In the Race to Sell, Sometimes a Stager Has to Shift Gears

By
Home Stager

Yesterday morning, I was scheduled to perform consulting duties for one of my favorite RE agents.  The particular client I was scheduled to meet with is notably motivated to sell their home as their new custom home is near completion (it will be move in ready in approximately 2 weeks).  Because of these circumstances, the agent went against the usual stage-list-show schedule by placing the listing on the MLS without photos before I had been there to steer the seller in the right direction as to how to prepare their house for the market.

Generally, I try to arrive 5-10 minutes after our scheduled consulting time(she is always in attendance and is a tremendous support for my suggestions) so that she can be the first to arrive and run through the procedure of stage-list-show with the client.  By the time I get there, they are prepped for my speeches and fully aware of how the race will be run.  It works out great that way.  But, yesterday was different, because she got stuck in some sand at another listing (a whole other story) and was sidelined in the pits.

Undaunted by her absence, I started prepping the client on how I would conduct the consultation and whatgreenflag.jpg they should expect to gain from our time together.  I had completed that task and was well into the initial walk through with the client when the agent arrived.  I had expected that she would just join us on the tour and things would continue as usual, but that was not the case.  The first thing she did when joining us was inform us that she had just scheduled the first showing....in 24 hours.

Now, let me tell you that even though the seller had been well aware of the pending sale of her home, she works full time and has two (beautiful and polite, btw) children to care for.  Her husband is also employed full time and though they had started packing and ridding themselves of excess furniture, they were far behind the rest of the pack when it came to race readiness.  It became quite clear that the race was on and they were not in need of a consultation, but needed an experienced pit crew to get them ready to run.

We immediately shifted gears, rolled up our sleeves and got to work.  Thankfully, many of the rooms just needed a bit of tweaking and as we went through each room making our changes, we also made a mental list of minor repairs and organizational suggestions for them to tackle on their own.  In less than three hours time, we had prepped and reviewed 6,000 square feet of space and jotted down a 2 page checklist for the sellers.  As we finished each room, it was photographed so that the photos could go online ASAP.

Our work time went very quickly as myself, the agent, the seller, and her two children worked together to get everything done.  Many of the things left undone were things only the seller could do and we prioritized them to relieve some of her stress.  Though she may not have been 100% prepared that first showing, we left her infinitely closer than when I had arrived and well prepared to complete the race.

I know without a doubt, that we did the absolute best job we could for our sellers and I am very proud of what we were able to accomplish given the circumstances.  Unfortunately, it meant not wasting time on before pictures, just producing some quality 'afters'.  But, in the end, they are definitely contenders to finish first!

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Rainmaker
212,529
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

Yup, Real Estate doesn't follow the calendar or schedule.  Realtors are often needing something they list on Saturday done by Tuesday for broker tour.  Maybe the client HAS to get going ...and we do what we have to.  I have always thought the Realtors who say they don't work weekends were naive, and stagers who think they won't have to jump in and help out in a hurry are similarly naive.  But then that's the difference between someone who stages and someone who creates teams with their Realtors.  You do what it takes to make them look good too and they reward you with ALL their listings. Good post. 

Aug 24, 2008 11:28 AM #1
Rainmaker
820,143
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Kim ~ I'm certain your agent partner and the seller were thrilled that you could see the vision of what needed to be done so quickly.  They'll also appreciate it when the house sells quickly!  Great post on how we need to be flexible and just jump in even when we're forced to adjust our plans.

Aug 24, 2008 12:32 PM #2
Rainmaker
360,175
Ginger Foust
Certified Staging Professional - Oakhurst, CA
Home Stager Oakhurst CA, Dream Interior Redesign & Staging

Flexibility is the name of the game in so many business and you Kimberly are to be commended.  The clothing that I wear for a consult is usually very different from my "work" clothes so I now a work set in the van for just this type of "emergency."  Great job stepping it up and getting it done!  

Aug 24, 2008 01:40 PM #3
Rainmaker
152,435
Virginia Tatseos
Stage-Show-Sell - Bloomfield Township, MI

I think this is great.  they will be your raving fans.   They saw how much work went into it and appreciated it even more.

Did you have to go back and tweak it OR did you manage it get it all done in the one visit?

Aug 24, 2008 01:51 PM #4
Rainer
73,992
Kimberly Wester
Valparaiso, IN

Terrylynn - I think it is this particular agent's willingness to do whatever it takes that has bonded us professionally.  She inspires me to do better and I love her for it! 

Maureen - Thanks!  I really enjoyed this particular instance, because we were able to accomplish so much with everyone's incredible atittude toward reaching our goal.  I hope to do more of it!

Ginger - It is so funny you say that, because I was wearing a dress.  Not the best staging attire to say the least. I wish I had brought along another outfit!

Virginia - This agent and are raving fans of one another, so this is just par for the course for us, actually.  She is a hard worker and I do whatever I can to make all of her listings successful sales.  All of the furniture and accessories were in place when we left.  All that had to be done was decluttering of closets and minor repairs.

Aug 24, 2008 02:38 PM #5
Rainmaker
173,214
Cynthia Bartch
Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio - Granville, OH
Redesigned Spaces; All Round Nice Gal

Kimberly, First of all what a wonderful relationship you have w/ that very special RE. Secondly, how great that everyone worked together and you were able to get the job done on the spot? I'm sure everyone one was thrilled.

I always keep extra staging type clothes and shoes w/ me because during most of my consults the clients want my suggestions done right then and there.

Aug 25, 2008 01:19 AM #6
Rainmaker
342,285
Julia Maher
Nestings: Connecticut Home Staging and Model Homes - Fairfield, CT
Connecticut Home Stager

Good for you for just diving right in!  Flexibility is key - perhaps I should keep a change of clothes handy...Thank goodness there are decent "After" pictures!  Julie

Aug 25, 2008 02:06 AM #7
Rainer
13,338
No Longer Available
White Rock, BC

Kimberly, well done.   Sometimes this is just the case.  The client really needs help.  You just have to get in a do it. 

Real Estate is about timing....and sometimes to meet everybodies needs we can not mess with this.

Aug 25, 2008 03:35 AM #8
Rainmaker
489,750
Kathy Nielsen
http://atlantahomestaging.net - Marietta, GA
Atlanta Georgia Home Stager

Good for you for stepping in and rolling up those sleeves!  You make us proud, Kimberly.

Kathy

Aug 25, 2008 05:45 AM #9
Rainmaker
2,772,745
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Kimberly, Talk about fast moving, it's incredible that you got it done!  I may have been in shock and hopefully would have kicked into full gear as well.  Congratulations on getting it done so fast!

Aug 25, 2008 04:21 PM #10
Rainmaker
181,945
Karen Dembsky
Peachtree Home Staging LLC, Home Staging in Atlanta, GA - Peachtree City, GA
Atlanta Home Staging

Thank you for posting this and it really is the Real World of Home Staging!  You just never know  . . .

featured in the group:  http://activerain.com/groups/RealWorldHomeStaging?sort_style=2

 

Aug 26, 2008 02:02 PM #11
Rainer
89,583
Val Allocco
Staged 2 Sell New York & Long Island - Northport, NY
HSE; ASHSR - Home Stager, for Manhattan, Brooklyn & Long Island

Hi Kim!

...and that is part of what makes this 'career' so rewarding!  It is those unexpected situations that urge us to stretch ourselves beyond the 'norm', and in the end, we feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment.  You do us proud in the Home Staging industry!

Val

Aug 29, 2008 02:03 AM #12
Rainer
10,740
Wendy Casey
A-List Home Staging & Decor - Surrey, BC

Hi Kimberley,

I love your appproach to just dig in and get the job done for the realtor, while also organizing the client. A team - the realtor, the client, and the stager made it happen! Congratulations.

Wendy Casey - Surrey, BC

Aug 29, 2008 03:52 AM #13
Rainer
86,133
Brenda Hughes
Evansville Home Staging & Re-Design - Evansville, IN
Home Staging & Re-Design Southern IN, KY

Congratulations Kimberly,

Super job!  I have learned to be prepared for anything.....  I had a similar case, but it was the client who

was ready to dig in and make it happen forget about the consulation, she was ready to go to work and help

me do whatever needed to be done in every single room of the house, all 3800 sq ft of it.

No time for before pictures either, but great after picture for sure:) Home sold and closed within 30 days, that is what happens when home owners really want to sell their home and are prepared to do what ever it takes to do it......

Aug 01, 2010 04:13 PM #14
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Kimberly Wester

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