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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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?
Note By BiggerPockets: These are opinions written by the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of BiggerPockets.