Real estate agents may be surprised to hear that a 2018 report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that home buyers don’t just want to see a floor plan as part of the listing, they think it’s essential information that must be provided with every listing. In fact, homeowners rated floor plans as the third most important part of a listing and more important than neighbourhood information. According to a study from Rightmove, one in five homeowners will even ignore a listing that doesn’t include a floor plan.
However, floor plans aren’t just important because buyers want them. They also offer value to real estate agents too. Floor plans can become an essential part of your real estate marketing efforts, and save you time. Here’s how.
In a way, we’re all visual learners, especially when it comes to buying a home. Real estate agents have long understood the value of real estate photography. We know that home buyers want a glimpse into the property. However, home buyers are becoming more savvy with each passing year. Many understand that while a home’s current décor may make it look nice, the real value of the home is in the “bones.”
Floor plans give homeowners the information they are looking for about the home’s structure, layout, and other “bones.” Not only can a floor plan tell homeowners how many bedrooms and bathrooms the property has, but it can also allow them to see the size and location of these rooms, in a way that photos can’t express.
In our digital age, few buyers will go to an open house to get this information. Instead, they expect to make their initial judgment about the suitability of a home’s layout well ahead of time, based on the information you provide to them in the listing or other marketing materials. A floor plan can give buyers the information they need to make an offer, not just consider your listing.
Although buyers want floor plans, not all real estate agents are offering them yet. Jumping on the wagon early and offering floor plans will help your listings stand out from the crowd. Not only will you capture the 20% of buyers who need a floor plan to be interested, but you’ll also hold every buyer’s attention for longer. Adding a floor plan to your listing can increase buyer click-through by 52%, according to SmartDraw.
There is an additional benefit to offering floor plans to your buyers. It allows them to determine if a home is right for them quickly. Those who don’t like the home won’t take the next steps of contacting you or asking for a tour. Thus, you won’t be wasting time on unqualified buyers, and you can spend more of your time selling to those who are genuinely interested.
If you want to capture even more attention for your listings and provide more information about the property for prospective buyers, a 3D virtual tour is another tool you should consider.
We use real estate photography and staging to try to show off a property in the best light. Yet, no photograph can truly be a blank canvas where buyers can begin to imagine the home in their own style and with their own belongings. A floor plan is that blank canvas.
Floor plans don’t include the distraction of someone else’s furniture. Instead, they focus on layout and size, which allows buyers to start planning how the home will actually work for them.
Is the master bedroom big enough to fit their king-sized bed? Is there a good spot near the kitchen for their favourite console table? Floor plans answer these questions and allow a buyer to grow attached to the property. This emotional connection will inspire buyers to make offers and even pay more for the property. The best floor plans will include an online measurement tool that allows a buyer to check if their furniture will fit into specific areas eliminating guesswork and further encouraging an emotional attachment to the property.
Homeowners know that buyers are looking for floor plans. In fact, Rightmove found that 42 % of sellers won’t hire an agent if they don’t offer floor plans. Perhaps because technology like the iGUIDE has made it easier than ever for real estate agents to provide floor plans, it has become an expectation. Offering floor plans doesn’t just benefit buyers, it benefits real estate agents as well, by boosting your marketing efforts and saving you time.