Tips on Selecting the Correct Warehouse for Your Staging Business

By
Home Stager with Design To Market LLC

For those of you that have read my former posts on my warehouse:

Take a Peek At Our Warehouse

Take A Second Look At Our Warehouse

 

It is time for an update.  It is now almost 3 years later.  Our old "digs" were perfect for our needs at the time but we realized as we finished a record breaking 1st half of 2010 that it was time to move again! This article however is not about me and the many warehouse moves (5 in total) that we have made in 7 years.  It is more about the process of managed growth and the importance of being aware of your business needs as you evolve and grow your business.  

 

Our most recnet move is still in process.  I have provided the "before" photo of our new space:

Warehouse

As with our previous moves we have worked hard to take advantage of the special features of the spaces.  Our new warehouse offers the following advantages:

 

  1. is larger (increased from 5,000 to 6,000 squre feet.  
  2. It has a loading dock so our movers can pull right up without worrying about the weather or fighting a ramp as they move our heavy furniture.
  3. It has great lighting to help our designers as they put design plans together in the warehouse.
  4. The doors enable our team to drive vans in as we load up with the smaller yet critical pieces of our staging projects (artwork, bedding, accessories, etc.
My recommendation to anyone considering a new warehouse space is to balance your budget for storage space with the need to haves and the nice to haves...and then go shopping.  This is one of the most critical decisions you can make as you decide how to grow and improve your business!

Design To Market has offered professional staging services in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky since 2004.  We work with vacant homes, occupied homes, and everything in between!  Call us today at 513-265-0952 for more information about our services.  

 

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Rainmaker
131,486
Shelley Rowton
Move To Realty - Austin, TX
ABR, RSPS - (512) 507-5779 MoveToRealty of Austin

Wow is right!  I keep talking myself out of beginning to build a stock of staging "stuff".  I don't know if I'm encouraged or intimidated now!  Might be better to leave it to someone like you!  Great stuff.

Aug 14, 2010 05:37 PM #6
Rainmaker
2,831,267
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Jo - Excellent information and tips. Thank you for sharing a very good blog.

Aug 14, 2010 05:48 PM #7
Rainmaker
122,929
Jo Potvin
Design To Market LLC - Cincinnati, OH
Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market

Shelley, I would not be intimidated by the inventory.  If  you are successfully growing your business successfully without a "stock" of furnishings I would continue as you are.  It is a big decision to build an inventory but has been the right decision for us.  Jo

Aug 15, 2010 01:06 AM #8
Rainmaker
305,616
Karen Otto
Home Star Staging - Plano, TX
Plano Home Staging, Dallas Home Staging, www.homes

You have so struck a chord with me Jo.  Although I don't offer furniture as part of my accessory services and need the amount of space you do, my accessories have become at some times of the year too much for the current spaces I rent.   My units are not air conditioned or heated either and during the summer months here in TX you can only imagine how hot it gets if you need to be there after 10 AM! It's crazy hot.  I have looked into a larger place with A/C and the costs are just too much right now to switch, it's almost triple what I'm paying if I don't need more than 1,000sq.ft.  I'm working on it though and I appreciate the insight and info here on your blog.

Aug 15, 2010 03:49 AM #9
Rainmaker
360,175
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Wow Jo this is great.  Are you installing chain link fencing again for your wall art?  What is the blue material in the rolls on the floor? 

Aug 15, 2010 04:46 AM #10
Rainmaker
155,339
Connie Tebyani
Platinum Home Staging, Inc. : RESA-Pro - Calabasas, CA
Platinum Home Staging, Los Angeles and Ventura County

Comparatively, our warehouse is tiny simply because all of our inventory is out in houses =D and rotated to the next house typically within just a couple of days.  Fortunately there has only been one time when we have had to "expand" into a nearby warehouse for a short period of time as we had 5 houses come back within 3 weeks.  Thankfully, we do have a full size drive-up rolling loading door which is essential to ANY warehousing of inventory.  Can't wait to see your new "after" pix of the new space!

Aug 15, 2010 05:42 AM #11
Rainmaker
226,902
Michelle Finnamore
Toronto GTA, Alliston, Newmarket - Vaughan, ON
Preparing your property for sale

This is timely info as I am looking for new warehouse space. Great storage ideas. Had not thought having two loading areas. Smart idea. Thanks for the post.

Aug 15, 2010 05:59 AM #12
Rainmaker
122,929
Jo Potvin
Design To Market LLC - Cincinnati, OH
Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market

Karen,

I know it can get hot in our warehouse as well. Fortunately, not quite as bad as Dallas!  We do have ceiling fans and a large fan by the door that helps.  It still gets hot.  It is heated in the winter.  Jo

Aug 15, 2010 10:46 AM #13
Rainmaker
122,929
Jo Potvin
Design To Market LLC - Cincinnati, OH
Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market

Ginger,  No chain link this time around!  We actually have drywall.  My son and a friend spent 2 days hanging pictures so that we could avoid the temptation of leaning against the wall.  We have so much artwork that that is unavoidable to an extent but the artwork is a huge improvement.  The blue material on the floors is from the previous tenant.  That is all gone.  Jo

Aug 15, 2010 10:49 AM #14
Rainmaker
271,023
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA
ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA

Congrats on your new move! The ramp will be so nice and drywall for the artwork, how great!!

Aug 15, 2010 03:32 PM #15
Rainmaker
140,734
Beth Lester
Beth Lester Designs - Torrance, CA
Home Staging & Interior Decorating

You are hanging pictures on the walls of your warehouse?  That's awesome!

Aug 15, 2010 05:48 PM #16
Rainmaker
489,750
Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Jo - you will love having the dock. I moved warehouses less than a year ago and the new location has a ramp and dock.  I absolutely love it as I'm able to back up and load. It's made loading so much easier.  

I can't wait to see your after pictures.

Kathy

Aug 16, 2010 01:02 AM #17
Rainmaker
122,929
Jo Potvin
Design To Market LLC - Cincinnati, OH
Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market

I know several have commented on the goal of having more in houses than in the warehouse.  That goes without saying.  However, we have found that with the wide range of home styles and price points that we stage, it is critical to have a comprehensive selection.  1 sofa in the warehouse that has sleek somewhat contemporary lines and an informal look would not help as we prepare to stage an historical property with a somewhat formal living room.  In the end, for those of us that keep an inventory, I believe that inventory management and sourcing are critical components of being good at what we do! 

Aug 16, 2010 01:28 AM #18
Rainmaker
325,297
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Jo: My warehouse lease is ending in December. I can't believe that it has been 3 years! I am debating whether to keep this same space or look for something larger. Per sq. ft. prices have dropped quite a bit in the past 3 years so I will either be negotiating a better rate with my current warehouse, or looking for a new, better space. We have a roll-up door at street level which I love. I also built a mezzanine when I moved in which increased my available square footage by about 400 ft. which helps tremendously.If I stay in my current warehouse, I will probably extend the mezzanine.

One thing I would do differently: My current warehouse has 16 ft. ceilings. Which makes the ceiling above the mezzanine a little lower than I would like. My next warehouse will have minimum 18 ft. ceilings.

I would also like to have a warehouse that has more of a street presence so I can put up a large sign and get some driveby advertising.

Congrats on your new warehouse. I look forward to seeing the after pics.

Aug 16, 2010 04:07 AM #19
Rainmaker
440,573
Sally Weatherley
EXIT STAGE RIGHT - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver Home Staging, Home Stager Vancouver, B.C

Jo - Really enjoyed reading this post.  It was fun to look back at the older posts of your warehouse, before my time on A/R.  I'm drooling with envy.  I have all my furniture stored in my basement still.  Imagine "the Hoarders" and that's exactly what it looks like.  As my business is still less than a year old, I'm cautious to venture out into the world of "rental units", but it is tempting...  I guess I'll know when the time is right.  Sure hope you post some after pics of your new warehouse space. 

Aug 16, 2010 05:05 AM #20
Rainmaker
122,929
Jo Potvin
Design To Market LLC - Cincinnati, OH
Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market

As newer stages I know the challenge of committing to a lease can be intimidating.  I live by the trite adage "you have to crawl before you walk."  Our first "warehouse"  was a 10x10 storage unit with a garage door that had a few steel shelf units in it.  It met our needs and the facility was ideal in that we were able to move to a larger unit when the 10 x 10 became too small.  I would always first look at cash flow before making a commitment to a long term rental agreement.  At the same time, moving is expensive.  I would always look for a space larger than you need knowing that your needs for space will increase.  Another thing to be aware of is the safety factor of the area.  I know some like to have office space attached but for me a larger warehouse at a reasonable price was my goal.  I can very effectively run the business from my home office.

Aug 16, 2010 05:35 AM #21
Rainmaker
122,929
Jo Potvin
Design To Market LLC - Cincinnati, OH
Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market

Barb,  Photos to be posted soon!  Jo

Aug 16, 2010 05:20 PM #23
Rainer
77,300
Lynn Crawford
A Different View - Olney, MD
Staging DC & Maryland

Wow - I have total warehouse envy! We've been looking at spaces for the past two months and the largest hurdle is that most of the property management companies want a three to five year lease. I'm unwilling to make that kind of commitment for many reasons. Since there is so much empty space in our area we're now looking to sub-lease on a yearly basis. I'm concerned that as soon as we find the space we need (and can afford) we'll outgrow it and need more.

Can't wait to see the photos of the new warehouse.

Aug 17, 2010 01:18 AM #24
Rainer
202,680
Alicia Barrington
THE ORIGINAL HOUSTON HOME STAGING - Katy, TX
Houston Home Staging Presents Alicia Barrington

We opened Houston Home Staging way, way back in 2005 (ah, good times).  Our first open house attracted 75 Realtors.   One of our first stagings billed out at $7000 + change.   Property Ladder called and paid us to stage four homes...   What could go wrong?

So, we bought stuff....  lots of stuff!  ... and then the Sub-prime mortgage crisis began (ah, for the days of a good sub-prime crisis).   I still had lots of stuff, but no place to put it.  Enter (stage right) the three car garage.  Then a three car garage and a 10x 25 storage area.  Then a three car garage a 10x25, a 10x10, and whatever was left over came into the house (my house).

Fast forward 5 years:   The business is out of the house.  I have six vacant houses staged, and three vacant packages in storage.   We have dedicated a 10x40 to our accessory/greenery/artwork area, and have a 10x25 for furniture.   Because of our long term relationship with the storage facility, we've negotiated some great pricing.   The storage facility is within walking distance of my home (a fact that you learn when the car battery fails at the storage facility), and that's the primary reason for maintaining that space.

Many thanks for posting these photos...  and the information!   Makes me feel like I'm headed in the right direction!

Happy Staging!

Aug 18, 2010 02:25 AM #25
Rainmaker
43,985
Michele Kurelich
Triangle Home Staging & Design/Lasting Impressions - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh Home Staging and Design

Jo,  We just moved into a new warehouse and design space about three months.  I decided early to bite the bullet and build the mezzanine right away.  I could have gone a year or so, but the thought of moving it all again prompted me to get it out of the way.  Now we can keep all the accessories overhead which frees up all the floor space for furniture.  It sounds like you have the space to spread out, but maybe have a plan of where and how expand your current space to avoid moving.  I hate moving!! I guess it's a job hazard, like I hate shopping too!!!  Your new place looks awsome!

Aug 20, 2010 05:28 AM #26
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Rainmaker
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Jo Potvin

Home Staging Cincinnati - Design To Market
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