12 Ideas For Business Success In Real Estate in 2017

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

I am often told that I am lucky to be the owner of a successful professional home staging company. Luck is the magic sauce that makes it all come together, but there are many things I do every day to make sure my company is well regarded and stays ahead of the competition.

Following these 12 steps will make you more successful in 2017.

Unlike the title of the hit Broadway play "How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying", you really do have to make an effort in order to succeed. Here's my 12 tips for success in the Real Estate business, whether you are a home stager or a real estate agent:

  1. The early bird really does get the worm: I find I am more likely to get the staging contract if I am one of the first home stagers to return the client's call. You get to make an impression on the client first, and that's often the deepest connection. I imagine it works the same way with real estate agents.
  2. Under-promise and over-deliver: I never reveal every bit of what I'm going to do, or what I'm going to provide before staging a home. I always make sure I go the extra mile and deliver more than I promised.
  3. Don't take on projects that are "over your head": You're dealing with your client's most valuable asset - their home. If you take on too big of a project or too large of a listing, and you fail, you will ruin your reputation, and may create a dire situation for your client. Stretching yourself to take on a little more than what you are used to is good, but this whole concept of "Fake it till you make it" is deceitful and deceptive.
  4. Open and frequent communication is key: Make sure everyone involved in or with your business understands what you will be providing, how much it costs, and what is expected of them. Repeat, if necessary, until you are certain everyone is on the same page.
  5. Surround yourself with the best: We are measured by the company we keep. Expel people who are dishonest, have dodgy ethics or simply make you feel uncomfortable, from your inner circle. Don't partner with other agents, home stagers, mortgage brokers, contractors, etc. that behave questionably, lest you be painted with the same brush. Don't take on clients that seem dishonest, unethical or "weird". They won't be worth the lost sleep and headaches.
  6. Trust your "gut": If you're not sure if something is OK, or a client asks you to do something that makes you feel uncomfortable, or you wonder what might happen if you "get caught" - DON'T DO IT! We have "gut" instincts for a reason. It's nature's way of protecting us. 
  7. Build trust with your clients and your community, and do everything necessary to maintain that trust. Lose a job, turn down a client, quit, if you have to, but maintain your personal integrity.
  8. Keep up on new technology and continuing education: You can take classes in a classroom, go to a seminar, take classes on-line, hire an expert to help you or subscribe to various blogs and groups, but don't ever close the door to learning as much as possible about tools, technology or methods for doing your job better and more efficiently. I spend at least one hour per day reading blogs from various disciplines (technology, law, finance, art and, yes, real estate) to "keep my tools sharp".
  9. Always be prepared: We can't be prepared for every eventuality, but there are many we can and should be prepared for. I think ahead  (if I could underline that twice I would!) and try to figure out all the things that might go wrong or surprise me, and then I try to be prepared. 
  10. The greater your effort the greater your chances of success: I have a plan and goals and I work my plan every day (well, almost). I work hard, try to work consistently and make sure my efforts are heading me in the right direction.
  11. Believe that you earn success: I believe that I deserve success, I work hard for it and I earn it. Even when I am not so successful, I believe that I deserve to be successful. If you don't believe you deserve success - not just want it, but really deserve it - you will always manage to sabotage your success.
  12. Be kind, be respectful, be helpful and behave professionally: You may not always get every job or listing by being kind, respectful and helpful, but you will earn the respect of your peers and clients and your reputation will grow accordingly. Behave professionally, because you never know who's sees what your doing, reads what you're posting to Facebook or where your next client will come from. 

What do you do to create success in your real estate or home staging business? Let's make 2017 a great success for all of us!

Posted by


Los Angeles Real Estate Staging

2019 RESA Top 10 Professional Home Stager Vacant

2015 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

2014 RESA Top 10 Professional Home Stager

2010 RESA Professional Stager of the Year

Michelle has staged thousands 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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Comments (23)

Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Thank you, Pat! You too!

Feb 06, 2017 02:30 PM
Cheryle Brown-Williamson
Just the Right Touch Home Staging & Interior Redesign - Anaheim, CA
Home staging in Orange & LA county, interior redes

Thanks for the great tips!

Feb 06, 2017 02:52 PM
Michelle Minch
Moving Mountains Design Home Staging, Pasadena, CA - Los Angeles, CA
Home Staging Los Angeles and Pasadena, CA

Thanks, Cheryle!

Feb 06, 2017 04:59 PM
Maureen Christiansen

Beautifully written! Classy and professional - the law of attraction works.

Feb 07, 2017 05:51 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Well!  I think you captured all the most important aspects Michelle Minch of a detailed list or SUCCESS!  Thank you.  I have to say (not bragging) that I try and do all of these things.  

Feb 07, 2017 06:16 PM
Michelle Minch

Glad to see you are following "the list". Good luck to you, Diana!

Feb 07, 2017 09:03 PM
Gregory Manns
HomeSmart Professionals Elite Group - Palm Springs / La Quinta, CA - Indio, CA
Palm Springs Area Realtor HomeSmart Professionals

Wonderful post Michelle! Thank you for sharing these solid business practices.

Feb 07, 2017 07:22 PM
Michelle Minch

Thanks, Gregory!

Feb 07, 2017 09:04 PM
Nancy Middleton
Counselor Realty, Inc. - Excelsior, MN
Nancy Middleton, Counselor Realty, Minnetonka, MN

Lots of great tips to remember in your business and in any business where an honest relationship and trust in each other is very important for accomplishing mutual goals once they are known and shared. Thanks for sharing.

Feb 07, 2017 07:26 PM
Michelle Minch

Trust is so important, Nancy. Thank you!

Feb 07, 2017 09:04 PM
Virginia Youngblood
DO-STAGE! LLC - an ASPM® Home Staging Company - Charlotte, NC
DO-STAGE! LLC - Home Stager - ASPM®

Excellent points, Michelle!  Thanks for sharing these with the AR family.

This is another great bookmarked post for me!

Happy staging from one staging sister to another

Feb 07, 2017 07:36 PM
Michelle Minch

Glad you like it Virginia. Thank you!

Feb 07, 2017 09:05 PM
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

12 wonderful tips, whether one is a stager, a Realtor® or any other type of business owner. Rachael Kendall - this fits in perfectly with our Team Charter, don't you think?


Feb 07, 2017 07:38 PM
Michelle Minch

Thank you, Lottie!

Feb 07, 2017 09:05 PM
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

"I am a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it." - Thomas Jefferson

Yep - you're one lucky lady! Congratulations on working hard enough and smart enough to earn all that luck.

Feb 07, 2017 08:19 PM
Michelle Minch

Great quote, Marte! Thank you!

Feb 07, 2017 09:06 PM
Carol Lynn Johnson
Re/Max Elite Realty - Franklin, NC
Residential Specialist

Great list.  I already do most of them religiously but seeing them in writing is a good reminder.

Feb 08, 2017 06:55 AM
Michelle Minch

Keep up the good work, Carol Lynn! Thank you!

Feb 08, 2017 04:06 PM
Anna Hatridge
R Gilliam Real Estate LLC - Farmington, MO
Missouri Realtor with R Gilliam Real Estate LLC

Great Post!  Congratulations on the feature.  

Feb 08, 2017 07:20 AM
Michelle Minch

Thank you, Anna!

Feb 08, 2017 04:07 PM
Greg Mona
West USA Realty - Scottsdale, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

This is a wonderful and common sense list Michelle Minch, and it is no ownder you are sccessful following these guidelines!  Keep up the great work!

Feb 08, 2017 08:40 AM
Michelle Minch

Thank you very much, Greg! Have a great day!

Feb 08, 2017 04:07 PM
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

#2 and 12 are so important. I find that if I do a few extra little things for my clients--they SO appreciate it!  Congrats on your success--I believe in staging, it has worked for my listings every time!

Feb 08, 2017 09:12 AM
Michelle Minch

I'm so glad you believe in staging! If you need referrals to great stagers in your area let me know. I'm glad you found value in my post.

Feb 08, 2017 04:06 PM
Brian DeYoung
also affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Heritage Realty - Ithaca, NY
The Realtor with personal investment background

Excellent list, well thought out, makes total sense.

Thank you.

Feb 08, 2017 09:27 AM
Michelle Minch

Thanks, Brian!

Feb 08, 2017 04:01 PM
steve weiser
ReMax Evolution - Dana Point, CA
Real Estate Agent

excellent .... how far is your reach?  Do you go to the Beach Areas in So Cal?



Feb 08, 2017 11:27 AM
Michelle Minch

Hi Steve: I will go to some Beach cities. I have a house staged in San Clemente right now. Let me know if you've got a house that needs staging (626)385-8852. If it's not an area I cover, I am well connected in the So Cal staging community and will be able to refer you to other excellent stagers.

Feb 08, 2017 04:00 PM
Kathy Booth, Setting the Stage
Setting the Stage - Newmarket, ON
Home Staging and ReDesign Professional

Michelle, I very much appreciated reading this.  #6 and 12 really stand out for me.   Thank you!

Feb 08, 2017 03:46 PM
Michelle Minch

Hi Kathy: So many people, especially women, don't trust their instincts. It's so important. Have a great day!


Feb 08, 2017 03:57 PM
Terrie Leighton
Ferrari-Lund Real Estate - Reno, NV
Reno Real Estate Agent ~ Selling Homes in Reno

Excellent list of ideas for success in 2017, Michelle. They are all useful and but some are so hard to do. For example, trust your gut....so simple but sometimes we ignore it, then the sleepless nights and regret set in. If only I could listen more lol. Have a great weekend.

Feb 09, 2017 01:51 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Very good principles and ways to succeed.  I agree with all of them! 

Feb 12, 2017 06:34 AM
Beth Bromund
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel - Rochester, MI
REALTOR (248) 651-3500

Believing you deserve success so you don't sabotage yourself is so important.  Thanks for a great success list.

Feb 18, 2017 08:57 PM