Home Staging Certification Training - Why We're the BEST! Archives - Page 3 of 7 - HSR Home Staging Certification Training
Category Archives for "Home Staging Certification Training – Why We’re the BEST!"

Home Staging Certification Training advice, videos, resources, tips and tools. Information that goes into the HSR Certification program. Great free information too!

Pursuing Your Passion in 2016

Pursuing Your Passion

I hear it all the time…”I need to just wait for XXX to happen and then I can pursue my dream of becoming a home stager.”  Sometimes waiting for the stars to align means things never happen for us.  Most of the time we let fear and self-doubt paralyze us from making decisions we know we would love to do.  Will you be finally pursuing your passion in staging for 2016?

Cori Smith of The Humble Abode was in this exact situation last year before she finally took the plunge by pursuing her passion and joined the Home Staging Resource training.

I recently asked her if she would have done anything differently now that she is living and breathing staging and she answered:

The only thing I would have done differently is doing it sooner.  I believe the biggest challenge starting a new business is courage and know how.  I needed a more solid business plan/model. HSR provided the guidance and direction I needed to be a Professional. 
 
So, don’t wait! If you have been rearranging furniture since you were 8, have a love of color and decor and your friends ask you all the time to help them with their house….Its time!!!

Cori graduated from the HSR training in April and hit the ground running with her business and passion!  When I interviewed her originally after she signed up, she told me these prophetic words:

My background in design and decor has always been a hobby and a passion.  Friends and family have been telling me for years to do something with my gift/talent…I am looking forward to making something that I have ALWAYS done into an official business!

I followed up with her a couple months ago and asked her how her business was doing and what advice she would give.  Here is her amazing story, wisdom and photos merely 6 months later…

1.  What was your background before starting a home staging business and how did it serve you well in this new endeavor?

My background was primarily in EMS. But, I have always been redesigning, remodeling and staging for friends and family.  I can’t remember a time when people didn’t tell me that I should design and decorate professionally. When I finally took it seriously I searched out Staging accreditation and chose HSR.  It is the best decision I could have made. HSR provided the bones for my business. The plan and direction.  There really is no way I could have done it with out HSR.

Now, thanks to the training that HSR~Audra Slinkey~ provides, my new business is gaining success every day!

2.  How “busy” are you today and why?  Do you have any real estate agent partnerships?

As of July, 2015 I average 1 to 2 consultations (redesign and/or occupied staging) a week, 1 redesign project every 2 weeks and at least 1 vacant staging per month. And my business is growing with a new partnership…the Charleston Dream Team. AND as I was completing a vacant staging project just yesterday, that client called Charleston Home & Design whom they work with frequently and told them to do a piece on my business.  None of this could have happened with out HSR!

3. Wow, that’s a steady stream of business already!  How have you marketed yourself?

Lets just be totally honest here….marketing is NOT my strong point.  I have quite a few friends and acquaintances that are realtor’s. That helped. My first vacant staging as The Humble Abode was basically a charity project (wanted to help a friend sell her vacant listing of 4 months and I knew I could do it!). I pilfered furniture, begged and borrowed and invested in my first acquisition of accessories. Promoted the talents of other friends who are Artisan’s and Craftsman by using their wares to fill the “Crooked House” a 1923 Charleston Single in Historic down town. It would have been easier to just deliver a yummy plate of “Pop By’s” to the nearest Realtor’s office.  The home received an offer with in two weeks of being staged….it wasn’t done up fancy or lux…just felt lived in.  That got folks talking about The Humble Abode.
Now, I use Thumbtack, Porch, Houzz and Face Book for most of my marketing. Mailers don’t seem to work and I haven’t had a great response to email marketing.  In my area it is who you know or who know’s you and refers you.
Get to know your Realtors. Establish relationships, make friends. In this day and age I am finding that people appreciate the face time and that you care about them and their clients.

4. Are you glad you decided to go into the home staging field?  Why or why not?

Yes!!! I was staging before I even knew there was such a thing and I have found my professional niche! I will most likely never do anything else.

5. Any words of wisdom for those just entering into the field?

I just have to THANK YOU again for HSR and the thorough extensive training you provide. I honestly could not have made my passion (or should I say fetish) into a business with out this amazing training!  I recommend that others trust the HSR training and learning process. Give yourself time, confidence comes with experience. Be honest with your clients.  Don’t be afraid to fail~that’s were we learn the most!

Thanks Cori for sharing!  I wish I could post every interview I get that looks very much like Cori’s.  If you have a gift in design, then do yourself a favor and pursue it!

I have never heard any of our HSR Members say they regret following their design passion and getting into the industry…Never!

How to Expand Your Business into Holiday Design and Christmas Decorating

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!

BuyvNow

Invest in yourself and give yourself the gift of knowledge!

Why “To The Trade” Pricing Matters

Why “To The Trade” Pricing Matters for Home Stagers

As I was adding another 12 “to the trade” vendors to the HSR Member Black Book, I thought it would be good to do a post on why trade pricing even matters for home stagers and their clients.  First off, “to the trade” pricing is discounted pricing given by vendors of all kinds to those people who will do volume shopping due to their professions ie. Professional Home Stagers and Interior Designers.  You have to prove that you are a professional home stager or designer by filling out an application and showing them some sort of proof of business ie. resell license, HSR certificate, professional memberships.

If you are a home stager and redesigner you should have access to several different vendors at “trade pricing” so you can shop on behalf of your client’s and either share your discount…or not.  The discounts can range from about 15-50% depending upon the vendor.

At the Home Staging Resource, we provide a detailed list of all the vendors you would want to connect with for trade pricing along with the contact names and direct links to the sign-up pages.  We have over 100 nationwide vendors we recommend who are familiar with our certification program and consider it your “ticket” to getting “to the trade” pricing.

 

As a trainer, I spend many hours sourcing these vendors and creating these relationships, so that my stagers don’t have to…it’s part of not having to reinvent the wheel when you go through our training.  The vendors are specific to the home staging industry.

 

I just added over 3 hours of video training on staging model homes, so within my research I found those 12 new vendors for that higher level of home.  Vendors like FrontGate, Shades of Light, Horchow, Arhaus, Surya, Home Decorators Collection, LS Fabrics and more were added to the already 100+ list I have curated.  If you’re a home stager who has not joined our program, you can absolutely contact those places directly for your discount but…

 

I’m able to get great pricing and connect with these vendors because of my network of over 3000 home stagers, so it’s a win-win for everyone!  Being over 3000 strong helps vendors take notice and build credibility within the industry.

 

Here’s a few tips for those of you connecting on your own with these vendors:

1. Make a List of the Types of Vendors You Think You Will Need

Not only will you want discounts at places that you will be shopping at regularly but what about service vendors and finish companies like carpet cleaners, flooring and lighting companies, moving companies and storage, greenery and fake food for merchandising…there are lots of vendors that stagers use regularly.

2. Think About Those Vendors That Can Make Your Job Easier

For instance, I just found out about an amazing vendor that you can hire hourly to help on a staging day, during a vacant staging or just to help a client move called “GetBellHops“.  GetBellHops uses only local college students, does a complete background check and is licensed and insured, so the stager doesn’t have to worry about liability and can trust they have a capable person they are working with.  I contacted them on behalf of the HSR network and now HSR members get a direct page to order the bellhops (at the click of a button) and a great discount!

3. Always ASK, Assume Volume and Negotiate Well

I always tell my members to assume that you will be successful and will be shopping like crazy for clients when you negotiate your trade discount.  Ask the vendor what their best discount is and how you can connect with them…always assume there is one.  I tell my members that since they have direct access to the HSR network, they can approach vendors as a network of 3000 not as a single company.  I’m always happy to personally email the vendor myself on behalf of the member if it’s a nationwide vendor that everyone can use.

4. Don’t Give Your Discount Away!

You earned the relationship with that vendor and many times had to go through hoops to get it, so don’t give your discount away!  It’s not unreasonable to split the discount with your clients as a benefit to them using you…but that discount is there because of YOU, so don’t devalue it.  One of the many benefits of working with a home stager is that we are able to source furnishings and service providers better and less expensively for our clients.

 

XOXO – Happy Staging!

Audra Slinkey
Amazon-audra

 

 

 

Hope to hear from you!
1-888-563-9271


[email protected]

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

Why Staging Certification Matters

Model Home Staging

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!

 

XOXO – Happy Staging!

Audra Slinkey
Amazon-audra

 

 

 

Hope to hear from you!
1-888-563-9271


[email protected]

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

Why Staging Certification Matters

7 Reasons to Start a Home Staging Career

7 Reasons to Start a Home Staging Career

 

I just got back from Las Vegas and the 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 this 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:

 

Michelle Minch of Moving Mountains Design

Michelle Minch of Moving Mountains Design

 

 

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!

Michelle Minch of Moving Mountains Design

Michelle Minch of Moving Mountains Design

 

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.

 

2014 Home Staging Stats

 

 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…

best staging training

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:

 

Kristie Barnett and Audra Slinkey - Staging Trainers

Kristie Barnett and Audra Slinkey – Staging Trainers

 

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…

 

Grads of the Home Staging Resource at RESACon

Grads of the Home Staging Resource at RESACon

 

 

Here’s another of some of the gals who missed the photo up on stage:

Look at these gorgeous women!

Look at these gorgeous women!

 

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:

2015-1 002

 

 

 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!

Audra Slinkey
Audra-Slinkey

 

Hope to hear from you!
1-888-563-9271

2014-11 Audra-Slinkey-Staging-Mentors-Most-Innovator-Product-or-Service-of-the-Year_edited-1Audra-Slinkeyinnovator

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?