"Just Be Yourself- But what if Your 'self ' needs a makeover?"

Home Stager with Rising Moon Interiors

It is common to hear people in the business world say things like, "Just be Yourself" when trying to reach out to new clients. While that adage is usually good advice, how can we as Real Estate & Staging professionals improve our personal ability to make a connection with potential clients?

Our clients are our neighbors. We can sometimes forget to "live" in our environment. The other day I was waiting in the car while my husband ran into the grocery store to grab something. As I was watching people come & go I thought to myself every one of these people has a story. Whatever it is, it's important to them. No matter our profession, we could all stand to reach out to others. Perhaps we should quit focusing on ourselves, or our objective so much. Thus enjoy the ride & open our eyes to the opportunities around us.

Woman on cell

1. Stop thinking about "What's in it for me?"

People see through it when you are not genuine. Focus on meaningful conversation. But how?

2. Ask sincere questions, then LISTEN!

Large corporations spend millions through surveys, focus groups etc. trying to find out what people want. Everyday we have opportunities to find out what matters most to our clients face to face. What are their concerns, interests, goals. Once you stop talking & start asking questions you find that people are usually quite willing to open up.

3. Time is precious, try sharing a little.

In today's world we are all pressed for time. We are so focused on filling every second that we often forget to live in the moment. Try getting off your cell phone, and pay attention to people around you. Don't get me wrong, I love my phone! But, most of us live in the communities where we work. What type of presence do you bring to your "neighbors"? Opportunities to connect do not often fall in our lap, we must make them.Talking by Starbucks

4. It is easier to talk to people you know.

Once you establish a repore with people, you know how to meet their needs. You can see how your business can benefit them, or their friends or relatives. Even if they don't have a need for your service now, things change constantly! They are likely to remember... 'that nice real estate agent I talked to at the coffee shop', or 'that friendly home stager I met in line at the grocery store'.

... Just don't forget to follow through by giving your new acquaintance a business card!




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Diana Young
Staging Seattle, King & Snohomish Counties - Edmonds, WA

Hi Holly,  Great reminders!  People really want to be heard and most folks are too busy or too rushed to really listen.  Listening is the first step to finding out what people want and need, which is important so that we know how we can best assist them in acheiving their goals.  As stagers if we listen carefully to our clients, address their wants and needs, assist them in achieving their goals, we will have happy clients, repeat and referal business.

Jan 22, 2009 10:46 AM #1
Terrylynn Fisher
Dudum Real Estate Group - BuyStageSell.com - Walnut Creek, CA
HAFA Certified, EcoBroker, CRS, CSP Realtor, Etc.

Very good advice, and really just good business basics.  Unless you are the computer nerd that is stuck in the office and doesn't every have to talk to people...ugh.  I can't imagine it, but then I guess you don't have to use these techniques.

Jan 22, 2009 08:14 PM #2
Belinda OnullBrien
Elegant Stager - New Lenox, IL
Elegant Stager, New Lenox, IL

Hi Holly, Great post. I truly believe that to be a good, professional home stager you need to be a good listener and enjoy hearing stories. I myself love walking into homes and hearing the stories of how many children they raised in the home or when they built the tree house for the kids. I enjoy listening to the stories behind each nick-nack that we remove from the china cabinet. For most home sellers, selling their home is a very emotional process, even when they are moving because they want to, not because they have to. I love to stage occupied homes. I have not staged a vacant home yet. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have someone to talk to.


Jan 24, 2009 01:06 PM #3
Sheila Kennedy
J29 Project - Rochester, NY

Hi Holly,  What a great article!  Something we always need to remember - especially as stagers.  Being a good listener is key in our business.  Building relationships with people is something we have to pay attention to.  The more relationships we cultivate, the more our business will grow.  Thanks!

Jan 26, 2009 08:48 AM #4
Holly Gray
Rising Moon Interiors - Kalispell, MT
Professional Home Stager - Bigfork, Kalispell, Whitefish Montana

Diana, Terylynn, Belinda, & Sheila,

Thank you all for your kind comments! I am really trying to get the hang of this blogging thing, so I appreciate the support!

Since I officially became a home stager it has really helped to raise my awareness of what perception I give to others in my community. I fully agree that moving is an emotional time, & people's homes are an extension of themselves, kind of like our kids! I would not enjoy having my children harshly criticized. So, I always do my best to be gentle with homeowners during the staging process.I think even though we are trying to neutralize a home, we still need to know enough about the homeowner to let their personality shine through in measured doses! That's easiest to accomplish when we listen!


Jan 26, 2009 09:28 AM #5
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Holly Gray

Professional Home Stager - Bigfork, Kalispell, Whitefish Montana
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