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I officially opened for business September 1, 2005. I took a staging class and was led to believe that once I opened my doors, I would have to beat the business back with a stick. Just like any new stager, I was heartbroken to figure out how much it would take to get my business off of the ground. I had a choice to make - stick with it or throw in the towel.
I decided that I had spent a large amount of money on the class and had invested so much time in it already, I should stick it out as long as humanly possible. I even took a refresher of the original course to see what else I could do get things going and was again told that the Realtors were not only waiting for use, they were actively seeking us.
I wondered what I was doing wrong. If they are looking for me, why am I not getting the business I was expecting? In reviewing what I had been doing to that point and seeking advice as to what to do in addition to that, I quickly realized that it was not me at all. Those statements were just not true, whether they were made with the best of intentions or not.
Again, I had to decide if it was worth it. I was not ready to give up that easily and dug in even deeper to get the word out. The problem was that I was in a big pool of Realtors with very few stagers to help promote the idea. In an area where staging is somewhat established, it may be easier to start out because the public is already aware but that does not mean that you can become an over night success. In NW Indiana, there is still work to be done. Even though I have spoken at many local offices, spoken with more agents than I can count, promoted the business in as many ways as I can realistically handle and have built an impressive portfolio, it is still a long haul to the success I was promised I would have with very little effort.
I have met with a few new stagers and they are all in the same boat I was when I started out. I have offered them encouragement and done as much for them as I can to help their businesses grow as well. Some quit when they realize how much work it will actually take to get things going and how much it will take to maintain it. Others quit when they find out it is not as glamorous as they thought it would be.
Needless to say, it took more than opening my doors to get business and after two years, I'm not yet wielding a stick. I am doing well all things considered, but have not met many of the unrealistic goals I had set for myself - mainly because I had thought them realistic when I set them.
It is an uphill battle to become a successful stager and maintain the enthusiasm and energy level necessary to reach the top. It takes a lot of hard work - physical and mental - to get where you want to be. If you are thinking of throwing your hat in the staging ring and think it will be easy, you are in for a rude awakening. It takes pure dedication and STAMINA to be a successful stager.
If you are lucky enough to be in an area where staging is already used regularly and your transition into the field is fairly smooth, look up the stagers in your area who have been around for a while and thank them for all the hard work they did to get it there.
Kimberly Wester's experiences, views and tutorials on staging in the real estate industry, with a focus on educating the RE industry on the benefits of home staging and bringing the staging community together under a united message.
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Disclaimer: ActiveRain Corp. does not necessarily endorse the real estate agents, loan officers and brokers listed on this site. These real estate profiles, blogs and blog entries are provided here as a courtesy to our visitors to help them make an informed decision when buying or selling a house. ActiveRain Corp. takes no responsibility for the content in these profiles, that are written by the members of this community.