Something about sending my kids back to school this week really makes me feel sentimental as another year clicks by and I now have a 7th grader and 5th grader. I’ve been feeling sad about having a child in Jr. High but was gratified when my youngest son still ran out of his class the first morning to kiss me good bye…how long will that happen I wonder? I know many of you are sending kids back to school currently or are maybe a bit wistful about the days past that you did, so I thought a post about going back to school for us adult home stagers and designers would be helpful along with lots of link resources and fantastic “after” photos of course…
There is a lot to know when you enter into the home staging industry and I find that many times people have no idea until they step into the Certification training. Not only do you need to learn how to be an entrepreneur (accounting, client maintenance, inventory control, licenses, insurance, contracts, website, social media, marketing, etc…), you have to know staging, design, shopping and the real estate market and process!
So how do home stagers stay on top of all of these industries? Here are 5 ways to go back to school and 48 link resources:
1. Join Staging Social Networking Groups – There are many Facebook, Google and LinkedIn staging groups available to join and take part in. You can view my LinkedIn Profile to see all the home staging groups I subscribe to. At HSR, we have our own private social networking group called Stagers Connect where we have over 300 ongoing discussions from model home staging to photograph to window coverings. Here’s a sneak peek into what’s inside Stagers Connect:
2. Network through Staging and Design Association Chapters Locally – The Real Estate Staging Association (RESA) which is the trade association for the staging industry and ASHSR has chapters all over North America for stagers to network, volunteer and learn. In fact, the Texas RESA Chapters are having a one-day learning event in September for all stagers, so if you’re in Texas, consider attending: http://texas.resa-hq.org
3. Subscribe to Design Magazine Blogs – I learn a lot about design by looking at the work of others, as well as reading blogs from experts in the industry. Some of my favorite design magazine blog sources for design are www.houzz.com, http://freshome.com, http://hgtv.com, http://www.domainehome.com, http://www.lonny.com/, apartmenttherapy.com (for small spaces) and http://www.housebeautiful.com/.
4. Subscribe to Real Estate News and Blog Sites – Advanced knowledge on “buyer demographic” and which staging advice will provide the best return on investment within a market comes from having your finger on the pulse of the real estate markets you serve. In our training we go over advanced Internet search techniques to identify a home’s “staging potential” but it also helps to subscribe to your local Realtor Associations FB page and website. I also like to subscribe to these national Real Estate News sources: http://www.inman.com/, http://realtormag.realtor.org/, http://rismedia.com/, http://money.cnn.com/real_estate/ and http://www.zillow.com/blog/.
5. Grow Your Product Knowledge – As stagers and designers we are continually shopping and sourcing for our clients (and sometimes ourselves for vacant homes), so it’s critical to know where to go to find that perfect piece! We haunt our local home furnishing stores but personally, I love to look through catalogues both online and offline. Catalogue stores that provide trade discount and consistent pricing and products are more beneficial to me because I can source items quicker while providing the value of my trade association. My favorite catalogue/company is Ballard Designs where I can order items that ship usually within a week, have great customer service and return policy as well as inexpensive, versatile pieces that show well for staging. Click here for a linked list of 35 home furnishing catalogue stores you can sign up for with Ballard Designs at the top!
Home stagers by nature are the types of people who hunger for knowledge and never stop learning about their craft and the markets they work in. It’s an industry of amazing entrepreneurs who hunger for information in order to perfect the “art” of what they do….happy staging!
Feel free to comment if I missed a great resource that you like to use…
Pillow Talk – 6 Tips for Home Staging and Styling
I just wrote a blog guest post about how to successfully use pillows when staging a home. The photos provided by Gregg Churchill an Australian home stager are amazing and my tips are essentials in staging and design. I also list my favorite pillow resource locations, so click here to see the post, thanks!
Why Home Staging Certification Matters – 5 HUGE Reasons
Why go through a home staging certification program? Specifically, why go through our HSR Certification program instead of going it alone or with another company?
Here are 5 HUGE reasons why the HSR Certification matters along with some incredible before and after photos of a luxury home amazingly staged by JoMcLaughlin Designs…
1. We are the only Home Staging Certification program who is constantly adding, evolving and continuing to educate our members WITHOUT charging extra for it.
I just finished posting another hour long video of a home and I thought to myself, “why am I always adding this kind of stuff to the training for free while other trainers would surely charge extra for it?“
If I’m going to represent and deliver a home staging certification program then it has to be on-trend, evolving and growing, so that my HSR certified members are always on-trend, evolving and growing their businesses.
Simply put, Home Staging Certification matters when it grows alongside your business NOT simply something you “completed” years ago.
2. We are the only Home Staging Certification Program that teaches home staging alongside design and home styling
We are in the design field which is a changing industry especially when coupled with the real estate industry, so it’s critical for home stagers to always be learning about both design, staging and real estate! Which Home Staging Certification program you choose to go with will define you and your business for years to come.
3. We don’t take you into 1 home, we take you into over 30 homes!
The HSR Certification program is online, so it doesn’t take you into a home for practice with 20 other trainees BUT instead I take you into over 30 homes and over 30 hours of video in the training because I know that homes are all very different and you need to see it all! We also have a hands-on, job shadow day where you get personalized training in a real life setting.
4. You Need to Know A Lot in this Industry, so 10 hours of video or classroom time is NOT going to cut it
Other trainers offer “10 hours of video training” while our training has well over 65 hours of step-by-step videos on staging, styling, branding, marketing, website marketing, realtor partnerships, social media, services, pricing, vacant staging, luxury staging, organization, shopping, window coverings…basically you name it! We also have over 48 hours of live webinar training available to members throughout the year.
5. HSR Home staging certification matters because your clients know that you have the confidence, education and experience to tackle any project or home!
In the photos above, Jo McLaughlin fearlessly transforms this luxury, waterfront home only months after becoming HSR Certified. Her story is a common one because once you go through our program, you will be changed.
Before you jump into a career in staging, take our free video and email series by click on image below!
How To Get Organized Before Staging Your Home
I just added an entire section in the HSR Certification training on adding Organization services to your staging business. We had so much fun doing an advanced webinar on the subject or organizing, I thought I would share the hot tips that I learned. Jennifer Lake a Kansas City home stager and designer who has years in the organization business before joining HSR generously shared:
- The single best way to market your organization business
- The best way to price for volume business
- The first rooms/spaces you should focus on for the client for maximum transformation
- Key phrases to use while organizing with clients
- How to incorporate organizing into your staging business
When it comes to selling a home, organization is key since it’s the first step to decluttering and starting the packing process. In fact, many home sellers will have professional organizers come into their homes before the home stager.
Here are My 5 Tips to Getting Organized Before Staging
1. Have a Plan – Organizing is very “intentional” and purposeful…it doesn’t just happen on it’s own and in fact, will turn into a huge nightmare if it’s not addressed throughout the home on a yearly basis. Start with three bins labeled: 1. Keep 2. Goodwill and 3. Craigslist/Consignment. You will also need two trash bags, one for trash and another for recycling (for magazines, plastic toys, etc…).
2. Take the Time and Be Honest With Yourself – I always say that successful staging takes a lot of time and energy, and organizing is no different. Jennifer says that each room/space takes about 4 hours to tackle, so plan ahead and carve out the 4 hours of time to organize each space of your home. While organizing it’s time to be brutally honest with yourself and ask whether each item is essential. Particularly when moving, it takes three times longer to unpack and find a home for a non-essential item, so removing unused clutter from your life and home is a gift to yourself.
3. Label Everything – What’s the point of planning and taking the time to box up those winter sweaters if you don’t label the box and end up forgetting that it’s there? There is an easy way to create labels, so you always know where everything is and it can be purchased at Amazon:
4. Like With Like – The key to successful organizing is putting things that are like one another…together. Think like a Target store and how they group like items in the same department. Don’t have your light bulbs across the house from your dimmers and extension chords. When you’re packing things up, think in terms of rooms and spaces. A mudroom/laundry room is a great place to put all of your utility items. Think in terms of “stations” throughout the home.
5. High Rent vs Low Rent Space – I liked learning about this concept because I teach it in the staging realm in terms of what buyers want to see the most. In the organizing realm it means that you keep regularly used items in the easiest places to get to them (middle shelves). Items that are rarely used can go in low rent spaces like the top shelves are very bottom. If you have too much “stuff” in the low rent space, it may be time to say good bye to it.
The goal of getting organized before staging is to have a home with only essential and beautiful items within it.
It’s important that a home stager knows quite a bit about organizing, so I’m so happy to have this new section within our HSR Certification program and am grateful to the many members who generously share their knowledge daily in Stagers Connect!
XOXO – Happy Staging!
Hope to hear from you!
I’m so excited to be a guest blogger at the National Association of Realtors, Staged, Styled and Sold Blog! My goal is to feature the gorgeous work of home stagers, staging and styling tips, as well as educate the public on the necessity of staging.
My first post is focused on featuring some excellent before-and-after work of some stagers while debunking some long time myths agents have had about staging. Click on the image below to see the post and share/comment since I’d love to get your thoughts…