Floor Plan creation advice?

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Real Estate Agent with Raving Real Estate

I really want to incorporate floor plans into my online marketing.  Looking for an easy way to do this, perhaps an online service?  Specific software?  I've looked into a few softwares but since I'm new at this, I'd like to hear what others have to say.  Seems like a lot of work, but I do get a lot of internet requests for floor plans, so I'd like to make it a staple of my marketing, little help?

Thanks!

 

www.ravingrealestate.com

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Rainer
38,895
David Daniels
Owner of FlyersToYou, Inc. and former Top Realtor - Hemet, CA

Brendan,

While I applaud your desire to furnish floorplans to your internet buyer prospects...trust me...THEY'RE A PAIN TO CREATE!!

We do them for a few of our clients...but even when copying from architectural blueprints, they're incredibly time consuming! To try and create accurate floor plans from scratch on each listing would likely not be a good use of your time..and even those programs which promise to do the trick easily...often turn out to be duds. We spent almost $1,500 on various software which became useless in our quest for the "right program". It turned out that our regular "Draw" program was the easiest to use, but whoa!!!! It takes forever!!!!

An alternative might be to to handle the inquiries this way:

"Mr. Johnson...in the resale market where the original builder's floorplans are no longer available, we offer online virtual tours and/or slideshows to help the buyer gain an insight as to how the home is laid out. However...if you'd like, I can email you a hand-drawn sketch, along with photos of the property. Perhaps they'll assist you in visualizing the layout until such time as we can actually tour the home. Or, if you'd like, we can arrange a personal tour of the property...and together jot down or sketch out the basic rooms, their layout and the approximate square footage. Which would you prefer?"

Something like that.

If they're asking about floor plans...perhaps they've recently been looking at new homes?? It might not be a bad idea to discuss that too?? I might even start the above comment with "Sounds like someone's been shopping for new homes lately?" I have a pretty laid back and casual approach to my demeanor...so I can usually get away with stuff like that. In any case, I would definitely brush up on your "New versus resale" skills...as I'm confident that's what leading to many of those types of requests.

Best of luck no matter what you decide to do!!

Dave

June 30, 2008 02:00 AM #1
Rainer
19,786
Ray Nelson
Exit Realty Expertise - Fredericksburg, VA

Brendan, 

Googling "online floorplans" yields a few good results, but unfortunately I have never tried any of the companies listed.  I have had some success with getting the seller to provide me a copy of their original floor plan, and then scanning it in and posting it as one of the photos in MLS.  I also put a copy with the brochure I made for the home.  My feeling has always been that, while it may have some value, the time it would take to implement would lower that value to nothing.  Just my thoughts.

June 30, 2008 03:26 AM #2
Rainmaker
75,075
Michelle Gordon
Keller Williams Realty, Independently owned and operated - Grand Rapids, MI

I use a service who comes out does a Tour of home, floor plan and furniture 3D floor planner. Check out www.grar.com MLS# 706985 and see what you think.  The company here is called Plan O mantic.  There has to be one simular in your area as well.

June 30, 2008 05:36 AM #3
Rainer
3,617
Henry Birchfield
Henry's Drafting and Design Services - Winchester, KY

The plans can be a pain if one doesn't have a background in architectural drafting. As with any software you buy there is a learning curve to master it. Simpliest thing to do is look for an architectural drafter in your local area to work with that has autocad or revit. I am an residential architectural drafter and I'm sure there are others out there that would love to do this type of project at a reseasonalbe price. The service I offer nationwide is that I receive your sketch of the property with basic room names and sizes in return you receive both a pdf file and an image file of your choice jpg, gif, etc.  I can also take the arctectural blueprints and turn them into a plan suitable for maketing. I don't recommend using the blueprint as is in marketing  for there are too many details on a plan that will only lead to confusion and frustration among the potential buyers.

July 23, 2008 06:49 PM #4
Rainer
3,550
Jason Wagner
threefourteendesign - Saint Louis, MO

If you are not comfortable using software to create your own floor plan, you can instead sketch the plan on graph paper and send it to one of the many companies that specialze in creating the plan for you from a sketch and some photos.  Many times in 24 hours.  With the housing market- do you have anything better to do with your time while at the open house waiting for buyers who don't show?  Take this time to visit my site www.forsalefloorplans.com- download the graph paper and check out my process page so you can sketch your own while waiting at the open house.  Take photos while you are at it since hopefully the house is nicely staged for the open house at this time too.  Then send it off- either to myself or to one of the other companies out there.

I have created a group on Active Rain to hopefully gather all of these providers and agents interested in using us as another avenue to connect with buyers.  I just started it tonight but hopefully it will grow quickly.

www.activerain.com/groups/floorplans


You have taken the first step by realizing that plans may be an asset- don't let inexperience and software keep you from giving the buyers what they really want- a way to understand the property that photos don't provide.

 

Jason

September 12, 2008 11:33 PM #5
Rainer
75,186
Meli Gerogianis
JKA Properties (Meli G Realty & Investment Group) - Clarksville, TN
Broker, CRS, ABR, SFR, CDPE, Licensed in TN & KY

If anyone figures out an easy way to get those floor plans, let me know. I don't really want to make them but if the builders will  work with us better and share some their info, that will be cool.

September 12, 2008 11:59 PM #6
Anonymous
Anonymous
Beth waldner

Brendan,

I have a small company that creates 2d and 3d floor plans as a service in Boulder, Co.  I tell you that not to solicit your business but to show I have experience.  At any rate, here are a couple of ideas.

1. Measure it yourself and then create a plan on software you can purchase.  A great program is Home Designer Pro 8 by Chief Architect.  It is a great program and creates beautiful plans - I can send you samples if you are interested.  There are many cheaper programs but this one is easy to use, has incredible features and comes with great learning videos.  If you intend to measure it yourself I suggest you read and adhere to ANSI Z765-2003 - American National Standards Institute guidelines for measuring square footage.

2. If you do not want to measure it yourself, call a local appraiser.  They are hurting for work and I bet you could get a decent sketch for a reasonable price.  You could even tell them you will suggest their name as a good appraiser when the house goes under contract

3.  I just came across a new software on an interent search called Mobile Agent from the UK.  It looked really neat although upfront costs might be a bit high.

Hope this helps.

Beth

PS  Floor plans are not a pain to create. I think they are alot of fun to create and they certainly give you a leg up on the competition.

 

September 21, 2008 03:54 PM #7
Rainmaker
1,741,398
William Feela
WHISPERING PINES REALTY - North Branch, MN
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Brendan...make sure on the plans you offer you have a copywrite agreement that allows you to give them out for free, or even a charge.  Could be a good idea.

September 21, 2008 03:59 PM #8
Rainer
3,550
Jason Wagner
threefourteendesign - Saint Louis, MO

For those of you who were interested in the group I set up- Please try the link below...

http://activerain.com/groups/floorplans

 

This is for all users and providers of floor plans to discuss ideas, tips, and tricks.  Please be patient as its a brand new group and could definitely use some meat to it.

September 24, 2008 11:30 AM #9
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Rainer
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Brendan Murphy

Broker, CRS, GRI, ASP, e-Pro
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