Ok, this is going to be a slight (hopefully only slight) rant! I've been gone to Orlando with my family, but it started before I left. There have been more than a few blogs about the new HGTV show 'The Stagers'. Here are a few of them (Thank you David Moon for compiling them in such a tight little list for me):
Now I have to say many of you seem to understand the real deal of this show but so many of you are just not getting what a great show this really is for our industry. Let's think about it why don't we....
1.) First we complain about Designed-to-Sell and how cheap the jobs are compared to reality. We talk about what sellers and agents think when we show up and the costs are more than double that.
2.) We complain about the fact that no one knows what staging is. When they do know they think about #1. They are unrealistic with their expectations.
3.) We complain that we aren't making any money. Because of #1 & #2 we have to sell ourselves really cheap, right? We can't actually charge what we are worth because no one will pay it. I think on Ginger's blog about how new staging is and she has to haul furniture and bins of accessories across dangerous pathways all because sellers won't pay what she's worth.
Now we finally have a show that shows a bit more reality as to what staging is - that it is a stressful job and not at all glamourous. It shows how much we put into the job. It shows amazing before and after photos of rooms that look fabulous but not too overdone. The rooms have to be painted and cleaned before we come in. We have to think about the buyer and what they are thinking. We have to deal with sellers and their concerns - too small dining tables (their opinion), divorces, etc. We also have to deal with things that we have no budget for like changing out ugly dated light fixtures. (I know we don't like the way Matthew presented that to the client. Part of that is TV drama and part of it is his way - deal with it.)
So now this new show also shows a realistic staging budget (so far the staging costs have been less than 1%). I know, It is rare to have a $20K budget. I've only had one like that once and it required blowing through brick walls (literally). It doesn't mean it isn't happening. We have plans in our company, First Impressions, that will lead us there shortly actually. Isn't it better to be showing a realistic version where we can make money for our efforts? This way when we show up and give a budget of half that and still be making money, sellers will be pleasantly surprised - so will your bottom line!
Stagers, WAKE UP! Do none of you understand what this show can really do for our industry? (Ok, I know a few of you do get it... yay team!) Be ready to ride the wave of success that this show can send our way. I for one would like to thank the design team of Dekora and particuarly Matthew Finlason for making such a great and (real) life like show.