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Home Staging vs. Virtual Staging for Apartment Homes

Home Staging vs. Virtual Staging for Apartment Homes

Here we present the agelong question in real estate: which is better when staging an apartment home? Home staging or virtual staging for apartment homes?

Although they both have their share of perks, 2021 has a different influence on marketing trends. Below we will outline home staging vs. virtual staging, and provide industry knowledge to aid in your decision making process.

What are the benefits of furniture staging?

Staging à la pre-pandemic consisted of mostly home staging - or real/traditional staging - with only newer or higher-end properties leveraging virtual staging.

Although virtual staging isn't particularly new in real estate, there has been some confusion or misunderstanding pertaining to this digital tool.

Since the ongoing pandemic has pushed the transition to completely online efforts for businesses globally, we’re here to cover both types of staging to better inform you of your choices.

To start off, apartment staging in general has copious amounts of benefits.

In fact, real estate agents say that staging a home increases its value from anywhere between 1-10%.

Not to mention 83% stated staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualize a property as a future home.

Staging - regardless of which you choose - is an extremely beneficial tool to have on deck due to how informative it can be for renters to visualize and plan how they would stage their own homes.

Take a look below to compare home staging vs. virtual staging to decide which is better for your apartment community.

What is home staging?

Home staging is exactly what it sounds like—staging within an apartment home.

This typically entails consulting an interior designer of some sort to help plan furniture and decor to appeal to a specific demographic.

Bozzuto- 5333 Connecticut-poi-021

Home staging is beneficial because it allows renters to physically walk through a unit, which aids in understanding the space and dimensions of an apartment home. 

Take a look below for some pros and cons of home staging.


  • Provides an in-depth understanding of a unit
  • ROI is 586% on average
  • Helps appeal to target audience
  • Renters overwhelmingly prefer staged spaces when searching for a home


  • Home staging can cost $7,000-30,000 on average
  • Upkeep of a staged unit costs time and money
  • It’s not as easy to regularly update staging to current trends
  • It can be physically tasking
  • Requires an additional model unit or one that could otherwise be leased

As you can see, although beneficial, home staging for apartments has its downsides. Take a look below to compare home staging vs. virtual staging.

What is virtual staging?

Virtual staging is the process of taking a high-quality photo of an empty room or space and digitally adding photorealistic furniture and decor.

The only assets needed to digitally stage your apartment community are high-quality photographs and a 3D artist. Staging can typically be chosen from a library or from some type of mood board.

Walden Pond_3D Virtual Staging

The question is, does virtual staging work?

There are many benefits of virtual staging. Take a look at the pros and cons of virtual apartment staging listed below.


  • Virtual staging isn’t labor intensive
  • The average price is $75-300 per image (reducing the cost by up to 97%)
  • You don’t need an extra model unit to stage
  • It’s accessible to most property grades
  • It’s customizable
  • Turnaround time can be as little as just a few days
  • You can stage the same image multiple ways to appeal to a wider audience
  • Tweaks and updates can easily be made for a small fee
  • Doesn’t require upkeep
  • You can show side-by-side images of an empty and staged unit for more clarity


  • Virtual staging can’t be physically toured, only virtually
  • It may be more difficult to gauge measurements and dimensions
  • Finding a good provider for your needs may take some time
  • It can be misleading if your provider edits furnishings that ultimately wouldn’t change

As you can see, the benefits of virtually staging your apartment home are just an extension of that seen from home staging. So which is best for you?

| Related: 8 Reasons to Invest in Virtual Staging Services

Concluding thoughts

In 2017, 35% of home buyers bid on homes sight-unseen, while 45% of millennials made an offer on a home without ever visiting.

Years later, this number is only assumed to have increased—especially during the global pandemic.

The point is, while both types of staging are insanely beneficial to renters and real estate pros, the market for in-person buying and renting is actively decreasing.

So, that begs the question, would home staging be worth it at this point in time?

Depending on where you live and what the policies are, in-person touring may not be an option—so all of that hard work staging your model unit may not even be seen.

With virtual staging, however, you can remain active online and consolidate all of your virtual leasing assets into one fine tuned strategy, ultimately making your apartment marketing more multidimensional.

Not to mention, virtual staging statistics are impossible to ignore.

In addition, virtual staging can be leveraged by almost all property types, not just class A luxury apartments, whereas traditional home staging may be beyond the budget of some lower class properties.

Remember that staging isn’t so much about decorating a space. It’s about marketing the space so that future tenants can see themselves in it.
-Rayhanna Guillen, 3D Project Manager


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