Two tech tools to create your own 3D floor plans

There are people who can visualize a space, and then there are others who cannot. Selling a property that hasn’t been built yet is even more challenging. Buyers usually have to rely solely on floor plans, and for those who aren’t visionaries, this can be a challenge.

But this situation isn’t just limited to new construction; it’s for every property we sell. Most people find the property online before deciding whether to see it. Providing a 3D floor plan where buyers can virtually immerse themselves into the space is key to securing that in-person viewing.

Why you should be using 3D floor plans:

We all know that having a floor plan is essential if you want to increase the number of prospects for your listing. 

A two-dimensional floor plan is a flat, perspective- and depth-free blueprint, AutoCAD drawing or diagram. A 3D plan, on the other hand, depicts the building’s layout with height, depth and perspective. This immersive technology, along with some virtual staging, enables customers to visualize themselves living in that space by including distinct furniture pieces to provide a sense of comfort and warmth to the interiors.

In addition, using 3D floor plans can also:

  • Aid in making your listings stand out.
  • Aid in making YOU stand out to win more listings.
  • Offer a true-to-life visual representation.
  • Adapt the space to your preferences.
  • Eliminate the need for interpretation.
  • Save you the time of wasted showings.
  • Enhance the chances of online sales.

If you want to take advantage of all of these benefits, start using 3D floor plans in your marketing. 

There are many online companies that can do it for you, but that can get pricey. Or you can do it yourself using online tools like RoomSketcher or Houzz Pro.

Let me walk you through these two amazing 3D floor plan platforms and how useful they can be for your real estate marketing.

1. RoomSketcher and how it works

RoomSketcher is a powerful and user-friendly online floor planner and interior design application that enables users to create virtual designs for their homes. It has a built-in floor design tool that makes it easy to create. It offers many ready-to-use furniture menus, plus access to various design ideas, thanks to templates accessible in its library. Drag-and-drop functionality has been built into the interface across the entire design. 

Through RoomSketcher, users can visually walk through interactive 3D floor plans and quickly access a breathtaking 360-degree image of the designed space. It is ideal for developing floor plans in 3D for your listings, and especially for new-construction projects.

Pros

  • It creates high-resolution 3D floor plans in PNG, JPG and PDF formats.
  • It has over 20 potential floor plan settings available to simplify the process.
  • It gives you an authentic “feel” of the layout.
  • It allows you to import a blueprint/2D floor plan to trace over.
  • It is reliable and effective.

Cons

  • There are a lot of features, so getting started can be a bit overwhelming. Start with the free version and go from there.
  • The free version is limited, and the Pro version is pricey but offers many features.
  • RoomSketcher is not available on phones. It is available only on Macs, PCs, iPads and Android tablets.

Note: You can test out RoomSketcher’s simplicity by using the free subscription’s basic capabilities, which are accessible to all users. For more advanced features, upgrade your subscription. The basic price is $38, and the Pro is $99.

2. Houzz Pro and how it works

Houzz Pro is a comprehensive project-management, marketing and customer-management tool for the design and remodeling industry, but can be adapted for our real estate needs.

Houzz Pro goes far beyond just 3D floor plans and allows users to personalize profiles and marketing settings online to generate leads. In addition, users can use a central project portal to engage with clients, get estimates and find proposal templates — this can be useful for agents who work a lot with developers on new-construction projects.

Pros

  • Your clients can experience not only 3D floor plans, but also an augmented-reality tour of their future house.
  • It allows you to modify every detail of your design.
  • You can manage leads and projects while on the go with the Houzz Pro mobile app that is available for iOS and Android.

Cons

  • It has many features, and the learning curve can be a challenge, so start off with the basics.
  • The Projects pages can be challenging to edit, but if you are using the program only for 3D floor plans, it is doable.
  • The platform still has a few quirks; all the features don’t always appear on some of the pages.

Note: There is a free version available. However, you won’t have access to major features with the free version. Houzz offers three subscription options starting at $65/month for the starter, $99/month for the essential and $399/month for the full-blown version. 

The bottom line

Allowing prospects to be able to “feel” the space that they may potentially be buying has really grown in popularity, almost becoming the norm. Get familiar with these tools, and start using immersive technology with 3D floor plans in your marketing strategy. You will be happy that you did. It will generate more leads, sell your listings faster and take your real estate business to a higher level. 

Anne Ewasko is a veteran Realtor in the Chicago area and a longtime techie. Visit her at anne.luxhomechicago.com.

Best tech tool for new agents to grow their business

It’s no secret that the real estate market is flourishing, which is why so many people are getting in daily. Most successful real estate agents can offer far more returns than drawbacks of working in the industry. However, one aspect of the real estate industry that is barely discussed is the startling number of agents who do not succeed in this industry. The proportion of real estate agents who fail during the first five years varies depending on the source, but it is typically between 85 and 90%. Shockingly, roughly nine out of 10 new agents can fail. Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go for it. With great determination and having the right tech tools in hand, you will have a good chance of being among those remaining 10-15% agents who succeed.

What new real estate agents should know

The first year of your career is the most challenging. The good news is that you don’t have to do it alone — technology will simplify things for you. A good CRM/database is the most important thing to start with. It gives you a solid foundation to build upon your existing sphere of influence and prospect for new clients/businesses. Then, as you expand and grow, it is essential to have a good tech solution to help simplify your workload, keep your email communications organized, streamline your workflows and increase your productivity.

That is why I’m going to share with you a tool that will make you become more productive, help grow your real estate business and manage your clients effectively. The name of this tool is Folio.

Let’s get down to it.

Folio

Folio is an effective Google Chrome extension that allows you to handle leads and transactions directly from Gmail. This essentially saves you time and money by eliminating the need for frequent switching between your customer relationship management (CRM) system and Gmail.

As soon as you connect your inbox, it begins to arrange all of your emails and any associated documents, attachments and contacts. It takes away the burden of constantly searching for any document. Everything you want for your business is right on your doorstep. Folio is designed explicitly for professionals that oversee complex operations like real estate transactions.

Folio’s key features

• Sorts email into smart folders automatically based on the topic, sender or project

• The Folio Chrome extension enables the contextual sidebar in your email to display all related emails, calendar events, documents and contacts for every smart folder and sender

• Project goals that keep everyone on track

• DocuSign integration

• Google Drive integration

How Folio works

Simply link Folio to your Gmail or Office 365 account, and it will start searching for and organizing your vital emails.

If you use Gmail, with a Chrome-enabled sidebar, you can keep working without switching between programs by staying in your inbox. Folio will collect all of your emails, documents, and contacts and magically place them in one accessible area, appearing alongside your emails.

To keep everyone informed, create timelines to share essential activities and events. Additionally, your events and calendar will sync automatically. As a result, your contacts and emails are all in sync.

The importance of Folio

Automatically classify emails according to each project

Based on your specified keywords and contacts, Folio searches your inbox for project-related emails and sorts them into smart folders.

Keep track of your tasks and notes

You can create tasks and assignments to complete and manage the entire project timetable from within your email. Access your unfinished to-do list whenever necessary, and have project milestones updated immediately on your calendar.

Facilitate work

Folio enables you to share your project timeline with transaction coordinators, teammates and clients to keep them updated. Give some jobs to people within or outside of your organization with ease. Include important links and resources in the timeline to make sure that everyone knows the task at hand.

Folio is a new system built to assist busy professionals in saving time and getting more done. It is the first smart email assistant and is gaining a lot of attraction in the real estate industry. So, as a real estate agent, work like a pro with Folio effortlessly.

Most interestingly, Folio is a completely free tool with up to three smart folders to use at once. You get a free 14-day trial of Folio Pro, which offers limitless smart folders when you first sign up. After that, you won’t be charged and can continue using Folio for free with up to three Smart Folders if you don’t upgrade before the trial expires.

When using Folio’s free version, there is no need for a credit card and no commitment to keep using it. But to get access to all of Folio’s facilities, get a monthly subscription. It will cost you only $19 per month. Note that the pro version makes life a lot easier.

Bottom line

Technology has vital effects on almost all business operations. No matter if you’re a newbie or a veteran, using the right tech tools will put you ahead of the game. Having Folio in your arsenal will allow you to operate more efficiently, which not only saves time and money, but also helps you grow your business faster. And for the newcomers? It can help you survive the odds of failure and become one of those 10-15% who make it in this business!

Anne Ewasko is a veteran Realtor in the Chicago area and a longtime techie. Visit her at anne.luxhomechicago.com.