Home Staging: Using a captivating website to market new stagers.

By
Home Stager with Home Staging For Houston

A couple days ago I decided to take the big plunge and invest in revamping my home staging website.  As a newcomber to the home staging industry (getting close to my one year anniversary) I took the advice of a well meaning friend to market and implement an intrigueing and captivating website experience to the home staging consumer.  Many successful and well established home stagers may or may not have already taken this as a marketing approach, however as a "newbie" to the home staging industry, you have to do something that will "grab their attention" and give the consumer a reason to take an approbative look into your services.  The home staging industry is growing so fast and new home stagers will have to do something that establishes value and esteem.   Of course I am always open to new market strategies in this business, but I am quickly learning that:

1. Agents mostly don't appreciate the in-your-face marketing techniques and would prefer to come to you. Many real estate offices are now requiring you to purchase an ad in their vendor listing folders.  This can be very costly which leads me to my next discovery.

2. The ridiculous ads e-blasted all over the internet which claim that home staging businesses have low start-up cost are deceptive and merely trying to put your money in their pocket.  Before you make a decision to buy a "home staging course" understand that starting and runing a home staging business costs valuable time and money and it is by no means cheap!.  But...that is a whole different blog topic for another day. 

Back to the website...I've invested and I'm currently using a temporary website while the new website undergoes professional graphic design.  Since I am new to the business and can not market that "I have staged hundreds of homes in the last 20 years", I am hoping that my existing smaller portfolio and a captivating web design will keep the home staging consumer's attention.  Any comments or suggestions?

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Rainmaker
120,327
Patsy Overton
Patsy Overton Interiors, Atlanta, Georgia - Duluth, GA

Rhonda, it's the never ending job.  I am working on my website today, too.  I find that you must constantly update it with new photos and information.  Just start the process using your best photos and build on that as your business grows.  And you are right, starting and running a home staging business is expensive and time consuming.  You've got to be committed to it.  Best of luck!

Aug 06, 2010 07:23 AM #1
Rainmaker
820,093
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Most of us update our websites as time permits.  I have a long list of "to do" items to tweak my site, and although my son is my webmaster, my updates sometimes are put on the back burner  :-)   It's always a project-in-the-making, and as soon as you think it's completed, it's time to update again.  Just this week, we added some new client testimonials, and the next project is updating Before & After photos.  Then the next week it's .... (fill in the blank) .... good luck and keep at it.

Aug 06, 2010 12:48 PM #3
Rainer
27,628
Rhonda Conchola
Home Staging For Houston - Houston, TX
Houston Home Stager/Home Stagers in Houston, TX

Patsy, Barb, Maureen,

Thank you all so much for  your valuable feedback.  Sometimes I think "home staging" turned out to be the smaller part of the job and keeping the administrative maintained is the larger more tedious. Photos, receipts, flyers, researching the latest trends, and all the other "sit at a desk and work" kinda stuff that I tried to escape in the first place just never goes away....yet another misconception.  One thing for sure though, I love and am very passionate about this business and will focus on the small rewarding moments until they begin to last longer.  Thanks again and good luck to you all too.

Aug 06, 2010 05:49 PM #4
Rainmaker
267,964
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

Rhonda.. it is a continual process as stated above :) The continual change of contant is well liked by google and other search engines. We are always adding to our listing page so that is a constant change. You are so right in that the staging is just a fraction of the whole job. Admin is key!

Aug 06, 2010 06:56 PM #5
Rainer
71,174
Laura Sampson
Happy Home Stager, LLC - Clermont, FL
Principal Stylist, CEP Trainer

Someone gave me what I thought was the best advice.  If the administrative "stuff" is keeping you from meeting people or doing what you love, then hire someone to do it.  Or, remove yourself from the staging market and spend XXX # of days completing your administrative work & then put yourself back into the staging market again.

Also, stage friends rooms and/or your rooms to add to your portfolio.  It will give you practice & add ddition pics for you.

I'd also recommend RESA (Real Estate Staging Assn) if you aren't familiar with it.  Great place to meet, partner, take web seminars, etc.

 

Sending much success your way.

Aug 07, 2010 10:25 AM #6
Rainer
27,628
Rhonda Conchola
Home Staging For Houston - Houston, TX
Houston Home Stager/Home Stagers in Houston, TX

Lori, thanks so much or your input.  I am working on adding new photos now.  FYI for anyone who doesn't already know...I was told that if you save the pictures when you download them with the home staging keywords that will help ranking too. 

Laura, thanks for your advice.  I think I will call my daughter and get her to let me stage her home. Regarding RESA, I purchased a membership with RESA last year and was so excited only to be let down by that too.  Unfortunately, in the Houston area chapter remains inactive.  I even made contact with the Houston Chapter President, but never received any feedback with regards to meetings or any Houston events.   I do wish there were some kind of Houston staging network going on but there is really nothing at all that I know of.  Thanks again.

Aug 07, 2010 11:33 AM #7
Rainmaker
267,964
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

Rhonda, I am so sorry that you feel let down with RESA. I am the Pres here in CA and though we have many members through out, it has been hard to get chapters together. Please don't give it up. My suggestion is to email Shell Brodnax and ask her to give you a list of RESA members near the Houston area. Also, try to get a group of stagers started yourself. Call it a stager biz meeting or similar. You are so much stronger with a group, than to go it alone. Plus, it is fun just getting together and talking about staging. Best to you ;)

Aug 08, 2010 01:29 PM #8
Rainer
27,628
Rhonda Conchola
Home Staging For Houston - Houston, TX
Houston Home Stager/Home Stagers in Houston, TX

Thanks so much Lori!  I think I will discuss this with my partner and see what she thinks about starting our own network here.  We would love to be able to meet and get tips, ideas, and make new stager friendships.

Aug 09, 2010 11:54 AM #9
Rainer
98,496
Tori Toth
Tori Toth, International - Howard Beach, NY
888.667.6643 NYC & Beyond, HSR, SAR, RESA, LIBOR

I am about to be in business a year myself, and its been a whirlwind of ups and downs. There is soooo much to do, between networking, setting up the business, social media, sometimes I felt like I was never going to just get jobs and stage. Luckily that has changed. I am with HSR and they set up my website through wordpress, but I have complete access to it and can change anyhting I want, anytime, it's amazing!

As for RESA we have a big chapter here in NYC, but not many participate and sometimes I feel as if when I go we talk about the same things, it gets repetative, and many times stagers keep their ideas sort of secretative, I guess that's the competitiveness inside NYC people. I am trying to be more active, I've been to every meeting, but I agree it has been kind of a let down.

Well Rhonda, if you ever want to chat send me an email tori@stylishstagers.com or 347-675-0301. I know we are not in the same area, but we can always bounce ideas off each other. 

Sep 29, 2010 07:04 AM #10
Rainmaker
639,427
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

Hi Rhonda-I've been a Houston RESA member since 2007, there has never been a Houston RESA Chapter or a Houston Chapter President.  So I'm not sure who you would have contacted.  I had a Meet-n-Greet in May and invited all Houston area RESA members as well as any home stagers who were interested in coming. 

Dec 02, 2010 03:12 PM #11
Rainer
27,628
Rhonda Conchola
Home Staging For Houston - Houston, TX
Houston Home Stager/Home Stagers in Houston, TX

@Tori-Hi Tori-I somehow missed your response before and just discovered it today! Thank you for sharing and I hope that your offer to bounce ideas is still open.  Thanks! ;D

@Cindy..Hi Cindy-I was told the Chapter President was Autumn Dunn.  I don't know how I missed your invite in May but would love to attend any future meetings that you have. Thanks! 

Dec 03, 2010 01:41 AM #13
Rainmaker
639,427
Cindy Bryant
Redesign Etc. Home Staging - Houston, TX
"Houston Home Staging Pros"

Autumn Dunn is the Houston Chapter President for ASHSR.  They are a completely different organization.  Hope that helps clear it up! : )

Dec 03, 2010 06:08 PM #14
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Rainer
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Rhonda Conchola

Houston Home Stager/Home Stagers in Houston, TX
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