Special thank-you tulips for the AR community!
As a relative newcomer to Northern California, it's important for me to present my staging business, Leslie Olson Interiors, to Realtors face-to-face. The good news is that Real Estate Staging is the rule more than the exception here, and Marin County Realtors are technology and market savvy. The more challenging news for my business is that many of the Realtors have long-term working relationships with other stagers in the area.
With that in mind, as well as current real estate market conditions, I faced my upcoming Realtor Presentation with great anticipation...yet I knew I had to approach this differently than I might have in the past. I truly wanted this to be relevant for the Realtors attending...and challenged myself not to use the tired and predictable topics they had seen presented so many times before: De-Clutter - De-Personalize - Neutralize... I vowed that I would not so much as use those words!
And okay to be honest I also wanted them to remember my company in terms of branding -- for the company to have a positive "linger factor" with them as they consider staging projects in the future.
To prepare for the presentation I turned to the rich knowledge base on ActiveRain for ideas, and found an absolute wealth of inspiration. It's my challenge to name all the sources of that inspiration by name and blog link below!
To try to provide hand-outs to Realtors that were relevant to Staging and their business (and a place for them to find them when they needed them!) I provided bright orange hanging files that reflected the color in my company logo. The bright white file folder was labeled "Real Estate Staging Hand-Outs..."
To make sure they can find my information quickly and easily in the future, I included a business card and Rolodex cards in two sizes with the same contact information. But how to prevent them from falling out of the folders?
Thanks to Gina Zimmerman's blog tipping us off about a recent Oprah episode on organizing clutter, I printed out a 20% off coupon for The Container Store -- which happened to be located in the same shopping center as the Realtor presentation. How Conveeeeeenient!
And to continue the theme relevant to Staging, Realtors dropped their business cards into a marble bowl for a drawing for a gift card to The Container Store.
Hand-Outs included a company flyer and profile for Leslie Olson Interiors (before and after graphics thanks to Picasa photo software as recommended by ActiveRain users!), the new RESA Staging Statistics Report, a list of web links to publish Realtors' listings, the Real Estate Website Popularity Rankings for January 2009, a copy of one of my ActiveRain blogs featuring a current house my company staged, and an example of a recent Initial Staging Consultation Report.
Early in the morning, ready for Realtors to arrive at the restaurant.
As a sponsor for the event, the display table for Leslie Olson Interiors, including a Before and After photo slide show on the laptop, and Picasa-generated presentation board. On a cool and rainy morning the fireplace was warm and cozy...and even the fire complimented my company logo!
Thanks for your many suggestions for preparing for a Realtor Presentation:
Carol Clay Comment - "As an agent...I agree with the other comments that a gift basket wouldn't sway me one way or another. But I would like to have something at my fingertips so I don't have to hunt for your name or phone number. I hate cheesy give aways, but I love note pads." in Lori Donegan's blog "Questions from a Rookie Stager"
Michelle Minch Comment: "No REA is going to hire you based upon your goodie basket. They will hire you if they think you will make their job easier, make them look good and/or will help them make more money," in Lori Donegan's blog "Questions from a Rookie Stager"
Liz Carla Comment - "I provide a colorful file folder with my brochure, staging articles, biz card, etc. labeled with my business name and phone number. I have received good comments on this. The realtors love it and I really think they keep it. Easy to file in their drawer. Do a give away." From Lori Donegan's blog, Creative Realtor Presentations.
Annie Pinsker-Brown Comment - "I agree that you should use lots of photos and statistics! The numbers are what is important to Realtors. Also we had a realtor panel in my local stagers group and the realtors all said what they wanted from us was a sheet they could give to their clients to explain Staging, the pros and cons and some ballpark pricing. Plus before & after photos. I took that to heart and now give those sheets out at all my Realtor presentations. Explain to the Realtors that it is something they should put into their listing presentations to sell their clients on Staging. Of course it will also have your name and contact info on it. From Lori Donegan's blog, Creative Realtor Presentations.
And thank you for all the great feedback I got about photo enhancing software as I prepared a series of Before and After Staging Photos for a Picasa slide presentation to display on my laptop computer. I was also able to use Picasa's Collage feature to design the company flyer and display board. The blogs about evaluating software packages are listed below:
Thank you so much for your contributions and interest!
Leslie Olson, ASID, RESA
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