HaverHill Draws More Scrutiny

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Home Stager with 2 Hounds Design + Home Staging

Well, seems Haverhill is drawing more attention to itself. The more they shout from the mountain tops about their greatness the more writers look in to the owners of the company.

Despite repeated attempts to get information about the success of the business as well as the success of the 'graduates' Haverhill refuse to divulge any statistics to aid potential 'students' determine if HaverHill does in fact provide the hundreds of jobs they claim to be hiring (from ONLY graduates of their training).

A new article has been released, enjoy the read and make your own decisions!

There's a stager born every minute: Haverhill offers big promises -- and shady associations

Author:  Zac Bissonnette

BTW, notice the photo was a staging done by Craig Shiller...beautiful job!

 

 

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Tags:
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Rainmaker
120,664
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

If it seems too good to be true ... it probably is. Thanks for posting.

May 22, 2009 09:39 AM #7
Rainmaker
43,985
Michele Kurelich
Triangle Home Staging & Design/Lasting Impressions - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh Home Staging and Design

I just had a phone call from a soon to be graduate of Haverhill who is in my area.  She was asking a lot of questions and wanted to see about working with us.  She is convinced that she will earn her $31 dollars an hour and will have instant jobs, but wanted to see what her other options maybe. 

I did tell her that we don't work with any stagers unless they have been successfully staging for at least a year.  But, I knew that she was not a fit for working with us based on the training she signed up for.  I had heard similar rumblings about this company months ago.  Unfortunately, I know that she did not do her homework and it came down to getting a quick fix.  I don't think a quick fix is the answer especially not now since there are plenty of people with the proper experience and backgrounds.

Now more than ever Researching your training company of choice is crucial for success

 

May 22, 2009 01:45 PM #8
Rainmaker
212,509
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.


Dane, right you are.  Thanks for putting this out there.  I agree with Todd, too...interesting company and interesting things behind them once you look into it.  THanks for the post.

May 22, 2009 06:28 PM #9
Rainer
18,518
Peg Prather
Vancouver, WA
Vancouver, WA

This isn't very surprising, but it is interesting to see the facts presented. I feel bad for the people who got hooked into this and will probably lose some money.

May 23, 2009 03:00 AM #10
Rainer
102,445
Mary Fasnacht
Washington and Allegheny Counties and surrounding areas - McMurray, PA
Feels Like Home Interiors ~ Pittsburgh PA Home Staging

Thnank you for sharing this article, Dane.  I cringe and turn the channel anytime their commercial comes on.  Thank goodness this article used Craig's photo and not one from Haverhill.  I do feel bad for the individuals who get duped by this organization. 

May 23, 2009 02:27 PM #11
Rainer
84,620
Roberta Anderson
Hearth & Home Staging - Silverdale, WA
Hearth & Home Staging, Staging Kitsap County

It is interesting the lack of stats they show. I always crack up when I see their ad as they "decorate to stage" and keep adding layers and layers in front the fireplace.  . . you know that big thing that everyone want to own, so make sure you hide it behind plants so it can't be seen! Buyer beware.

May 23, 2009 02:29 PM #12
Rainer
133,181
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

LOL Roberta!

That commercial drives me to drink - it's a  horrific example staging and/or decorating. I wonder how many actual stagers laugh (and ones like me that flinch...) at that absurd demonstration on how to treat a focal point.

Dane, thanks for the post. I just thought the staging on the commercial  was creepy. Haverhill is obviously much creepier than I thought*.

* All opinions expressed in this comment are my own personal feelings. Freedom of speech protects my right to say the Haverhill commercial is an example of pitifully uninspired and even pointless decorating, not staging.

~Michelle

 

May 24, 2009 06:20 AM #13
Rainmaker
684,075
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

I have always wondered about Haverhill. It didn't sound right that they were guaranteeing a job to graduates. I got no such guarantee when I graduated - I got the truth. I had to go out with my new tools and carve out a niche for myself.

I have had an inquiry from a girl thinking of going to Haverhill and asking my thoughts. I told her where I got my training and that I couldn't see how they could guarantee her a job.

I also had a Haverhill graduate contact me for a job. She didn't seem to have been given any business skills at all.

Personally I cringe when I see their ads.

May 24, 2009 10:39 AM #14
Rainmaker
639,377
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

I wonder how many people have taken the course, and tried to get a refund, when "guarantees" weren't delivered?

May 24, 2009 03:59 PM #16
Rainmaker
443,584
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Kimberly - certainly valid points.  I would say that my experience comes from things that I have learned first hand or from friends/collegues who have had first hand experience with them that I deem to be very ethical and honest. 

As I always say with anything that you join, you should investigate FOR YOURSELF and decide what's right for you.  Many of the points brought up in the actual article I deem as 'who cares'... others, are certainly points that people should be made aware of.  For some none of these will make any difference, for others they will....

May 25, 2009 12:02 PM #18
Rainer
38,522
Janis Gaines
Staging Sells Eugene Homes - Eugene, OR
Home Stager Eugene OR - The Notably Well-Dressed H

Glad I got my training before there were so many companies to choose from. Definitely important to find out the background of the people who are doing the training.

In my case, the founder had been a realtor for 30 years and also had interior design training. It was obvious that she knew the industry like the back of her hand and I'm always grateful that she explained how much realtors "REALLY" earn. That alone wins me clients when agents understand that I "get" that they're not all millionaires and realize that I'm not just another vendor approaching them for a handout to cover staging costs.

May 25, 2009 07:24 PM #19
Rainer
133,181
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Hi Kimberly,

I know you work for Haverhill, and are a contributing and contientious AR member.

However, Haverhill is NOT Kimberly Uksik. And what Haverhill's commercials promotes is not even close the reality of starting a successful business in the staging industry.

I am especially annoyed because I know this misrepresentation of the easy money that is to be had  if you complete the Haverhill program is targeted towards primarily women who are dreaming of a way to improvetheir financial situation, only to find the real world of staging is not paved with gold and that the opportunities they may get will  most likely NOT come from Haverhill and  only be found after diligent marketing and lots more investment than just their credentials originally cost.

If I had been a rose-colored glasses type of woman looking at the Haverhill Institute for a better life for my family when I endeavored to become a stager, I'd be warming my hands over a 10 gallon drum in the park with the homeless, wondering where Child Protective Services have taken my kids, in all likelihood. Especially if I had to live up to the Haverhills's Terms and Conditions, which I feel are HUGELY slanted away from the realm of possibility to complete in 6 alloted months, of course, to Haverhill's satisfaction.

Haverhill seems to gloss over what happens if they don't hire you, stating that if you don't pass, you simply get your tuition back $1000-ish, less $250 in fees and it seems pretty obvious to anybody with a lick of sense that they are not hiring a whole lot of people. Googling Haverhill Staging Scam is a great way to find out how many people have figured this out, unfortunately in retrospect, paying about $1000 for this life lesson, when they were lead to believe they were paying for education and a fair shot at a new career.

But if you are smart enough to finally figure out you are not ever going to get hired, and you ask for your money back, you get $750 for your trouble and the six months of your life you have invested (wasted) in the "opportunity".

And if you DO get hired, and you find you don't like working for Haverhill (is that even a possibility not to love working for them???)  and you "quit" you cannot stage on your own or with another company for TWO YEARS!

You know, it costs a lot of money to introduce your business professionally to the outside world today if Haverhill does not hire you (which is obviously the most likely scenario that occurs) , and you have to go out on your own. I was not alone as I have partners, and I had resources to accomplish this goal and a reality-based expectation on our return for investment. Our expenses for start  up (not including inventory) are nearing $25,000,  in 18 months and I would have  loved another $10,000.  

 

Haverhill has lots of damage-control issues to sort out, clearly. The main hook is employment and a nice salary, quickly, and it will cost you only about a grand to break into this lucrative staging field. But the actual possibility of that happening to you once you pay up is highly unlikely. This is why people are coming out in droves against Haverhill, and why I personally dislike their approach. It sullies this industry completely and totally.

And I don't like that.

And I have every right to say that.

Sorry if it shocks you.

And sorry to  the tiny handful of actual Haverhill Stagers who might also find my opinion"negative," compared  to the thousands and thousands whom have paid for training with employment possibilites. Employment is "possible" for HS grads, but not very. In fact, it's improbable.  It's wrong, Kimberly, for Haverhill do what they are doing. And it's right to warn people by encouraging them to investigate Haverhill thoroughly and form their own opinions as to the ethics of the company of which you have aligned yourself.

Plus, that commercial is atrocious. So unless you staged the commercial, or created or perpetuated the "scam" as hundreds of former students are calling it, I don't understand your disappointment with a few astute observations and opinions.

I noticed you condemn AR stagers for voicing concerns and opinions about Haverhill, but you yourself have not defended your employer, their marketing tactics, or rebutted the article in any way. Perhaps you just forgot to do that.

Michelle

 

May 26, 2009 03:15 AM #20
Rainer
133,181
Michelle Molinari
FEATURE THIS... Real Estate Staging & Interior Decor - Lafayette, LA
Feature This Real, Estate Staging & Curb Appeal Concepts

Hi Kimberly,

The policies of Haverhill are constantly changing. I don't know how you keep up with them. But at least they are changing.

But a complete refund has not always been the case, am I correct? And if you QUIT yourassociation Haverhill, did you not sign a two-year no-compete clause?

And so if Haverhill has nothing to hide with regard to the legitimacy of their job offer just what are the stats on how many have enrolled vs. how many have actually been hired?

We should certainly all work together to  promote a strong image of ethical staging and training policies in our industry.Haverhill may be experiencing nothing growing pains, but if that is the case, then why is the commercial running constantly? Shouldn't they pair back to catch their breath and re-strategize? Or do they not care about their student's experiences & overall image, and only about getting that tuition?

I don't want to debate it either. But someone has to warn people that the suggested promise is pretty much a mirage of employment with Haverhill. IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.Unless, of course, stats bear out that indeed, Haverhill hires a reasonable percentage of the people who are paying for an education AND an opportunity. IF NOT, they need to drop that hook from their advertising, and become a regular staging school.

I do not envy you, being the primary person who has to constantly wipe the internet doodie off the Haverhill Brand. I know you are doing your best, Kimberly. It's not you, it's them.

~Michelle

 

May 26, 2009 05:00 AM #22
Rainmaker
71,681
Gary Barnett
Home Matters - Indianapolis, IN
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis
Well, you guys sure know how to throw a party! I get bored and mis a few days and look what happens... Actually I think any misconceptions can be cleared up by simply dealing with the facts. Kimberly who are the owners and company high-archy and what are thier background? As Michelle asked, what is the conversion rate? And last, why does the company think there are so many disgruntaled ex-students? I don't place much credibility in one or two unhappy folks, but needless to say I was fairly shocked when I did a search on Haverhill and seen just how many unhappy people there are.. What does Haverhill think this is due to?
May 26, 2009 06:51 AM #23
Rainmaker
684,075
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

WOW! Nothing like a lively discussion. Kimberly thanks for giving the Haverhill perspective. Michelle thanks for giving the 'public' perception of Haverhill. I see that Haverhill has updated their HGTV ad and has stopped 'guaranteeing' employment at a specific hrly rate. The fact is that no matter who is out there staging we all have to develop our client list to get those jobs. THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES just hard work. We all need to present the best side of staging or we hurt one another. Haverhill has made a shaky very public start in business. For all our sakes I hope they prove to be an ethical company that does not hurt the image of Staging.

May 28, 2009 01:55 AM #25
Rainer
29,371
Kate Jahnson
Home Stage Home - West Linn, OR
Home Stager

Thanks for the article link, Dane.  Matthew Finlason from "The Stagers" also had the article linked from his Facebook page.

Jun 02, 2009 11:30 AM #27
Anonymous
Arthur Castle

I am currently a Haverhill Home Staging student and i am having difficulty finding homes to stage. I have addressed this problem with their customer service and they just ignore my concerns and reply that business is good. My biggest concern is looking for homes to stage as a student let alone after I finish this course. I will submit a complaint to the Canadian Better Business Bureau unless I am refund all of my money.

Jun 16, 2009 07:55 AM #28
Rainer
111,372
Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging
2 Hounds Design + Home Staging - Toronto, ON

Kimberly, can you update us on Idonia above?

Idonia...anything to update us? Did you end up reporting Haverhill to BBB? What city/town are you in?

Jul 31, 2009 01:58 AM #29
Anonymous
Matthew Finlason

Arthur,

Unfortunately you invested in a SCAM.  plain and simple.  SCAM.  Apprentice yourself and you will learn what you need from the experts who will teach you something.

Jan 28, 2010 07:17 AM #32
Rainmaker
394,850
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

Dane,   Girl, where the heck have you been?  It's time for you to come back in the Rain :)  We miss you!  How have you been?  I hope all is well in your world.

Nov 06, 2010 12:38 PM #33
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Rainer
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Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging

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