Have you ever tried to explain to potential clients what the letters “CRS” stand for and what value it holds for them if they hire you?
Sure, the courses required to receive the designation – how to improve listing presentations and market your business, among others – come in handy for you, but what does the client get out of it?
Now, imagine you have a staging certificate or designation. Not only is there no explanation needed, potential clients instantly see the value in it and in what you know that sets you apart from other agents.
The bonus? Since they won’t have to hire a stager, using you as the listing agent gives them more bang for their buck. There’s nothing quite like a bit of added justification for that supposed “huge” commission you make, right?
One of the more odious tasks of the listing agent is telling a client – most of the time a complete stranger – that his house stinks, it’s dirty and his taste in furnishings leave a lot to be desired. No matter how diplomatically you try to phrase it, he hears “You’re a slob and you have no taste.”
A professional stager, on the other hand, can be brutally honest and the homeowner not only hears “Help is here!” but gushes over with appreciation as well. The agent/stager then wears two hats, easily swappable by perfecting the art of the segue.
While the first reason to obtain a staging certificate is to impress potential listing clients and add value to your services, the second is to soften the blow when you explain the need for staging.
It’s safe to say that Barb Schwarz is the “Queen of Home Staging.” Not only did she coin the term “staging” back in 1972, she proceeded to personally stage and, as a real estate agent, sell more than 5,000 homes in the greater Seattle area.
Schwarz’s company, StagedHomes.com®, offers the ASP® (Accredited Staging Professional) designation courses via live classes or online webinars.
Then, there is the CSP® (Certified Staging Professional) program, started by Christine Rae, an internationally recognized trainer in the home staging industry. Rae co-wrote the book “Home Staging for Dummies.”
She offers both online training or a three-day in-person intensive classroom instruction program.
Finally, the Real Estate Staging Association offers a certificate for training with them. Learn more at realestatestagingassociation.com.
How it Works
Agent-stagers employ several business models. Some offer the service for free while others charge a fee (one agent in Atlanta charges $100 per hour).
Then there are the agents who have a team of designers and stagers on call to do a walk-through of the home and offer advice, free of charge.
A Montana agent has a warehouse of furniture and décor items that she employs when performing complimentary staging for her listing clients.
If you like the idea of offering staging to your clients, there are a multitude of ways to accomplish it.
Although many designations offer value to a real estate practice, none seems to add as much to both the business and the client as a staging certificate. It’s a win for both sides.
When you have time…here are some helpful resources we’ve made available to support your success.
1. The Free 12 Month Done-For-You Strategic Marketing Plan
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3. Become a Neighborhood Brand
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