Coronavirus (COVID-19) and
Virtual Home Staging Business Services
With the current situation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and its continual spread, there is no doubt that it is going to have a significant effect on all business activity, how clients access services and the economy overall. Home Staging businesses will need to change and adapt to working from home as shut down begins and these changes
should be embraced as they may last for a long time and result in the Staging industry being transformed in the longer term.
We want you to stay safe during this time and take all necessary precautions. It's time to take practical steps to act now rather than become anxious about the future.
We've put together this guide with information and guidance about how to stay safe and how to develop your Home Staging business activity to adapt to changing times and new requirements from clients.
UPDATE: We've added useful Coronavirus links at the end of the article on advice for businesses, financial help and rights and information on travel. These are links outside the CHSSP website, with information which will be updated as circumstances are changing very rapidly.
changing your Home Staging business to work from home"
COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS ILLNESS
This is a new illness and there is much still unknown, however UK Government and NHS advice is currently as follows.
To avoid catching the virus:
- Practise careful hand hygiene, washing hands after being in public places
- Avoid touching your face
- Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
- Stay at home for 7 days if you have symptoms (a high temperature, you feel hot to touch on your chest or back; a new, continuous cough)
- Whole household isolation for 14 days if one member of the household has symptoms
- Contact 111 only if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home, get worse or don't feel better in 7 days
Social and working changes:
The Prime Minister has announced recently:
- Everyone in the UK should avoid "non-essential" travel
- Avoid contact with others to curb coronavirus
- Refrain from meeting in groups
- Work from home where possible
- Pregnant women, people over the age of 70 and those with certain health conditions may, in the near future, be asked to stay home for 12 weeks.
- A raft of support and financial measures for businesses, individuals and employers - see the links at the end of the aricle for further advice.
- Schools will close to all children but those of key workers
"How to adapt your Home Staging Business to work from home during a Corona Virus shut down"
HOW DO I KEEP MY BUSINESS GOING DURING THESE RESTRICTIONS?
We currently have plentiful supplies of furniture and accessories and can go out to work.
However, Home Stagers will need to take positive action and adapt business services to meet the challenges we will face. It is likely that restrictions to working arrangements by working from home, either by government intervention or client preference, will last for many months. Afterwards,
new services that have been implemented may become the norm for
property sellers as they become familiar with new ways of accessing services to present their property for sale.
'Reinvention rather than recession' has been quoted as the positive way to approach changes and to become proactive.
The good news is that technology is our friend in these times and there are a number of options to deliver services to clients whilst remaining at a distance and working from home. Clients will start to adjust and may prefer these services as time goes on. They will become
familiar with new types of services and take up 'virtual' or 'distance' services more readily. We can include virtual options in our services as well as Home Staging in person.
"The Good News is that technology is our friend at times like these." Anita Richardson
WHAT IS VIRTUAL HOME STAGING?
'Virtual Home Staging' can refer to a number of types of services but are predominantly the following:
"Now is the time to embrace technology because these changes may be with us for a very long time"
VIRTUAL HOME STAGING CONSULTATIONS
A Virtual Home Staging Consultation can take place via different types of live video call. We can offer services to property sellers with a video link, they can walk you around their property, discussing the rooms and listening to your advice just as if you were there.
Home Stagers can enable would be property sellers to start preparing their homes for marketing whilst they are at home more often. At this time they may have more time available as social gatherings are not possible. They can start to delcutter and start to style their home. We can chat and talk through all the same
information that we would at a visit to their home. We can provide styling suggestions, a full report or organise purchases delivered directly to them.
Here are a few options for linking with the client by live video call:
Whats App video call
Messenger Video Call
There are other commercial video call options available, but most clients will be familiar with at least one of the above and understanding how to use it will make it easier for you to promote your service.
The Home Stager will have an initial chat, set out the expectations of the call and ask the client to conduct a video walkthrough of the property showing the Stager all of the areas of the home
as if they were in the property conducting a Home Staging site visit.
"Home Staging Consultation by video chat and walkthough"
VIRTUAL HOME STAGING REPORTS AND STYLING DESIGN PLANS
Virtual Home Staging and styling is a service provided without visiting the property. A Video Consultation may take place initially with further support video calls and
eventually an electronic styling or Staging plan produced and emailed to the client.
We can provide full and bespoke rooms scheme designs and visuals in an electronic or 'e-Report'.
Home Stagers may use any proprietary software including MS Word to produce a document and then format as a PDF before emailing to the client. Other options are Powerpoint or Apple Mac pages.
"Virtual Staging is a Service provided without visiting the property."
VIRTUAL VIEWINGS AND 3D VIDEO TOURS
Due to COVID-19 Cities and whole communities may face lockdown to halt the virus. It's highly likely that property buyers will enjoy viewing using Virtual Tours
and their popularty will increase long after after the epidemic subsides. Home Stagers should embrace this technology and take steps now to collaborate with Virtual Tour suppliers and recommend these options to our clients.
It usually takes many viewings to decide on the house of someones dreams, but a quality virtual tour, for Staged property and Show Homes will save time, money and avoid the
social contact which risks infection. We can view property in whole 3D 'dolls house' virtual reality as in the image above, choose rooms to view and virtually 'tour' the whole property.
Visuals in the property tour include clear detail of rooms such as the bedroom above and we have the option to move from room to room in virtual reality.
Coronona virus has instilled fear and anxiety in many people and before cases subside
it's likely that there will have been a change in services as people adapt to a new post-corona era.
Home Stagers can use a 3D video tour service as added value for clients. We can advise our property seller clients about Staging over video link and then contract
in a 3D video tour company for visuals and floorpans. It's important to collaborate with quality 3D virtual tour companies to
provide the benefits of this service to our clients.
Quality floor plans are available with the video tour walkthrough as in the above image and these are excellent options to give visual representation of the property with furnishings and accessories.
"Home Stagers can advise our property seller clients about property presentation and staging over video link"
VIRTUAL HOME STAGING AND SHOW HOME DESIGN - CGI STAGING
As the economy slows, Home Stagers may need to find a cost effective solution for clients with budgets that cannot stretch to full furnishing and Show Home Staging of empty property.
The next step in this process is not just to create videos of the staged property, but to create the whole Staging electronically in either image edit or a virtual video tour.
This option has considerable cost savings for the client and the Stager can direct furnishings suitable for the property type without the need for removal vans, storage or installation.
Everything happens virtually and the partner company create the staged rooms. The positive result of this for the Home Stager is that we can fit more of this work into our working week,
we don't have to see it as a reduced workload or profit margins as long as we prepare and plan for this type of work.
Virtual Styling or Electronic Styling or CGI (computer generated imagery) involves producing CGI imagery for property sellers, developers with Show Home presentation including furnishings and accessories produced in either images or 3D
video walkthroughs of fully staged rooms. There are a number of companies available to contract in to change empty rooms into fully staged images for marketing.
Rather than lose a client with a low budget we can work with a Virtual Staging company to prepare images with 'virtual furniture and furnishings'.
As property buyers become accustomed to viewing property from 3D tour videos on property portals and make a shortlist of property to view in person, the 'virtual staged' property will
become the new norm. When arriving at the 'empty property' to take a real tour, they will need to have access to the video version with images on their smart phone in order to visualise the property furnished.
A real estate listing can stand out with a Virtual Staging Service, advising vendors on best presentation and staging and placing stunning modern designs into an empty room; it's guaranteed to bring more interest, more viewings and more sales.
Don't underestimate your worth. The value of a Home Stager cannot be underestimated in the property sales process. We can still be as effective in building client rapport and being creative with property presentation skills using virtual video consultations and digital reports.
Keep safe and carry on but reconsider your business services with ideas like virtual staging to offer new value and work effectively in the current climate. Above all "Be Kind", so often said but now is the time to take this to heart, we're all in this together. If we can help get in touch.
Author: Anita Richardson, CHSSP® Home Staging Course Co-ordinator, HouseWow® Director and Home Staging Network founder.
* Recommended suppliers for services mentioned in this article and other suppliers to the Home Staging industry can be found at CHSSP Members Resources inside CHSSP login.
* Find out more about the CHSSP® Certified Home Staging and Styling Professional course and start a creative business which works for you. See more...
"Home Staging Consultation by video chat and walkthough"
UPDATE : USEFUL CORONAVIRUS INFORMATION LINKS
In a world where fake news can be scary and create uncertaintly, we've put together the best links for trusted advice and information on Cornavirus, health, symptoms,
government advice, support for businesses and World Health organisation updates so that you can access relevant information and keep up to date. Let us know if you need any further questions answered and we'll try our best to help.
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) - GOVT ADVICE FOR BUSINESSES
There are a raft of Govt financed measures available for individuals and businesses but things are changing daily. This advice for businesses via Gov.uk will be kept up to date regularly so its the place to go first if you need help.
CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19) - UK FOREIGN OFFICE TRAVEL ADVICE
As countries respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including travel and border restrictions, the FCO advises British nationals against all but essential international travel. Any country or area may restrict travel without notice.
CORONAVIRUS - TECH OPTIONS TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH OLDER RELATIVES
It's so important to be keep in touch with our older relatives at this time. I've recently delivered food and essential supplies to my 83 year old mum who lives at home and is self-isolating for safety. She's quite a
techy and we FaceTime often, she can order food online but the earliest delivery recently was 2 weeks (this is now changing with some supermarkets prioritising online delivery slots for the elderly - Sainsburys are leading
the way). 'some good advice for video communications if your older relatives are not so tech friendly.