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How Home Staging and Open Houses Are Changing [Podcast Episode 8]

Ryan Fink

Today’s episode will focus on how home staging and open houses are changing in the midst of the pandemic. 

Since the pandemic, there has been an increased emphasis on the home. It’s not only where we live now, but also where we work, where we school our children and where we exercise.

It used to be a place we would go in the evening after work or after school for dinner time and now it’s really become the central hub of life.

Home staging and open houses must now reflect this and there’s two ways to stage your home and have an open house now. There’s the in-person and digital.

So I’m going through each one and describe the differences and also giving some tips for each one as well.

In-Person Home Staging and Open House

In-person, the home staging, like I said, it has to reflect the new normal specifically by including these tips, incorporating the following into your home:

  • an office
  • a mudroom
  • a school area

Have an office space

So an office we want to show it boldly, right? It’s no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. If you don’t have an office, for the home staging, you can consider converting a bedroom or creating like a small little office space or office nook, you might say, where one can sit down and have a little space for their office

You need a mudroom

The next would be a mudroom. Before entering the main area of a house, having a decontamination room is really gaining popularity. There you can have your hand sanitizer, your wipes, your masks, a place to put shoes and as far as where to put it, typically, it’s in a utility room, but if you don’t have space for that, that could function well as a mudroom, you can create a small space in your garage for it especially for the open house. 

This will be like a good temporary area where perspective buyers come in and use the hand sanitizer, the wipes, the mask if they don’t have one and then finally, a school area.

Schooling area

Because of so many parents homeschooling their kids because of Covid, it’s nice to really show off a space that can be used as a school area with table and chairs and maybe a small little craft or project area.

Leave your doors open

When you’re showing your house it’s important to leave the doors open so the perspective buyers don’t have to touch them and can simply enter a room and if they don’t want to enter it they can look into it without having to touch the door. 

Like I was saying, going along with the mudroom, it’s important that when a person enters you offer them masks, hand sanitizer and wipes and for the wipes we recommend you care a pack with you in case the perspective buyer does touch something. If they are not thinking about it and they touch a door knob or a light switch or something and then you can just say: here, I have this on me.

Then you don’t have to go scrounging about to the begining house and getting the wipe there.

Finally, shoe coverings. People can place these on their shoes before walking in.

Digital Home Staging

The second type of open house is digital.

Since the pandemic, digital showings have become really popular as an alternative to in person showings and there’s 3 main types:

  • prerecorded videos
  • live streams
  • virtual tour software

Prerecorded videos

Prerecorded videos are really the most simple. You just record a video at the home and then you upload it at a later date for the people to watch. What’s nice abot this one is that you can go back, you can edit it. You have a lot of freedom in that way but it’s not as personable.

Live streams

Many platforms allow you to live stream content and luckily a lot of users are already familiar with these things because we’re so familiar with social media so these platforms, instagram, facebook, youtube, zoom. They all have a live stream component to them. so that makes them really convenient to instantly connect with perspective buyers. 

One thing to keep in mind if you do a live stream. We recommend that you start with an introduction selfie. This personalizes the video and gives it a feel as if you’re really there. In the age of covid we’re so accustomed to Zoom and I think that we’ve adapted . To us, a video call is really close to being in-person. Obviously, it’s not, but we’ve kind of adapted to where our thinking is kind of that way.

So if we can show your face and talk to them, even if you don’t talk to them in person, it really gives that feel of them being in the home and personalizing that open house.

Virtual tour software

There’s many options out there that allow you to do a virtual tour. Just some of the options are:

  • iStaging
  • My 360
  • iSpy 360

Unfortunately, it’s common that these options come with a hefty price tag however, you’re getting what you pay for and one of the big advantages is it comes with augmented reality where you can place furniture into your house that’s not actually there.

So if you have furniture that you think perspective buyers won’t find appealing, you can always bring in that virtual reality software furniture and place it into your room to see it. I think that’s very cool.

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