home stager: Are You a Real Estate Agent Missing This Referral Source? - 04/04/14 04:15 AM
When you're 100% dependent on real estate commissions for your livelihood, quality referrals are key. Without new prospects coming into your pipeline, you can't build your real estate business.
Some of the typical ways real estate agents find new prospects include:
Attending networking events. Distributing door to door flyers. Buying leads. Knocking on doors. Hosting open houses on their own, or another agent's, listing. Running expensive newspaper and billboard ads. Websites, blogs and social media. Networking with real estate agents in other markets. The problem with most of these methods is you're marketing to people who may or may not be … (46 comments)

home stager: Real Estate Marketing - What Does Your Head Shot Say About You? - 03/13/13 08:55 AM
Real estate marketing pretty much comes down to business cards, advertising, networking, social media, websites, blogs, signage and open houses. As much as we'd like to pretend otherwise, how we look counts for a lot. Since many real estate agents include their head shot on business cards, For Sale signs, advertising and more, it's important to think about what your photo says about you.
Your Real Esate Agent Head Shot Is Key to Your Business Image Your head shot communicates a lot about you as a real estate agent and gives your prospective clients a sense of what it might be … (2 comments)

home stager: Are Home Stagers Born With Decorating Talent? - 09/12/11 01:07 PM
I’ve been addicted to decorating since I was a kid. I remember insisting that my room be painted a deep turquoise, and my rattan headboard white, because I could totally picture how one would stand out against the other and compliment the pale creamy-yellow duvet. At the risk of revealing my age, I’ll admit it was the 1960s. Even now I can see that decorating scheme in my mind’s eye, and it still looks cool.
As a teen, I painted murals on my bedroom wall and also the high school cafeteria. In my first marketing coup and “payment” for my creative … (8 comments)

home stager: Home Stagers Is Bargain Hunting Putting You Out of Business? - 07/26/11 05:16 AM
When you're a professional home stager, it's important to try and do the best home staging job for your clients. Unfortuntately, too many home stagers get so caught up in trying to save their clients some money that they are slowly putting themselves out of business without realizing it.
Here's an example to show you what I mean.
I've heard many home stagers discuss on Facebook and elsewhere, how they've gone on Craig's list, run around from store to store, or visited a garage/estate sale multiple times, trying to scoop up the best bargain on home staging accessories for their clients. … (15 comments)

home stager: Why Real Estate Agents Discourage Home Stagers - 06/27/11 07:14 AM
If you’re looking for the best way to talk yourself out of becoming a home stager, immediately get on the phone and call a dozen real estate agents in your market. After a few “No one will ever pay for it around here” or “It will never work in this market” or “There’s no need for staging, if a house is priced right it will sell” responses you’ll be almost embarrassed with yourself for ever thinking up such a silly idea.
If I listened to everyone who told me home staging wouldn’t work in my city 9 years ago, there would … (31 comments)

home stager: FSBO Selling Tips for Home Stagers - 05/14/11 09:44 AM
Active Rain member Laurie Jarett wrote a blog post this week for real estate agents about how the FSBO Seller is NOT a Big, Scary Monster! What a great title! It occurred to me that home stagers might be worrying about similar things and not approach them either.
With FSBO properties being so common in the marketplace, you’re probably wondering how to attract some of them to your home staging business. Targeting FSBOs or “For Sale by Owner” properties is a great idea but remember, they’re selling their homes themselves so they don’t have to pay an agent.
This could mean … (5 comments)

home stager: Home Stager Rejection: It's not always personal - 04/30/11 08:30 AM
Even though I've been staging homes since 2002 and I'm well known, not everyone who calls me to discuss their staging project actually hires me. This is a reality of the business and one that you can't take personally. I know it is hard not to take this as a personal rejection, especially when the potential home staging client sounds so interested at first.
Here's the scenario. The potential client calls and says they're interested in hiring a home stager. You've felt like they really connected with you on the phone, they sounded excited about your services and then at the … (8 comments)

home stager: 5 Warning Signs You Have a Home Staging Hobby Not a Business - 04/09/11 06:51 AM
Here are 5 warning signs that your home staging business is really a home staging hobby:
No one else takes your home staging business seriously, and if you're painfully honest with yourself you might realize that you don't either (this is often a symptom of being too afraid to really "go for it"). You love shopping and buying cute decor pieces on sale. Now you have a collection of home staging accessories sitting in a storage locker costing you money, instead of home staging accessories sitting in your clients' homes earning you rental income. Your phone isn't ringing with new projects … (6 comments)

home stager: What are your Wow Moments in the Real Estate Industry? - 01/08/11 10:36 AM
Listening to a talk by author Neil Pasricha yesterday, I started thinking about all the things I love about being a home stager. The moments that make me say “Wow!”
Whether you're a real estate agent or a home stager, I'm sure you've experienced those highs a "WOW Moment" can bring. Since we're just starting a new year and looking for inspiration heading into the spring real estate market, I thought this would be a good time to reflect on the great things that happen and share them with others!
I’ve included 10 of my own “WOW Moments as a Home … (0 comments)

home stager: Camera buying tips for home stagers and real estate agents - 12/23/10 02:34 AM
As a professional home stager or real estate agent you really need to invest in a good camera for a top notch staging portfolio or listing shots that attract home buyers. Choosing that important piece of equipment can be a daunting task, though, especially if you don’t know much about photography.
When you go shopping for your camera, don’t go to a department store. Go to a proper camera store where that’s all they sell and the people you deal with are experts in digital cameras, not washing machines and microwave ovens.
Explain to the sales person that you’re a home … (1 comments)

home stager: Should Real Estate Agents Pay for Home Staging? - 06/02/10 09:07 AM
While it's true that home staging will help a real estate listing stand out from all the other homes for sale, and while home staging will also increase the probability that the house will sell more quickly and for more money-- all of which are of considerable benefit to the real estate agent trying to earn an income from commissions-- I don't believe that agents should pay for staging.
I'm sure there are plenty of home stagers and home sellers who will disagree with me, but here's my reasoning:
If the home seller is prepared to invest in the advice of … (5 comments)

home stager: Home Stagers what if your client's house doesn't sell? - 05/03/10 07:06 AM
Aspiring home stagers, and even established ones, worry what will happen if a home they staged does not sell. Is it their fault, and will they be the ones who will have to answer to the disappointed home seller?
The first thing to remember is the person the client will be upset with when their home isn’t selling is the real estate agent not the home stager.
Yes, you’re decorating the house to sell, but you’re not in control of:
overall market conditions, natural disasters, interest rate changes or news events that interfere with the market at that point in time … (2 comments)

home stager: Virtual Staging A Waste of Money? - 04/22/10 07:48 AM
Many home stagers have written me to ask what I think of  virtual home staging software.
In my opinion there are two types of “virtual staging.”
The first (which I practice), is virtual because I don’t actually go into a client’s home but I give them virtual staging advice by phone based on photos they provide me with to analyze. This allows clients to have my staging advice and do the work themselves at a lower cost than if I were to do an actual home staging consultation in their home. It also allows me to offer specific staging advice to … (56 comments)

home stager: Want to follow a professional home stager around for a day? - 11/24/09 02:35 AM
I get approximately five calls a week from people interested in following me around for a day (or more) to see how I work as a home stager. Sadly most of these job shadowing requests are from aspiring stagers who spent a lot of money with a certain company that they believed promised them a guaranteed home staging job.
 
There are many reasons I’m not interested in having someone shadow me. First of all, I would have to screen them beforehand because that person would be a direct reflection on me. We would have have to meet ahead of time … (3 comments)

home stager: Home Stagers, do you accept credit cards? - 11/12/09 02:04 AM
I'm often asked by home staging professionals whether they should just accept checks, cash or take credit cards too. The ability to accept credit card payments is appealing to home stagers, especially since the amounts you’re getting paid are usually quite high (assuming you're not one of those bargain basement stagers who fly in and out of this business within 3 to 6 months).
Setting up a merchant account, however, is very expensive. Not only do you have to pay a large sum to the bank just to apply for and then set up the account, you also have to pay … (12 comments)

home stager: Agents and Home Sellers: How do you decide which home stager to hire? - 04/22/09 07:41 AM
Since home staging is a completely unregulated field without official qualifications, it's difficult to know who to hire and whether they are "qualified." This difficulty is compounded by the fact that it is possible for home stagers to acquire a ready-made home staging portfolio to present as their own work, since some training programs offer this.
When reviewing a home staging portfolio, ask questions about the photos to satisfy yourself that these are the stager's own work.
If the stager can't tell you anything about the home or client, why they made the changes they did, or where the house … (5 comments)

home stager: Beating Back Bad Economic News - 03/03/09 06:02 AM
One trait that separates the successful from the unsuccessful is the ability to look at change with an eye to opportunity, and Americans in general are good at this.
At the end of 2008, an international survey by the Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research studied the impact of the global financial crisis on 17 different countries.
The study revealed that Americans, despite the overwhelming tide of negative indicators, are among the most positive in the world when asked about their economic prospects, ranking well above Canada even though the Canadian economy is stronger right now.
The most pessimistic nations were … (45 comments)

home stager: Beware of Home Staging Guarantees - 02/16/09 09:26 AM
Staging Diva Graduate Nicole Hurst of Cole House Design, ignited quite a discussion about stagers providing guarantees of a house sale when they stage a home for a client. Reading the comments, I was shocked to see that some home stagers actually provide this! Great for them if they're comfortable with it and if it's working for their business, but I question the business rationale for this.
In an uncertain world, I understand the desire to obtain a guarantee if you're a client about to part with your hard earned cash. And, I understand the home stager's impulse to want to … (20 comments)

home stager: The Stench of Desperation - 02/10/09 05:24 AM
There are several great scenes in the Academy Award nominated film Frost/Nixon that have relevance to anyone in business: home stagers, real estate agents, mortgage brokers, etc.
In one, Nixon's agent is explaining how he's going to negotiate a fatter interview fee from David Frost. He explains that he always phones someone he's negotiating with at an inconvenient time. If they take the call he knows he's got the upper hand, because they need him more than the other way around.
He proceeds to call Frost in the middle of the night, and the rest is history.
I thought of this … (12 comments)

home stager: Home Stagers: Is my inventory bigger than yours? - 02/08/09 06:48 AM
Too many home stagers seem to measure their success by the size of their inventory. That's a bit like a car company measuring their success by the size of their workforce.
Both are an indicator of overhead, but not necessarily an indicator of profits.
Now I'm not trying to wade into the debate about how the auto industry might get out of the mess it is in. The point of my analogy is that if home stagers measure their business success by the size of their furniture rental inventory they may be in deeper financial trouble then they're prepared to admit … (26 comments)

 
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva (Staging Diva / Six Elements Inc.) Rainmaker large

Debra Gould

The Staging Diva

Toronto, ON

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Staging Diva / Six Elements Inc.

Office: (416) 691-6615

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Articles of interest to home stagers and real estate agents to improve understanding of the business of home staging (real estate staging, house fluffing).
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