Dear Realtor….Help Me Understand!

By
Mortgage and Lending with Liberty Bank of Arkansas

I hope Realtors will help me and other Professional Home Stagers understand!

A few weeks ago I was called by a homeowner that had already signed a listing agreement with you to have our company Ready, Set, Stage! help with their home.  You did not recommend us... the homeowners took it upon themselves to find us!

We went in and did a Staging Consultation, did some shopping for them and went back to "tweak" our recommendations and add what we had purchased.  ...All for under $500.00!  BTW your online photos are awesome!

The homeowner was thrilled with the results and so were you!

When I called you to follow up and get your feedback you said we did an OUTSTANDING JOB...AND YOU WERE AMAZED WITH THE TRANSFORMATION!  But then said you would gladly add us to your phone list just IN CASE other homeowners ASK for a Home Stager....Really?  Remember, your client sought us out!

I don't understand...your client was beyond thrilled with the results, and so were you!  Why would you WAIT for the next homeowner to ASK for a Professional Home Stager?  

Why not recommend us for all your listings? Our fees are very affordable! Why would you NOT WANT to add a Professional to your team that helped present your listings at its best?

  

 

Posted by

Donna Schoby

Mortgage Loan Officer

NMLS#862999

479-696-3804

dschoby@mylibertybank.com 


APPLY ONLINE AT www.mylibertybank.com/donnaschoby


 

                                           

 

 

 

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Rainmaker
342,685
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Hi Donna - the same thing has happened to me.  I believe that while most real estate agents will brave dogs and other pets, fearsome bad weather, the dark of night, unpleasant clients, dank basements and musty attics, and the great unknown, they still are afraid to "insult" their sellers by suggesting they use a Stager.  There, I said it.  A professional Stager can actually put everyone's minds at ease about certain situations by telling them how they can be remedied - so call us in!  Julie

 

hahaha - my graphic is "grosella"!

Aug 14, 2010 03:42 AM #12
Rainmaker
360,225
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

It is frustrating, isn't it Donna.  In my market area the agents are full of reasons why they don't discuss staging and I'm full of suggestions to overcome those objections, BUT they still aren't listening and doing.  Someday????

Aug 14, 2010 04:26 AM #13
Rainer
49,478
Leslie Causey
LC Home Staging & Redesign - San Antonio, TX

Donna,

Oh so very true. I have had sellers contact me and pretty much the same thing. We just have to continue to educate the value and necessity of staging and build relationships with REALTORS. There are so many listings that the REALTORS do not believe need staging and yet the really, really do.

Stagers know how to approach delicate situations and see where sellers need to invest for their property sale!

Aug 14, 2010 04:35 AM #14
Rainmaker
64,200
Michelle Drewry
Signature Real Estate Group - Henderson, NV
Realtor - Signature Real Estate Group

Hi Donna- Great job in bringing up this issue!  The bottom line is that many sellers are "penny wise and pound foolish." I think the more an agent puts staging "out there" to all of their clients just as a matter of fact marketing and not implying that they really need some help, the easier it becomes to understand how effective staging is when marketing a home.  Staging is an effective tool for all home sellers.  The seller and the agent may not see what the stager will see when touring the home, and the stager will see what the Buyer will see. It is always a good idea to have a consultation for the purpose of guiding the seller to make the most out of their sale. The increased sale value of the home by 5 to 10 percent and above, far exceeds the cost of staging.   Although this increase (for one home) has only slight benefit to the real estate agent, it is a significant boost in profit to the one seller. Aren't we supposed to be representing the seller's best interest?  The seller loses at both ends, the increased time on market (paying the monthly expenses) as well as a reduced price. 

Imagine the increase in commissions when collectively all agent's listings are staged and sold at a significantly higher price. 

Aug 14, 2010 05:05 AM #15
Rainmaker
155,339
Connie Tebyani
Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro - Calabasas, CA
Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County

Donna, we often wonder this ourselves. It seems like a no brainer, so maybe.... no, I won't go there! ;)

Aug 14, 2010 05:26 AM #16
Rainer
24,076
Anne Vigneri
CASA VERO Staging & Redesign - Albuquerque, CA
Serving the Mariposa California

Obviously when a SELLER contacts you they are already in "spend" mode. They KNOW it will cost money to stage or redesign. And usually when they call you it's to compare your services with anothers. But they WANT to hire someone!

Realtors are the "gate keepers", and if they don't feel comfortable with the staging idea they just don't bring it up. New carpet ??.. Sure !.. That they can talk about. Hire a painter?... ABSOLUTELY!.. But Staging ??.. Hmmmm  .. 

Aug 14, 2010 06:03 AM #17
Rainmaker
820,488
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Donna ~ I'm sure that most stagers have run into this agent's attitude.  It's important that we continue to educate them that professional home staging actually benefits everyone involved -- the seller (better presentation in the online listing photos, encouraging more buyers to view the home) AND even the agent.  A quicker sale means less marketing for the agent and a faster commission at closing.  As Connie said, it's a no-brainer since the ROI is huge.

Aug 14, 2010 06:07 AM #18
Rainer
70,503
Pangaea Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design, Remodeling
Portland Oregon - Portland, OR

Brokers are people too! Some of them are just don't have the confidence and conviction to advise their clients that they should have a professional staging consultation at the very least. Many are afraid of offending their clients and losing the listing. They just don't know how to put it to a client. I have some brokers I stage for often who are very effective in their conversations with clients in convincing them to get their homes staged. I know that other brokers have asked them in the past how they manage it. Personally, I think brokers take the advice better from other successful brokers on how to broach this subject to a client than they do from us stagers. So -- all you savvy brokers out there -- please, please help out your colleagues and maybe give a short talk at your next team meeting on the most successful ways to get your clients to properly stage their homes. It definitely isn't by sitting around waiting for the seller to ask about it!

Aug 14, 2010 06:08 AM #19
Rainmaker
187,152
Donna Schoby
Liberty Bank of Arkansas - Bentonville, AR

Thank you Joan, staging is very cost effective!

Paige,  As I view our local MLS I can see where a professional stager could help with about 99% of what's listed.  Too many still do not understand the true concept of staging a home to sell. That's why the education of Realtors and home owners is so important.

Doris,  I agree, I would not want to recommend anyone unless I were confident in their work. This REA has known me and seen my work for almost 3 years now. I also welcome the REA to accompany me on consultations with their clients...especially if they've never used me before.

Lori Kim, This REA does know me...I've been marketing to her for almost 3 years!  I was excited to be able to show her what I could do for her listings when this homeowner called me. I guess that's why I'm a little confused.

Stan...you're the man! Amen!!!

Sue, you give excellent advice!  I offer my partner REA's unlimited marketing materials.  I also help educate our local REA's on how to present home staging in their listing packages without offending the homeowners. I do office presentations, send out newsletters, meet one-on-one, network and do workshops.

Drick,  As I view MLS photos I will have to disagree, the majority of what I see need professional help with staging.  I don't think the public in general really understands that staging is not about decorating or just cleaning up and decluttering a home. As far as who pays for it, I work with several REA's that do pay for the initial consultation. I charge $100.00 for a verbal consult and these agents gladly pay for this service because it's an effective marketing tool. I have others that will reimburse the homeowner at closing, that way they're not out any money before a sale.

Thanks Rhonda,   This home is a regular listing as well as all the other listings that this REA has. Although I understand the financial stress that short sales and foreclosure cause, my services could still benefit with quicker sales and higher sales price. But I also understand that there is simply not any money in the budget is most of those cases.

Thanks Lori Kim...I'm trying!

Your comment is so true Don...thanks!

Julie...you said it and said it well, Thank You!

Ginger, that would be nice, but as Don commented there are different personalities and we will never be able to convince some.

Leslie,  I agree, I think there are still way to many REA that don't think their listings need staging.  That's why education is key!

Michelle, very well said!  I couldn't agree more!!!

Connie, One would think after seeing the results that it would be a no brainer!

Anne, "Knowledge is power"! We have to keep educating!!!

Pangaea, well said also! I do offer to help REA's on ways to bring up staging so it does not offend the homeowners.

Aug 14, 2010 06:13 AM #20
Rainer
70,503
Pangaea Interior Design Kitchen & Bath Design, Remodeling
Portland Oregon - Portland, OR

Ah -- excellent points Maureen! We must have been typing at the same time! I would just add that it helps the BUYER too! More than once I've staged a home that has already been on the market and had a potential buyer "pass" on the property. After staging and with no other changes made and no price reductions, the same potential buyer was brought back to the property and ended up buying it because they finally could see that it looked beautiful to them. Think how sad that would be to know that you passed on the perfect home because you couldn't visualize how it would look? So staging benefits absolutely everybody!

Aug 14, 2010 06:14 AM #21
Rainmaker
187,152
Donna Schoby
Liberty Bank of Arkansas - Bentonville, AR

Sorry Maureen,your comment slipped in, I didn't mean to overlook you. I absolutely agree with your comment.  I have also learned to walk away from REA's that do not or just will not be open to adding staging...but really it does seem like a no brainier to me! Although I continue to market to them in hopes that one day they will see the value stagers can add to their listings.

Aug 14, 2010 06:20 AM #22
Rainmaker
305,616
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

Keep preaching Donna! Some take seconds and some take years to convert, sadly though many remain unbelievers and to them I say, Lord help you =)

Aug 14, 2010 08:26 AM #23
Rainmaker
227,002
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

HI Donna, very good question indeed. All good points made already about why an agent will shy away from having the discussion with a listing client.

I work in an area of multi million dollar homes. Many designed by well known designers. The agents I work with have me come in to do a consult and the homeowners are happy to have me there. I rarely bring in any rental stock as they have beautiful things to work with. I simply rearrange for good traffic flow and to highlight the features of the home.

Working with clients like this takes tact as they have already paid good money for a designer to create a look in their home. In fact it has been said to me "what do you think you are going to do there when Brian Gluckstein has designed it already". My answer is that a family of 7 have been living there for 8 years. I will get it back to the look Brian created for it.

For me to come in and get it ready for sale I have the discussion with them about giving buyers what they want to see. Absolutely nothing is wrong with their design decisions, they just need to make sure it is what would be seen in design magazine. Happy agents and home owners ensue as they see the difference immediately when I make simple and effective changes. The home owner will generally comment that they always had a "problem" with the traffic flow in that room or with the colour and are very appreciative that the agent has brought me in.

Hope this helps convincing some agents to use a professional home stager. It takes tact, professionalism and confidence to have a stager in at that price point of home. Same idea works for every price point, you just have to bring in some stock to give it the magazine look sometimes.

Aug 15, 2010 06:10 AM #24
Rainmaker
271,023
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA
ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA

Sounds like you and he need to meet for a nice cup of coffee. Once he meets you he will know you are his staging lady!!!

Aug 15, 2010 03:40 PM #25
Rainmaker
187,152
Donna Schoby
Liberty Bank of Arkansas - Bentonville, AR

Karen...I'm preaching girl, on my soapbox daily!

Michelle,Thanks for your convincing comment...I appreciate you!

Cathy,You're never going to let me live down "stager lady" are you? lol

Aug 15, 2010 05:30 PM #26
Rainmaker
187,152
Donna Schoby
Liberty Bank of Arkansas - Bentonville, AR

And thanks to all who "liked" this on facebook! Love this new feature!

Aug 15, 2010 05:31 PM #27
Rainer
8,084
Jim Long
Crye-Leike - Bentonville, AR

Donna, I actually showed a home that you staged the other day and it really did help the apperance.  I picked up one of your brochures and i will be in touch when I have a vacant home.

Aug 18, 2010 01:42 PM #28
Rainmaker
187,152
Donna Schoby
Liberty Bank of Arkansas - Bentonville, AR

Thank you Jim...I look forward to hearing from you!

Aug 18, 2010 03:07 PM #29
Rainer
381,168
Laura S. Baker
First Weber Inc - Lake Mills, WI
Realtor (920) 728-4118, First Weber Inc

Hi Donna ~ I too have this issue.  I have only been called to stage houses that have been on the market for a long time and are the realtors "problem children".  Once I get in and stage them, they have all sold quickly!  Yet, no regular calls!  This is a problem I am currently working deligently on.  This blog has helped a lot. 

Thank you so much!

Sep 01, 2010 07:42 AM #30
Rainmaker
187,152
Donna Schoby
Liberty Bank of Arkansas - Bentonville, AR

You're welcome Laura, if you have a break through please share with us!

Sep 02, 2010 09:03 AM #31
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