Floorplans – The Professionals vs. The Apps
How valuable are floorplans in a real estate listing? Many Realtors are well aware of the need for professional photography with their home listing. To stay competitive, you need the best photographer, as well as the capability for drone photography, virtual tours, and video walk-throughs. But many realtors don’t realize that floorplans are also critical to a good listing.
Floorplans help prospective buyers visualize the way the house flows, where window and door placements are, what storage capacities the property offers, and where in relation to the house outdoor features are located in a way that even the best photographs cannot capture. If you’re selling to a long-distance buyer, something many realtors in the Washington, DC area deal with regularly, a floor plan is an invaluable tool.
Floorplans also help a buyer visualize their own furniture and belongings in the home. The potential buyer can look at measurements and window placements and see at a glance that their favorite sofa fits perfectly on the wall adjacent to the picture window. Once a potential buyer can visualize their furniture in the home, they start to come emotionally invested, which increases the chances that they will make an offer on this property.
Do Buyers Really Look for Floorplans?
The 2017 National Association of Realtors (NAR) Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trend Report shows that floorplans are in the top 3 desired features in a home listing for prospective homebuyers. Though buyers cite it as a contributing factor in making their home purchase, many realtors are still not using floorplans. Adding a floorplan to your listing will elevate you above your competition. But are all floorplans created equal?
Absolutely not. There are a lot of new apps popping up and a lot of programs that allow realtors and homeowners to create their own DIY floorplan. It may seem simple enough. Plug in your room sizes, play around with the app and place your windows and doors accordingly and – voila! You’ve got a complete home floorplan without paying a professional cost.
However, as in most things in life, if it seems to be too good to be true, it likely is. There are some very serious pitfalls to trying to do a floorplan on your own or with an app.
The Disadvantages of a Floorplan App
Let’s break the disadvantages of a floorplan app down. The first problem with an app is the time it takes. You’re a real estate professional. Time is your biggest commodity. Sitting down and properly taking the time to input dimensions and measurements is not something that can be done quickly.
A perfectly square room may be easier to calculate than a complex layout, but it still takes time. This is valuable time that you could be spending with clients, getting new listings, or showing homes to potential buyers.
The next problem that with an app is that they are not 100% accurate. All of the apps use an algorithm to come up with the floor plan. In some cases, these are calculated based on pictures you input. Some apps may ask for your input on measurements, but these are still not as accurate as having a draftsman measure.
As you consider providing floorplans for a property, it’s important to remember that these apps and computer programs are not designed to replace a professional draftsman. Their intended audience is for homeowners. They’re a great tool to assess furniture placement in homes and to begin to plan remodeling projects, but even in the case of remodeling, you would get an accurate floorplan from a draftsman before you begin the actual project.
But Isn’t a Floorplan in a Listing Just Marketing Material?
Some of you may think “what’s the big deal – if I’m providing floorplans as a marketing tool and clearly state that measurements may not be 100% accurate, isn’t it worth it to save some money and make a faster sale?”
Even though you’re providing a disclosure, potential buyers could be counting on those measurements to ensure that the house can hold furniture that they can’t part with, especially if they are long-distance buyers. Using an app or trying to go the DIY route could also potentially send a message that you cut corners on your marketing efforts. This is a message that no realtor wants to send to the general public.
Hiring a professional, like Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography to create a professionally done floorplan for your property will establish you as a real estate professional that always goes above and beyond to provide the best for your clients. That’s the type of realtor that people want to work with and are proud to refer to others.
Having a floorplan in your marketing materials, such as any brochures, your online listing, and postcards, is not only an effective way to sell a home faster and for a higher dollar amount, but it is also a great marketing tool for your real estate business. If someone knows that they will be selling their home soon and they see that you do floorplans, that could be the one thing that sets you apart from your competition and encourages them to pick up the phone and hire you as their realtor.
The Benefits of a Professional Floorplan
Professionally done floor plans are a win-win for you, as a realtor. The benefits far outweigh any amount of money you may save by trying to go the DIY route. Here are just a few of the benefits of hiring a professional to do your floorplans:
- It saves you valuable time. A professional can get the job done for you while you attend to other business matters and can get it done quickly.
- A professional floorplan will clearly show all available space in a home, including closets and other storage areas.
- Professional floorplans can provide a visual memory trigger for a potential buyer that has viewed numerous properties. Having the floorplan in their hands will allow them to consider the property more thoroughly and remember features that they would not have recalled, long after they’ve viewed the property in person.
- The click-through rates of properties with floorplans in their listing are much higher. This means more eyes on your listing and better-qualified showings, as those that will make appointments to see the property already have an understanding of the space and the layout and know if it will meet their needs ahead of time.
If you’d like to learn more about the benefits of professionally done floorplans and how they can help boost your real estate business, contact Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography today. Our Draftsman would love to professionally measure and render your next listings floorplan!
Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography