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Move over SEO! Eggplant is helping my home staging business organically

Home Stager with Seattle Staged To Sell www.seattlestagedtosell.com


EggplantsDid you know that eggplants can be a powerful marketing tool ? About a year ago, I stopped by a supermarket to pick up some items for dinner. While I was standing in the register line, I felt a poke on my back. When I turned around, I saw this elderly lady with completely white hair, red lipstick, and a peacock blue coat; tapping me with her cane. She almost looked like Queen Elizabeth II.

She asked, "excuse me, what are you planning to cook with those eggplants?" I described the ingredients.  She got excited and wanted the complete recipe. The dish was a Persian one and a bit complicated to make; and, I knew that it would’ve taken more explaining than what I had time for. She looked so charming and I was also pleased about her interest. So I took out one of my business cards and asked her to call me so I could explain the recipe in detail over the phone. She thanked me and said, "then expect a call from Charlotte.” I smiled and waved good-bye.

Kitchen CookingA few days later she called. I'm still not sure how it all happened, but the next day, I was in her kitchen peeling the eggplants. She invited a few of her bridge buddies over for dinner too. Her curiosity was impressive. She took notes, participated, and asked many questions. That night, I was among four 75+ year old ladies, having dinner and a great conversation.  All of the ladies were so intrigued with my home staging business and this dominated the dinner conversation. Some of ladies were already familiar with home staging concept because of HGTV. It was a wonderful and fun evening. It seemed as though I’d known these ladies forever.

Several months later, I got another call from Charlotte. She was in the process of moving into senior housing and wanted me to redesign her home and get it ready for the market. Again, I was impressed with her being so proactive. Her agent worked with his own stager, but Charlotte had a connection with me and wanted for me to do the job. I was honored and touched. Her cozy staged cottage was sold quickly, which made us both very happy. 

ConnectionRemember Charlotte's bridge buddies? Well they were all in the same boat as her, so one by one, they called me to stage their homes too. I've lost the count of how many homes I staged and redesigned through my connection with Charlotte. The key word here is connection.

No matter how much we do online to increase the traffic to our website and get that SEO going to create more leads, the most important element to our business remains offline. We should connect and interact with people in our communities and have a presence. This way, others will have the chance to get to know us as people first, then as a home stager, realtor, or a lender. This approach has made all the difference in my own business. Do you have similar experiences that you would like to share?

Here is the link to the various Persian recipes if you love eggplants too. www.persianrecipes.net 




Comments (9)

Janine Bell
Stage It Atlanta - Atlanta, GA
Home Stager - Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

What an nice story.  I am a firm believer that relationship building is a key to success.  Kudos for doing a good deed and in turn making a lasting connection.

Sep 14, 2010 04:50 AM
Simon Mills
Mills Realty - Toluca Lake, CA

That is a great story.  I'm heading to the grocery store now to see if I can get poked!

Sep 14, 2010 04:52 AM
c c
Los Angeles, CA

Shirin, it's so true!  And good for you that you were able to establish a connection to all those wonderful ladies over eggplants!  I'm heading to the grocery store now... ;)

Sep 14, 2010 04:52 AM
Shirin Sarikhani
Seattle Staged To Sell www.seattlestagedtosell.com - Seattle, WA

Janine, Thanks for your comment. I agree. Building relationships is the most important thing that we can do as service providers.

Simon - Thanks and I hope you get lots of pokes. :-D

Caroline - Thanks. You know, I enjoyed meeting all the ladies so much and that is the best part of it for me.

Sep 14, 2010 05:04 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Shirin- Great story and well written.  I've only cooked with eggplant once and it was a disaster, but I am going to the website to try again!  Hope you'll write more posts!  

Sep 14, 2010 05:07 AM
Lori Bowers
La Quinta, CA
The Lori Bowers Group

Amazing how even when we are doing things like errands, we can create opportunities just by being kind. 

Sep 14, 2010 05:15 AM
Shirin Sarikhani
Seattle Staged To Sell www.seattlestagedtosell.com - Seattle, WA

Kathy - Thanks for the compliment. Do you like to eggplant? Let me know if you do and I'll forward some simple recipies. This way, for sure you'll be successful with the dish. 

Lori - yes, you hit the nail right on the head. It has been my experience that when I take my time for someone else, I get rewarded. Karma. Thanks for stopping by. 

Sep 14, 2010 05:42 AM
Courtney Cooper
Cooper Jacobs - Seattle, WA

awesome awesome story - I love it:)  I have found myself in similar situations although my recipes were never so intricate and beautiful:)

Nov 20, 2010 03:43 AM
Shirin Sarikhani
Seattle Staged To Sell www.seattlestagedtosell.com - Seattle, WA

Hi Connie and thanks for stopping by. It's just nice to take time for each other. Sharing recipes is one of my favorite ways of doing just this. I love cooking and people. :-D

Nov 20, 2010 10:35 AM