I'm Not Just A Home Stager - I'm Also A Qualified Referral Machine!

By
Home Stager with Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA

Think I'm only a home stager? Think again...I'm also a source of referrals & listings. Many professional home stagers are - especially the home stagers that are good at marketing their services to consumers.

I first wrote about this in April 2010 Think I'm Only A Home Stager? I'm Also A Source Of Clients! In light of recent negative blog posts and comments about home stagers here on AR, I wanted to let you know that professional home stagers can also be a source of business for real estate agents. Here's one way home stagers can work hand-in-hand with their real estate agent partners to ensure a win-win-win situation for all parties, including the home seller.

Pile of money you could earn from home stager referrals

Because I put a lot of effort in reaching out to Los Angeles home sellers as my potential clients, I am contacted by people getting ready to put their home on the market on a daily basis. Some of them already have a real estate agent, and some of them don't. Inevitably, I am asked if I can recommend a good Los Angeles, Pasadena or Arcadia Realtor that can list their home.

Since the beginning of this year (2011) I have referred a REALTOR™ partner to 3 different home sellers. She has landed 2 listings, 1 of which is in escrow, and the other will be listed next week. Since I stage so many homes throughout Los Angeles, I'm very aware of which agents do a good job of marketing their listings and which ones are not as good. Since my goal is to have the homes I stage sell faster and for the highest possible price, I am happy to refer listing agents that I think will do the best job meeting those criteria.

Its a win-win-win proposition: The home seller gets their home sold quickly and for top dollar, the listing agent I referred gets a listing that is easy to sell because it looks great, and I have another happy home staging client that will refer me to their friends, plus great statistics on another home sold quickly.

Home sellers that first contact professional home stagersare  highly motivated sellers. They've been pre-screened by virtue of the fact that they want to hire me to stage their home before they even have a listing agent. And they are willing to listen to what I, and the listing agents I refer, have to say about marketing and selling their home.

My home staging website (the one not associated with Active Rain) usually gets 100-200 hits per day. I'm on page 1 of Google for all my relevant home staging search terms. That's potentially 3,000-6,000 home sellers, some of whom could be looking for a listing agent.I have no idea how many hits I get from my Active Rain blog, but I'm sure that's a respectable number too.

What's my criteria for recommending a Pasadena, Arcadia or Los Angeles real estate agent?

  • They have to be a believer in the value of home staging
  • They have to have awesome marketing packages for their listings
  • They have to be internet saavy and excellent internet marketers
  • They have to be well connected in the real estate community and community at large
  • They have to return phone calls and emails promptly
  • They have to have hired my Pasadena home staging company, reached out to me or referred me to their clients (how else would I know about all of the above)

I don't expect payment for these referrals, just that the listing agent does right by my client and continues to refer me. (OK, and maybe a lunch:o))

Oh, by the way, I'm also a source of home buyers, too, and not just in Los Angeles. Many home sellers I stage for are moving out of state and have not yet purchased their next home. Once again, I'm often asked about referring an out-of-state real estate agent. Who do I refer? I call my home staging buddies in that area and ask who they would recommend. I figure they have "boots on the ground" experience with local agents and know who does a good job.

So, if you think I'm just a home stager you'd be wrong. I'm also a source of qualified real estate referrals.

 

Posted by

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Los Angeles Real Estate Staging

2015 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

2014 RESA Top 10 Professional Home Stager2010 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

Michelle has staged hundreds of Los Angeles homes, many of which have sold with multiple offers, above listing price.

She works with home sellers, listing agent, builders, flippers and asset managers to prepare homes for sale throughout Los Angeles and North Orange County.

Moving Mountains Design provides vacant home staging, color consultations, corporate and executive relocations,  and interior design. We also stage model homes, REOs, foreclosures and auction properties for real estate investors and asset managers. Builders hire us to stage their models or to help move inventory when sales slow down.

For more information about our Los Angeles home staging services, contact Michelle at (626)385-8852 or by email.

Click here to see our Los Angeles home staging portfolio

Click here to go to our Los Angeles home staging blog

Click here for more information about home staging in Los Angeles and how we can help sell your home faster and for the best price

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Rainmaker
160,356
Ana Hitzel
AccentPositives Home Staging - Corona, CA
Professional Home Stager Inland Empire

Super post Michelle, your list and criteria are excellent and your clients are fortunate to have you on their team!

Feb 28, 2011 11:36 AM #22
Rainmaker
324,347
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Claudia: I agree!

Karen: Great minds think alike:o) I'll head on over to your post!

Nick: I have a few REALTOR clients that reimburse the client all or part of the staging at the close of escrow. While I personally think it is an expense on the home owners side of the balance sheet, I respect listing agents that feel that strongly about home staging.

Thank you, Joshua.

Thanks, Peg.

I hardly want to spend my time forcing anyone to embrace home staging. There are plenty of listing agents and home sellers who want to work with a professional home stager AND get some referrals for listings. Everyone has a different business model.

Thank you so much, Ana!

Feb 28, 2011 11:56 AM #23
Rainmaker
139,547
Paul Viau
Nova Scotia Real Estate Blog - Halifax, NS
Nova Scotia Real Estate Blog + Photo Services

Here's an idea! Why not get your real estate license.

Just for referrals.

So you can can paid a proper referral.

* just an idea

Feb 28, 2011 12:03 PM #24
Rainmaker
324,347
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Paul: I have considered it many times over the years. I don't want any real estate agent clients to think I am in competition with them or that I might interfere in their relationship with their clients. Also, I would have a lot more disclosures and insurance to worry about. I know I would be able to get a referral fee, but as it stands now, my motivation for choosing to recommend a listing agent is purely what is in the best interest of the client. Now, I let my home staging clients know I don't receive any referral fee for my recommendations and I think that makes them trust me all the more.

Feb 28, 2011 12:18 PM #25
Ambassador
1,364,602
Loreena and Michael Yeo
3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co. - Prosper, TX
Real Estate Agents

I'm so glad you encourage referrals. Thanks for being a team player.

Feb 28, 2011 01:25 PM #26
Rainmaker
427,389
Leslie Ebersole
Swanepoel T3 Group - Saint Charles, IL
I help brokers build businesses they love.

Why am I having a negative reaction to this post?

I have never, ever, ever, given business to a stager, loan officer or home inspector -- all professions I consider to be integral elements of my business -- with the expectation of a referral back. People who are good at what they do will attract business.

 

 

Feb 28, 2011 02:02 PM #27
Rainmaker
1,085,952
Greg Nino
RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP - Houston, TX
Houston, Texas

Awesome! my biggest deal ever came from a local home stager!

Feb 28, 2011 02:51 PM #28
Rainmaker
563,737
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi Michelle -- As a broker/owner, REALTOR and ASP REALTOR, I partner on occasion with other stagers so I totally get the value staging adds.  Agents would be fools to not see the value of successful networking with stagers. You are right in your approach on who to partner with, I applaud your business acumen and state of the art skills! :)

Feb 28, 2011 02:52 PM #29
Rainer
4,936
Tammie OBrien
Darby Inventory and Pineapple Interiors - Centennial, CO

As always, a great post Michelle! And you are exactly right. I recently referred a Realtor to a friend that I have not even done business with. I did so because I know she is an expert in the area for the upcoming listing, she has an amazing marketing package that includes Home Staging and she works with her clients in ways that I don't often see with Realtors. I am confident my friend will be happy with her services and will get the fastest sale possible!

Feb 28, 2011 03:02 PM #30
Rainmaker
324,347
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Loreena: I love providing value to both home owners and real estate agents.

Leslie: I don't expect referrals back if I don't earn them with exceptional service. And I don't give referrals unless I'm sure the person I'm referring provides exceptional service that will meet the home sellers' needs. The best way to know this is because I have worked directly with the real estate agent, or someone I trust has worked with them.

Greg: Thanks for sharing that. I'm glad you got a great referral from a home stager.

Thank you, Chris! I'm glad you see the value of a mutually beneficial relationship with a professional home stager.

Tammie: Another successful referral by a home stager!

 

Feb 28, 2011 03:29 PM #31
Rainmaker
25,887
Peggy Johnson
Redesign + More - Charlotte, NC
Home Stager - Charlotte NC

Michelle,

Great post! I agree your not just a home stager but also a reliable connected source for real estate agents, home buyers & home sellers.

Mar 01, 2011 02:55 PM #32
Rainmaker
324,347
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Thank you, Peggy!

Mar 02, 2011 01:47 AM #33
Rainer
131,161
Valerie Sagheddu
Apostle Art Home Staging & Design - Stroudsburg, PA
~Home Staging Professional, Poconos, PA

Excellent post Michelle! I have missed all of the negative conversations you mentioned but I do know that the sooner Real estate agent realize that we are their best allies, the better it is for EVERYONE! Agents, sellers, stagers...it is a win,win,win!!!

Again...excellent post!

Mar 02, 2011 04:56 AM #34
Rainmaker
324,347
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Thank you, Valerie. I like real estate agents. I like working with real estate agents. I'm fortunate that I get to work with a lot of them. Many view us in the expense column, when we should be in the income column.

Mar 04, 2011 09:58 AM #35
Rainmaker
714,137
Kimo Stowell
HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 - Honolulu, HI
REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i

Aloha Michelle,

I work primarily with a handful of agents and we have a great relationship based on trust and reliability. There has been a bit of pressure for me to get my RE license and step into the management side but I really enjoyed your response to Paul's suggestion. Thanks for the thoughtful post. I like your new pic!

Peace,

Mar 09, 2011 06:36 AM #38
Rainmaker
324,347
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Thank you, Kimo. Its always nice to hear from you.

Mar 09, 2011 07:27 AM #39
Rainmaker
185,580
Irina Netchaev
Pasadena Views Real Estate Team, Inc. - Pasadena, CA
Pasadena CA Real Estate

Michelle, a referral is the best compliment one can receive and give.  And, you truly are a referral machine!  A great post!

Mar 12, 2011 08:23 PM #40
Rainmaker
324,347
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Thanks, Irina. Takes one to know one (wink)

Mar 13, 2011 08:59 AM #41
Ambassador
604,785
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552

Great point, Michelle - stagers do get good real estate leads.  It would be nice if there were more loyalty between professionals who are capable of referring business to each other - loan officers and real estate agents, for instance.

May 31, 2011 05:57 AM #42
Rainmaker
324,347
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

I agree, Brian. Thanks for commenting.

May 31, 2011 06:17 AM #43
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