Stagers ~ Would you get more business if you targeted *older* agents & home-owners

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Vizzitopia

There is a fascinating project underway, courtesy of Deluxe (yea, the check people), where 9 small businesses were selected to receive a marketing revamp, $5,000 marketing dollars, marketing consultant and some coaching from SCORE. 

web 2-0 for stagers

ProjectRev is a "vital read" for anyone intrigued by marketing... and of particular interest to home stagers. Why?  Coz there's one in it!

Felicia Frazier is a creative soul, who was downsized out of Limited 2 and is now a home stager in Ohio.  The biggest surprise about running her own business?

“That I actually had to go out and get the business!” Frazier laughed.

“And the hardest part of that is knowing where to go, determining who that key customer I need to target is. What I learned from Project Rev was that I needed to be going after an older market. I was focusing on late twenties and mid-thirties, and I needed to be targeting homeowners in their late forties and up, along with Realtors.”

This has consumed me this morning!

 

1.  Yes, "asking for the business" is the hardest and least liked aspect of a stager's life.

2.  We have all long been confused as to who the target customer is - the realtor or the home-owner.  After all, the home-owner pays you, yet more often than not it is the realtor that gets you the work.

3.  Then this aging statement -- 'I needed to be targeting homeowners in their late forties and up, along with Realtors.”

Do any of you agree with this?

I put it up on my Facebook page and Michael Fortuna, a man I think of immeasurable discernment, wrote 

     ""IMHO: I get more hands-on business from 50-65, but more vacants from 30-50..."

WOW!  Really?  I never noticed or thought to look at it this way.  My clients were always just folks who wanted to sell their home.  They seemed to be all over the place.  Looking back I can't think of a through line among them!  Except that many became friends along the way.

I'd love to hear your opinions on this ~ 

 

 

 

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Juliet Johnson serves Jacksonville, FL realtors, home sellers and small business with social media strategy, online visibility and product creation services, that include training if you want to do it yourself. 

"If your social media activity isn't a revenue generator for you, you're doing it wrong."

 

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Comments (20)

Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Interesting concept.  Looking at my current customers (homes actively staged) I see 65% in their 30's -- but some great repeat clients who are in their 40's and 50's -- just not as many of them.

Sep 09, 2010 06:06 AM
Michele Rose
Rose-Colored Staging - Mount Holly Township, NJ
Burlington County Home Staging & Redesign

My people are all over the place too but I have seen an increase in those over 60 this past year.  It seems like seniors are becoming more internet savvy.  The ones I dealt with found me on the internet and recognized staging was going to help them sell their homes.  I'm going to take the SRES Realtor course-- I believe this is a demographic we should give more attention to. 

Sep 09, 2010 06:39 AM
Shelley Roufs
Simply Staged Homes - New Ulm, MN

Juliet - I found the website very interesting. Thanks for passing it on.

Sep 09, 2010 10:34 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Retired Home Stager/Redesign

Juliet- the majority of my clients have been probably in the 50+ range .  (I am in South Florida so that may be why)  The Realtors I work with are all over the board re: age.

Sep 09, 2010 01:36 PM
Juliet Johnson
Vizzitopia - St Johns, FL
Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing

I thank you all so much for sharing this with me.  It's a fascinating way of looking at our business that I had never before considered.

You know that these conclusions can lead us to some targeted, intriguing ways of promoting our business.

Sep 09, 2010 02:01 PM
Linda D. Pufford
Stage with Divine Style - Home Staging - Novato, CA
ASPM, Marin/Sonoma Home Stager

Juliet,

Interesting post...  I also viewed the website.  I have never really thought about age when looking for potential clients to work with.  I have had a wide range of clients from 20's through 70's but have not noticed any larger group in the 50 - 60's range.  Something to think about though!

Sep 09, 2010 09:39 PM
Kate Talarico
Kates Home Staging and Interior Design - Goshen, NY
RESA, Top Orange County Home Decorator & Stager

Very interesting post, most of my clients have been in the 40-55 range.

Sep 10, 2010 01:51 AM
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

Juliet I also saw this article as it came up on my google alert for home staging. I was so inspired that I called up my local SCORE office and made an appointment for yesterday afternoon!

My take from this article was the market and age group she needed to go after was determined by her local market and experience so far. I too have had clients from all age ranges, but I decided a while ago that it was Realtors that I needed to focus on marketing to. The sellers who find me find me online.

Yes it is a good reminder that we have to keep asking for and seeking new business. I think I'll blog about my SCORE visit. Thanks for posting!

Sep 10, 2010 03:07 AM
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Hi Juliet:  I have started targeting younger, start-up REAs.  Seller clients who find me online are all ages.  Julie

Sep 10, 2010 03:14 AM
Cathy Lee
CL Design Services Home Staging - Danville, CA
ASP, IAHSP, RESA Danville, CA

Interesting-thanks for posting!!  I find my clients are of all ages but most investor clients are early 30's. 

Sep 10, 2010 04:48 AM
Juliet Johnson
Vizzitopia - St Johns, FL
Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing

Tessa, you go girl!! Is SCORE free?  Can we all do it?  I'd love the have a seasoned coach in my back pocket who didn't cost an arm and a leg! Can't wait to hear about your first session!

Cathy, I'm completely fascinated that you have investor clients!  I always considered those guys too keen on the bottom line to appreciate the finer points of staging!  Sign of the times, or just intelligent investors?

Julia - well, if there's a hip new way to do stuff, it would be you, love!! LOL  I'm so pleased you're percolating along and growing a strong staging practice.

Kate - So, you're a Boomer who services boomers... it's an interesting way of looking at things, isn't it?  Imagine how many other folks who are also targeting boomers could learn from you!

Linda - totally with you, sista! Thanks for stopping by!

 

Sep 10, 2010 07:25 AM
Luci Terhune
Bungalow Home Staging & Redesign - Nutley, NJ
NJ Home Stager 973 896-6489

All ages really but for me lots of 30 -40 somethings that have outgrown their current home and want to trade up. Lots of toys, clutter, nothing on the walls, that kind of thing.. I find the older crowd sometimes is too house proud and thinks they don't need to stage, even though last time they decorated was in the 80's!

Sep 10, 2010 07:30 AM
Karen Searle, Home On Display
Peterborough, ON

I can certainly see how an older target market will be a huge source of potential business in the coming years.  Baby boomers will be downsizing and looking for smaller homes.  There is also a market for the elderly who will be moving into retirement homes.  However, that client group sometimes find it extremely difficult to consider staging services as the process of moving alone is fairly overwhelming for them.

I guess the target market can also vary depending on the type of community you live in as well.

Sep 10, 2010 09:31 AM
Juliet Johnson
Vizzitopia - St Johns, FL
Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing

Yeah, Luci - I can  see exactly what you mean, and my own experience of Maggee's customers was the same.  The interesting thing there is that you have identified Maggee's demographic.  Wonder if she knows that?  And the upper echelon customer in your market area do indeed feel certain their house is above reproach!!!  Lovely perspective -- good on you, Luci!!

Karen - that older market is indeed something we should all be ramping up for.

Sep 11, 2010 01:09 AM
Cindy Garruba
North Fork Home Staged to Sell - Riverhead, NY

Baby boomers are downsizing, like Karen said.  Often their homes are tired and ready for easy fixes.  As a boomer myself, I know we used to think we could just put our house on the market and it would sell.  The reality of today is that is not the way it works, this is a real market to target, a huge need and a huge population.  Thanks for the post!

Sep 12, 2010 01:07 PM
Debra Rosser
Staging Matters, RESA, HSR - Flower Mound, TX
Home Staging/Redesign North Texas/Flower Mound,469-322-9113

Great Post.  Food for Thought.  I guess now that I think about it I do work a lot with people 40 and over. 

Sep 16, 2010 05:58 AM
Felicia Frazier
Staging by DWELL - Columbus, OH

Juliet, thank you for the post!  ProjectREV has been a fantastic experience.  During the welcome event and marketing sessions in Minnesota, we discussed the age of my initial target customers and determined that based upon the market that I am focusing on, the clientelle tends to be older.  I'll be testing this over the next year so I'll keep you posted.  Check out the journey of the chosen 9 on projectrev.com!

Sep 18, 2010 01:23 AM
Tori Toth
Tori Toth, International - Howard Beach, NY
888.667.6643 NYC & Beyond, HSR, SAR, RESA, LIBOR

I'd agree the market tends to shift according to what the baby boomers are doing since, they're such a big part of the population, I'd expect there would be some great business there. I know there are alot of staging who only focus on the elder, which I guess is a good niche.

Sep 26, 2010 02:15 AM
Anonymous
Martha Stanton-Smith

My demographics are guesswork because I don't ask my clients their age.  What I do notice is that the larger projects and the repeat business come from the 40-50's. 

On the homeowners side, I think the commonality is that they are busy with families and work and do not have extra time to do their own staging.  They also know what they do best and tend to hire people to do the rest. 

On the realtor side, I think it's more about how busy the realtor is.  The ones starting out have less business for me and probably would prefer to be able to advise or help their clients on their own to save a buck. Whereas top realtors regardless of age are too busy to mess with staging and realize the value of hiring a specialist.  Some older realtors here (where staging is not well established) probably aren't calling me because they have always sold real estate without it so why change now.

Nov 28, 2010 05:21 AM
#19
Juliet Johnson
Vizzitopia - St Johns, FL
Jacksonville Photography & Digital Marketing

Martha, I love your perspective here! And of course, I agree with it 100%.  There's a maturity in folks who know what they can do and what they can't, so the 40s+ gang makes sense.  They also have more disposable income... if they weren't hit by this last meltdown.

The point about realtors is an interesting one.  I found that my top producing realtors liked the swagger of "my stager".  They paid for the initial consult as a way to get listings.  With smaller houses, that was often all we needed, in terms of a re-design.  Seriously awful houses... well, it was a step in the right direction, if you know what I mean!! LOL  But I usually credited that back if it turned into a nice "project".

Nov 29, 2010 02:03 AM