Do you need more staging education and MCE Credits?

Industry Observer with Ashley Whittenberger Fine Art

I teach a TREC-approved MCE course for realtors on home staging several times a month, and during these classes, one of the most common challenges I hear about from agents is "My client won't listen to me." or "I'm afraid I might offend my seller, so I just let them leave it as is." or "We/they don't have enough money to pay for staging." 

This is a huge mistake to buy into this and let sellers keep their home in as-is condition when it could be packaged more effectively. I often compare this to when I tell my 6-year old son to brush his teeth. About 1/2 the time, he says he doesn't feel like it or he's too tired or he'd rather do something else. Do you think I just say, "Ok, no problem." Heck no! I spend time educating my son on why it's important to brush his teeth. I also help motivate him by making it fun. If I just let him avoid brushing his teeth, I wouldn't be doing my job as a parent.  My whole purpose as a parent is to educate and discipline my child. By the way, remember, the root of the word discipline doesn't mean to punish, it means to teach.

When you think about it, the agent and client relationship can often be similar to the parent motivating their child to brush their teeth.  As a Realtor, you're the expert. Your client depends on you to help them sell their home. They often need to be educated and motivated, and indeed, sometimes they may not want to hear what you have to say. An agent isn't doing their job if they just let their seller call the shots. That doesn't mean you have to punish or offend your client -- it's a matter of discipline! Educate them on the benefits of properly preparing their home for sale. If you have a problem doing it, or don't want to have that conversation, hire a professional home stager to help. Many realtors know what it takes to properly stage a home, they just find it difficult to talk to their clients about it. We all know a conversation with a seller about clutter, dirt, personal decor or personal paint choices must be handled delicately and with care!

The bottom line is, don't give up to quickly and let your sellers get away with not doing the work that needs to be done. It will only harm them in the long run, and it's your job as the knowledgeable professional, to help your clients. Invest the extra time or money if you have to. It will result in quicker and more profitable sale, a happy client and a successful Realtor.

Now... I'm off to get my son to brush his teeth.


If you are interested in attending an MCE Course in Austin this week, see below...

Provider # 0173 - MCE course # 03-00-060-7051 "The Secrets of Staging to Sell"

Monday, Dec. 1 - 11am to 2pm at 2210 at The Courtyard at Onion Creek  OR

Wednesday, Dec. 3 - 9am to noon at The Hills Country Club in Lakeway

For more information you can e-mail me or call 512-289-7177.

Posted by


CEO, Ashley Whittenberger Companies, Inc.



Ashley Whittenberger, Award Winning Entrepreneur & Design Biz Mentor

Ashley Whittenberger is a chronic entrepreneur, business consultant and sought-after speaker.   Her determination and focus motivates and inspires others to step into action and create the businesses and lives of their dreams. As President and CEO of several companies Ashley knows exactly how to harness her creativity, vision, business savvy and leadership skills to inspire others to play a bigger game and focus on what’s really important in business, and in life. 

Ashley has been featured as an expert in the Austin Business Journal, Realtor Magazine,, Your Address Magazine, the Get More Business Show on Blog Talk Radio, a variety of expert panels and on TV including Fox 7’s Good Day Austin and the Austin Real Estate Experts. She was named one of 2011's Innovators of the Year by the Real Estate Staging Association and was honored to be nominated for the Women of Influence/Profiles in Power in 2010. She was also honored as the Real Estate Staging Association’s State Chapter President of the Year in 2010. Her newest program, the Design Biz Incubator, provides business and success advice, resources and support to members around the world.

If you liked this blog entry, you'll love Ashley's innovative courses and programs featuring fresh new strategies to help you start, market, and grow your design-related business. Learn more at



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