HOW TO: Communicate Your Value as a Home Stager

By
Home Stager with Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis, Indiana

whisper

How many times have you wowed a potential client with your portfolio, only to have your moment of glory interrupted by the "deer-in-the-headlights" look that came over their face when you presented your quote to stage their home? This is exactly what happens when consumers don't recognize the value of home staging.

Consumers typically buy a product or service based on their perception of its value in relation to its price. As home stagers, we need to keep this concept in mind as we try to convey the value of what we do to potential clients. Thanks to the ever-increasing media coverage of home staging and the highly-competitive nature of today's real estate market, most home sellers now understand the importance of preparing their home before putting it up for sale. Still, home staging is a service which is often undervalued by consumers because they lack a clear understanding of the process and skills required to take a home from the "before" to the "after" images they see in magazines and on TV. So how can you help your clients recognize the value of home staging in general, and your skills and services in particular? I suggest that it all boils down to two basic points: education and differentiation.

Education starts with letting clients know that the price they pay for home staging is a wise investment. Your services are valuable because, by transforming their homes into products with greater mass appeal and marketability, you help ensure faster, more profitable sales. To prove this point, keep the appropriate national, state and local statistics on hand.

Education also includes providing information about the process of home staging (e.g., cleaning, de-cluttering, developing a design plan, selecting appropriate furnishings, packing, transporting, installing, de-staging, etc.). Clients tend to get a better sense of our value once they understand how much work is typically involved in completing a project.

Differentiation means letting clients see what sets you and your home staging company apart from the competition. This is the time to show off your credentials, your portfolio, your results, your statistics, your testimonials and your knowledge of buyer demographics. Including images of your warehouse, inventory, and delivery truck(s) in your portfolio or other marketing materials may help clients envision what you can do for them as a one-stop resource. Taking the time to provide clients with a quote detailing all services, fees and specific areas of their home to be addressed can further underscore your value.

Differentiation also means conveying the strong interpersonal skills that make you valuable to home sellers and realtors. With each passing year, there are more home stagers competing for clients by bombarding realtors and neighborhoods with marketing materials and visits. Often the stagers who get hired are the ones who not only have excellent technical skills, but strong "people" skills as well. Your interpersonal skills show realtors and their clients that you can remain tactful and professional in even the most difficult situations, which we all know to be a not-so-rare part of the home staging process. Good interpersonal skills will also get you welcomed back for follow-up visits and referrals.

Conveying your value as a home stager can be as simple as educating consumers and differentiating your skills and services from the competition. Keeping these points in mind will not only help you grow your business; but may have the added value of alleviating "sticker shock" when your clients see the bottom line.

Home Matters Home Staging and Training a professional home staging company "Servicing the needs of our Real Estate community here in Metro Indianapolis and all of central Indiana" We help real estate professionals, home sellers, builders and investors with their home staging needs and we provide the most relevant and up to date Home Staging Training that the industry has to offer through the Staging and Redesign (SAR) 3 and 5 day courses.  For more information regarding our services and our training schedule, please contact us at 317-209-9801 or visit us on the web. http://www.homemattersllc.com/

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Home Matters is a home staging company that offers services for both occupied and vacant homes. We work with all budgets and have received Angie's list highest rating for the past three years. Visit Home Matters website for more information.

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Groups:
Stage It Forward...
Home Staging
Real Estate Staging Association
Home Staging & Redesign Training
Tags:
home matters
linda barnett
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staging and redesign training

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Anonymous
Anonymous

Great post Linda. I think as Stagers, we too often talk about the "cost" of Staging, when we should be talking about the value! Love your ideas for marketing too. I can't wait to hear Melissa's talk on growing your business through statistics as the RESA conference too. Of course, I can't wait to see you and Gary again too.

Jan 16, 2011 02:04 PM #1
Rainer
107,144
TERI LINDSAY
Reno, NV
STAGELIGHT HOME STAGING CO.

WOW! Your really "lay it out there"!  I needed the "pep-talk"!!! What I don't understand, still, is why so many stagers offer their service (initial consultation) for free! Why don't they value their time? And it makes it difficult for those of us that do (value consultation time).  I am just beginning a new career in home staging, I don't have trucks, warehouses, or even a portfolio yet...... but I am talented, have training and years of experience as a former Gen. Contractor, and that is what I am basing my new business on.  Thanks for excellent FYI Linda.

Jan 16, 2011 02:05 PM #2
Rainmaker
443,684
Melissa Marro
Keller Williams First Coast Realty - The Marro Team - Orange Park, FL
Jacksonville Real Estate and Home Staging

Who was that masked stager?  (#1)  hmm.... I'm going to guess Tammie O... but it's just a guess.  (She usually doesn't login but rather signs the post, so that's my reasoning...)

Teri - You know, I specifically tell students that agents assign the value that stagers place on their service.  When you give away the information, they think it doesn't hold value.

Linda - AMAZING POST!  (as always)  I think you pretty much summed up this topic.  Education and differntiation is dead on.... it's how the successful become successful.  It's not necessarily about being better - it's about showing how you provide value and how you differ from your competition.  Then you need to shout it from the rooftops!

Jan 16, 2011 02:57 PM #3
Rainer
4,936
Tammie OBrien
Darby Inventory and Pineapple Interiors - Centennial, CO

Melissa - LOL! Yep, you guessed it. You'd think I could figure that out huh?!

Jan 16, 2011 04:18 PM #4
Anonymous
Bernadette Flaim

Linda, this was wonderfully thought-provoking and something I will be sure to share with fellow RESA - NJ Chapter members!

The biggest concern I often hear is that members don't feel that they possess the confidence required to educate their prospective clients regarding the value of staging  . . . they feel too often that they must defend their position to no avail! I believe education, which leads to confidence, is the truly the first step toward securing each and every job -- this will then give them the opportunity to find their niche and differentiate themselves from the competition!

 

Jan 17, 2011 08:18 AM #5
Rainer
98,496
Tori Toth
Tori Toth, International - Howard Beach, NY
888.667.6643 NYC & Beyond, HSR, SAR, RESA, LIBOR

I've been spending alot of time with the LOng Island Board of Realtors, sponsoring events and trying to teach them more about staging it's definately important.

Jan 17, 2011 02:31 PM #6
Rainmaker
42,423
Linda Barnett
Home Matters Property Stylist Group, Indianapolis, Indiana - Indianapolis, IN
Home Matters Indianapolis Indiana

Tammie; I agree with you.  We need to understand our own value and communicate the value we bring... And yes we look forward to seeing you too.

Teri;  Your information and expertise given to your clients is a fee paid service, however I understand there are some home stagers that offer free consultations with little to no specific valueable information being given.  Home sellers should be aware that they are getting what they are paying for.

Melissa;  Your right, I"M SHOUTING

Bernadette;  All I can say is that we're cut from the same cloth.

Tori;  Keep spreading the news like a wildfire.

Jan 18, 2011 01:25 PM #7
Rainmaker
433,576
Kristine Ginsberg
Elite Staging and Redesign, LLC - Short Hills, NJ
NJ Home Stager

Linda -great advise about education and differentiation on home staging. I believe enlightening the public on the advantages of staging is really is key in today's market.

Jan 19, 2011 10:55 AM #8
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Rainmaker
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Linda Barnett

Home Matters Indianapolis Indiana
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