I love this email I just got from Sharon Rapp, of Rapizazz a Charlotte, NC home stager…
When I decided to quit my job working for a Fortune 100 company, I knew this could be the opportunity for me to pursue my life-long dream to have my own business. I always loved decorating homes and had successfully staged several homes to sell. I knew it was something I would love to do but didn’t know where to start…
I think Sharon is very common of a lot of people who work in “Corporate America”. Statistically, most people know they are not doing what they really love…yet are fearful of stepping out on their own as an entrepreneur. I get that because I was the same way until I got laid-off. When I got laid-off, I was crushed…you see I thought if I did a good job, I would always have one…but in Corporate America, that’s just not true. Getting laid-off was the best thing for me because it changed the way I felt about business. I realized that no matter what, you have to produce. You can either produce for yourself (be an entrepreneur) and reap the full benefits of your hard work, OR produce for someone else (be an employee). I say “choose yourself” which is what Sharon did!
I found HSR’s training program and was pleasantly surprised to find that the training included the A-to-Z’s of starting up a home staging and redesign business. What a windfall of a find! I especially loved the marketing training to “Bling Your Brand”. Audra is so insightful!
It’s not easy to choose yourself and not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, so you should always do your research and do some serious soul searching. Finally, this is what Sharon had to say about where she is now…
Here’s a few more recent testimonials from HSR members who have chosen themselves…
Secrets to Model Home Staging
I’m so excited to announce an advanced training class I’m adding to the HSR Certification program on Successful Model Home Staging. This class is free to Home Staging Resource members and will cover EVERY aspect of designing and staging a model home.
I created this class because I had so many members get calls from new home builders and I wanted to make sure they were well prepared to handle this business!
If you are a home builder looking for a stager who is well-trained in handling model home staging, click here to go to our directory
Here’s what I go over in my class and what YOU should know about model home staging:
- How to Define the Buyer Demographic and Create Your Home Owner Profile – My 10-step research process that is critical to selling your concept to the builder and setting yourself apart from your competition
- Five Design Rules for Every Model Home – These are rules of thumb that should never be broken
- Audra’s Five-Step Formula for Design Success – I’m very clear on how you should pick your finishes, fixtures, furnishings, window treatments, art and accessories for these homes. What to splurge on and what to save on so you get the most bang for the builder’s buck!
- Training Your Eye Using My Formula – I show you an easy way to know exactly how to design for your area plus over 50 photo examples
- Most Important Questions to Ask the Builder – The interview sheet and why the answers will determine your price, services and concept
- Sharing Your Vision – How to easily create a concept board that communicates your vision and expertise while NOT looking cartoony!
- How to Price Your Services – What the builder expects, customizing your quote, working within budget, getting what you’re worth and setting expectations!
- Setting Up Your Critical Vendor List – Using my design formula, there are critical vendors you will want to source your materials from that I recommend.
Plus…all the forms, price guides, interview sheet, step-by-step process, vendor list (trade discounts), product ideas and more!
The live webinar will be this Wednesday, March 11 at 10am (pacific time) and will go at least 2 hours. I may have to break it up into 2-parts since there’s a lot to go over! If you are an HSR member, login to the Members Area to attend but don’t worry, I will be recording this session and adding it to the advanced section of the training.
By the way, much of the process I outline will be perfect for your design clients as well!
Looking forward to seeing you there!
XOXO – Happy Staging!
Hope to hear from you!
PS – Does your training provider always give you the latest, critical information as part of your membership? Click on the image below, to see Why Certification Matters…
2015 Home Staging Statistics Are In!
Finally, the National Association of Realtors has surveyed real estate agents on the merits of home staging! To see the full report, click here or on the image above. In the survey, they interviewed over 2,300 real estate agents to get their opinion on the benefits of staging, who pays for the staging and how often they recommend staging to their clients.
As a home staging trainer whose sole mission has been to “make home staging an industry standard” for the last 10 years, I’m happy to say that a whopping 34% of the agents surveyed insist on ALL their homes being staged! Yippee! Before I get too excited, we stagers have a long way to go in educating the other 66% who don’t think that every listing benefits from staging, so here you go…
I’ve included some fantastic quote images below from the staging report, I want everyone to share on Facebook, Pinterest, your websites, etc…all year long. They are yours to use freely to get the word out!
Home Staging Deeply Affects Buyer’s Perspective
When Buyers Can Visualize the Product As Their Home, An Offer is Made
Even A Flawed Home Has Hope When Staging Happens
Ask the Seller How Much 11-20% More Would Affect Their Bottom Line
A Very Small Percentage of Agents Think Staging Does Not Affect Price
Together, we can grow this industry
We are not each others competition
Staging works to sell home’s faster and for more money!
XOXO – Happy Staging!
Hope to hear from you!
3 Ugly Truths About Home Staging
I wrote an article recently in the National Association of Realtors, Styled, Staged and Sold blog that got a lot of interesting and conflicting comments from agents and stagers. In the article, that you can read here,…I talked about the importance of being of honest with sellers in the 2015 real estate market and to tell the ugly truths about staging and selling.
The comments came fast and furious. One of the commenters didn’t like the “angle of the before photos” because it wasn’t EXACT, so she did not think she would use a stager…huh?!! This kind of nonsensical thinking is still out there when it comes to understanding what staging does and does not do for a home. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again:
Home staging is not rocket science, it’s pure economics…when you use an expert to improve the look of a product, the demand thus price goes up.
The article was a follow-up on my 3 Ways to Start a Bidding War Through Staging article that has been shared a TON by stagers and agents, so thanks so much! I’m reminded that I need to educate sellers and agents like never before about home staging! Together, we can do so much!
The 2015 real estate market promises to be an exciting one, so buckle your seat belt folks…
7 Reasons to Start a Home Staging Career in 2015
I just got back from Las Vegas and the 2015 RESA Convention and my ears are buzzing with all the excitement and enthusiasm from home stagers across the globe. I’ve been doing staging training for almost 10 years now and I can truly say there has never been a better time to start a home staging career than now! Here are my 7 quick reasons why 2015 is the best time to start a home staging career but I’ll have more to report on the RESA Convention in coming blogs:
1. Home Stagers are Busier Than Ever!
Yep, the general consensus from the over 350 professional stagers at the RESA Convention is that they are BUSY. Their phones are ringing and they are staging and doing redesign like crazy. This isn’t too surprising because of the next handful of reasons but to say that 2014 was a good year for starting a home staging career, as well as staging statistically is an understatement.
2. The “Body of Work” is Better Than Ever!
When you look at the RESA Industry Awards and the amazing work these stagers do every day, you will truly become a believer in the benefits of staging. Michelle Minch, a Los Angeles Stager and 2006 Home Staging Resource Graduate, was the overall winner in 2015 for her gorgeous vacant work which is sampled below:
When stagers do amazing work, real estate agents, home sellers, home builders and everyone else take notice. The listing photographs stand out and these homes get the best price!
3. The Redesign Side of the Staging Business is Booming
When I started the Home Staging Resource almost 10 years ago I knew that I needed to add Redesign training as well…great staging turns into move-in redesign. I was the only staging trainer at the time (and even currently I believe) who incorporates both certification in staging and redesign into the training business model which is essential. According to a recent Houzz Survey of 6,500 home professionals over 90% expect their business to grow!
4. 2014 Statistics on Home Staging are Better Than Ever
Those of you familiar with my blog know that we polled over 350 home stagers and 3500 homes sold worldwide and asked them (and their agents) two critical questions: Are professionally staged homes selling for more than not professionally staged homes? At what percentage increase on average are they selling higher? While the responses varied, on average the homes that were professionally staged in 2014 sold for 10% more than the homes that were not professionally staged.
5. Home Staging and Redesign Training Has Never Been Better!
The training for staging and redesign has never been better! In fact, did you know that almost every one of the staging award finalists in the US categories (and some in the Canadian) are part of my Staging Mentors program? We now have so many wonderful, generous mentors I don’t even list them all on the site. The Staging Mentors program which is the third package in the HSR Certification training won for most Innovative Product or Service of the Year in 2015 at the RESA Conference!
Here’s a picture of me hugging my award at the Conference…
Not only has my training improved over the years, but I know that others have as well because we keep each other sharp and motivated. Most of all, we love to see our students succeed! I love what beautiful Kristi Barnett is doing in her psychological staging and tricky space trainings! Here’s a photo of us on the red carpet:
6. Stagers are the Best, Most Generous and Fun People in the World
Okay, here’s where I may be a bit biased but I have to say that home stagers as a whole, are a very fun, hard working, innovative, kind group of people with hearts of gold! There is an enormous amount of respect we give to each other and our clients. Stagers are fueled by their passion in design and their perfectionist personalities. Here’s a photo from the RESA Conference of some of the HSR Grads over the last 10 years who I’ve had the honor and privilege to be a part of their training. As you can see, we are still having fun up on stage chit chatting…
Here’s another of some of the gals who missed the photo up on stage:
And another fun photo of our yearly HSR networking event where I buy drinks for all my grads prior to the conference. Even the bartender commented on what a nice, fun and cool group of people we are:
7. HGTV…Need I say More?
I would be a fool if I didn’t acknowledge that the rise and popularity of HGTV and websites like Houzz give people motivation to put beauty into their homes and buyers a “vision” of what they want to see in their next home. The professional home stager is the person who makes that vision a reality!
So if you’re sitting on the fence and wondering if 2015 is your year to have a home staging career…just do it! I’ve never heard anyone have regrets going into this incredible industry but I do hear people regret not getting into it sooner or getting the right guidance.
XOXO – Happy Staging!
Hope to hear from you!
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!
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