The train ride was way worth it to hear the 3 Bs - Ben, Brad and Bob - at RainCamp NYC. And while I'm not a realtor, nearly every bit of information was worth hearing (Note to the realtors: good luck with the 10 days of pain!). While millions are on the social media boat, floating about, Ben and crew are cruising - and at RainCamp they shared tons of tips to help all of us do the same. I will use the info for both my home staging business and my family's orchard (Soons Orchards, plug plug) - both need more customers, and using technology to educate those potential customers and turn them into loyal ones seems obvious, and yet, as Ben says, so many people are *not* doing this.
On the not-so-thrilled side, I wasn't too excited to see a "virtual staging" company as a sponsor. While I'm all for staging vacant homes and great looking photos on MLS, I'm more for great looking homes that buyers are thrilled to see and want to see themselves in. Virtual staging can't do that, real home staging does. You don't make friends of buyers by teasing them with one thing and showing them another, right? And I understand that "fake staging" is pretty expensive too.
Home staging guru Barb Schwarz summed one of the dangers of virtual staging in her Staged Homes blog: "To represent a property one way in marketing materials and then in another way in the house for real is a huge challenge and it could be called misrepresentation in my opinion. REALTORS® might even be in violation of our Code of Ethics if they in fact use altered images, without the physical changes being made in homes they represent, in their marketing materials."
So I hope all the realtors out there will seek out a real live ASP home stager like me before trusting a client's home to some random person with Photoshop skills. In the meantime, get back to that Active Rain blog post and boost your SEO!