Cool Resources for Home Staging Companies
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? Since home staging companies are always “in school”, I thought a post about ongoing learning for home staging companies 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 staging companies stay on top of all of these industries?
Here are 5 ways for home staging companies 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 the American Society of Home Stagers and Redesigners (ASHSR) has chapters all over North America for stagers to network, volunteer and learn.
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 catalog 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…