If there's one thing being a Burlington Stager has taught me in the past ten years, it's that you have to be a 'people person' to do this job. Yes, you need a sense of design and knowledge of the principles of staging but if you can't relate to people you will have a hard time succeeding.
There are all types of clients:
- 'Doers' as I call them. This type of client needs to try out your suggestions on the spot. It helps them relate to the process. They need it even if this means a longer appointment.
- Families with young children need to adapt your suggestions to their life with children. This means I may have to come up with more than one solution to an issue.
- Separating/divorcing clients can require a lot of tact. I've been a referee (not my favorite) but mostly a listener for this type of client. Quite often it affects the budget so I have to be very imaginative for them.
- Clients from other cultures or religions. I've learned a lot and managed to adapt my recommendations to their beliefs.
- Clients mourning the loss of a family member. This requires tact while helping them separate from a home full of memories.
- 'I don't need you' clients. In this case, they may have used a designer when they decorated their home or they are an interior designer or they just think it's nonsense. I have to explain the differences between staging and designing. It also helps to have them make a change while you are there so that they can see the difference.
- The 'apprehensive client. This is most of my clients when I first arrive. They worry that their home and lifestyle are about to be judged. That is why I try to reassure all my clients that I see everyone at the same stage .... controlled panic .... so that they will relax and be able to take in my suggestions.
The people I meet are what keeps this job interesting.
I may work on the same model of home many times but the clients all use it differently. Their personalities and lifestyles are all different and keep me thinking.
If you love people, you will love this job.