This week I taught a staging class to Realtors. I put together a PowerPoint presentation and talked a lot about how to get clients on board so that they do the work. I likened it to putting down a base coat. I REALLY enjoyed teaching and am going to launch an Agent-Stager mentoring program. I have so much to share and think it is all about forming alliances.
Many Realtors are hesitant to suggest a stager even if they have heard good things about her without really knowing her style. I think that they are afraid that the stager might offend rather than help. The way I view it, the more agents that hear me and get to know and trust me the better.
In the end, it is always about familiarity, comfort and team work. So if you are an agent and want to add a home stager to your team, first get to know her/him. Schedule a get-together so that you can chat and review the stager's portfolio. Be sure to get a sense of the stager's personality to see if it is a good fit with yours and your "team attitude". What I mean by this is if you are very assertive, you might prefer to work with an assertive stager--or not! Perhaps you like the personality type that errs on the side of diplomacy and doesn't feel that clients need to do every single thing suggested.
Whatever approach you prefer, communication is the key. Before your stager meets with your clients be sure to have a phone conversation about the clients and the house. Let the stager know what you think are the main issues that need to be addressed and perhaps if you know that there are issues that are delicate, let your stager know about them.
Sometimes agents like to attend the staging consultation. The upside of this approach is that the agent can voice his or her opinion as the issues are talked about. They also get to see the stager at work and better learn his or her style. The down-side is that sometimes having the agent present might make the seller feel that they have to do everything that the stager suggests or the agent might be displeased. Again--communication amongst all parties is the key to successfully working together and getting the best results!