first impressions: It's not USED furniture. No I will not sell my home staging furniture cheap. - 07/28/11 10:14 AM
If you own home staging inventory, you probably are asked, at least on occassion to sell your furniture, artwork or accessories.  It's difficult not to.  After all, we create spaces that both the buyer and seller love.  It's not the least bit uncommon that we've dialed in the buyer so well that they feel it should come with the house.  The part that never quite gets funny is when they seem to view it as "used furniture".  I suppose their view is that it's not new from a store, therefore we should sell it at a drop dead discount (read garage … (13 comments)

first impressions: No, I really don't want to grow my Charleston Home Staging business. No, SERIOUSLY! - 07/22/11 11:27 AM
I think it sounds crazy to most people when I say that we really don't want to grow our Charleston Home Staging business anymore.  The fact of the matter is that I'm pretty serious when I say it.  Some of you in the industry understand exactly what I'm talking about though.  Most of you who get it probably own inventory.  
Because this kind of statement is contrary to most people's opinion, let me elaborate.  My company, First Impressions Home Staging & Interior ReDeisgn owns a lot - no I mean A LOT of inventory.  We are right around the 3/4 of a million mark with around 50 vacant homes staged … (10 comments)

first impressions: It doesn't take a lot of Agents for a Home Staging to be successful - just the RIGHT ones. - 06/30/11 04:56 AM
I've been part of several discussions over the past few days that have included the topic of exclusivity with brokerages and working with agents.  The general impressions that I've had is that new stagers seem to think that in order to run a successful home staging business that you will need to have a large pool of agents.  I would like to dispell that myth from my own point of view and then hopefully have other successful home stagers (your definition of successful, not mine) chime in. 
My company, First Impressions Home Staging & Interior ReDesign, really only regularly works with about a dozen or so real … (8 comments)

first impressions: Well-designed home with functional floor plan! - 05/29/11 07:49 AM
2813 Cap'n Sam's Rd is offered by Patsy Zanetti with Seabrook Island Real Estate. Staged by David Moon.
 

Just a short bike ride separates this wonderful home from the Lake House, the wellness/community center at Palmetto Lake, the Equestrian Center, and the Racquet Club. Crooked Oaks' 9th green provides a beautiful backdrop for the well-designed and functional floor plan. The great room which glows from natural bright light from the floor to ceiling windows flows effortlessly into the dining room and kitchen making entertaining a breeze. The dining room also features a wet bar with ice maker. The well-equipped … (3 comments)

first impressions: Tell me what's the difference between these 2 homes? - 04/18/11 03:32 PM
Recently I learned of some pretty interesting statistical data from one of our real estate agents.  I had to check them out myself.... to see why the tale of these two listings was so very different....

checking out the MLS listings.... there isn't too much of a difference between the 2 homes.  They are similar in size.  They are only a few doors down and both are on the same side of the street with similar views.  They closed within 6 days of each other....

Overall, the layouts and amenities of both homes are pretty similar (these are … (12 comments)

first impressions: Local Real Estate Agent teaches home stagers how to use STATISTICS to create relationships. - 04/18/11 12:20 PM
Last Friday our local RESA chapter met with Matt Poole of Carolina One Real Estate to discuss how home stagers should be presenting themselves to real estate agents to close the deal.  Matt and his partner Randall Sandin are two of my best home staging clients.  Every single listing they take, we are automatically called out.  The home is consulted on or staged prior to it going active.  Sellers are encouraged from moment one to listen to our suggestions if they want to sell at top dollar in the shortest amount of time possible.  Matt & Randall frequently use their success … (10 comments)

first impressions: Having a really hard time keeping up - now I'm taking vacation - 04/16/11 04:50 PM
This has been an insane year.  Last year we re-started our SAR training division including adding the first ever advanced home staging course with HGTV personality Matthew Finlason.  RESA was a big launching pad for us.  More than half of our 11 instructors were nominated or won RESA awards including Professional Stager of the Year, Chapter President of the Year and State President of the Year.  At RESA we also launched Market Ready Real Estate - an online home staging consultation program that simplifies and standardizes reports while keeping them personalized and professional.  Locally, our staging company has been running non-stop - now keeping … (8 comments)

first impressions: Sofa pileup on Hwy 78, Summerville, SC - finally cleared up! - 04/14/11 09:33 AM
A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a sofa pileup here in Summerville: 15 Sofa pileup off of HWY 78 in Summerville, SC. Our warehouse was getting precariously full after a rush of staged properties selling the first couple of months this year.  Since I did the original blog, we've staged about 10 vacant homes (and unstaged a couple more).
 
We actually still ended up buying furniture for 3 vacant luxury listings (just didn't have the "right" stuff to do them justice). 
Finally though, aisles and racks are clear.  My warehouse assistant is a happy girl as everything is not … (5 comments)

first impressions: Updated Home in Summerville's Historic District - 04/07/11 03:55 AM

Offered by Greg Flanagan with remax Advanced Realty.
Built in the late 1800's this painted lady has seen her fair share of history pass by the front door. Originally built as a get away for the plantation owners during the hot summers, this home is surrounded by hundred year old live oaks. The cascading canopy cools the home still today. Updated recently (2009) with new mechanicals, electric, flooring, insulation, roof, decking, baths and kitchen this is a fabulous grand old lady. The Kitchen is made for gathering, the bedrooms are designed for privacy with each having their own bath and … (5 comments)

first impressions: 15 Sofa pileup off of HWY 78 in Summerville, SC - 03/23/11 10:50 AM
Yep, you heard it!  We have a 15 sofa pileup here in Summerville, SC.  OK, I didn't really go count them, but really... it's getting crazy around here!  Staged properties have been flying off the shelf around here.  While this is really good news, the bad news is that our warehouse is filling up again...
 

Sure, we are still staging... here's the funny thing though.  We always have marketed ourselves to the main stream client.  We don't specialize or even advertise for luxury staging... but that's what every contract seems to be these days.  This means that while we … (15 comments)

first impressions: Oops I did it again.... When home staging continues to be a deja vu experience. - 03/23/11 10:21 AM
This has been an exceptionally amusing week for Bevin and I here at First Impressions Home Staging & Interior ReDesign.  You see, it's not completely uncommon for us to both get called to put out bids on the same property but it is a little unusual for us to get 3 calls, from different agents, all on the same address - that we already staged 3 years ago!  You see, 3 agents were all interviewing for a listing in one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in Mt. Pleasant's I'on community.  The current owner had purchased the home after it had been … (5 comments)

first impressions: SAR Home Staging Training - Even seasoned stagers may need a little business help! - 03/22/11 11:18 AM
At RESA this year we met many stagers that had been in business for a year or more that still had more questions than answers when it comes to running a successful home staging business.  Given the fact that the majority of our home staging instructors made an appearance on the stage either in educational sessions, or on the expert panel & the fact that our instructors won nearly every category in the RESA awards that they were nominated for, it only made sense that we would get a lot of questions. 
RESA Professional Stager of the Year, Annie Pinsker Brown, in particular, was bombarded with well wishers and … (2 comments)

first impressions: Beautifully renovated home on Broad Street, Charleston, SC! - 03/03/11 04:46 AM

 
Offered by Laurie Tarleton with Carriage Properties. Staged by David Moon.
BEAUTIFULLY RENOVATED HOME ON BROAD STREET OFFERS OLD CHARLESTON CHARM WIH MODERN CONVENIENCES. LARGE OPEN FLOOR PLAN. UPDATED KITCHEN. GORGEOUS HEART PINE FLOORS. 11' CEILINGS. THRESS FIREPLACES. TWO PIAZZAS. BRICK COURTYERD. TWO PARKING SPACES. PERFECT LOCATION FOR WALKING TO THE BATTERY, SHOPPING, AND RESTAURANTS.
 
 
(6 comments)

first impressions: How much money can you make by owning & operating a home staging business? - 02/14/11 09:51 AM
I talk to potential home staging students nearly every day.  I stay up to date on google alerts for 'home staging training' and occassionally I'll be directed (typically by the potential students) to another training companies website.  The subject of "how much money can I REALISTICALLY make in the home staging industry" routinely comes up. 
While I've been fortunate (and had a really good work ethic & savvy marketing skills) and have been very busy practically since day one of my staging career, I feel too often that inflated claims by many staging training companies are giving instructors and staging training companies … (9 comments)

first impressions: Home Staging and Redesign (SAR) Trainers Earns Home Staging Industry and Leadership Awards - 02/10/11 06:06 AM
February 8, 2011 -- Melissa Marro, founder of First Impressions, Home Staging & Interior Redesign and The Home Staging and Redesign Training Company (SAR) announces that four of the Companies SAR trainers have received awards at the recent Real Estate Staging Associations Conference.
The Real Estate Staging Association™ (RESA) announced the 2011 Home Staging Industry and Leadership Award Winners during the groups International Home Staging Convention January 24th, 2011, held in Las Vegas Nevada. Among the winners were 4 of the Companies Trainers.
Annie Pinsker-Brown, Owner, Principal Designer at Stage to Sell Home Staging and Trainer for the Staging & Redesign … (0 comments)

first impressions: Is this really any way to run a home staging business? - 02/07/11 10:10 AM
Taking nearly a week off from our busy Charleston Home Staging business to spend with all my home stager friends and collegues in Las Vegas is something that I've looked forward to since we did it last year.  This year, unfortunately for me, it was not exactly what I had planned.  RESA is always an incredible experience - the education, the networking, the after hours fun and sight seeing.  For me this year, when I wasn't actually at the convention, I spent most of it in my room hopped up on cold medicine trying to sleep.  While I tried to be … (7 comments)

first impressions: New Quality Construction Home! - 01/20/11 06:42 AM

Offered by Lane Baker with Saltwater Homes.
This custom home was just finished in October! This is quality construction! Solid core interior doors, tankless hot water heater, wide plank sand and finish hardwoods, premium granite on every vanity and kitchen is loaded. Bring you most descriminating buyer this is the one! The quality of this custom home can been seen in every detail. This is a plan everybody wants, open, spacious and loaded with upgrades! This 2600 square foot, 4 bedrooms 3 bathrooms and all the features and trimmings you are going to love it! . This price includes … (1 comments)

first impressions: Matthew Finlason, host of HGTV's "The Stagers" offers first-ever ADVANCED Home Staging Training Course - 01/15/11 02:00 PM
The Intensive 2 day Advanced Design and Marketing course for Home Stagers consists of classroom training, which will increase existing Home Stagers skills and knowledge in areas such as operating a Home Staging business, creating intense relationships with clients, advanced design and creativity, future trends, and secrets to designing stunning installations to attract the luxury markets, just to name a few. Best of all, it is instructed by one of the premier experts in the real estate design and home staging industry - Matthew Finlason himself.
 
 

Space is limited and is expected to sell out quickly. Cost of … (0 comments)

first impressions: Going the the RESA Convention? Why you need to come to the Home Staging & Redesign (SAR) Training Booth! - 01/15/11 01:34 PM
I can't believe that the RESA Home Staging Convention is only a week away!  I'm so excited to meet so many of my ActiveRain.com and Facebook friends!  Last year was totally amazing and with a SOLD OUT convention again this year (approx 340 stagers in attendance), I'm sure it will be even more spectacular! 
This year, having re-launched our SAR Home Staging Training Program, I'll be there with ALL eleven of our staging training instructors!  We'll be giving out fun and amazing prizes including multiple continuing education courses, a new Kindle and some other fun prizes! 
(see why you want a … (3 comments)

first impressions: Craig Schiller, founder of ActiveRain.com's Stage It Forward, to offer home staging training in Chicago and Midwest areas - 01/11/11 06:03 PM
Craig Schiller, founder & Creative Director of Real Estaging of Chicago, Illinois to offer Home Staging and Redesign (SAR) Certification training to home stagers.
Thanks in large part to his creation of StageItForward, a social media blogging community on the Active Rain Network, Schiller, has become one of the most nationally-recognized and highly-respected Home Stagers in the Midwest. Schiller joined the SAR Instructor team in December, 2010 and beginning in March, 2011, will offer both the 3 and 5 day certification courses for home stagers.
The SAR Certification Course for Home Stagers has been completely updated to include the most current and relevant information for new stagers and seasoned … (11 comments)

 
Melissa Marro, Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging (Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team) Rainmaker large

Melissa Marro

Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Orange Park, FL

More about me…

Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team

Address: 2170 Park Ave, Orange Park, Florida, 32073

Office: (904) 466-2093

Fax: (888) 262-4112

Email Me

Author Bio: Melissa Marro, Home Staging Industry leader, Realtor, and entrepreneur offers a unique perspective on New Home Construction, Resale Residential Real Estate, and Home Staging View all AR Posts By Melissa Marro Google+


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