I’ve been working on creating a holiday design and Christmas decorating webinar over the last few weeks, so that it’s very easy for my members to offer holiday decorating and Christmas design services to their clients this holiday season! I’ve really enjoyed building out this training since it gets me in the holiday mode even if the San Diego weather is still in the 80’s…ugh.
You may be asking, “Audra, why should I add holiday design services to my business?” Well, here are 8 reasons why expanding your business into holiday design could be good for you along with Christmas trees from my 8 holiday styles so pick your favorite (they can all be found in my Houzz>Holiday Style Ideabook)…
If you are one of those people that LOVE the holiday and LOVE designing your home for the holidays, then this service is a no-brainer. Here’s a secret for you…not everyone loves or even likes to decorate their home for the holiday BUT they know they should, so they are your perfect client.
It Fulfills A Need
Is it just me or does it seem like the holiday season gets shorter and shorter every year and I never have enough time to fit it all in? I know I’m not alone and people would love a service that works with them to dial in their holiday home while saving them time. We are in the era of “outsourcing” and now more than ever people are paying others to do the work they don’t have the time for.
It Attracts A Higher-End Clientele and Easily Leads to Much Broader Design Projects
The very nature of holiday design is to save clients time by doing the design for them, so typically the folks who don’t have that kind of time but do have the money are in a higher-end, income bracket. What do this mean for the designer? It means you’ve just created a wonderful referral source for multiple design projects.
It Attracts a Regular Clientele
The beauty of a holiday design service is that those client’s whom you did an excellent job for the previous year, will invariably have you come back every year! You only need to cultivate a handful of client’s to have regular, steady business every year. In fact, a stager friend of mine says that she earns almost 15% of her business yearly on only a few, holiday design client’s that LOVE her.
A Holiday Design Service is a Great Hedge to the Busy, Spring, Staging Season
Sometimes I hear stager’s complain that their staging business really dips during the holidays, so having a steady, holiday design clientele that keeps you busy, year after year, makes perfect sense!
It’s Impossible for People to Be Objective About Their Holiday “Stuff”
Yep, they are emotionally attached to some Christmas decor that really should have gone by the wayside long ago. They wonder why their home doesn’t look very good during the holiday season and many times it’s because of these older, cheaper items they just don’t have the heart to let go of…sound familiar? An expert, fresh set of eyes is such a huge benefit to sorting through home decor and getting the look we really want for our holiday home!
You Save Client’s Money by Re-purposing
Home Stagers and Designers have the uncanny ability to “see” interiors in creative ways and part of that skill-set goes toward Re-purposing items to their best showing. Why pack all of your current decor away before decorating for the holidays when you can easily to the gorgeous decor you already have and “holiday, bling it up!”
Not Hard to Market a Holiday Design Service If You Know How (That’s What My Training Teaches You!)
An hour-long training that walks you through the entire process, gives you the FAQ and Price Sheet for your website, a Pre-Appointment Form so you ask the right questions up front and trains you on how to market this valuable service is available!
Invest in your business this holiday season!
My Office Remodel – 5 Design Lessons Learned
Have you ever known that you have to do something with a space but feel a bit stumped?
I shouldn’t have shown you the “after photo” so soon because once you scroll and see the before photos, you will see why this room was the bane of my home’s existence! I did NOT want this ugly room as my office but since my kids were sharing a bedroom and turning into teenagers…it was time to remodel. Keep in mind, these photos were taken with my camera and not a professional.
Here are five lessons I learned from my office remodel…
1. You Cannot Make a Dark Space Lighter with Paint!
This room inside of my house was a constant, nagging irritation to me because I had no idea what to do with it! First off, it’s SUPER dark and gets very little natural light. In fact, there is just the one little window that emits no light and the doorway in which I am standing to take the photo is the only light source…soon to become a door. In the past, we attempted to paint the room my favorite brightening color from the Benjamin Moore Affinity Deck called Jicama but it looked drab in this space…thus lesson #1.
To combat the darkness, I added lots of artificial lighting in all of it’s forms, lots of bling from the mirrored desk, mirrored frames, table and gold lamp in order to brighten it up. The key to dark spaces is to embrace them with paint and rely on artificial lighting to do the rest. Embraced the darkness I did with Benjamin Moore’s Historical Collection, Newburyport Blue HC-155 which is the ignored color next to the very popular Hale Navy. It’s a warmer navy than Hale Navy without looking too blueberryish like Van Deusen Blue.
2. You Have to Splurge When You LOVE Something Sometimes:)
The window seat was begging for something and since you already know that I am a HUGE pillow lover, I felt it was time for me to splurge on some of my favorite Schumacher fabrics even though I have kids and animals that have NO respect for my furnishings…alas!
Splurging is hard for me since I am very practical but splurge I did on each one of these pillow (even though I got them wholesale), knowing they would probably have a lifespan of a year in my house.
3. You Have to be Practical When It Comes to Your Comfort
My office chair is the ugliest thing ever and I’m sure you noticed it right away my stager/designer readers! But here’s the thing, I have to sit there for many hours everyday and do my job, so I have to be comfortable. Have you ever looked at rooms in magazines and asked yourself whether you would FEEL comfortable there? We are staging and designing for real people in real situations, so comfort and practicality does matter.
The little brown, leather chair is a comfortable, recliner that I do use quite often at night to watch the TV in this room…who can ever agree with their husband on TV viewing preferences?
4. You Have to Get Personal
I’m one of the few staging trainers who believes your “lived in” home should NOT look staged. I have family photos everywhere in my home, as well as kids artwork and awards on display. Even in my new office you can see that I have a wall of my boys artwork and a mirror-framed, wall of my latest family photos taken on the beach in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
5. Adding ANY Kind of Architectural Element Will Boost the Space
I was on a limited budget but wanted shelves for my MANY books and cabinets to hide my ugly, office “stuff”. Here’s another tip, make sure you are crystal clear on exactly how you want those cabinets built! I was armed with photos of both the mill work and cabinet I wanted, so this was easy and boy does it make a difference!
6. Animals LOVE Animal Skin Rugs Even If They Are Fake
You know I have to give a bonus tip and it’s this…my dog and cat cannot stay away from the faux, skin rug! Isn’t Emmy Dog and Johnny Cat cute?
The truth is…now this room is my favorite spaces in the home! Thanks for reading!
Amazing Home Staging Before-and-After Photos
In the over ten years I’ve been doing home staging training, I NEVER get tired of seeing gorgeous, home staging before and after photos! Successful staging is not “easy” or something you can learn in a book. Amazing staging is an ART form born out of extreme expertise driven from a life time of a passion for interiors. There is so much design talent in our HSR certified membership, I just had to share some of my recent favorites from our almost 10,000 photos in our Stagers Connect photo gallery…
Carolyn Rush of CR Interior Designs, a home staging company in Montgomery County takes a home with lots of character and works her staging magic:
I love how she took a dining room that was being used as an office and turned it back into the purpose it should have been! Remember, they way we live in a home and they way we sell it…are very different:
Look what Ginger Slemons of Elevating Spaces, a home stager in Salt Lake City did to this home! It’s all about getting the buyer to stay in the home and eliminating those questions a buyer would have about a home that does not look “model ready”. As you can see from these two home staging before-and-after photos PAINT makes all the difference!
And you all know what a pillow freak I am, so you can imagine how much I love the way this simply made master bedroom is given some fun style with just a pillow…
Christina Bullock just got started in the training but I can already tell she has a great eye for creating an ethereal, bedroom atmosphere:
Nichol Sandoval of DreamHome Staging in Hollister, CA staged this vacant home where before you mostly notice the bad valance and broken blinds. Another critical reason to always staging a vacant space…look how the after staging makes this room look adorable!
Every tiny area of the home can benefit from a fresh perspective! Laura McAllister of Laura Lorraine Designs, a staging company in Rancho Cucamonga, CA helped a friend redesign their entry table area. Every area of the home, gives the interior stylist an opportunity to create style, function and a smile on the owner’s face! I love how that tiny space now has big impact:
I’m buried in home selling success stories and wish I could share them all! I also get to hear a ton of personal success stories especially from new members who just decided to take the plunge, follow their dreams and start a home staging and design business…
here’s a couple of my recent favorites that made me laugh out loud…
I am so excited about this business that I can barely sleep! I dreamt about color combinations all night. My boyfriend is looking at me sideways, wondering why this makes me so happy!
Sure beats sitting in a cubicle. Thanks so much for creating such a great program!
Best regards, Cyndi Latour
This was one of the first non-testimonials I’ve ever received and it made me completely crack up!
Audra, I cant thank you enough. Not a slow start but a slow/medium start to my new business but it finally clicked in and I am now turning down jobs because I am just too busy. There is so much information in your course that I was only able to skim through and if there is such a thing as a “slow season” I welcome the chance to go back and study it further. Looking back, the best tool I used to start my business was to sign up for your classes. The bad news is that I can’t recommend you because I don’t want my competition to have the valuable tools you have provided me…Forever in your debt.
I had to keep that one anonymous but isn’t that hysterical? Anyway, homes and people are being transformed in this industry…it’s a wonderful thing!
Finally, I just had to share an email I received from a new member, Janis Capone entitled, “A Great Friday the 13th!”
Janet had emailed me last week letting me know she had her first full, staging day on Friday, Nov. 13, so I quickly emailed her back some tips, encouragement and a request to let me know how it went…here’s what she sent today:
Hi Audra,Thanks for the congrats and well wishes. Today was fabulous! You really came through for me in so many ways. I felt prepared, confident and comfortable with my first full home staging. Your voice was a constant in my head saying,”You can do this”. I practiced my pitch (like you instructed), I was complimentary of their home, I was honest and I listened to them.Your words of wisdom really paid off. What great satisfaction not only for me, but more importantly my clients. Rewarded with many hugs and kisses and a check to boot! I know that there is so much more to learn and I can’t wait for this. So in closing, thank you for a great day and I look forward to many more.
How cool is that?! What will your story be?
Not all professional stagers are equal! Our HSR Certification training was the first and one of the only staging and redesign training programs that has been third-party, accredited by the Real Estate Staging Association, so invest in the best!
Ready to Become a Successful Home Stager and Redesigner?
Do you want to grow your staging business during the slower holiday season?
Do you want to connect with a higher end clientele for design?
Do you love the holidays and holiday decorating?
Then this step-by-step, one-hour training video on, “Expanding Your Business to Holiday Design and Christmas Decorating” training video is for you!
What Will the Training Video Go Over?
- “Homework” Ahead of Time in Preparation for the Service
- Defining the Client’s Holiday Style – 8 Styles to Pick From
- Repurposing Current Décor for a Brand New Look
- What to Bring to Maximize Income/Impact and Your Retail Sales
- Setting Expectations with Your Client and a Simple Process to Follow
- Holiday Design Services and Pricing Model – Price Sheet Form Provided
- Key Questions to Ask in the Phone Interview – Pre-Appointment Form Provided
- How to Market Your New Service Easily and Affordably – Simple Ad and Direct Mail Ideas/Examples given
One Hour Video Training Includes these forms in Word for your business use:
- Holiday Design FAQ Sheet – Tweak this for your website verbiage and SEO
- Holiday Design Services and Pricing Example – Stair-stepped pricing that sets expectations
- Holiday Design Pre-Appointment Interview Form (get a “read” on your client ahead of time)
- Holiday Design Intro Email – Easy email template to send to client’s once you have appointment on the books. This sets the expectation and gets your client excited about the process.
- Holiday Design Idea Websites and Sources to Inspire You
- Two Ad Ideas for Mail-Outs, Facebook, local magazines, etc…
This is the first time Audra has ever sold a part of her training independently of her HSR Certified Program!
Only $75 for the entire Holiday Design Training!
If you are a RESA Member, you can get a discount by purchasing through RESA at:
Invest in yourself and give yourself the gift of knowledge!
I just posted an article on the National Association of Realtors, Styled Staged & Sold blog on the “Top 10 Reasons to Stage Your Home in 2015“. I created this post for agents, so that they can use the statistics and imagery to convince their client’s of the benefits of staging. I also created a YouTube video and pdf hand-out below that is a great tool for stagers and agents to embed on their websites, so check it out:
Having compelling resources and tools to give to your sellers and/or agents is critical in this industry! I hear so many stories of how the seller didn’t really understand why they should stage until they saw statistics and room photos. Pictures really matter in this industry, so combining both home staging statistics and staged room photos in a handout or video on your website matters.