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Virtual design technology for marketing real estate listings



Before virtual staging and after virtual staging. Click to enlarge.

Using virtual staging in real estate

Although a common practice in commercial real estate, virtual staging to show the potential of a property or piece of land is less common in residential real estate as some question the ethics of presenting a property in any other way than its current state. It’s tricky, but if marketed properly and clearly marked as a rendering, virtual staging for interiors and exteriors can be extremely helpful. Principal Designer Gary Robertson told us, “We’ve developed a new technology that actually improves the positives, while eliminating the cons: Virtual Property Design (VPD), a specialized virtual technology that creates amazingly realistic photos of a property showing different design and architectural concepts in place.”

Not just for vacant listings

Their software is used for more than virtually staging a vacant home and is used to depict remodels or help clients envision what a lot would look like with a home or what a home would look like with a different facade, claiming the technology allows clients to “take a serious look – or second look – at a property.”

Buyers on a budget

Given the rise in short sales and foreclosures, this is a unique tool for agents specializing in working with buyers seeking discounts- now instead of just verbally describing the potential of a listing that is less than appealing in its current state, agents can actually show some options that could motivate a buyer to get off of the fence. Some personalities have better imaginations than others, and the first impression of an ugly home could be repaired with some simple tools like virtual staging technology.

Tara Steele is the News Director at The American Genius, covering entrepreneur, real estate, technology news and everything in between. If you'd like to reach Tara with a question, comment, press release or hot news tip, simply click the link below.

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  1. JBond

    August 29, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Wow, this is fascinating. I think this could be a valuable tool to those who are more visionary in their outlook and wanting to get their hands dirty.

  2. Jason fox

    August 29, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    This is just the thing that I was looking for on one of my projects. We are running a 203k class and we find propertues that have awesome potential, and would like to be able to give a visual of how it could look. I will checking this out, Thank You!

  3. Jonathan C

    August 29, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I see how this would be useful, however, based on the images in the example, I'd say that this is "virtual remodeling" not "virtual staging"! Either way, I like it but I think it has to be very clearly labeled as a fictitious rendering and images of the actual property provided side by side.

  4. Randy Teves

    August 31, 2011 at 8:35 pm

    Quite interesting! The real estate industry is really getting more technology-driven. Hope that home buyers will really see the "potential" of this innovation in their home-buying plunge.

  5. Stephen

    September 4, 2011 at 10:59 am

    As Virtual Staging professionals, we would never condone using our pioneered technology to falsely portray a room or home as something that it isn't. We do however provide a very realistic and valuable service to those wishing to accent an empty or vacant space with furniture and accessories.

  6. Cliff Stevenson

    September 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    A colleague of mine in our office uses this type of service, and has a bound book of before and after shots for their listing presentation. When they are interviewing for listings that are going to be vacant, my understanding is that this service has helped them obtain numerous listings.

  7. KBell

    September 7, 2011 at 9:20 am

    I agree that this is not quite virtual staging as this is more of a CAD rendering of what the exterior of a home could look like. Virtual staging is simply a new technology that takes vacant photos of a home and ONLY places furnishings and decor into the photos to help buyers better understand the layout of a home and envision themselves living in the home. Its sole purpose was developed in order to help drive buyer traffic to a vacant home and get it sold! If you want to learn more about what true virtual staging is and how it works to sell vacant homes nationwide then you can visit for more info!

  8. Roger

    September 8, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    When I first saw the picture on this post I thought it was a joke. Are you kidding me? That's not even the same house! This is not virtual staging. You should really research what you write about before you publish it. I've used virtual staging a little over 7 times, and the company I've used ( doesn't modify the structure of the home. They will add furniture to an empty room which comes out amazing.

    If you are trying to sell a home and have someone change the picture so its a completely different home I dont see what the point of that is. Choose a reputable company that only does furniture and you'll see some amazing results like I have.

  9. Gary Robertson

    September 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

    A bit of a correction on this article. What we offer would not be considered Virtual Staging. That process – as stated in earlier comments – is adding images of furniture to existing photos to "stage" empty rooms. Our service, VPD (Virtual Property Design), creates a true to scale 3d model of the room or property and is a way to enable people to visualize what can be done to improve a property – a useful tool for both buyers and sellers (and contractors). It takes a process and technology that before was only used for very expensive architectural projects, and makes it affordable enough to be a powerful tool for any real estate transaction/project. On the example shown with this article, it was the potential buyer of the property who requested a design concept for the house they were considering. The VPD concept that was created is designed on the same footprint of the existing structure – including the porch which has been converted into living space. As with all VPDs, this concept is to scale based on the measurements we received.

  10. Julie Virtual

    August 12, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Keep in mind that there are more than one type of virtual staging.  One uses CAD or digitally created images for furnishings while the other uses images taken of real furniture on HD.  The latter is far more realistic and creates a much warmer look and feel.  Take a look at for a better idea.

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Social Media

New Pinterest code of conduct pushes for mindful posting

(SOCIAL MEDIA) Social media sites have struggled with harmful content, but Pinterest is using their new code of conduct to encourage better, not just reprimands.



Pinterest icon on phone with 2 notifications, indicating new code of conduct.

It appears that at least one social media site has made a decision on how to move forward with the basis of their platform. Pinterest has created a brand-new code of conduct for their users. Giving them a set of rules to follow which to some may be a little restricting, but I’m not mad about it. In a public statement, they told the world their message:

“We’re on a journey to build a globally inclusive platform where Pinners around the world can discover ideas that feel personalized, relevant, and reflective of who they are.”

The revamp of their system includes 3 separate changes revolving around the rules of the platform. All of them are complete with examples and full sets of rules. The list is summed up as:

  • Pinterest Creator Code
  • Pinterest Comment Moderation Tools
  • Pinterest Creator Fund

For the Creator Code, Pinterest had this to say: “The Creator Code is a mandatory set of guidelines that lives within our product intended to educate and build community around making inclusive and compassionate content”. The rules are as follows:

  • Be Kind
  • Check my Facts
  • Be aware of triggers
  • Practice Inclusion
  • Do no harm

The list of rules provides some details on the pop-up as well, with notes like “make sure content doesn’t insult,” “make sure information is accurate,” etc. The main goal of this ‘agreement’, according to Pinterest, is not to reprimand offending people but to practice a proactive and empowering social environment. Other social websites have been shoe-horned into reprimanding instead of being proactive against abuse, and it has been met with mixed results. Facebook itself is getting a great deal of flack about their new algorithm that picks out individual words and bans people for progressively longer periods without any form of context.

Comment Moderation is a new set of tools that Pinterest is hoping will encourage a more positive experience between users and content creators. It’s just like putting the carrot before the donkey to get him to move the cart.

  • Positivity Reminders
  • Moderation Tools
  • Featured Comments
  • New Spam Prevention Signals

Sticking to the positivity considerations here seems to be the goal. They seem to be focusing on reminding people to be good and encouraging them to stay that way. Again, proactive, not reactive.

The social platform’s last change is to create a Pinterest Creator Fund. Their aim is to provide training, create strategy consulting, and financial support. Pinterest has also stated that they are going to be aiming these funds specifically at underrepresented communities. They even claim to be committing themselves to a quota of 50% of their Creators. While I find this commendable, it also comes off a little heavy handed. I would personally wait to see how they go about this. If they are ignoring good and decent Creators based purely on them being in a represented group, then I would find this a bad use of their time. However, if they are actively going out and looking for underrepresented Creators while still bringing in good Creators that are in represented groups, then I’m all for this.

Being the change you want to see in the world is something I personally feel we should all strive towards. Whether or not you produced positive change depends on your own goals… so on and so forth. In my own opinion, Pinterest and their new code of conduct is creating a better positive experience here and striving to remind people to be better than they were with each post. It’s a bold move and ultimately could be a spectacular outcome. Only time will tell how their creators and users will respond. Best of luck to them.

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Social Media

Facebook releases Hotline as yet another Clubhouse competitor

(SOCIAL MEDIA) As yet another app emerges to try and take some of Clubhouse’s success, Facebook Hotline adds a slightly more formal video chat component to the game.



Woman forming hands into heart shape at laptop hosting live video chat, similar to Facebook's new app Hotline

Facebook is at it again and launching its own version of another app. This time, the company has launched Hotline, which looks like a cross between Instagram Live and Clubhouse.

Facebook’s Hotline is the company’s attempt at competing with Clubhouse, the audio-based social media app, which was released on iOS in March 2020. Earlier this year, The New York Times reported Facebook had already begun working on building its own version of the app. Erik Hazzard, who joined Facebook in 2017 after the company acquired his tbh app, is leading the project.

The app was created by the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team, Facebook’s experimental development division, and it’s already in beta testing online. To access it, you can use the web-based application through the platform’s website to join the waitlist and “Host a Show”. However, you will need to sign in using your Twitter account to do so.

Unlike Clubhouse, Hotline lets users also chat through video and not just audio alone. The product is more like a formal Q&A and recording platform. Its features allow people to live stream and hold Q&A sessions with their audiences similar to Instagram Live. And, audience members can ask questions by using text or audio.

Also, what makes Hotline a little more formal than Clubhouse is that it automatically records conversations. According to TechCrunch, hosts receive both a video and audio recording of the event. With a guaranteed recording feature, the Q&A sessions will stray away from the casual vibes of Clubhouse.

The first person to host a Q&A live stream on Hotline is real-estate investor Nick Huber, who is the type of “expert” Facebook is hoping to attract to its platform.

“With Hotline, we’re hoping to understand how interactive, live multimedia Q&As can help people learn from experts in areas like professional skills, just as it helps those experts build their businesses,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch. “New Product Experimentation has been testing multimedia products like CatchUp, Venue, Collab, and BARS, and we’re encouraged to see the formats continue to help people connect and build community,” the spokesperson added.

According to a Reuters article, the app doesn’t have any audience size limits, hosts can remove questions they don’t want to answer, and Facebook is moderating inappropriate content during its early days.

An app for mobile devices isn’t available yet, but if you want to check it out, you can visit Hotline’s website.

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Social Media

Brace yourselves: Facebook has re-opened political advertising space

(SOCIAL MEDIA) After a break due to misinformation in the past election, Facebook is once again allowing political advertising slots on their platform – with some caveats.



Facebook open on phone in a wallet case, open for political advertising again.

After a months-long ban on political ads due to misinformation and other inappropriate behavior following the election in November, Facebook is planning to resume providing space for political advertising.

Starting on Thursday, March 4th, advertisers were able to buy spots for ads that comprise politics, what Facebook categorizes as “social issues”, and other potentially charged topics previously prohibited by the social media platform.

The history of the ban is complicated, and its existence was predicated on a profound distrust between political parties and mainstream news. In the wake of the 2016 election and illicit advertising activity that muddied the proverbial waters, Facebook had what some would view as a clear moral obligation to prevent similar sediment from clouding future elections.

Facebook delivered on that obligation by removing political advertising from their platform prior to Election Day, a decision that would stand fast in the tumultuous months to follow. And, while Facebook did temporarily suspend the ban in Georgia during the senate proceedings, political advertisements nevertheless remained absent from the platform in large until last week.

The removal of the ban does have some accompanying caveats—namely the identification process. Unlike before, advertisers will have to go to great lengths to confirm their identities prior to launching ads. Those ads will most likely also need to come from domestic agencies given Facebook’s diligent removal of foreign and malicious campaigns in the prior years.

The moral debate regarding social media advertising—particularly on Facebook—is a deeply nuanced and divided one. Some argue that, by removing political advertising across the board, Facebook has simply limited access for “good actors” and cleared the way for illegitimate claims.

Facebook’s response to this is simply that they didn’t understand fully the role ads would play in the electoral process, and that allowing those ads back will allow them to learn more going forward.

Either way, political advertising spots are now open on Facebook, and the overall public perception seems controversial enough to warrant keeping an eye on the progression of this decision. It wouldn’t be entirely unexpected for Facebook to revoke access to these advertisements again—or limit further their range and scope—in the coming months and years.

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