Last Updated on July 18, 2023 by Luke Feldbrugge
Using floor plans for real estate marketing is a very underutilized strategy – one that could make all the difference in your next sale. You can show prospective clients professional photos and you can describe the property and post a listing to help them imagine it, but showing them the floor plan can be critical. There are a lot of ways to put together real estate floor plans that will wow your potential clients. There is, however, little doubt that buyers want to see the floor plan, regardless of what form it takes.
Before we get started, let’s take a look at the statistics.
- 93% of buyers say they will spend more time looking at property listings if there are floor plans.
- One out of five buyers say they will ignore listings if they do not include detailed floor plans.
- 68% of buyers believe floor plans are more important than staging, a virtual tour, or open houses.
- 64% of home buyers want to see floor plans on the listing.
- Floor plans for real estate listings are viewed 7.5 times more often than maps.
- Listings with floor plans spend 50% less time on the market.
- 51% of buyers said they used floor plans as part of their decision-making process.
- 1 in 5 prospective buyers will skip a listing if it does not have a floor plan.
- 1 in 10 buyers won’t schedule a viewing if there isn’t a floor plan available.
There is a consensus among studies that say floor plans for real estate are the third most important feature – behind listing photos and a written description of the property. So why are floor plans single-family homes so scarce?
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) says floor plans are “the most interesting contradiction” in the real estate industry. Floor plans are both a sales and competitive advantage for real estate agents. Let’s take a closer look.
There are at least two types of floor plans (not counting virtual open houses).
2D Floor Plans for Real Estate
The two dimensional (2D) floor plans for real estate are what we have always had – essentially architectural plans or blueprints consisting of line drawings and measurements. Architects and engineers love these because they include all the details and specs. They are trained to read these, but your average prospective client might not automatically get it. They look a bit flat and colorless and, most importantly, 2D floor plans for real estate often don’t engage the imagination of the buyers.
There are a range of online tools and floor plan software out there to help real estate professionals create 2D floor plans, some of them free. Many are quite easy to use and don’t require computer-aided design knowledge. Some of the elements you will want to include are:
- Room labels
- Wall lengths (and heights)
- Room dimensions
- Furniture symbols
- Doors and windows
- Interior decorations
- Layout of a property or site plan
If this looks like extra work, it is. If you don’t want to do it yourself, or don’t trust your design skills, you can outsource floor plans to an agency or professional. After all, you hire a professional real estate photographer for your business. Why not a professional floor plan drafter?
3D Floor Plans for Real Estate
Three dimensional (3D) floor plans for real estate are a great addition and much more engaging than 2D. Your clients don’t have to imagine what the house will look like – the 3D floor plan shows them. Some of the 2D software programs will convert a 2D layout to 3D with the click of a button.
There are a host of floor plan tools that will help you put together a 3D floor plan, or you can hire it out. The benefits of being able to walk through a floor plan, put in the buyer’s furniture or imagine renovations cannot be overstated. Additional benefits include interactive floor plans that allow buyers to change things around. The difference between a line drawing of a window and being able to look out that window can make all the difference in the world.
Tell a story
Floor plans for real estate can tell a story about the property. They can engage the imagination of potential buyers. For example, maybe that empty room in the basement used to be the pottery studio of the owner. Maybe the extra garage stall was the woodshop where the previous owner built furniture (hence the varnish stains on the floor). Adding context to different types of rooms with a floor plan can help buyers see the whole picture, the history, of the home. The emotional connection may tip the scales for buyers.
Selling Difficult Properties
Maybe you don’t want to do a floor plan for every home you are selling, at least to begin with. Those difficult-to-sell properties, however, may benefit from the added information that a floor plan can deliver. Maybe the curb appeal or photos aren’t enough to get people interested. The floor plan might be the best way to add that greater detail that can sell a home that has been listed for a long time.
In some cases, a home has got “good bones” and the real estate photography doesn’t show that. The home’s layout can show do-it-yourselfers that a property has great renovation potential.
Connect With the Right Buyers
Floor plans for real estate can help put the right property in front of the right buyer. Buyers will self-select if the floor plan is exactly what they are looking for (or totally wrong). For example, older buyers who are looking for homes to “age in place” might see a property with no stairs as a huge benefit. Another buyer, with kids, might see the large basement and rejoice. When the buyers can see the floor plan, they can decide for themselves if they want to schedule a tour or, alternatively, that it’s not for them. You can save yourself a lot of time when the right buyers are looking at the right properties and you aren’t chasing long shots.
Floor Plans for Remote Buyers
With remote buyers who are moving into your area and looking for a house, floor plans for real estate are a great tool. Not everyone has the time for multiple showings and tours, so remote buyers who have two or three floor plan images that fit exactly what they need can be more confident in their searches. They will be grateful to you for saving them energy and for communicating with transparency.
Homes for Heroes is Also a Unique Strategy
Floor plans are an excellent marketing tool because:
- It’s great customer service
- Not everyone is doing it
Homes for Heroes is also about giving your business a unique strategy to attract the right buyers and sellers – the community heroes in your market. Our point of differentiation is we serve the roughly 60 million current or former firefighters, EMS, military (active-duty, reserves and veterans), law enforcement, healthcare workers and teachers. When we do that, you get to be part of helping them find their next home AND providing them Hero Rewards® savings. Join Homes for Heroes today and become a part of helping us thank every hero in the nation, and helping your local hero communities with their home buying and selling needs.