Tips for Stagers: regarding Before & After Pictures

Industry Observer

 Photograph EVERY project. Pictures are SOOOO important... they tell our story in an instant.  THAT is why I have so many posted on my website.  You can write and write and write... but people will ALWAYS look at the pictures. 

AND I keep updating them too, because you have 2 clients... the seller and the realtor. A seller might only look at your site a few times when they are thinking of hiring you.  A realtor goes back and back and back just to keep "tabs" on you. If they always see new fresh images they know you are a success. 

Also people need to SEE examples of their lives in your photos.  As a stager you need to show you can work across a variety of styles, issues, areas and levels of need. So your website is key to communicating this message.

Here is my tip that I tell everystager... and people have posted comments noticing this about our work. ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have your Before & After pixes from the EXACT same vantage point. (HY?  Because you want people to be looking at your work... NOT trying to orient them to how this picture fits next to that picture etc.

ALSO Before pictures can look as if you took them with your own camera... but your AFTERS they need to look professional. Notice I said LOOK professional.  We do all our own photos... I just use a 5 mega pixel Olympus but I took the time (in fact STILL taken time) to figure it out and all that it can do.

I want to tell MY story with visual perfection. Think about it... it is often the FIRST impression people have of our work... it better be good.

(PS:Thanks Phyllis for the blog idea... see how it works?)


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Christopher Smith
TREGO REALTY - Cedar Rapids, IA
Craig, good post!  I have a question for you.  You obviously have a memory card in your camera.  What size is it, and then do you have a download service you use to store all your photos or how do you keep records of all the photographs.  Just curious! Post UP
Sep 07, 2006 12:53 AM #1
Bonnie Erickson
Tangletown Realty - Saint Paul, MN
The before and after shots are important to an agent who is trying to sell your staging services for you.  On Craig's site there is one set that shows a house the way many people live . . . not dirty, but the baby furniture is set up, toys are out, a "blankie" on the couch.  The before and after are stunning to the consumer.  I still wish Craig was in my market area!
Sep 07, 2006 01:54 AM #2
Craig Schiller
Trempealeau, WI


I have a camera that has a 1 Gig card and a 512Kb card.  So it holds alot.  BUT I do pretty much down load them as soon as they come in. ANd store them on our server.

I worked in print media for years... and I know it takes a ton of photos to get a great shot (before or after)... but now a days all it is is file space. SO I say shoot away.



Sep 07, 2006 02:11 AM #3
Roberta Murphy
San Diego Previews Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
Carlsbad Real Estate and Homes
Craig: I wish you were in our San Diego market; on the other hand, we would refer to you clients moving from Chicago to here. Most homesellers could use the services of home stagers. I like your responsiveness.
Sep 07, 2006 03:42 AM #4
Eileen Landau

Craig, I'm sure that you've learned that 70% of all people are VISUALS. Means that most people HAVE to see in order to learn.

The remainder are either audio or kinesthic.

So, pictures are more important than words for most of the world!

Which also means when that buyer opens the door to the property it has to "hit" him...and hit him just right.

I'm delighted that you're in my marketplace!

Sep 07, 2006 09:43 AM #5
Craig Schiller
Trempealeau, WI

Actually Eileen I did NOT know that 70% fact.

Oh you know I am gonna use that now!


Sep 07, 2006 09:46 AM #6
Sharon Simms
Coastal Properties Group International - Christie's International - Saint Petersburg, FL
A picture is worth a thousand words. Definitely show your befores and afters. Using the same angle is not only less confusing, it shows your integrity. Sometimes when people see photos of their own house, they can see it better than just looking at it.
Sep 07, 2006 01:48 PM #7
Michele Van Detti
CJR - Gilbert, AZ
Craig, your site is great.  Forget staging, I wish you were here to decorate my 4000 square feet of beige walls.
Sep 07, 2006 03:13 PM #8
Sara Lipnitz
Max Broock Realtors - Birmingham, MI
Craig, I totally agree that photos are so important.  Your "terrorist in pearls" wishes you were here in Birmingham to work with.  I have a few vacant homes that need you. 
Sep 07, 2006 04:40 PM #9
Brian Nelso
Thneed, LLC - Aliso Viejo, CA
Brian Nelso
Pictures are the single most important feature to be included in your listings.  From both personal and professional experience I can tell you that listings with a lot of pictures get a lot more attention than listings with just a single picture of a front elevation. 
Sep 08, 2006 06:56 AM #10
Dawn Shaffer Life is good!
Battle Ground, WA

At my first shoot today, the agent had left her car in the driveway... so, thinking of you, I took a picture of the house with the car out front.. then, after she moved it, took another one. NOT to embarrass her, but to start my Craig File! :)

I think the 70% visual is from the book Frogs to Princes. I have tried to find it (it's about NLP--neurolinguistic programming, the logic that we are all either visual, audio or feeling), but it must be out of print. It's vital to your business and mine, though; because most people *are* visual, and first impressions so powerful because of it.

You GO, Craig :)

Dawn Shaffer

Sep 08, 2006 12:00 PM #11
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