks in the foundation. Those are all big no-no’s for editing, so when you’re looking for you Dallas real estate photography company, you want to make sure that they’re compliant and they’re not going to remove some of those items without you knowing. When it comes to virtual staging, you can add in those items that are not going to be sold with the home, so a dining room table, a couch, a chair you sit in, a coffee table. Those items are not going to be sold with the home, so it’s okay to add those in, and Full Package Media can guide you along the way of what’s deceptive and what’s not.

Thomas: Virtual staging is really no different than if you had a stager. I mean theoretically, you could hire a stager to move a bunch of furniture in for one day, take pictures and then move it out. A lot of people ask us, “Well, that’s great that you’re going to virtually stage the photos, but then they’re going to come see the house and it’s not going to be there.” A large part of your battle in real estate is just getting that person into the home. Once you get them there, then you can really sell the house. If you can’t get them there, that doesn’t work. Really, we think that staging allows people to feel that sense of warmth in a home feeling just in the pictures and not as much as when you actually see the house. Of course, it’s a cost-benefit analysis. Do you want to pay our price for virtual staging for photo or do you want to pay thousands and thousands of dollars? Maybe even thousands a month to keep

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furniture in a house that maybe is having a hard time selling, and our virtual staging

is not thousands and thousands of dollars.

Gretchen: Right, and it really impacts social media. When you’re browsing through homes on Mozilla or Facebook, you’re going to really notice those ones that are vacant, with no furniture in them. Those ones are kind of, “No.” You look at them, keep moving to the next. When you have furniture in it, again like Thomas said earlier, it just allows you to envision yourself living in it. Allows you to see your kids, your family, your friends, enjoying their time in that space and how you would set it up, and you going to live in there every day.

Thomas: To me, even outside of the business, when I’m looking at a home or see something pop-up on Facebook and its vacant, I don’t really look twice at. But if it’s staged or if there’s furniture, maybe just a purchased furniture, it makes me look closer. To me, it looks like a lot of vacant home. It’s like maybe it’s meant for a remodel or something like that. Your Dallas real estate photography, hopefully, can help that issue and stage a home for you at a fraction of the cost of what it cost to do– Real saving and really the quality. I had a client actually yesterday and he said, “I’m not interested in virtual staging,” and I said, “Why not?” And he said, “Well, the quality’s not very good, it’s hard to tell.” I said, “Let me show you some of our examples of photos that we’ve done for past clients.” After looking at the photos of before and after he was like, “Wow, I might do this for my listings now and maybe I stage it.” Even if you stage a home, you stage the big rooms, then maybe you do virtual staging in your secondary bedrooms or that kind of thing.

Gretchen: Quality is a must. When you’re looking for your Dallas real estate photography company, you want to make sure that they have the skill set that it requires to put the furniture in the room, virtually. If it’s going to look unrealistic and cheesy, then it’s not worth it. At Full Package Media, we have the skill set, we have the knowledge and we do it every day, the virtual staging, and it’s good.

Thomas: Really, when you’re picking a Dallas real estate photography company, there’s really no other choice than going with Full Package Media. This is just one of the many things that we offer to our clients to help you increase your brand as a realtor. To find out more, you can visit us online at or give us a call anytime at 972-885-8823.

[00:10:24] [END OF AUDIO]

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