My Lesson in Building my Brand

Home Stager with Blue Ribbon Staging

My husband is a career salesman...for the past 20 years he has been making presentations to national companies around the country and internationally.  

He has introduced products into previously untapped markets and he has built brands.

I knew I was a Home Stager, I hadn't thought of myself as a sales person.  Now I realize that is exactly what I am in the process of being.  Before I can step in to give a consultation, present a bid, or stage a home, I must first make a great impression on you to purchase my product. 

  • I am my Brand
  • My product is Home Staging
  • I may not currently be on the shelf of your market.
  • My target market is Real Estate.
  • I am a free agent.
  • My only boundary is the boundary I set for myself.
My husband's approach to promoting his brand will not be the same as my approach to promoting my brand. My approach will not be the same as yours, nor yours the same as the Home Stager sitting next to you. However, there are some basic priciples that we can adapt.

I was waiting until my presentation was "perfect"...I was wrong
...It will never be perfect.

I thought I would need to be flashy! ...I was wrong
...There was no time to bring out bells and whistles.

I thought I would be presenting in a lecture hall....I was wrong
...We sat around in a conference room around a table.

I thought I would would be given an hour to share my presentation...I was wrong
...I was scheduled to fill fifteen minutes.

I thought everyone knew what Staging was....I was wrong
...I was given the opportunity to educate on my product (Staging) and my brand (Blue Ribbon Staging - ME) in particular.

I thought every agent was a listing agent...I was wrong.
...I learned the value of building relationships - today’s buyer’s agent, may be tomorrow’s listing agent!

  • Use every opportunity.

  • Knock on doors until they open.

  • Walk through all the open doors.

  • Be the best YOU you can be.

YOU are your best advertisment!

Comments (44)

Bev Patient
Blue Ribbon Staging - Puyallup, WA

Michele, Thank you :)

Kate, Thank you for believing in the tool of Home Staging!...I hope that you have a favorite ASP Home Stager in Virginia :)

Mar 26, 2011 04:36 PM
Hella Mitschke Rothwell
(831) 626-4000 - Honolulu, HI
Hawaii & California Real Estate Broker

Bev: All you need is the confidence to walk out the door and be willing to ask for the business. Having knowledge and a presentation to back it up, of course, is also necessary.

Mar 26, 2011 04:41 PM
Elizabeth Cooper-Golden
Huntsville Alabama Real Estate, (@ Homes Realty Group) - Huntsville, AL
Huntsville AL MLS

Bev, Right on!  WE are our brand.  I, much like you, keep wanting to perfect everything.  In doing so, I'm not getting anything completed ;( 

Mar 26, 2011 04:45 PM
Bev Patient
Blue Ribbon Staging - Puyallup, WA

Hella, You are so right!...Being willing to risk is what makes the journey worthwhile.


Elizabeth, I promise to keep stepping up to the plate and realize that Excellence is a pretty good place to start!...perfect is probably keep stepping up :)

Mar 26, 2011 04:51 PM
Brian Doubleday
Brian Doubleday - IML RealEstate - Orange County, CA Broker - Ladera Ranch, CA
Ladera Ranch, Foothill Ranch, Lake Forest, Mission Viejo
Bev, So true, so true, great post congrats on the post
Mar 26, 2011 04:56 PM
Rachell Jackson
Charles Rutenberg Realty - Naperville, IL
Realtor, Naperville, Oswego, Plainfield

Bev - Very inspiring.  Good luck with building your brand! 

Mar 26, 2011 05:34 PM
Cheryl Ritchie
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Huntingtown, MD
Southern Maryland 301-980-7566
What do the credentials mean? That would be a good post for AR.
Mar 26, 2011 06:01 PM
Trisha P Realty Group
Realty Executives - Leavenworth, KS
"Holding the Keys to Your Dream Home"
I've been reading self help real estate books lately and love them! This was right up my alley. Great post!
Mar 26, 2011 10:23 PM
Melissa Zavala
Broadpoint Properties - Escondido, CA
Broker, Escondido Real Estate, San Diego County

Building a brand means constantly striving, changing, and learning. Nice thoughts here,

Mar 27, 2011 02:55 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Bev, great points about building a brand. Your brand is that first impression. Thanks.

Mar 27, 2011 03:13 AM
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Bev, you have given us great food for thought and words of wisdom.

Mar 27, 2011 03:47 AM
Michael Myers
King-Rhodes & Associates - Cherokee Village, AR

You are your own brand. I've been told that time and time again. Always good advice.

Mar 27, 2011 04:11 AM
Cory Barbee
San Diego, CA
Broker (760) 563-4022

Great tracking your results you'll be able to measure what works for you and you'll have a syle of marketing that fits you...

Mar 27, 2011 04:21 AM
Melinda (Mel) Peterson
Grants Pass, OR - Bend, OR
@TheBlessedRealtor - ABR, CRS

Great post Bev... I love "My only boundary is the boundary I set for myself."  I also practice another principle... Never assume =)  You go girl.

Mar 27, 2011 07:37 AM
Momentum Realty
North Orange County CA Real Estate Specialists - Yorba Linda, CA
Orange County CA Real Estate Agent

Great advice & post Bev! I believe that anyone that is self employed must learn the skill of sales. No product or service sells itself and this is probably the most neglected area with newly self employed people.

Good for you, for knowing how to market yourself & it sounds like you've got an awesome resource in your husband!

Thx for the post!

Gina Lemos

Mar 27, 2011 07:39 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV
Cornerstone Business Group Inc - Winchester, VA
Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro

Bev, thanks for the great advice.  I'm learning that no matter what we do in life, we're all salesman presenting our brand.  Your pointers will definitely help me with my brand!  Thanks for posting.

Mar 27, 2011 07:52 AM
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Marketing yourself can be the most difficult part of being in business.  You have to learn to believe in yourself even when you don't know what you are going to do next.  All you can do is prepare yourself for the worst and expect the best!  Sounds like you can get some great pointers from your husband in addition to the things that you are learning along the way.  Best of luck to you!

Mar 27, 2011 08:03 AM
Bev Patient
Blue Ribbon Staging - Puyallup, WA

Brian, Thank you :)

Rachell, Thank you for the encouragement...I know building anything worthwhile takes time, and it's all so "daily" and each day than I wake up to realize that I am further along than I was yesterday is a good day :)

Cheryl, I am so glad you asked! ASP: Accredited Staging Professional | IAHSP: International Association of Home Staging Professionals... An ASP Home Stager is a dedicated professional who has studied and learned the proven and powerful techniques of Staging®. Barb Schwarz is the creator of Home Staging and has been training professional Home Stagers and building the ASP designation since the early 70's...For more information or to find a ASP Home Stager in your area, please check out Stagedhomes. com. You are right, it will make a great post!

Trish, I am glad that you found something encouraging in my words.

Melissa, Very true...I didn't always look for change, but over the years I have learned to embrace change and welcome the freshness that comes with it...change has challenged and enlarged my world, and for that I am thankful.

Michael, Thank you, It's always good to remember that a good first impression is a very good place to start!

Sharon, Thank you for the kind words :)

Michael, I think the more we hear it, the deeper it resonates and becomes a part of us and the better we become at recognizing, defining and accepting our "Brand" for the excellent product it is.

Cory, I am finding that I am enjoying finding out what works for me...and it does help to know we don't have to fit the same mold.

Thank you Melinda...I feel like I have recently taken a few giant leaps...I do intend to keep going!

Gina, Thank helps to know that we are not alone in our innocence and that there is hope for learning the fine art of sales....and finding a great mentor is a huge plus!

Mike, It helps to realize that it's in those moments when we least expect it, we have been our best advertisement just by doing the right thing. Stay true to who you are and the brand building will follow :)

Karen, My mother often said that very same thing..."Prepare for the worst and expect the best!" it does help to keep it all in perspective.

Mar 28, 2011 06:17 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

Bev - All business owners, especially small usiness owners, are salespeople.  And, you're right, it never feels like the presentation is perfect.

Mar 28, 2011 07:03 PM
Bev Patient
Blue Ribbon Staging - Puyallup, WA


Thank you for the reassurance :) I am realizing that waiting for "perfect" is paralyzing. I am embracing the truth in knowing that "small deeds done are better than great deeds planned" (Spurgeon) I am learning that I no longer say it's "good enough" because that leaves me with the feeling that I should do more. I am learning to say it's "exellent", and "highly desirable". I love that we can always do more, learn more, be more and reach does keep the journey interesting!

Mar 29, 2011 06:32 AM