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How to Incorporate Floor Plans into Your Real Estate Business

by Tom Sylvester on March 10, 2014 · 14 comments

  
Using Floor Plans in Your REI Business

I am always looking for ways to improve and different ways to set our real estate business apart from the competition.  Some things that we try work, others don’t.

Today I’m going to share one idea that we started using a while ago that we have kept, which is creating diagrams of the floor plans for our properties.

Related: How to STAND OUT as a Real Estate Investor

What is a Floor plan?

A floor plan is a drawing of a properties.  It is done from the view of being above the properties and shows how big each room is and how it relates to other rooms within the property.

How to Create Floorplans

When I started creating floor plans, I used the easiest solution possible, which was good old MS Paint.  I would take a quick measurement and sketch of the property, then use Paint to get an electronic version of the floor plan.

Sample Floor Plan

 

So that worked, but let’s be honest.  It looks cheap, and although it gets the point across, this is 2014 and we have to have better tools than MS Paint…

Floorplanner

This is one of the many websites out there for creating a floor plan, but it is currently our favorite.  It is easy to use and has a lot of features.  It is free to create your first floor plan, then you can pay to create additional ones.

Using the online editor, you can create a property and begin laying it out.  You can draw rooms and add features such as door ways and stairs cases.  As you draw rooms, a ruler assists you to ensure that everything is drawn to scale.  After a few minutes, you can have a basic 2 dimensional model of your property.

2D Floor Plan

 

Now what is really cool is with the click of a button you can easily transform your 2 dimensional model into a 3 dimensional model.  This example is pretty basic, but you can really go crazy with flooring, wall coverings and furniture.

3D Floor Plan

 

Magic Plan

So, Floorplanner is pretty cool and creates beautiful drawings, but you still have to collect all of the data about room size, door placements, etc. in order to use it (which takes time).

Not anymore.  Introducing Magic Plan.  Magic Plan is an app that lets you create a floorplan without a tape measure.  By using your phone or tablet, you simply go around the room and indicate the corners.  Magic Plan then automatically creates the room floor plan for you.  You can do this for each room, them combine them into a floor plan for the house.


What’s great is that Floorplanner and Magic Plan work together, so you can create your layout in MagicPlan, then import it to Floorplanner.

Floor Plan Uses

Planning a Renovation

Depending on the level of rehab needed, we sometimes have to adjust the layouts of properties that we purchase.  In these situations, it comes in very handy to layout the current floor plan and then start moving/configuring layouts to what would work best for the space.  It is much easier to do this virtually and get a 3 dimensional rendering than to actually do it.  We can create a few different configurations and determine which ones we will go with.

Advertising a Unit

When advertising an apartment, my goal is to provide as much information that I can so that we don’t get tire kickers or multiple questions.  We do this by directing potential tenants to our website and providing as much information as possible.  In additional to information about the unit, we have found that floor plans help the tenants visualize the apartment.  Below is an example of how we have utilized this in the past.

Sylvester Enterprises Ad

 

We received a lot of great feedback once we added floor plans.  We are actually in the process of going back and creating 3 dimensional floor plans now for each of our places.

Have you used floor plans in your business?  If so, what tools do you use and how to you use them?

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{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Doug Merriott March 10, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Thanks Tom. This would be a great tool for us Realtors as well. I went to a house recently that had no business stating it was the number of bedrooms it has. HUGE great room and a ton of closets that are called bedrooms. Then again, if the agent posted the floor plan they would not have as much traffic.

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Tom Sylvester March 10, 2014 at 6:24 pm

Doug – Agreed, I think anyone involved in real estate should utilize floor plans. Now that we are I can’t believe that we ever did not.

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Adrian Tilley March 10, 2014 at 2:42 pm

Thanks Tom. Keep us updated on the feedback you get from tenants. I was just wondering the other day what the name of this app was.

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Tom Sylvester March 10, 2014 at 6:25 pm

Adrian – Feedback so far has been great. We actually just rented a place based on our reputation, pictures and a floor plan. The tenants did not even look at the place, they knew they wanted it just from the pictures + the floor plan.

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Roy N. March 10, 2014 at 3:08 pm

We provide floor plans to all prospective tenants who come to look at one of our units. If they respond to the email address listed in our advertisement, they are sent a copy of the floor plan along with other details on the property and the application form.

When we show the unit we provide printed copies of the floor plan along with clipboards, pencils and tape measures so folks can size-up how their furniture might fit while walking through the property.

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Tom Sylvester March 10, 2014 at 6:27 pm

Roy – That is great. We utilize a similar concept and have a 1 page flyer for the property. It contains pictures, the floor plan and information about the apartment. Since implementing this, we have increased the amount of perspective tenants who are interested after walking through our apartments.

I like the idea on allowing them to size up their furniture.

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Roy N. March 11, 2014 at 6:02 am

Tom,

One point I neglected. The clipboards we provide during a walkthrough have a sheet laminated to them which lists common furniture dimensions (e.g. bed sizes, chesterfield, etc.) … most folks really do not know the dimensions of their queen bed. In one property where we like to “suggest” a layout for one of the bedrooms {do to its unusual shape}, we will put painters tape down outlining the bed, dressers, & night tables.

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Mooro El March 10, 2014 at 3:52 pm

Thanks for the information Tom! I have Magic Plan on my cell phone and tablet and they work great! But Floorplanner adding the 3D images is an awesome addition to that functionality! I definitely plan to use both of these applications in my business in the future!

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Tom Sylvester March 10, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Mooro – Yeah, those 2 items are very powerful together! I just love the 3d floor plans. It really sets us apart from the competition and they are so simple to create.

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Don Martin March 10, 2014 at 9:13 pm

Sounds great for us residential peeps! I’ll be looking for prices now.

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Kyle Hipp March 11, 2014 at 12:30 am

I use a similiar program starting a couple years back. Sweet home 3d. It appears quite similiar to floorplanning. I can show all the rooms, entry, stairs and something I really like is the windows. I can also place the cabinets in the kitchen and the like. I have this done for all my units. I don’et ude it often but it is convenient for advertising. I do like thr idea that I can pulll up a property and see if it can fit a 36″ vanity in the bathroom. Or if I should shrink up the windows in the kitchen before they are replaced in order to have more options for kitchen layout I the future.

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Tom Sylvester March 11, 2014 at 4:50 am

Kyle – I love being able to see if things can fit or how the unit will look if we reconfigure things. I’m a visual guy, and like they say “a picture if worth a thousand words”.

Thanks for the comment.

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Al Williamson March 11, 2014 at 9:13 am

Tom, thanks for the software recommendation. I’m guilty of using MS Paint, but now that I know better – I’ll do better.

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Paul March 12, 2014 at 9:02 am

Awesome!! I have literally been looking for an effective/efficient way to integrate floorplans into my analysis and marketing. Especially when we’re changing layouts. I can’t wait to see if this could work for us.

Paul

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