Our latest benefit for our members is a guide we want to share with real estate agent clients, their offices, office managers, brokerages, leaders and all who need to know how we work to support them and the real estate industry, and what to expect when working with a Pro-Stager. From protecting a Real Estate Agent’s Commission to the Process of Staging, Who to Hire, Where to find a Pro-Stager, Pricing and Stats, and more – this is the quintessential guide to help understand how to incorporate Home Staging to maximize profits in selling a property.
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There are numerous groups on social media where idea sharing takes place to help provide guidance or tips to industry colleagues. One of the more common questions or posts I see are from newer Stagers posting pics of properties they are going to Stage or have Staged, asking if what they did is “right.” The answer to what all stagers need in order to stage a house in the best way is at the end of this article. This leads me to the question, is there one “right” way to Stage® a room? Are there a lot of rules that if you violate them, your staging is “wrong” and the house now will not sell?
In short. No.
Staging is subjective. It always has been and always will be. We need to be careful about boxing in our creativity and assigning one set of rules to every staging. Not only is that restrictive, it is unrealistic. Things like budget, timeframe, and resources are all factors in how a property is Staged. It is important we do not compare our staging to someone else’s or judge a staging that may not be as embellished as others because what is not being openly shared is how much of a budget the stager had to carry out the staging. Of course, someone who has a large budget can provide more than one that has a tighter budget, and the question we SHOULD be asking is, “Did the house sell?” When that answer is, “Yes,” the staging worked, the stager did a great job, and the client got the results they wanted. Of course, please never stage a house with too few things as it cheapens not only the buyer experience, the house, but our industry. Better to walk away from a client with too small a budget than diminish your reputation and staging integrity.
If a house is occupied and being Staged using what the homeowner has that is very different than a vacant property where the Stager gets to select all the furnishing and décor to create a look that fits the property and the budget provided. And when the homeowner is still living in the house, there is the added challenge of maintaining the look of the staging with an owner who is less-than-attentive to detail.
How often does PRICE factor into a Staging? Every time. It’s pretty rare that a Stager gets carte blanche for a Staging to charge whatever they want to for their services. I never have. Eighteen years and 5,400 properties and counting and I have never had a client tell me to spend whatever I wanted to get their house ready for sale. There is always a budget to consider, and more generous budgets allow for more items and more profit to the stager. The tighter the budget, the fewer options there are for Staging. And there is a point where all Stagers need to walk-away from a Staging project when they will be losing money. None of us got into this as a charity to pay our clients for the privilege of getting their house ready for sale.
The rules I see being shared have to do with things like area rug sizes, whether-or-not to karate chop a pillow, how to make a bed, how to dress a table, and how to position furniture. These are all subjective opinions, and not a reason a house will or will not sell. And I will share my thoughts and guidelines regarding each one.
Area Rugs: If you want to use a 5’x7’ rug because it fits in your inventory space better, or you don’t have access to 8’x10’ rugs from your inventory provider (most of the rental companies do not provide larger rugs), then use the 5’x7’. Staging colleagues who share a smaller rug is “wrong” used to use those same sizes when they were newer. When a wood floor is the selling feature in a room, I would not cover up the majority of it with a rug. This deviates from design principles where you want to have the furniture grouping on the rug and a larger size is preferred.
Logistically, the larger rugs are difficult to store, they weigh a lot, and one person cannot carry them because if they are good quality, they are like a bag of wet sand. Aesthetically the larger rugs may be preferred by some, however, until I hear the words, “We did not purchase the house because the area rug was not an 8’x10’size,” we will continue to use them in properties for Staging, along with our larger rugs for houses that do need a bigger size. And a TIP from experienced Stagers is use two 5’x7’ rugs that are the same and put them side by side, to create a larger rug.
Pillows: The only rule for pillows would be use them on sofas, accent chairs and beds as way to add layers of texture and color. Ideally you want matching pillows in pairs however the eclectic look is acceptable. Karate chop the middle of pillows with feather inserts or don’t do it. Either way is fine. One benefit of karate chopping is if you go to the house and the pillows no longer have that look, you know someone used your pillows, moved them, or sat on the sofa. Buyers do not run screaming for the door when they see a karate chop pillow.
Beds: Some stagers like comforter sets with bed skirts and shams, some like coverlets draped over the bed to the floor. Some like to layer up the bed and others are more streamlined and minimalist. Do you use a throw or a blanket folded neatly across the end of the bed? Do you have to make the bed with sheets? Do you put a tray on the bed? The answer to the questions is yes or no. It all depends on what you prefer. For higher end houses, you do want to take the time to make the bed with sheets and layers. These are the beds that would be rolled back tastefully to show off the layers. In other houses, a bed could be made without sheets and layers. One of the reasons we choose not to dress beds with sheets for all houses is we do not want people “in” the beds and when the mattress has plastic covering on it (for sanitary purposes) and not sheets there is less likely to be fooling around in the bed. Yes, that does happen. Stay in the industry long enough and you too will have the pleasure of discovering unmentionables in your beds.
Should you use real mattresses, box springs and frames? Stagers who share only real beds should be used must have forgotten when they were new(er) and had to make beds out of air mattresses, platforms that were camping cots or boxes or bins. Yes, our industry has progressed, and we do not want to promote cheap-looking staging. Much like the issue with the large area rugs, for stagers without a warehouse, carrying mattresses and box springs becomes a logistical impossibility. Good news is third party rental companies provide mattresses and box springs that are reasonably priced. And a TIP from experienced stagers is use two sets of box springs instead of a mattress to save budget. You can always put a topper on the box spring to create a softer layer before the comforter or coverlet is placed on top.
What about Headboards? They provide a nice, complete look to a bed and dress up a bedroom for a professional finish. There are headboards that fold up but most of them are going to be too large for even a large SUV. Stagers have created headboards out of foam, fencing, and other creative methods that create the “look” of a headboard without the storage needs. Sometimes a large piece of art is hung over the bed and shams bolstered up against the wall. It is all about the budget for the Staging and type of property.
Placement: When arranging a room, a stager needs to consider focal points and function. An architectural focal point would be a fireplace or a view window. A living room could have two focal points while a bedroom may not have any and it has to be created with the furniture arrangement. In general, you want to feature what the room is from the entry way of the room, so placing the main furniture piece across from the entry or in that zone is usually the best option. Should you angle furniture? Angling furniture helps soften the corners of the room and provides an interesting alternative to having everything squared off. This may not work for smaller rooms as angling the furniture does create a “dead zone” behind the item and cuts the square footage. It is a subjective choice and harkens back to the notion that there is not one “right” way to stage a room, however there may be a better way. A Stager learns this with experience and/or moving things around to see various options.
In my opinion, the word “rule” needs to be changed to “guidelines” and then to “preference,” and when asking for feedback on social media, at some point you need to learn the answer to the question posed at the beginning: Gut Instinct and experience. Those two elements will provide you the confidence you need to successfully stage any property and trust your choices.
by Jennie Norris, IAHSP Chairwoman, Owner of Sensational Home Staging – We Stage Colorado
Virtual Reality can be traced back to 1935 as a science fiction and movie tool that was not used in the real estate industry to any major effect until about 3 years ago when Matterport hit the scene. The idea of being able to tour a house “virtually” was appealing for buyers who wanted to be able to experience a house before seeing in person. Was virtual reality for real estate really meant to eliminate the need to see a property in person? Is that where we want the industry to head? Eliminate all personal experience and use robots and machines to sell and buy properties?
That would be a huge mistake.
Technology is great to make our lives easier to manage and but has also made our lives more complicated and demanding. The reality is we do live in a tech world however real estate needs to be REAL. Not fake. Not virtual. Some may disagree, however for most people, owning a property represents the largest asset they will own in their lifetime. To leave this decision up to virtual reality is a big mistake. A 3-D tour helps a buyer visualize a layout and features but statistically a very small number of properties are sold without a personal visit.
The use of virtual technology has spilled over into Home Staging and the results are not good. Virtual staging is a cheap alternative to real, professional Staging, and it actually backfires on agents and sellers who are focused only on price. Sure, the photos may look halfway decent with a virtual photo shop addition of furniture and décor. That would be great if home staging was only about a photograph. But it is not.
Home Staging is about the ENTIRE experience for a buyer.
From the time they preview a house online to the moment they step in the front door the Staging is pulling them in emotionally. The aesthetics with color, placement, and style of furniture and décor used are all strategically utilized to attract the target buyer and maximize the sales price for the owner.
When a buyer sees a property online they expect to see the same look when they walk in the house in person. When they walk into an empty house, they feel duped by the virtual rendering online they are greatly disappointment. The buyer is going to translate that disappointment into criticism of the property. It is natural for anyone seeing a property to start looking around and their eyes will notice flaws when there is nothing else to draw their attention. What is shown online should be the SAME as when a buyer walks in the door. It is all about expectations. NAR® has gone so far as to share virtual staging borders on deceptive marketing and has issued cautions to agents not to alter the interior of a property with virtual photo shop as it poses a risk to the seller and the listing agent for false advertising.
A listing agent or seller who believes a buyer can translate what they see in a photo into an actual real-life experience inside the house is mistaken. Statistically, less than 10% of the population is visual and a buyer is not able to picture how their furniture will fit, let alone get excited about a house that is empty and echoes with sadness.
At its core, virtual staging is a deceptive marketing tool that cheapens the entire selling and buying process. Ask any experienced, professional stager, and he or she will tell you they have staged many properties that were virtually staged, did not sell, sat on the market, and then were professionally staged, and went under contract in a short time.
Jennie Norris – IAHSP Chairwoman
This COSTS the seller far more than if they had professionally staged their property from the start because in the time they sat waiting for a buyer, they have had to continue paying the carrying costs of that property and possibly experienced a price reduction. A price reduction will be 5-20x the investment in real staging.
Furthermore, according to NAR®, REALTOR®s have a fiduciary responsibility to get the MOST in the sale of the house. Are those just words on paper or is this something they are actually held to as a standard?
Agents in stronger markets will share, “I have not had to stage my listings.” The fact is they DID have to stage every listing – they just didn’t because they were probably in a market where things were selling quickly. When a seller can net thousands more in the sale, and they are not being told how to accomplish that with home staging and are even being dissuaded from staging by their agent who just wants to get a house on the market as soon as possible, it is not serving the seller. Staging is not a secret. REALTOR®s know about it and need to educate their sellers about why it is important. If the seller then decides not to stage, the agent is protected because they did advise them about the service.
A final point is agents who include staging as a key part of their listing and marketing strategy to sell a house earn more than those who do not. When a property sells for more, the agent makes more commission, and statistically houses that are Staged sell on average for 1-17% more than the un-staged competition. This adds up to thousands more an agent will earn over the course of a year with added income as well as spending less marketing dollars on a property.
When REALTOR®s are fighting for their own viability in an industry that is trying to push towards I-Buying and I-Selling, backed by big money conglomerates who don’t care if they are harming the real estate industry, making sure a full-service REALTOR® is using every tool available to net the most for their sellers would be a no-brainer. Agents can’t have it both ways. They want to get rid of the trend towards eliminating the in person buying and selling experience, but then use virtual staging. Sellers can’t have it both ways either where their properties are not professionally staged, yet they expect to sell at the best price. Support and use REAL Reality. Real in person service. Not robots. Real Staging. Not photoshop.
Then the REALITY will be a successful sales experience that benefits everyone involved and supports the real estate industry being a reality-based service.
The Coronavirus or Covid19 has been sweeping the world with unprecedented economic hardship and health consequences. In some ways it has brought the world closer together as we experience the same situations and face this challenge together.
As a Small Business Owner who may have had to cease or reduce operations and have no or limited revenue stream until the crisis is over, what are your options for receiving HELP? This post will share some tips and resources for you to explore and further the path to getting back on your feet.
UPDATED INFO ON LOANS:
Received this from a business lender: As of the time of this writing, March 29, 2020, the SBA has not formalized the application process for the new “Paycheck Protection Program” or “PPP”, the program that got signed into law Friday as part of the $2 Trillion CARES Act. At the moment, we are all waiting for guidance. Once I get clarity on that, I will likely fill you in with another update. Businesses CAN apply right now for the Economic Injury Disaster Loan…it is an application you can file on line direct with the SBA and do not need another lender involved….go to https://www.sba.gov/funding-programs/disaster-assistance to apply.
Keep in mind, that there is a HUGE demand for all of these products as most businesses are affected in some way over this virus. So there is going to be delays at SBA and especially with the banks and lenders who will be called on to administer the new PPP Loans. So be patient.
Your COUNTY needs to be listed on the Disaster Loan Application site for the SBA for Covid Declared Disasters. If your county is NOT listed, we encourage you to contact your Governor’s Office via phone and email and ask them to submit ALL counties for their state so people can get financial help. The Governor is the only one who can request for the counties to be added.
You will need to indicate ECONOMIC INJURY as the reason for filing.
Some states have funding and even municipalities so please check on your state and local government websites to see what they have for funding assistance. Some of the funding is for government entities only, some may be for brick and mortar stores/shops/restaurants forced to close.
BEWARE of predatory money lenders who are hard-money loan sharks looking to capitalize on “desperation.” These lenders usually charge very HIGH interest rates with possible daily payouts and should only be used as a last resort after other options have been exhausted.
BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE
You may be eligible for Business Interruption Insurance from your business insurance carrier. You need to review your policy or have your insurance agent help you with this to see if the Covid19 is covered. KMRD Partners shared via webinar what to do with insurance and questions to ask your carrier.
You need to keep good records of any economic hardship you are facing as a result of the Covid19 shutdown. Know the payouts will not be quick and as with any agency, they will probably try to dispute your claim to avoid paying out on the policy. KMRD has offered to assist those who may need help with their policies whether or not they are policies set up through KMRD. They are our ADVOCATE for insurance coverage.
We encourage you to reach out to any creditors you owe money to and ask for a reprieve for payments. MOST entities are being understanding and will defer payment for 1-2 months with a provision to contact them if more time is needed.
IF your bank, auto loan, credit card companies, lenders, property managers are NOT being cooperative, we suggest sending that information to the Governor of your State and also to your local news station. This is a time when EVERYONE need to be helped to the degree they are impacted and for entities to take a hard line on offering any support or assistance is not right. These companies need to be exposed. The pressure they receive might make them change their attitudes and approach to their customers.
Ask your creditors what they are offering
Negotiate terms that work for you
Keep track of what you have agreed to so you know when your payments will resume and at what amounts
Stay in touch with all of your creditors – they like communication and most are available via phone and email.
WHAT ABOUT MY CLIENTS AND PROPERTIES WHERE I HAVE MY STAGING FURNISHINGS INSTALLED?
If you are getting calls to waive payments for your furnishings, you have a right to not lose the income. You can agree to the terms providing the seller/client has enough equity in the home to pay the deferred amount at closing. We do NOT recommend going to a pay at close option for the duration – agree to only 2 weeks or 1 month and then re-assess.
The prediction is clients will resume their jobs and income once the Covid19 crisis is over – and current estimates are by mid-April we will be able to resume our business activity. Your other option is to pick up your items and return them to your warehouse for use in future projects. If the property gets put on temporary-withdraw status, this means the house will be put back to active showings once the crisis is over and real estate activity can resume to normal.
IF the house is still listed online, you should be paid for your items that are being used to showcase the house. You can decide if you will charge a reduced amount as a courtesy. You have a legal agreement in place with your client that needs to be honored however if you are able to adjust things to work with your client that will go a long way for future business opportunities.
IF the house is de-listed temporarily, this is where you can defer use fee for 2 weeks and then resume payments. We are not charities and as micro-businesses we are not in a position to lose income as we have bills to pay as well. Make sure to keep track of lost income.
IF the house is removed from active listing altogether – pick up your items. Make sure to keep on top of important dates such as when the REALTOR no longer has access or you no longer have access, etc.
Check with the listing agent on the strategy – the sellers may be moving back, they may decide to rent, or other options. You don’t want to let your things sit at risk when a contract has been terminated.
Houses are still being purchased and sold which means sellers are still able to get their house to close during this time.
You want to make SURE you submit your invoice to the TITLE company with clear instructions on how you are to be paid.
Ask the client who that entity is for the transaction or;
Ask the REALTOR who is handling the sale about the Title Company. Make sure the REALTOR knows what your plan is so they are in the loop.
Call the Title Company and explain what you need to do – and ask about any other payouts on the property to ensure there will be revenue left to pay you.
Stay on top of the CLOSING DATE and the day prior, call the Title Company to ensure you are on the LIST for payout/settlement.
If you do choose to waive payments and let items remain in a house, make sure to KEEP TRACK OF ALL LOST INCOME as that would be part of the Economic Injury Claim.
We hope the information shared is helpful to you and answers questions you may have regarding how to deal with our current, unprecedented situation. For more information or to contact us please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Have you ever gotten in your car and just started driving along with no destination? Have you ever gone to the airport and taken a random flight to somewhere?
For most people, the answers would be, “No,” unless they were on some random adventure quest. We don’t want our businesses to be a random adventure quest. We want our business success to be strategic and predictable based on our efforts.
VISION – SUCCESS – FOCUS – CLARITY – FUTURE
All of these words have a common thread – being able to see clearly and know where we are headed. And these are the words for 2020 for IAHSP® – and the theme of our conferences in Lisbon, Portugal and Denver, Colorado. Our theme and these words were chosen in October 2019 as we started thinking about 2020 and what our goals were as an industry, an association, a business owner and person. These are great words and we hope you take the time to think about what they mean to you.
VISION. We are already into our second month of 2020 – do you have your vision for the year mapped out? Vision is not only what drives your effort every day, it is also about having goals that support your overall vision and mission. What is the vision for your company – what is the message you want prospective clients to know and understand about what you do? Why do you do what you do? Do you have your marketing strategic monthly plan to support your goals? Do you know what your revenue goals are for 2020? Do you need to increase sales or reduce costs and if so, how are you planning to accomplish that?
SUCCESS. What does Success mean to you?The general definition is the achievement of a goal.
What were those goals for you in 2019? Was it to increase in the number of clients you serve regularly or to maintain your same level of business and revenue? Was it to focus on increasing the number of houses you Stage or types of properties you stage – vacant, occupied, consultations, etc.? Did you have unexpected success? That is a great type of success – however if it was unexpected, why was it not planned as part of your strategy? This could be recognition or awards you received or something else that added to your revenue or client base. We need to think about all aspects of our business and there is nothing wrong with planning for recognition or added revenue.
As the old adage says: Fail to Plan then Plan to Fail. We need to set goals for where we what we want to achieve, make sure they are measurable, assess our success quarterly and make any adjustments, and be open to adding to the plans where it makes sense.
If someone were to ask you the following questions, could you answer them?
What is your ratio of consultations to vacant staging?
How much revenue did you generate?
How did that compare to 2018?
Did you have goals for growth, or did you want to maintain status-quo and refine your process?
What was your net profit?
Do you have a clear understanding of costs to run your company?
In order to assess and quantify success – and measure it – you need to know the data from your business. As a business owner you cannot use the excuse that you are not a details person. You may have had measurable goals and did not hit all of them – and that is OK as long as you know why you did not achieve the goals and put measures in place to get back on track.
Our past can give us keys to our future. So many people are afraid to look at their business and analyze the good and the bad as they are afraid of feeling like a failure. Or they don’t really want to know what is going on and go through each day with business blinders on – not really seeing the impact of their actions or attitude and are on the proverbial hamster wheel of work.
Embrace the past as a learning experience or example of what you are capable of and be sure to not let it confine or restrict your potential.
FOCUS.When our Focus is blurred, our path it not clear. Have you ever tried on glasses that were dirty so you could not see through the lens or put on a pair of glasses that were the wrong prescription? In both cases, you cannot focus or see through the blurry lens and if you do wear the wrong prescription, you can get a headache. Things that can blur our vision and focus are distractions in both action and attitude. When we encounter something that begins to blur our focus, we may have to take time to handle the circumstance, and then get our focus back on track.
CLARITY. Clarity is about having Clear purpose behind our actions and attitude. Our WHY is the biggest motivator for getting us up every day to continue to work in our businesses. What is your WHY? Clarity is about removing anything that might cloud our vision or distract us from our goals. When we have clarity about our intent, our focus, and our goals, our actions and attitude will be alignment. Focus and Clarity go hand in hand.
It is not a coincidence that CLARIFY and CLARITY are spelled almost exactly alike – one leads to the other.
FUTURE.We live in the present and plan for our futures. None of us are guaranteed a future but we do need to plan for it and put actions in place that have a positive impact for us and our businesses, for our families, friends, and colleagues. Every action we take has a reach and impact on others. Things we do today whether Staging a house, running a business, being part of industry leadership and planning for standards – the impacts are far reaching as what we do impacts others. Our goal is to be an Impact Player for the betterment of life experiences for all we have the pleasure and opportunity to have in our lives.
As opportunities present themselves, we need to assess whether they are in alignment with our overall vision for our lives, and our goals for our business. We must remain open to adding things that support our vision and adjusting our path for success as needed and taking risks in order to experience the rewards. It is important not to put blinders on as then we miss opportunities to add to our path for success. Rewards are not monetary – they are intangibles. The relationships we receive, the opportunities to make a difference in someone’s life, the ability to guide an industry for the future, these are responsibilities we need to take seriously.
To be part of the Vision for Success: Focus, Clarity, Future that IAHSP® is providing to the industry and our members, go to www.IAHSP.com. IAHSP® is your Business Support Association® and Your HOME in the Home Staging Industry®. We have FAST-LEAD Workshops being held live in major cities, our two conferences that bring you high level education and the largest Vendor EXPO for our industry, and the opportunity to meet colleagues from around the world.
IAHSP® Conference & EXPO – the Home Staging Industry Event of the YEAR is bringing exciting, knowledgeable and quality KEYNOTE SPEAKERS to you! We have 3 we have lined up – we have announced TWO so far! The THIRD one will be announced soon!
Go to www.IAHSPConEXPO.com to register now before prices go up! Lock in PRIORITY ATTENDEE STATUS and be first in line for KEYNOTE Meet and Greets, Premier Seating, and Special Exclusive Speak Easy during our Awards Dinner Great Gatsby Gala!
JONNY FOWLER: Jonny is a marketing and social media guru. Jonny founded Hancock Mortgage and has helped grow a thriving business. One of his main passions is marketing and social media, as an Industry Leader Professional Speaker Social Media Specialist and Industry Innovator. Jonny shares in-depth, timely information that works to bring you business. He understand how platforms like Facebook and Instagram work and teaches how to work the system to outsmart algorithms that limit our exposure. You will learn not just what to do but HOW to do it. His two-hour keynote session will be one of the BEST you have heard to help your business grow and thrive.
RAVI HUTHEESING is an international keynote speaker and cultural catalyst. He empowers businesses, educators, and millions of people worldwide to pivot and transcend cultural and generational divides, and his incomparable life story keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.
The first American-born member of the family that created and governed the world’s largest democracy for over 40 years, Ravi is the grand-nephew of Jawaharlal Nehru (India’s first prime minister) and the cousin of prime ministers Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
His worldwide visibility skyrocketed in 1997 when he became the guitarist for triple Grammy nominee, Hanson, whose massive millennial fan base catapulted them to the White House, Madison Square Garden, Tonight Show, Good Morning America, Saturday Night Live, and more.
in 2014, he was invited to serve as a cultural diplomat for the US Department of State and went to Russia to give presentations on arts, entrepreneurship, and youth leadership. In 2016, he went to Indonesia and created songwriting and cultural entrepreneurship programs that bridged the most severe cultural and religious divides. As a global citizen, Ravi continues to pivot and grow. He shares his experiences and revelations in an effort to increase cross-cultural understanding and create a pathway to world peace.
NEW INDUSTRY DESIGNATION FOR ALL ATTENDEES!
We have industry experts sharing on this topic. Ravi Hutheesing will be part of this designation education.
All attendees at the 2020 IAHSP® Conference & EXPO will earn their IAHSP®-CDE – Cultural Diversity Expert Designation.
We are in a people business and Staging is a global service. Our cities and communities are becoming more diverse with multi-cultural influences from people from all over the world.
Misunderstandings or misimpressions about differences can offend people by mistake and we need to understand cultural differences, nuances and traditions in order to better serve our clients.
The IAHSP® Cultural Diversity Expert Designation (IAHSP-CDE®) will teach you:
About major cultural groups and what their expectations are in business
Do’s and Don’ts in working with various cultures and ethnicities
How to approach sensitive issues related to Staging
Why Diversity and Inclusivity are linked together Our Speakers for this session will provide expert insights on the topic.
‘Tis the Season for Giving and IAHSP has some SPECIAL GIFTS for you! Whether or not you are a member, you can take advantage of these gifts and Save $$! Click on this link to take advantage of your gifts! https://iahsp.com/holiday-promo
GIFT 1: Save $35 OFF the Luxury Home Specialist and/or $35 OFF the Buyer Trends Specialist Courses – Dec 16-17 only!
GIFT 2: DEC 18-19 ONLY! Save $50 OFF your Las Vegas Market Tour – Jan 27th, 2020! Learn how to shop with the pros as part of the IAHSP Wholesale Buying Program that saves the MOST $$ of any industry program!
GIFT 3: DEC 20-21 ONLY! Save 25% OFF VCON – Virtual IAHSP Conference 2019! You can watch ALL the Speakers at your leisure and learn! Don’t let your lack of attendance make you miss out on key education!
7 Reasons Why Real Estate Agents Should NOT Stage Their Listings – by Jennie Norris, IAHSP Chairwoman and Professional Home Stager
Did this title capture your attention? In truth, we want all properties Staged before hitting the market. However, if you are a Real Estate Agent, it is important that YOU PERSONALLY are not Staging properties for the following reasons:
You need to use your time wisely.
We all have 24 hours in the day. Taking any productive time away from making calls and connections to bring you a listing or a buyer, is unwise. Talk to any Business Coach and they will never say, “Suck up all your time doing all the work yourself and do not involve qualified pros in your business.” What IS being taught is, “Find qualified people to add to your overall team and process so your time is leveraged.”
Your income comes from closing a sale, not Staging.
As a real estate agent, you are paid at closing for selling a house not staging it. You make FAR MORE when you sell a house and earn your commission than a stager ever will Staging a property. Are you going to do the home inspection, fix the plumbing and landscaping too? Understanding you are the Director in the process and bringing in qualified professionals to do the other work will maximize your earnings and your reputation.
Your clients don’t want to hear you criticize their house.
Why risk the relationship? Do you relish the role of telling a client their house is cluttered, dirty, dated, or smelly? Do you like telling them their pets are too hairy or their housekeeping skills need help? Do you want to manage the angry teens or divorcing couple when it comes to getting the work done? When you are the one sharing with a homeowner all the things they need to do to get their house ready, they hear, “My house is WRONG,” and then think, “This agent does not even like my house – why do I want them to sell it?” Say goodbye to any referrals.
Objective Recommendations are motivating to a Seller.
A Stager is not tied to the sale of the property and is seen as truly objective. When agents recommend sellers spend money the seller may believe it is self-serving and the agent is just trying to get them to spend money so the agent can make more commission. When a Stager makes recommendations, they are perceived as necessary investments to help the seller.
Staging is not just removing personal photos and cleaning up messes or adding décor.
Many agents become “Stagents” when dealing with sellers. Staging involves far more than simply telling a seller to clean, remove photos and pick up the messes or bringing in some décor to highlight surfaces. Room arrangements, flow, updating, adding elements that appeal to the target Buyer – those are all things a Stager provides. Stagers stay on top of trends for paint colors, materials, furnishings, etc. That is part of the value they provide to clients and sharing that information with sellers helps add value to your process as an agent.
Your insurance does NOT protect you and you are at risk.
Think about this – you move a piece of furniture in your client’s house and scratch the floor, you damage their furniture, or you bring an item in that damages their house. Your E&O Insurance does not cover you for liability Staging a house. That activity is on you – and now you are coming out of pocket to pay for repairs and/or replacement of damaged property. Professional Stagers have liability insurance and coverage of their own staging items. They protect the property owner, their business, and ultimately you from liability.
If you cannot delegate your business will never grow beyond you.
When you are not able to delegate or involve others that are skilled in an area, you are LIMITING your growth. Having a 3rd party work with your clients does not mean you are not smart or capable. It means you understand your value and where your time needs to be invested. Trying to control everything and believing only you are qualitied to provide certain services, is limiting your growth. Bottom line, working with a professional Stager makes you:
Look Larger as a company
Appear and act more professional
Smarter in how you run your business
And allows your client to work with an objective entity
The bottom line for most agents is control. Trusting someone else to handle your clients is an understandable concern. You need to find the right people you can trust to put in front of your clients.
Where do you find professional stagers? To find professional Stagers to partner with, go to www.stagedhomes.com and search the directory of stagers who have been trained and accredited in staging. One of the foundations taught to the grads of these courses are to, “Honor the Client and Their Possessions,” which means honoring you as a client, honoring the homeowner, and being kind in how messages are shared. Not all stagers have training and not all training courses teach stagers to be kind, honor the seller and their real estate agent clients.
What should you expect from your Stager? Once you have a trusted relationship in place, your stager will be loyal, should support your business events, and should provide referral opportunities for you as well so the relationship is not one-sided. If a Stager does not understand where they fall in the hierarchy of the real estate process and industry where they serve you as their client, find one who does.
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE AWARD WINNERS from the 2019 IAHSP CONFERENCE – STAGING INDUSTRY AWARDS! There were so many talented industry professionals nominated and these are the WINNERS based on the voting for each category! We are pleased to be able to share them with you – and help elevate the industry standards by encouraging and recognizing Staging excellence for all the types of properties we Stage and how we serve the industry!
JOIN US IN DENVER – SEPT 25-27 FOR OUR 2020 CONFERENCE & EXPO!
At the close of our annual Conference & EXPO we reveal the location and dates for the NEXT year! IAHSP® is pleased to announce the locations for our 2020 IAHSP® Conferences & EXPO are LISBON, PORTUGAL – IAHSP® EUROPE Conference and DENVER, COLORADO for IAHSP® International Conference & EXPO!! We are bringing the conference to IAHSP® Headquarters and are already making plans to bring the BEST content, speakers, vendors and overall experience to attendees!
SAVE THE DATE: SEPT 25-27, 2020!
SAVE THE DATE: MAY 23, 2020
Get READY to gain a VISION FOR SUCCESS for your Business including Business FOCUS, Growth CLARITY AND Plans for your FUTURE
Advanced Stager Training will be Sept 28-29, 2020.
Certified Consultation Specialist Designation – IAHSP-EUROPE Conference – May 24th, 2020 – Register to earn this special Designation as part of your attendance at the IAHSP-Europe Conference in Lisbon, Portugal. This course will be an added half-day and will be taught by IAHSP International Chairwoman, Jennie Norris.
Get PRIORITY Seating (formerly known as VIP) and lock in the lowest price for registration! Take advantage of our Easy Payment Plan option to help spread out your dollars, and secure PRIORITY status!
Do you have a TEAM you would like to attend? This year we are providing special pricing for groups of 2 or more – helping you SAVE $$ on registrations for added team members.