STAGE IT FORWARD...

By
Industry Observer

 Active Rain has given me a platform from where I can share my voice. So I get a LOT of stagers asking for my advice, my help, my thoughts and I am honored and humbled... and a bit frustrated.

I am “frustrated” because I see a huge need and want to help. There is so much that can and needs to be done, but right now our "industry" has been less then united or responsive to each other. 

Yes... there are stagers who have acknowledged other stager’s skills and education differing from their own.  But there are many who have seemed to have "drunk the Kool-Aid and joined the cult" and at times are outright rude, condescending and mean spirited. (Yudda Yudda Yudda… "petty bickering bunch." I am sure you are as tired of hearing it, as I am tired of writing it.) But this drives me NUTS... because I see greater possibility.  

Lori Matzke, a staging industry leader and pioneer, shared her own thoughts, despair and frustrations regarding our industry when she once commented on one of my blogs saying...

"Though I think idealizing a more structured industry is a wonderful dream to have, well...so is world peace.  Talking the talk until you're blue in the face and waving your fists in the air certainly brings the issue to surface.  But...then what?  You've made your point and raised the questions - now how about working on some answers?   ...talk turns into nothing but lip service.  And God knows, we already have enough of that going on in this industry!! ...why not pose the question, put your heads together, and come up with something constructive?  I would love to see some positive results spawned by this debate.  Maybe you and yours can help piece it together and get the ball rolling, or at the very least, heading in the right direction." - Lori Matzke

So I went to work "working on some answers" and began creatively being “constructive” as Lori challenged me to do. I began offering help/knowledge to any stager I could, sharing what I know. 

And each time after I reach out to help a fellow stager, I get the same response. "I hope sometime I can return the favor."  Then this morning it hit me! Here is how you can "return the favor"…

STAGE IT FORWARD!

The words and the action is not just a way to thank. “STAGE IT FORWARD” embodies what I see needs to happen to finally get this industry united and growing.

  • STAGE-IT-FORWARD reaches out to all other stagers ... UNITY!
  • STAGE-IT-FORWARD shares with others in our industry... COMMUNITY!
  • STAGE-IT-FORWARD extends compassion for all... OUTREACH!
  • STAGE-IT-FORWARD tells our staging message... MARKETING!.
  • STAGE-IT-FORWARD believes in developing universal levels of quality and service... STANDARDS!.
  • STAGE-IT-FORWARD fosters  ongoing growth and professional development... EDUCATION!

Well, it may have taken me awhile… but I think I am on to something here. I hope my fellow stagers join me and…

STAGE IT FORWARD!

 

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Rainer
31,280
Jessica Hughes
Ambiance Staging - Boulder, CO
We are still waiting to hear about your trip to Hong Kong {{{tapping foot impatiently}}}}}}}
Nov 03, 2006 07:08 AM #11
Rainer
55,577
Dawn Shaffer Life is good!
Battle Ground, WA

Craig... Raising your fist and expressing your passion for what you do is what makes you the person we all wait to hear from, and I hope you never change.

Your intentions are pure: You use your God-given talent to help homeowners sell their homes swiftly and for more $. You're a gentle soul and have lifted many of us up with your guidance, myself included. You make us all better people.

Just look at all of the responses! People want to do the right thing.. they just need someone with the correct words and the vision to call 'em to arms. That would be you.

I belong to a forum of virtual tour providers and share tips on photography and tour editing, marketing and whatever else I can think of that will help others get up 'n' going. I was mentored when I began doing this, and I don't think I'll ever be "done" repaying that person by helping others.

And y'know what? Nothing makes me feel better than helping by just sharing my experiences.

Nov 03, 2006 11:11 AM #12
Rainer
89,593
Val Allocco
Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island - Northport, NY
HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island

Craig,

As one who has benefitted from your sage advice and support, I totally agree with and support your efforts. 

I think, as a whole, that is what the stagers on AR have begun to do.  Support one another and share ideas.  I don't feel any sense of division - we all seem to be on the same page and working on the same agenda.

I will say this, Craig - you, above all, have held us together.  You have encouraged, enlightened, supported and gone above and beyond what should be expected of a very busy and successful businessman.  You STILL find time for all of us on AR - stagers and realtors alike.  You go out of your way to pay 'special' attention to each and every one of us!

Lori challenged you and you not only accepted that challenge, but you actually HEARD her message!  And you HAVE been 'piecing it together' and you, above all of us (stagers), have gotten 'the ball rolling' by your thoughtful and insightful blogs and comments.  And you've done it all with wit and charm!

I hope that Lori checks in here from time to time and sees this blog!  As one of her 'students', I know that she would be pleased to see that you have  indeed 'staged it forward'!

 

Nov 03, 2006 02:14 PM #13
Rainer
140,655
Phyllis Pafumi
ReStyled to Sell Home Staging New Jersey - Old Bridge, NJ
ReStyled to Sell Staging Homes NJ

Hey Craig

I certainly and absolutely agree with you. Staging It Forward in life is always bound to reap big rewards. When we give we receive. I have always liked corresponding with you, and your enthusiasm comes through every time. I trained with Lori, and to date I still keep in touch with the girls that were in my class. We have exchanged ideas and marketing materials on a daily basis and that has truly blessed me. They even jumped in and helped on one of my Staging jobs..We need each other and not only when Staging but in life.

Count me in to help you and others help this industry move along in the RIGHT DIRECTION! I have always wanted to set a precedence for what Home Staging is before others jump on the band wagon and ruin the profession..Let's talk to share ideas and get this ball rolling

Phyllis Pafumi

Nov 03, 2006 02:56 PM #14
Rainer
1,136
Laurie A. Mahoney
Designed, Staged and Sold, Inc. - Islip, NY

Hi Craig...I am fairly new to Active Rain and Staging and have been confused by all the bickering going on in this industry.  I just don't get it. 

 I do believe there needs to be a National or International Organization for Home Stagers.  Maybe if we all get together once or twice a year and have our own Staging website we can stop being so petty and start helping one another and make this industry expand.  We can't expect Realtors to understand or respect what we do if we are fighting amongst ourselves. There is plenty of business out there for everyone who wants it,  We need to show a united front.

That being said, any stagers interested in an Organization of Home Stagers, let your voice be heard and let's get this started.

This is a wonderful opportunity for us all.

 

Nov 04, 2006 01:49 AM #15
Rainmaker
231,284
Craig Schiller
Trempealeau, WI

THANKS ALL for your insights... generous sharing and belief in the fact that MORE is possibile.

What a shift in how things could occur if people would just be kind.

stage it forward...

Nov 04, 2006 04:52 AM #16
Rainer
89,593
Val Allocco
Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island - Northport, NY
HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island

I not only agree with Laurie, but she and I have already discussed the possibility of meeting (since we are located near enough to each other - Manhattan is an hour's car ride from Northport) and seeing if we can get other stagers from the area to join in.

And let's try this on for size... how about a "stagers' convention" in sunny Las Vegas...how much fun would THAT be?!!!

Nov 04, 2006 11:49 PM #17
Rainer
147,026
Maureen Maureen
Orangeburg, NY

Hi Craig - You may not even realize what a big help you are to new home stagers.  I went back through your blog archives and read just about all of them.  It is amazing the amount of info I found.  I've been blogging and am trying to follow your lead. 

Here is some info home stagers may find helpful.  I am  blogging about discounts also but this will reach a wider audience so ....

Stagers can get a 20% discount at Pier1 by registering for their design concepts program.  Click link below to register.

http://www.pier1designconcepts.com/

You can also get a 10% discount at Kirkland's Home Designer Advantage Program.  (Stagers may not have the exact requirements to submit online I called and spoke with the head of their design program - they are willing extend the discount to stagers and will accept other documentation as proof of business. Call for info 1-877-208-6668)

http://www.kirklands.com/designer/Default.asp?cid=714890809.157513.990028

I hope that helps. 

Nov 05, 2006 12:11 AM #18
Rainer
14,159
Letitia Hodenfield
Stage It Today - Rochester, MN
Making Rochester Beautiful One Home At A Time

Here in the cold state of Minnesota, I have had the opportunity to get together with a couple of other homestagers in my town to dicuss how we can work together to inform the public and Realtors in our area that home staging IS needed.  We have decided that we need to work together to form some sort of organization in our area that stagers can all be a part of regardless of where they were trained.  When I started staging, I felt so alone.  There was no one to bounce ideas off of.  I have questions and concerns everyday, but just like in every field there is always an organization that helps people in that area to grow in their area of expertise.  We are going to be starting to form some sort of association this winter and we hope that other stagers that we haven't even heard of yet will find us and help us out.  There is always strength in numbers.  If anyone is in the Rochester MN area and want to be a part of this, please send me an e-mail!  We want to work with you to be successful! 

letitiagranum@stageittoday.com

 

Nov 05, 2006 12:49 AM #19
Anonymous
Marci

 

http://www.onethoughtbeyond.com/

They have designed some other stager's sites and they look pretty good.

Nov 05, 2006 03:38 AM #20
Rainer
196,865
Judy Kincaid
Tampa, FL
When I first started trying to find information about staging on the internet 5 years ago, it was slim pickings.  There were no ASP's, HSE's, Staging Divas or any other established training programs.  Occasionally, I was able to find a stager in the member directory on AOL that would be willing to answer some questions but most of them wanted me to pay a consultation fee before they would give me any information.  They were so secretive....didn't want to divulge any information to the "competition".  However, I did find one stager who was willing to help and even mailed me copies of her brochure and gave me marketing tips.  I was so touched by her kindness that I vowed to be just as kind and helpful if/when people contacted me for staging advice. 
Nov 05, 2006 08:16 AM #21
Rainmaker
192,353
Janice Sutton
1st Stage Property Transformations - Murrieta, CA
Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta

Stage it forward.  I love it!  If it wasn't for you Craig "staging it forward" with me....I wouldn't be where I am at today!  Thank you, thank you, and did I say THANK YOU!

Great blog!  Happy Stagin'

Nov 06, 2006 02:06 AM #22
Rainer
109,183
Marci Toliver
438-4642 - Mauldin, SC
Anderson SC, Spartanburg,Greenville SC, Home Staging

To everyone.. when Craig first started this blog - it felt like he wrote this just for me! To prove to me that he was sincere in the advice that he has ofered me.  Also, I tried to contact 2 other Property Merchandisers.. they know who they are.  When I tell you the 3 of them feel like they are my bestest friends..They have helped me more than they will ever know!  They truly stage it forward. I'm not going to say who they are because ...Maybe you will reach out to another or other stagers and they will reach back and hold your hand like these 3 did for me!  Or you can even reach out to me because-- My first motto is Stage it Forward followed by ALways - Always be prepared to market who we are and what we do!!!! We create WIN- WIN-WIN situations!!

Thanks guys!! to all 3 of you!!!

Marci

Nov 10, 2006 12:38 PM #23
Rainmaker
136,731
Sheron Cardin
California Moods Inc - Selma, CA
ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend!

Craig and Stagers

Reading this post and all the comments thereafter is bringing the fighter out in me. I must have missed the dissention between home stagers because I have not seen it in the 6 weeks I have been here. And as usual, the wonderful gals and guys that I have been posting with are the same ones responding here, AKA the leaders of the pack.

What I want to say here is everyones' struggle for recognition and commaraderie is what seperates the achievers from the complainers. I have never been a GROUP person and a part of me is just trembling as I am commenting because I feel like I am jumping into the middle of a group. A part of me is saying "Don't do it!" and another part of me knows what the problem is because I have been through it too so let me share. 

5% of the country can afford a decorator and 1% of that elite group hires them. That leaves 95% of the country pining for the good life. They scramble through magazines and showrooms hoping that someday they will be able to afford the nicer things in life. I don't know what percentage of the 95% that is so poor they are just hoping for their next meal and some shelter, but for the sake of getting to my point...

The home stager has 95% of the country to decorate for., not just home sellers. Opening up to this opportunity is the challenge. The fast track for the fast decorator is yet just a spark

logo

 


Jan 06, 2007 02:02 AM #24
Rainmaker
231,284
Craig Schiller
Trempealeau, WI
January 6, 2007

Quote of the Day
"The moment of enlightenment is when a person's dreams of possibilities become images of probabilities."
– Vic Braden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jan 06, 2007 02:08 AM #25
Rainer
89,593
Val Allocco
Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island - Northport, NY
HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island

Sheron...First let me say that I am so glad that you became a part of AR and most especially, our little 'pool' of Home Stagers!  You offer wonderful insights and contribute so many great ideas - you are a true testimony to "Staging It Forward"!

The statistics you mentioned above 'blew me away'!  When you break it down into percentiles, the impact is so much greater than if you said that 'only a few people have the financial ability to pay for a decorator and most do not'.  I'm hearing your message loud and clear - those of us with businesses that focus on design, be it Home Staging, Redesign or Interior Design, have an obligation to reach all in need of our services.

Thank you, Sheron, for sharing!

Jan 06, 2007 02:24 AM #26
Rainmaker
136,731
Sheron Cardin
California Moods Inc - Selma, CA
ARTIST - A Home Stager/Sellers Best Friend!

Val - you have made my day! I can't wait until we can all meet in person. I am going to go shopping now and I hate to leave my computer! Let's set a date and make this "thing" happen!!! Craig? Yu da ledah ;) (he must be sleeping in)

logo

Jan 06, 2007 03:05 AM #27
Rainmaker
231,284
Craig Schiller
Trempealeau, WI

Sheron... thank you for the kind words. I think there is room for many leaders. This is a growing industry that has llong road a head of us. But we are well on our way.

Kindness NEVER hurt anyone... even when it comes to extending it to our competition. Being respectful is refreshingly professional.

I am so glad for all of those on AR that see this is what MANY (NOT just me) wanted.

Stage it forward...

Me

 

Jan 08, 2007 10:31 AM #28
Rainmaker
231,284
Craig Schiller
Trempealeau, WI

I thought it might be a GOOD time to re-feature this in Stage It Forward.

I tried to condense the above Blog into this:

HOME STAGERS, this is an informational and networking community that believes the Home Staging Industry will grow and mature by reaching out to and sharing with other Stagers. This one FREE site allows Home Stagers to connect and share with their colleagues and clients. Our diverse background is our strength. By respectfully sharing and helping each other, we can all grow and development so that ultimately the consumer is educated on the benefits of Home Staging and enjoy the benefits of quality service.

Each time you post a post or a comment in this Group... if you hold this in you heart EVERYONE WINS.

Me

Feb 10, 2007 10:26 PM #29
Rainer
70,072
Minnesota Home Staging Firm, Minnesota
Minnesota Home Staging Network~ MN's Top Home Staging Firm - Inver Grove Heights, MN

I'm just returning from vacation and see there is SO MUCH that I missed.

Craig, HOW DO YOU DO IT ALL???

I love your ideas, visions and hopes and am completely on the same page as you.  I'd love to help form something as I agree it's extremely important and long overdue. The one problem I have is I find that I keep telling people I'll give, give, give and then at the end of the day...I'm pooped and have nothing left for my husband and kids. You are truly an inspiriation and seem to really have it together!!!

But seriously though...let us know how we can help. I figure you can sleep when your dead right - HA!

Beth

 

Feb 15, 2007 01:44 PM #30
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Rainmaker
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Craig Schiller

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