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Do You Find Value in Networking?

By
Home Stager with GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign

Networking

 

 

 

When I first started up my staging company a few years ago I didn't know any other local Home Stagers or Redesigners. My staging training company, Home Staging Resource, advocated that we join Active Rain and begin blogging to get "Google Juice" and network via the internet. With much trepidation, I came to Active Rain, lurked for a while and then jumped in and posted my first blog. During this time I closely followed the blogs of other area professionals who were active at that time, such as Maureen Bray of Room Solutions. What I really wanted was to meet and network with them in person, however, I was shy and didn't want them to think that I only wanted to copy them or steal customers. I was overjoyed when Audra Slinkey said she was starting a networking organization called the American Society of Home Stagers and Redesigners (ASHSR) and quickly volunteered as Chapter President to form a chapter in the Portland, Oregon area in 2007.

ASHSR Membership Card

Our first couple of meetings were modest and held at restaurants and in homes with about 10 people attending. We all were committed to the idea of professional Home Stagers and Redesigners networking and helping to grow our industry. Our numbers grew and we realized that there really was power in numbers and tremendous value in this type of networking.

Fast forward to last year when Shell Brodnax encouraged us to form a Chapter for RESA in the Portland area.

 

As a group, we decided to hold joint meetings so that our strength would be magnified and local Professional Home Stagers and Redesigners would not be pulled between the two groups. It has been a great success and the local business community has warmly embraced us by hosting our meetings, extending numerous professional discounts and courtesies to us, and giving us opportunities to share resources with fellow professional Home Stagers and Redesigners.

 

Networking has been a tremendously positive experience for me. I now have all sorts of connections and relationships that I can count on as I continue to grow my business.

Networking

 

 

 

If you haven't connected with a group yet, I highly recommend that you make it a top priority and start networking!

Kathy Alexander
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign - Vancouver, WA
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA

Emma - First, welcome back to staging! I would encourage you to contact Michelle Kaspari as she is the Sacramento area Chapter President or Lori Kim Polk at Artful Journey to find out more about the meetings in your area. RESA is a strong advocate for our industry and all professional stagers are welcome regardless of any training program they may have taken (same for ASHSR).

Sep 17, 2009 05:07 PM
Kathy Alexander
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign - Vancouver, WA
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA

Shellie - Thank you for your kind comments. We are all vital components to a successful real estate transaction and getting to know each other in order to build a strong network is vital in today's market.

Sep 17, 2009 05:12 PM
Clint Miller
Real Estate Pipeline, Inc. - Missoula, MT

Do you find value in networking????  Does a bear "do its business" in the woods???

Yes, there is value in networking...providing you are networking with people that are of value to your business.  If you are a Mary Kay salesperson, networking with the Hells Angels probably isnt going to net you much value. :-)

Sep 18, 2009 01:06 AM
Paul McFadden
Responsive Pest Control - Seattle, WA
Pest Control, Seattle, WA.

Kathy: yes although I think we need to be cognizant of always trying new networking platforms. I've been networking pretty hard for almost 3 1/2 years now and have built a great database because of it. But if we keep attending the same group events, chances are we'll keep running into the same people. At least that's been my experience. Last night I went to a fundraiser where I only knew one other person and made quite a few good new contacts. So I encourage everyone to step out of their networking routine occasionally and try something new. Thanks for the post. I think networking is key!

Sep 18, 2009 01:41 AM
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA
ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA

Great post....do I network?? I feel it is key to success and do it weekly with affiliates, Realtors and monthly with other stagers aside from virtually daily.  I've gained so much wisdom and inspiration from others. I continue to reach out to new opportunities to meet others.

Sep 18, 2009 02:08 AM
Gary Barnett
Home Matters - Indianapolis, IN
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis

Very good post Kathy..  Networking is vital regardless of what business you are in especially when you happen to be in the people business.

Sep 18, 2009 03:24 AM
Kathy Alexander
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign - Vancouver, WA
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA

Clint - Yes, you do need to use your time wisely. I have chosen my networking groups very carefully to make sure they are a positive activity for my business.

 

Paul - I don't have a problem with seeing the same people at networking events. Perhaps you are just trying to gain new clients while networking. My experience has been that other stagers who have developed a relationship with me through networking ended up bringing me business by referrals and collaboration on projects. If I hadn't worked on making a connection, those opportunities wouldn't have opened up to me.

 

Cathy  Lee- Thank you for your comments. The most satisfying aspect of networking for me is also the sharing and support I have found through networking

Sep 18, 2009 03:39 AM
Kathy Alexander
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign - Vancouver, WA
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA

Gary - Thank you! We small business owners can't operate in a vacuum and be succesful.

Sep 18, 2009 03:42 AM
Virginia Tatseos
Stage-Show-Sell - Bloomfield Township, MI

Unless you have a store front where clients will walk in and by your product  Networking is the best way to grow your business.  Network with your competitors and other groups that could potentially be your client

Sep 18, 2009 09:45 AM
Kathy Alexander
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign - Vancouver, WA
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA

Virginia - You are right! We can't afford not to network if we want to grow our businesses! Thanks for your comments.

Sep 18, 2009 09:52 AM
Kathleen Garvey
HomeSmart Cherry Creek - Denver - Denver, CO
Denver's Neighborhood Expert - Listings & Sales

Nice post!  Yes, networking makes a difference....especially when you are the 'go to' person in your area!  We all use services and are asked for our contacts all of the time...and the same goes both ways!  Now more than ever, we want to 'know' people and continue to build upon a good base!

Sep 19, 2009 02:33 PM
Kathy Alexander
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign - Vancouver, WA
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA

Kathleen - Thank you! We are very forunate here in Portland to have people who are so willing to share and contribute to building a strong network.

Sep 19, 2009 06:58 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Kathy- Working in any service type industry and in particular one in which you are usually the sole employee would be terribly lonely if not for networking.  I find that networking gives me the energy to go forward; it pumps me up when I am down; and gives me an opportunity to share what I've learned as well.

Sep 20, 2009 03:00 PM
Kathy Alexander
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign - Vancouver, WA
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA

Hi Kathy - You are right - it can be lonely trying to operate in a vacuum. I have received far more than I ever expected from networking. I'm glad it is such an important activity for you , too.

 

 

 

Sep 20, 2009 04:37 PM
Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Networking has helped me tremendously. For me, RESA has provided a means in which to network not just within my state and region but across the country. I've grown personally and professionally as a result of networking.

Excellent post, Kathy A.

Kathy N

Sep 21, 2009 12:08 AM
Julea Joseph
Reinventing Space - Chicago, IL
Julea Joseph House Stager - Reinventing Space

Great Post!  Besides professional groups its critial to network w/in your own community.  Volunteer, get involve, it all leads to good.  Only down fall w/joining professional groups, you have to devote the time to get the results. 

Pick and choose you groups carefully, so that your time spent is a value to you.

Sep 21, 2009 02:37 AM
Connie Tebyani
Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro - Calabasas, CA
Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County

Networking is KEY to the success of any Home Stager or business for that matter. Interesting tid-bit: my cousin who owns a TRANSMISSION SHOP put a stack of my business cards on the counter in his shop, one of my BEST leads for a painter came from one of his customers picking up my card.  You never know where your next lead will come from, net working with other Stagers especially: there IS power in numbers!

Sep 21, 2009 11:34 AM
Kathy Alexander
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign - Vancouver, WA
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA

Kathy N - Thank you! It is fun talking to stagers all around the country, isn't it? I enjoy the monthly RESA conference calls as they are great to keep up with the latest news and to bounce things off of fellow stagers who are committed to networking.

Julea - I totally agree. You have to be judicious when joining groups. I want to be sure that I am not wasting my time or my colleagues. However, if you are a member of a strong group, the time you spend is priceless.

Connie - So true! Nice story and great testimonial about the power of networking. Thanks for your comments!

Sep 21, 2009 03:33 PM
Kate Jahnson
Home Stage Home - West Linn, OR
Home Stager

Thanks for this informitive post Kathy.  Looking forward to our next networking session on 9/24.  Sure wish you could be Prez again.  Sigh.

Sep 22, 2009 11:51 AM
Kathy Alexander
GreatStages Home Staging and Redesign - Vancouver, WA
Home Stager Camas WA, Home Staging Southwest WA

Kate - Thank you for your kind thoughts. It has been fun, but after two years I think it is time for someone else to take over and lead. We are blessed to have many fantastic pros in our chapter who would be great at the job!

Sep 22, 2009 05:08 PM