Home Stager Interview

In my training, I walk people through how to discover the right business model for their situation.  Why do I do this?  Because everyone who joins the HSR Home Staging Certification training has different business goals and reasons for becoming certified in home staging and design.  

Below is a very cool home stager's story because her business evolved with her family situation...

Leslie Anderson with her now grown kids who help her with the business:)

When Leslie Anderson of Leslie Anderson Interiors, a Washington DC home stager started her staging business her goal was very simple...work part time in order to focus on her kids. 

Here is her story and her GORGEOUS staging work...

home staging before and after washington DC 1

What was your life like before becoming a home stager?

Prior to starting my Home Staging business, I was a stay at home mother of three children. I spent most of my spare time volunteering for the local public schools and helping friends decorate their homes! One day I was helping a friend get her house ready to go on the market and I decided to look into home staging as a career. That is when I started researching online courses such as Audra Slinkey's Home Staging Resources.

home staging before and after washington DC 4e

How did you get started in your business?

When I decided to become a home stager it was important to me to become certified. I looked at many different options and was most impressed by the Home Staging Resource's program. I was excited about how Audra's experience and background helped her build her program and the quality of the materials her program offered (including a website) to get my business up and running as soon as possible.

How does your business look today?

I am so excited about how far my business has come. I started out doing this as a part time business while my kids were still home. In the last year, I have been able to work full time and have moved my entire inventory into a new warehouse and office. It makes such a difference! It has given me the ability to become so much more efficient and sales are increasing daily!

home staging before and after washington DC 4

Any advice you would give someone thinking about getting into the industry?

I took my time in getting my business up and running as I am the type of person that likes to make sure that everything is in line. If I were to do it all over again, I would probably get the ball rolling a bit faster than I did. I like to perfect things and I have now realized that part of perfecting your business is to allow yourself to learn from your mistakes.


What has been one of the secrets to your success?

Not only did Audra's program help me get my business up and running quickly, it has also helped me grow my business each year. Audra continually adds things into her program to help stagers increase their revenue streams in different ways. I always have access to new ideas and marketing materials which is so important and helpful to me as a single business owner!

Now Leslie has her own storefront and warehouse...woot!!  I'm so proud of her and I bet her kids are too.  Thanks so much Leslie for sharing your story!

What will your story be?

FREE VIDEO!  Could a Career in Home Staging Be For You?


  • What background should you have?
  • How much money do home stagers make & what to charge
  • What are the typical start-up costs and first steps?

I love sharing HSR Grad business success stories!  Leslie Anderson’s business journey evolved with her lifestyle changes and it’s super cool to see.  I also show you her gorgeous photos stage house right!

Why Go to RESA Convention?

In less than 6 months the industries hottest event will be here...RESA Convention!  I get the question a lot as it draws near, "Audra, why should I go to RESA Convention?"  There are a ton of reasons why this event is different than anything else out there but on a very personal level...RESACon changes businesses!

Here's a quick video on what to expect and why RESA Convention is so important to your business...


RESA Convention Will Inspire You

You can't help but feel motivated and inspired by the line up of speakers!  You will meet people who have overcome incredible odds to create successful businesses.  You will meet people exactly in the position you are in as accountability partners for growth.  EVERYONE WALKS AWAY INSPIRED!


RESA Convention Will Boost Your Sales

You have many workshops to choose from and many of them are about building your business and marketing so those who attend invariably do better the next year. 

Expect your productivity to sky rocket from the combination of inspiration, connection and knowledge at RESA Convention! #RESACON Inpired

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RESA Convention Will Connect You to Valuable Industry Partners

The RESA Convention is tied to the Las Vegas Market, so many of their sponsors are vendors you will want for your business!


You Will Make Amazing Friendships

Home stagers are the best people to meet and work with!  We are not each other's competition but we are advocates in a growing industry where working together we can quadruple the business for everyone!

Every year I take a group photo with everyone who has taken one of my courses at RESACon...

Look at this good looking group of HSR Grads & Staging Mentors!


Vegas Baby!

The hotel is spectacular and you can pamper yourself at the pool or spa.  The rooms are luxurious and if you've never been to Vegas...you don't know what you're missing!  Vegas is fun!

Bonus Reason

Preparty and Drinks on Me!

We filled the bar with over 50 HSR peeps, so I had to take a selfie:)

Right before the RESA Convention, I have a "drinks on me" networking event for all those folks who have taken my staging or color training courses!

Yes, unlimited drinks on me for all my members, so COME THIRSTY MY FRIENDS:-)

If you are a professional home stager, then you will NOT want to miss this event!  Here’s an impromptu (yes my hair looks terrible) video I created on why you should go to RESA Convention…

2018 Outdoor Trends

2018 outdoor trends

I just wrote a post for the National Association of Realtors on the "2018 Outdoor Trends" and I had to share it on my blog as well because it's my own project!  I learned a lot about outdoor trends and I have a whole new respect for my design clients who go through large-scale remodel projects like I did!

>>Click Here to see my NAR article, "2018 Outdoor Trends: Jaw-Dropping Transformations"

Here's the behind the scenes scoop on my project, as well as some lessons learned...

My goals for the project were to create an extension of my living space seamlessly.  I chose finishes, fixtures and furnishings that all have an indoor look. 

Below is the before photo looking out of my kitchen dutch door into my side yard...

We knocked down the kitchen wall and opened up the space...

Home Staging Resource After Photo

I have 3 sports fanatics (my husband and 2 teenage sons) living under one roof and we always argue over the remote, so an additional living space and outdoor dining area was essential!

Before Photo

I also like to entertain and cook outside, so an outdoor kitchen area became another focal point.  To give the outdoor space more of an "indoor feel" I enclosed the back wall around the outside kitchen area.

After Photo - Home Staging Resource

Home Stagers Need to Know that...

Outdoor living spaces are increasingly becoming more valuable to a buyers perspective.  In fact, in a January, 2018 FreshHome Article entitled, "Which Home Improvements Have the Best ROI in 2018" Outdoor Living Space was #2!

"According to a recent survey, 51% of home buyers find outdoor living space the most attractive quality when searching for their perfect home, more so than open floor plans and curb appeal.

Having recently completed my own outdoor remodel design job, I can say it has absolutely changed the way we live!

As a writer for the NAR staging blog, I like to talk about trends and share my members stories.  Here’s a post I wrote about my own outdoor design project…

Manhattan Staging Success Story

I never get tired of hearing and sharing staging success stories from my members all over the world! 

I'm going to be doing a series of "jaw dropping" stories not just for my blog but for the NAR staging blog, so look for these in the coming months!  Today's post is a Manhattan staging story about a beautiful apartment made MUCH more beautiful (and relevant) by professional staging. 

Today's success story is brought to you by HSR Grad, Donna Dazzo of Designed to Appeal who is a Manhattan staging expert and frankly, one of the best in the biz!  Her "jaw dropping transformation" helped a $3.995 million home sell in a record 45 days (which is tough to do for a multi-million dollar home!)

She recognized right away the "return on investment" potential in this home and was able to earn her client's thousands more, as well as a quick sale...Here is Donna's story...

When we first viewed this apartment, it was filled with the deceased owner's outdated furniture and personal effects. Some of the rooms were painted dark colors and had built-in shelving, making them feel smaller than they actually were.

Living Room BEFORE

Living Room AFTER

Can you believe this is the same room?!  Donna had the floors refinished, the room painted and used her staging magic to bring in just the right furnishings to highlight and architectural elements of the space.

Bedroom BEFORE

Because it was a 3 bedroom apartment, we figured it would most likely be sold to a young family with children, so it was important that it didn't feel like "grandma's apartment". We set up two of the bedrooms as children's rooms.

Bedroom AFTER

The expertly trained home stager researches the "buyer demographic" so they know exactly WHO they are designing for...the is important knowledge the stager should possess.  In the HSR Certification training, I use a 6-Step Demographic Research process to identify the most ideal buyers for each home.   HSR stagers talk to the agents, research the neighborhood and even deep dive into the culture of the area since every area is different.

Donna not only identified a family but knew the ages of their children from 8-17 years vs. a young family with toddlers.  Below she stages more of a teen-room.

Bedroom BEFORE

Bedroom AFTER

While we don't recommend renovations before an apartment goes on the market, we DO recommend updating, which will go a long way to getting the apartment sold quickly and for top dollar.  Painting, removing old and worn carpeting, refinishing wood floors, and replacing light fixtures can make all of the difference!

Formal Dining BEFORE

Formal Dining AFTER

Don't you LOVE the replaced light fixtures Donna chose for this space?


Manhattan staging is different than San Diego or Cincinnati staging but the concepts remain the same...understanding the staging ROI potential of a home and staging it to it's maximum sales price potential.  The HSR Certified Home Stager's goal is to make sure the home seller never leaves money on the table in the sale of their home!

HSR Certified Stagers homes statistically average 10% more than the unstaged home!

Here are more fantastic photo transformations of Donna's Manhattan staging project...

Master Bedroom BEFORE

Master Bedroom AFTER

Kitchen BEFORE

Kitchen AFTER

Bedroom BEFORE

Now a cleverly staged office!

Donna is working miracles in Manhattan as an HSR Certified Professional Home Stager and Designer...what will your story look like?

Could Home Staging" be a Career for You?

Don’t miss this..!!

  • 7 Key Questions to Ask Yourself
  • What the Cost is to Starting this Business
  • Do You Have the Personality for This Industry?
  • How You Know If You Have the Design Talent?

If you like to see GORGEOUS before-and-after photos, then you will LOVE this post about a Manhatten staging project…

Videos for Stagers

Do you ever run out of ideas for posting on social media for your business?  Do you feel like no one even sees what you carefully post?  You're not alone!

This is why at the Home Staging Resource, we've added a large section in our training called the "Social Media Library" which supplies videos for stagers.  In this new training section, our HSR Certified Members will get to download over 35+ videos to use for their own social media funnels, plans and posts!  How cool is that?   One of my New Year's Resolutions was to provide even more, relevant resources to my peeps, so I'm happy to get a jump on it early:).

Video is one of 2018's hottest business trends and Facebook , so now is the time to add video to your business!

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Video is one of 2018's hottest business trends and Facebook is more likely to display video posts than anything else, so now is the time to add video to your business!

Watch This Video to See the Videos We Provide Our Members:


2018 promises to be a GREAT Year for stagers, so if you're looking at training companies to join...ask yourself this:  Does your training offer this kind of resource? 

Cheers to 2018!

HSR now provides videos for stagers to enhance their 2018 social media presence.  See what’s in the Members Training Area.

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