Real Estate

Is It Real Or Is It Bella Staging? Tech Review

Is It Real Or Is It Bella Staging? Tech Review

The final word is that Bella Staging should be on your list when that next listing isn’t getting the attention that market conditions suggest it should.

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Bella Staging is a virtual staging service.

Platforms: Browser
Ideal for: Listing agents at all levels, brokerages and teams

Top selling points:

  • Level of realism
  • Expedient turn-around
  • All custom, no templated designs
  • Furniture removal and renovations
  • Decluttering services

Top concerns:

The status of our sellers market may suggest to some agents that digital upgrades aren’t necessary, a sales hurdle the company, as well as its competitors, may need to overcome.

What you should know

Bella Staging, conceptually, is nothing you haven’t seen before. Users upload high-resolution images with a few instructions regarding what needs to be done, and in about 48 hours, those photos come back looking much better than they did upon being submitted. You get the idea. But what makes this company unique is that it doesn’t rely on a library of prerendered furnishings, design themes or AI automations.

Bella Staging uses actual graphic artists to edit, renovate, de-clutter and basically make your seller’s home look like the best on the block. Most projects are returned in 48 hours and include unlimited revisions. Bella asks, with good reason, for high-quality images from which to initiate its editing process. This shouldn’t be a big ask, but unfortunately, far too many agents still don’t understand the importance of a good kitchen photo.

I’m wrong sometimes. Search and you’ll likely find a few columns of mine critical of the idea of staging in general. I maintain that real estate agents need to be good salespeople and that a seller’s poor judgment in carpet shouldn’t submarine a listing’s appeal to the market.

But consumer trends have overcome that sentiment to the point where staging is an expected service. I know some sellers at certain price points don’t stand for such criticism, but there’s no doubt a median-priced home can be made to look above its price range with some well-placed lampshades and a smarter color palette.

So, here we are.

Bella Staging is as good as I’ve seen in this category, and there’s no doubt its bespoke handling of each project is a big reason for its top-of-category quality. The company demonstrated to me some impressive examples of its ability to declutter what looked to be a hoarder’s masterpiece and make a studs-up renovation look like an “after” photo.

It can take on the most blown-out exterior window views, shoddy slipcovers and errant reflections. The small touches add up, too, including the angle-accurate glares on a marble coffee table or in the frame of a wall hanging.

Know that I’m no interior designer unless you call old snowboards, succulents on hospice and teetering stacks of guidebooks modish, but there’s certainly a good sense of the contemporary in the design schemes of Bella’s artists. And if your seller doesn’t think so, have it edited.

There’s no real tangible user interface or administrative component to Bella Staging, as it merely requires account sign-up and photo submission with a description of what’s needed.

The Canadian company promotes itself as the “Number 1 virtual staging company in North America,” a stat I have to question on its face (based on volume? Google reviews? Industry rating?), but one that I also admit to having a hard time arguing with, should the metric be rooted in realism. I was told the company has contributed to $5 billion in sales in 22 countries and has edited more than 40,000 photos within 9,000 projects.

For what it’s worth to agents who work in other categories, they do commercial interiors, create 3D floor plans, and full exterior and interior architectural renderings.

The final word is that Bella Staging should be on your list when that next listing isn’t getting the attention the market conditions suggest it should. Remember that staged homes do sell for more, and with each new listing enhancement Zillow introduces and billion-dollar ad campaign launches, sellers are going to expect more from their agents. Don’t sell them short.

Have a technology product you would like to discuss? Email Craig Rowe

Craig C. Rowe started in commercial real estate at the dawn of the dot-com boom, helping an array of commercial real estate companies fortify their online presence and analyze internal software decisions. He now helps agents with technology decisions and marketing through reviewing software and tech for Inman.

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