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Home Staging Anyone

StagerStager subscriber Posts: 1
edited November 2006 in Marketing
I have recently entered the home staging market in Missouri. This is a popular and lucrative business on the East and West Coast but has not cought on in the midwest yet. Since the housing market is so slow, I would think there would be plenty of opportunities for homesellers to have their house staged to sell quickly and for top dollar. I also thought that Realtors would be searching out my services to help them move homes they have listed. I need suggestions on how to get a way for the homeseller to be able to pay me after the property closes without risking doing all of the work and having them decide that they want to take the house off the market or something else that would ruin my chances of getting paid. Any ideas.


  • watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member

    need suggestions on how to get a way for the homeseller to be able to
    pay me after the property closes without risking doing all of the work
    and having them decide that they want to take the house off the market
    or something else that would ruin my chances of getting paid. Any ideas. [/QUOTE]

    Try stagingdiva.com - it is an online course that may help you. Also
    just type in "home staging" in your browser and a lot of info will come
    up. That is what I did. Success to you!
  • StagerStager subscriber Posts: 1
    Thanks for the info. I am an ASP (Accredited Staging Professional) and understand the staging end of it, I just need to figure out the payment end of it. I`m from the Show Me State, and people here are not ready to give up their money unless they know something is going to work. I know staging works, it just hasn`t cought on here yet. I`ve even thought of doing a job for free to gain exposure through a feature article in the newspaper, the trouble is, I have already done several jobs for free and all I have gotten back were great testimonials. I don`t discount the value of the testimonials, I just want to start getting paid for my work in order to offset my initial investments. Thanks again for the tip. If you come up with any other ideas, I`m open!
  • theswaynestertheswaynester subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member
    Have I ever told you guys how great StartUp Nation is?My wife, who has a natural design knack, would like to start a staging business and has had the same question.I suggested she work with a realtor on a few free jobs. From what I know about the real estate business, it`s tight-knit and word-of-mouth really works, especially when someone is bringing in more money.Just an idea. Not sure of the feasibility.I`d be interested in what you find out.
    The Swaynester
  • StagerStager subscriber Posts: 1
    Staging is  preparing a house to sell regardless of price, location or condition, to bring top dollar, quickly. We nuetralize the house to make it attractive to "most" buyers. We De-clutter, Nuetralize, deep clean then stage. Staging is generally the placement or removal of various items to create the most appealing atmosphere for the buyer. 
    Thanks for your ideas. I have begun networking by attending open houses, passing out business cards, etc. That has brought some business.
  • watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
    Hi Gerri,
    I mentioned stagingdiva.com because the woman that runs this site gives
    online courses (for a fee) but I did ask her some questions which she
    answered. So that may be something that you may want to try.
  • StagerStager subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you, it`s worth a try! I`ll give her a call. She has a beautiful website.
  • watergalwatergal subscriber Posts: 10 Bronze Level Member
    Good Luck
    Keep us posted ok?
  • mwood4mwood4 subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi there, I am in real estate in California, and my thought or suggestion would be to creat a portfolio (even if you need to prepare your own home for staging pictures), if you have not already, and definitely get in contact with the highest end clientele/realtors, in your area. With the market slightly softening, staging can be a great way for sellers to get top dollar...sadly...as prices stabilize and/or drop, many sellers may opt to cut their expenses...so you may end up needing to offer a scale of staging presentations from moderate to high end.Hope your ventures are profitableMichele, Santa MonicaPS: I would suggest considering having the sellers pay you at least a good portion up front, if not all of the expense.....initially they may balk, however, this staging is to their benefit.
  • StagerStager subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you , I took my training in Concord California.. Staging seems to be alive and well in California. I have just finished getting a brochure designed...it took me 7 months to do enough jobs to gather good before and afters! And yes, I did tear up my lower level to "stage "it for a set of before and afters. I have a small portfolio I add to every time I do a job. Baby steps...I appreciate the input.
  • rossbrossb subscriber Posts: 5
    Gerri -I always knew home staging was important, never thought of it as a business though!  Hope it all works out for you.I just perused your website and thought I`d make one suggestion after looking at it from a "potential customers" point of view.  Now I realize this is fairly subtle but I truly think it makes a difference, I know it does for me, and that is:Your before & after photos have a real "staged" feel to them.  For me, it`s an important `credibility` issue when the before photos appear to be, well, made to look worse then they are.  What I mean is this, they seem to be less saturated and dulled down, like when you see the before and after hair styles, the models have really glumb faces and don`t smile etc...  This accentuates the difference, yes, but it is also intellectually dishonest.  Also, be certain to take your photos from the exact same spot and angle.  When you change angles, or pull out to get more of the room so that added features are present in the "after" photos all adds to the impression that in reality, you are having to massage the before and after photos in order to make the difference seem greater than it is.I think the first B&A on your home page of the exterior is the perfect example of the "right" way to do it.  The value is obvious and you didn`t have to use any blatant photographic tricks.The worst one`s are the Living Rooms on both the FAQ and Meet Geri pages, but especially the Bedroom on your Contact Us page.I just think it`s important, especially when you are having to really educate and almost convince people that there truly is value to your service that you build their confidence by keeping things straight up. The fact is, there is value in what you offer.  It really will make a difference for your clients.  My opinion is that when you are selling them on that value you need to put yourself in their shoes, because the unsaid and unintended message that your potential clients get is also that they are somehow... not good enough, or savvy enough, or design conscious enough.  It`s unintended, but it is one of the messages that they hear underneath it all even if nobody will admit it.Just be considerate of that, sell them on the truth that what your service does is not "make there house better to live in" but in reality what you do is make it a "show house" - something that real people generally don`t really "live in" but wish they could.  It accentuates what we all wish our homes looked like at ALL times, not just what it looks like after we`ve blitzed through it cleaning and putting everything away where it belongs.Sorry for the rambling and hope this all makes sense and offers at least a little help!R-
  • StagerStager subscriber Posts: 1
    Thank you for the honesty!!!!! I couldn`t agree more. Every little bit helps.My website is under reconstruction as we speak. I know it`s pretty cheesy, but it was my first attempt at a do it myself web presence. I have wised up and hired a professional to re do it. Check back in about three weeks if you like, to see the changes! 
  • NicoleCNicoleC subscriber Posts: 18
    Dear Gerri,
    I am a Realtor in Michigan.  I found the stagger to whom I prefer using while I was attending another Realtor`s Tour. At which the professional stagger had taken a vacant home, stagged it to show how spacious it was, and had enhanced the curb appeal.  It made all the difference in the world! Since observing the difference it made in the appeal of that vacant property, I am a believer in professional stagging. 
    Therefore the stager to whom I prefer using charges me $75 for the first hour of hands on consultation with my client(s).  If after that hour`s consultation, my client wants more suggestions or additional services then they must purchase them through the stagger or some other venue.  I do not advertise that I do this and I only bring in a stagger with my client`s blessing and under certain conditions.
    Since I am focused on marketing the property for sale and obtaining total exposure of the property on behalf of my client`s interest, I consider the consultation to be a tool in the marketing of their home.  Therefore I can`t stress enough that I do not require my client(s) to purchase additional services from the stagger. 
  • StagerStager subscriber Posts: 1
    Great suggestion Nicole,
    I will offer that to agents I meet at open houses and see if that will get them to try my services and refer me to new homesellers as an option.
    Many thanks,
  • NicoleCNicoleC subscriber Posts: 18
    Kim, Great suggestion on the professional portfolio!  It might be possible to create one too because some of the office supply stores have leather (or leather like) portfolios. 
    Gerri, if you wish to announce your services then by all means make some flyers and take them to your local real estate offices.  Not all but some will allow you to put flyers in the agent mail boxes.   Also there are a multitude of For Sale By Owner websites online and the owners are just as likely to utilize your services.
    Best Wishes!
  • MelissaMelissa subscriber Posts: 7
    Pardon me if I repeat something that has been said by someone else, but I wanted to chime in and yet, do not have sufficient time right at this moment to read the previous responses in depth.
    I think in your situation, I would charge similar to how I charge my clients...ask for a certain amount (25% say) of the fee to reserve their space in your calendar.  You might even consider charging for the initial and saying that it is applied to their balance if they book you.
    Then have them pay the remaining balance in chunks with the final amount being due prior to closing.  And, here`s a fun little sweetener...remind them that your fees may be deductible (they need check with a CPA) and, in the case of rental properties, at least, could reduce the amount of gain they would need to recognize on their tax return...
    I`d also make sure I had them sign a contract stating what you`ll be doing for them and mention that non-payment is grounds for turning the account over to a collection agency yada, yada, yada.  People are a bit less likely to not pay you when there`s a piece of paper saying you will affect their credit score.
    Hope theres at least one idea in there you can implement! 
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