| Real Estate Agents, Realtors, Buyers, Sellers, Home Stagers Working Together
Last night I was reading a post by Ginger Faust titled "Sellers and Realtors: Staging Education, Part Seven, DRAMATIZE". Her post contained such wonderful before-and-after photos that I was considering printing the page, to use in my listing presentations for those listings that contain furnishings and decor that will actually hinder, or prevent the listing from selling. We've all had real estate listings like these. And it's always a problem when it comes to trying to tell a real estate seller that their house is too cluttered, too sparsely decorated, or that their furnishings are actually detracting from the home itself. Obviously, you're going to hurt their feelings, and probably not get the listing. But we need to be honest! And this is where home stagers enter the equation.
I think we all know that in this economy, EVERYONE is trying to save and/or make more money. And bringing up the subject of home staging is not exactly easy, since no matter how tactfully you address the subject, there's always a possibility that the sellers may perceive that you're telling them there is something wrong with their property. But as I was leaving a comment on Ginger's post, I was thinking out loud (again), and commented that Home Stagers should have some type of photo book for REALTORS® and/or Real Estate Agents to use in their listing presentations. And my mind quickly went through the possibilities and benefits for everyone involved; taking into consideration that if I was a home stager, obviously I wouldn't want to spend money on a venture such as this, if I went to the trouble of creating some type of "Look Book", only to have the agents who received it, not use it. And I would want to keep my costs to a minimum...
A few solutions came to mind...
- Create a poll for real estate agents; asking who would use and/or see the benefit of something of this nature. There are plenty of free web sites where you can create these polls. You could then post the link to Twitter, Facebook, your blogs, and anywhere you're doing your social networking.
- If your local MLS allows it, (ours has a bulletin board) post an entry, asking local REALTORS® to take your poll. Also, call and e-mail the agents with whom you've done business in the past, or with whom you know personally, and contact top producers. Get feedback from all of them, and start making of list of those who feel strongly about your product and abilities, and whom would see the benefits of including YOU in their listing presentations. (It can also be used as a tool during the listing period, to address helpful ideas with real estate sellers during the listing period.)
- To keep costs at a minimum, why not create a couple of different ways to access your before and after photos. Always keep in mind, a picture speaks a thousand words! So why not create a section of your own web site that is filled with before and after images? Then secure a domain name that points directly to that section of your web site (or just use an image site such as Flickr or Photobucket). You can provide this part to ALL local real estate agents in your area! It's not like it's going to cost you any more money! But also create a print booklet for agents who still do a "paper" presentation. You could print some before and after photos on photo paper and place them in a 3-ring folder with a clear plastic front. Get those beautiful photos right on that front page so the real estate sellers will be drawn to it, and see the benefits of your services.
- Consider e-mailing links of your before-and-after photos to agents who can print out your beautiful, high-quality images to photo paper on their own! (Even less cost to a home stager)
These were just my quick thoughts that I believe could be beneficial to Home Stagers, Real Estate Listing Agents, Home Sellers, and even Home Buyers! Since many real estate buyers have a hard time getting a mental picture of how they could make use of certain rooms; a book of practical uses, or even better... an already staged home, would help them realize the benefits of buying a house or condo that they may not otherwise have considered.
I'm sure there are other possibilites. Feel free to comment with your own ideas. And be sure to view the fabulous before-and-after photos on Ginger's post. They really draw attention to some very simple yet drastic solutions to problematic rooms and spaces. And if you're a real estate home stager, please comment so agents in your area will be able to find you (or re-blog this if you like). And I'd love to hear the ideas that I'm sure so many of you have, in addition to my quick thoughts. Or feel free to elaborate on my ideas. Or let us now how you're already promoting yourself in your area. Working together right now is tantamount to the success of ALL parties involved in a real estate transaction!
Looking forward to the brainstorming session, and the success stories as well! :-)
If you're a real estate buyer, or a real estate seller in the Daytona Beach, Port Orange, Ponce Inlet, Daytona Beach Shores areas (and all other cities in east Volusia county), Lisa Hill is a Daytona Beach native and experienced REALTOR®. Make a Smart Choice and contact Lisa Hill for all your real estate needs.
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