Find the Marketing Tool That Works Best For You- It Was A Surprise to Me!

Home Stager with Joy Home Design-Residential Interior Design & Home Staging

Many of you as ASPs were instructed as was I , to call on offices and ask to make presentations at their sales meetings.  Well, I spent the better part of a year and most of my meager marketing budget on printing packets for the agents who attended, etc... I gave my powerpoint and did my talk which I was told was very informative and helpful... BUT NO BUSINESS came out of it!  NOT one job did I get from this method of marketing.  I was flabbergasted. 

Then I finally decided to fall back on my old direct marketing ways learned from my former career in sales and marketing.  With the help of an email marketing company and my membership list from the local realtor's association I sent my first direct email blast!  What do you know, within 1 minute I got a phone call for an appointment that paid for the service. IT WORKED!

Lesson learned, you don't have to spend a fortune but it does help to reach as many people as possible with your message.  Keep the message short and simple - 6 or 7 lines , a few photos, maybe a testimonial and who to call, contact, etc.. include a link to your website or feature page also.

I'm not saying that I turn down offers to speak at realtor's sales meetings, but now instead of pursuing them, I blast them and let them decide if they want to contact me.  It's quicker, easier and MORE EFFECTIVE. 

I love this job!

Comments (31)

Toronto's 2 Hounds Design: Decorating + Staging
2 Hounds Design + Home Staging - Toronto, ON

Glad to hear you found something that works!

I've had no luck going door to door meeting realtors either. Not one job. Zip. Zilch.

Sep 30, 2008 02:06 PM
Lisa Sherman
Interior Aura - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Interior, Redesign & Decorating - Salem Oregon

Ditto!  Constant contact is a great marketing tool.  E-newsletters are important this day in age.

Sep 30, 2008 06:08 PM
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

Good job, normally what we do best is what works.  We project ourselves in a medium that we enjoy and it shows to the prospect.  Congratulations. 

Sep 30, 2008 07:45 PM
Michele Hess
Simply Staged Inc. - Rockford, IL
Home Stager Rockford - Simply Staged Inc

Joy, glad to hear this was successful for you.  I have made office presentations and newsletter blasts with success in both arenas.  Although, much more in the newsletter, e-mail approach.  I don't seek out Realtor office presentations any longer, but am happy to do so when asked.  Thanks for sharing.  Sounds like others are experiencing similar results.  Continued success!

Sep 30, 2008 10:51 PM
Tracy Moses~Redefining LUXE~Staging ~ Decorati
Redefining LUXE - Mount Pleasant, SC

Congratulations to you and I totally agree with the success of eblasts.  We use constant contact and send out a piece on each home that we stage and have tremendous response.  A broker just called me yesterday and wants us to participate in an upcoming function they are having to educate the agents on staging.  She found me due to how impressed she was with our eblast....she said, "what agent wouldn't want to have what you offer for their listing?"  I think it is so convenient for agents to receive information this way.

Oct 01, 2008 12:20 AM
Lisa Roy
SPACELiFT HOME STAGING, Greater Vancouver - Vancouver, BC

Thanks for the great advice!  I do a newsletter each month to my realtor client base that I got from a trade show in January.  Each time I do, I get at least one phone call so it does pay to keep in touch.  Out of sight, out of mind.............

Oct 02, 2008 11:25 AM
Tanya Venable
Orlando, FL
SEO, Mobile SEO, and Internet Marketing Consultant

Congrats on getting a job Joy! And on finding what works for you. I think that every area is different and can require different marketing tactics.

Oct 09, 2008 11:01 AM

Newsletters vs. business letter format-  As a consumer in the world, I receive a lot of email newsletters.  What I like best is the short format business letter with pictures. It is short and sweet and something to look at, not super slick so it won't get deleted immediately.  My goal is to provide a subject line that will pique the reader's interest and then give them just enough info with pics to draw them to call or enquire directly. 

This market is tough but I KNOW there is business out there for us.  I am going to be staging a vacant rehabbed townhome next week as a result of one of my blast emails! 

How many of you are feeling the effects of the bailout situation now??? I see calls enquiring for basic information but less converts to jobs than before.  HOWEVER, with interest rates lowering maybe we can expect more business.

Happy staging!


Oct 09, 2008 01:21 PM
Allison Welcher
Charlotte Staged Homes - Charlotte, NC

What a great tip! I've had similar luck with real estate office presentation. Thanks for the idea :)

Oct 10, 2008 05:17 AM
Leigh Blackwell
Staging For You, Inc. - Rancho Santa Margarita, CA

We spent a lot of time this year doing "realtor drops" (leaving marketing materials at local real estate offices) in hopes of getting to do presentations ... after spending the time and money we never received any new business.  We are now doing direct mail marketing as well as looking into the email marketing.  Thanks for the great ideas!

Oct 16, 2008 05:02 AM
David Peterson
Synergy Staging ~ specializing in vacant home staging - Portland, OR
Home Stager Portland OR-Synergy Staging-Portland Oregon

Joy ~ We have found this to be the most successful way of marketing as well (in addition to referrals).  Glad to hear it is working for you.  If stagers can find local email marketing companies that target only their market it can be much more effective and economical.

Oct 16, 2008 05:28 AM
Margaret Oscilia
Creative Concepts-Home Staging and Contracting, Salem Oregon - Salem, OR
Home Stager, Salem Oregon

My realtor friends have told me how many brochures, fliers and pamplets they throw away constantly that stagers and other business drop off at their offices.  Recently I did a presentation at an office where I had done about 8 jobs for agents within that office.  I used only their photos, what we had done and they talked about what a difference it made in getting their listings sold.  It was a fun presentation and much different than presenting to an office that wants the speaker to finish and to get back to work!

Oct 16, 2008 07:33 AM
Kathy Riggle
Houston Home Staging

I agree with your marketing recommendation, Joy.  Realtor presentations are so short & even though I give away a gift certificate for a staging consult, I have not received one call! The really busy Realtors are often not present at the weekly meetings, they send assistants instead.

Oct 16, 2008 10:58 AM


As I posted in a comment earlier, when you join a local association of realtors typically you get a membership list with contact information.  As a former Membership Manager for my local builder's association, I used this advantage quite often when trying to get new affiliate members to join our association.  Cross marketing between members is encouraged.  My local realtor's association membership is like $300/year but I receive 4,000 email addresses of realtors.  What Constant Contact allows you to do is email everyone in a professional way with a simple and easy opt out or unsubscribe button so that anyone that does not want to receive your emails in the future will be unsubscribed automatically by Constant Contact. 

SPAM would be if I were to look up their email addresses on the internet or in the phone book and send them emails.  I have a professional connection to these people as a fellow active member of their local board of realtors and thus permission to market my services to them.

Hope that clarifies how this works.  It is cheaper than spending $100 /month in print advertising and reaches more people.

Thanks to all for your comments. Looking forward to keeping the discussion going with a new post coming today!


Oct 17, 2008 12:58 AM
Jessica Cox
Perfectly Polished Home - Dallas, TX
Dallas Home Staging

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.

Nov 04, 2008 04:26 PM
Lisa Roy
SPACELiFT HOME STAGING, Greater Vancouver - Vancouver, BC

Hi Joy, How do you become a part of a local Realtor Association? It sounds like it would be a great way to contact realtors int he area.

Nov 08, 2008 02:14 AM
Magi Roth
Simply3 - Vaughan, ON

Thank you so much for saving us a bundle of money! We were just getting ready to reprint our brochures and do a mass mailing - but now, thanks to you....  Anyhow, we are discussing this in detail at our weekly meeting tomorrow.  Thanks again for sharing.

Nov 10, 2008 03:03 PM

To find the local realtors association just do a search of realtor associations and put your city in a search engine.Make sure you call and find out how their membership works, if you are permitted to cross market to the members, etc... Our association is the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors but there are also smaller local associations in different counties like the Harford County Realtors Association.  My larger association supplied a formatted excel spreadsheet upon joining with all of the realtor members contact info including their email addresses.  About 4,000 names! Well worth it for $300 /year. 

Then, the constant contact cost is about $50/month but if you prepay for 6 or 12 months you can get it down to $40-36/month .  *It could be less if your email list is smaller. So you figure if you can make $750 in a year then you are paying for a large part of your marketing.  And as a member of the local association, you can become involved in their committees and attend networking events to meet the other members- realtors at no additional cost usually or sometimes for a very small cost. 

With the constant contact you can send as many emails a month as you want but I choose to do just 1 or max 2 a month. Maybe one with an announcement of a recently staged home with before and after pics and one with a special offer or maybe tips or a newsletter style.

What seems to happen is over time, because you are being persistent and keeping your name in their consciousness , when the need does arise, they call you first to get info on staging.

Then it is a matter of making sure you are there to answer the call! And of course, you have to follow-up with good service and results.

I also have brochures and fly sheets that I created myself using a publisher type program that I have Staples print for me but I use them sparingly now. Only after being contacted by someone that is calling me for information instead of proactively giving them away a $2 brochure. 

Good luck to all of you. I added the staging just over a year ago now, and I expect that this coming year will be the year that the seeds I've sown will shoot up and help my business grow!



Nov 11, 2008 12:32 AM
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
Retired New Hampshire Home Stager

I started sending my email newsletter (using Constant Contact) three months ago.  I have not built up my contacts yet...I only have about 150.  Even with the small amount of contacts, I have seen great results.  I get phone calls and emails after every mailing.  I have to thank you for this post because I have been feeling guilty lately that I haven't been out doing presentations at offices.  After reading all the comments about what a waste of time it is...I don't feel so bad anymore!  I'll set my mind on working the newsletter and adding contacts.  I will have to find out more about joining my local realtors association.  Thanks!

Dec 02, 2008 04:35 AM
Külli Yee ~ Metro Vancouver Home Staging
Ilus Design ~ Home staging, re-design and organizing - Port Coquitlam, BC

Joy, thank you and everyone else for very useful information. I have been trying to decide which marketing approach to take and knowing what worked for you saves me a lot of time and money.

Constant Contact was also recommended in a great book I read recently. It is called "How to say it: Marketing with New Media" by Lena Claxton and Alison Woo.

Mar 23, 2009 03:30 PM