Beating Back Bad Economic News

Home Stager with Staging Diva / Six Elements Inc.

economic opportunityOne trait that separates the successful from the unsuccessful is the ability to look at change with an eye to opportunity, and Americans in general are good at this.

At the end of 2008, an international survey by the Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research studied the impact of the global financial crisis on 17 different countries.

The study revealed that Americans, despite the overwhelming tide of negative indicators, are among the most positive in the world when asked about their economic prospects, ranking well above Canada even though the Canadian economy is stronger right now.

The most pessimistic nations were Britain, France and Iceland.

Analysts generally agree that this U.S. optimism and can-do attitude (which leads to a willingness to invest and spend in hard times) will help turn the U.S. economy around, which will, in turn, affect economies throughout the rest of the world.

According to CIBC World Markets economist Meny Grauman, while the U.S. economy has never been in such rough shape in modern times, there has also never been such an unprecedented response from the U.S. government to deal with the crisis.

special report on home staging in depressed economyAccording to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), there were 4.9 million homes sold in the U.S. in 2008, and the projection for 2009 sees that number growing by 6.6% to 5.2 million.Considering the numbers of real estate agents are declining, that means more homes sold per agent this year!

Calvin Lindberg, president Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) says, "The increase in the Home Buyers’ Plan and the First-Time Home Buyers’ Tax Credit to cover closing costs are both important for first-time home buyers, and they are an important factor in an active housing market."

You'll find additional information to shine a light on the brighter side of what's happening in real estate and home staging today in a new free special report: "Ask Staging Diva: Can I grow a home staging business in a depressed economy?"

I spent a ton of time researching and writing this report because I'm tired of watching all the doom and gloom in the media suck the energy out of entrepreneurs.

There are real opportunities today, you just need to look at the bigger picture. I hope you'll download this free report and send me your feedback.

How are you keeping your spirits up? What new things are you doing to take advantage of what's happening in real estate today?

Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc.

Entrepreneur and Home Staging expert Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®, knows how to make money as a home stager and has taught over 1000 others to do the same. Discover her secrets to business success in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.


Re-Blogged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. D B 03/03/2009 12:50 PM
  2. Max Gieck 03/03/2009 01:23 PM
  3. Sandi Gerrard 03/03/2009 11:39 PM
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Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

This post is just what I needed tonight.  I made the mistake of watching the news!  I like Barry's idea of not coming out until it is over!

Mar 03, 2009 01:46 PM #26
Pat Ciko

Good to see a positive article. We have often had a slow start from the holidays. Not always easy to have to work harder and not see the results, like we have been use to.  There is business out there. Like Charles said, he just had to adapt.The rising prices had to stop, Unfortunately too many are homeless.  Sometimes the hardest part is listing to the people's stories. We must stay positvie to help them and ourselves.  Some buyers wait for their tax returns to come in. So now we have really good buys for them.

Mar 03, 2009 04:00 PM #27
Esko Kiuru
Bethesda, MD


These are the types of stories we need to hear about. The news that can give the nation uplifting momentum, in terms of housing, jobs, mortgages, everything.

Mar 03, 2009 04:07 PM #28
Tamara Perlman
Referral Network Inc. - Truckee, CA

Debra--Keep the positive attitude coming!  Focusing on it helps all of us!

Mar 03, 2009 05:15 PM #30
Jennifer Sylvester
RE/MAX Spectrum - Plymouth, MA

It all boils down to the same thing...."Garbage In, Garbage Out"....

Mar 03, 2009 08:58 PM #32
Sandi Gerrard
Toronto, ON

Excellent information, Debra.  Thanks for sharing.

Mar 03, 2009 11:39 PM #33
Jeanne Gregory, RE/MAX Southwest, Sugar Land, TX

As someone who lived through real estate in Houston in the mid 80' could be worse!  However, I've turned off the news, CNN and put my IPOD in my ears at the gym to drown out Fox News (yuk).  I'm like a 3 year old with my hands in my ears yelling "I'm not listening, I'm not listening" 

Mar 04, 2009 01:14 AM #34
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

Don't believe NAR about anything. They are not credible anymore unfortunately. Good post and I also believe that Americans are the most optimistic bunch on the planet.  Next are Realtors - they hope everything will be successful from newspaper ads to pumpkin deliveries! LOL

Mar 04, 2009 01:40 AM #35
Hendrik Glastra
HG Staging and reDesign - Toronto, ON

 I got into the housing market in the early nineties (doom and gloom times) and have not looked back since.  Just look outside and see the bright sunshine and think of the end of winter (especially here in Toronto) and you can just feel the energy and optimism flowing back.  When I took my dogs for a walk this morning, the fellow dog walkers I ran into were all positive and happy.  I think the bottom has been reached, peolple will naturally get tired of feeling down and will look for ways to feel positive and think of what they can do to get themselves out of their funk. OK, everyone, put on a happy face and smile and think positive.

Mar 04, 2009 02:26 AM #36
Greg Cook - First Time Homebuyers Network

There's no such thing as "good" news or "bad" news only NEWS. It's how we react that makes it good or bad.

There is tremendous opportunity out there, we just have to find it in different places than we are used to looking.

Mar 04, 2009 02:51 AM #37
Karin Elliott

If I weren't an optimist then I wouldn't spend my weekends with all the folks that still have something to sell! LOL! This too shall pass! We'll all be wiser in the end! Plus there is plenty of lonely highways that need a Margarita stand! I'm making a straw hat right now!

Mar 04, 2009 03:42 AM #38
Debra Gould
Staging Diva / Six Elements Inc. - Toronto, ON
The Staging Diva

Thanks everyone for contributing to this conversation, makes it more educational for everyone.

I'm very pleased that I've been able to inspire some of you, mindset is so key. Not just in the macro sense of turning the economy around, but on a personal level too. If  you keep telling yourself everything is awful and there's no hope for your business, you'll be right! Which would be cold comfort!

I started my first business in 1989 just in time for the recession and property crash of the 90s. I've been self employed ever since and have never regreted being my own boss.

For all the declines in property value right now, how much are these homes worth compared to what they were 10 or 15 years ago?

Back in the 90s when everyone's home value took a nosedive, we were paying 12% to 15% interest on our mortgages! That's pretty scary when now it's only 2% to 5%-- what a HUGE difference in affordability.

Please keep your thoughts and ideas coming! What are you doing differently today to build your business? What bright spots do you see?


Mar 04, 2009 08:01 AM #39
Sue White - Conway, SC

Debra - My business has grown this year as well.  Because I have a product that will allow agents to not only touch someone in a positive way, they also have the opportunity to to recoop their money and build a marketing budget.  Win-Win.  Being positive helps.  Like others, I rarely watch the news and I keep focused on my goals!  Thanks for the reminder that anyone can succeed in the good 'ol USA. 

Sue White,

Mar 04, 2009 09:21 AM #40
Harrison K. Long
HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty - Irvine, CA
REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney

We are working with buyers each day, especially during challenging times.  We and other Realtors need to help the buyers understand that home affordability and lending are the most important factors to consider.  That's the reality.  After they are prequalified for a loan, we encourage buyers to get involved with the properties.  That's part of the buyer dream.  There are good opportunities for buyers here at South OC, California.

Thanks and best wishes.


Mar 04, 2009 03:28 PM #41
Barbara Dougher

Very good!  I've quit watching or listening to the news.  I finally decided it's just not going to change there is no need to get upset or dwell on the negitive.  I appreciate such uplifting perspectives....keep up the good work!

Mar 05, 2009 05:02 AM #42
Antonio & Alexia Cardenas
Alameda County - San Leandro, CA. - San Leandro, CA
"The Realtors In Motion"

Thank you Debra, this is what we need nowadays, positive attitude is contagious and the energy put into dealing with bad news is equall to the one putting into dealing with good news, the difference is that those of us who manage to survive now will be stronger and ahead of the pack when things turn around, because they will.


Mar 05, 2009 01:36 PM #43

I used to live in Switzerland and worked in an international environment and you are so right about American optimism.  I was so thankful to move back to the US in fact and be surrounded by the can-do attitude again.  Not that Americans are perfect but they are certainly forward thinkers, and generally happy people.  GO USA!

Great blog!

Cindy Stys Equestrian & Country Properties


Mar 05, 2009 07:58 PM #44
Jill Monczunski / Staging To Sell LLC / Ludington MI

Hey (again) Debra -

Great feature!  As the etermal optimist, and because I so totally believe in the rewards a seller can reap as a result of having their home professionally staged to sell, I keep plugging away with my business and trying to talk to as many agents and homeowners as I can.  My biggest frustration is the so-called home stagers out there who have no training, real experience, or education in doing a service for sellers.  Professional home stagers are taking on the responsibility of marketing a sellers largest investment (their home!), and it troubles me that a seller is misled to believe that just because someone says they are a stager, they are.  This is not a past-time or hobby for me.  I would hope that sellers would do a little checking before they hire a home stager.

Staging To Sell LLC / Jill Monczunski - President/Designer / Serving Central and Northern MI /

Mar 06, 2009 06:57 AM #45
Lisa Collymore
Highstylebydesign - Montreal, QC

Hi Debra,


 I agree, the news is so depressing and it can actually lead a stager to loose focus. For myself, I think positively and even if business is slow work on marketing and other areas to generate business. A positive attitude is what i live by.



Lisa Collymore

Apr 11, 2009 08:02 AM #46
Debra Gould
Staging Diva / Six Elements Inc. - Toronto, ON
The Staging Diva

Thanks everyone for your additional comments.

Ali, I love your Warren Buffet quote~ "be greedy when others are fearful, and fearful when others are greedy..."

Jill, I agree that there are both good home stagers and bad out there. I wrote an article to help home sellers and real estate agents judge who they are dealing with. Anyone who needs help knowing whether you've found the "right" stager for your job in this completely unregulated industry, check out this article, Hiring a Home Stager.

Lisa, Cindy, Antonio, Barbara, et al...

I'm really glad you found reading some more positive news about the economy refreshing. My special report on how the current economy and slow housing market effect home staging and real estate selling is still available and over 750 people have downloaded it so far. You can get your FREE copy of this report here.

Apr 21, 2009 07:14 AM #47
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