Category Archives for "Home Staging Before & After Photos that ROCK!"

Home Staging Before and After Photos, Stories and News

Perfect Business for New Moms

business for new moms

Having just come back from speaking at the Real Estate Staging Convention I have so many, amazing stories to tell about the people who take a leap of faith, follow their design passion (and talent), take our HSR Certification training and are now loving life!  I have tons of photos to share too but I wanted to get this story out which showed home staging to be the perfect business for a new mom.

One such story, I had to share right away was Asha Thune Clarks of Haven Space Designs an Austin, TX based home stager.  I love her story because it shows how she created the perfect business for new moms and so represents what I hear daily from people wondering if they can do this.  One of the things I teach in my training right away is setting goals and “controlling” your business (not letting it control you).  Asha was a new mom when she started the HSR training three years ago and wanted a business that could work around her hours, allow her to contribute to the family finances and still make all the important events in her children’s lives.

Here’s her inspiring story and impressive before and after photos…

One of my very favorite childhood memories was walking into my bedroom and discovering that my mom had surprised me with a beautiful new bedspread. I can still feel the fabric and could pick that particular shade of pink out of a lineup any day. I could not have been more than four years old, but I vividly remember the beauty of my newly, lovingly designed room and how it made me feel: special, loved, and perfectly at peace (as much as a four-year-old recognizes peace).

Throughout the many years that followed, I looked at houses inside and out and loved how the built environment influenced the way I felt. My husband still finds my habit of asking him to slow down as we drive past warmly lit houses at night a bit creepy, but I just love how life happens inside a space that looks and feels beautiful.

When I was around ten, my mom started working for Any Baby Can, an amazing organization that helps families with children with special needs or chronic illnesses. I would tag along on many of her endeavors. One such trip brought us to a small house where we delivered Thanksgiving dinner. I will never forget driving up to the house and once inside, realizing that the dirt floors were not a temporary inconvenience during a remodel or construction; it was the way of life. My heart was changed so strongly that I found myself engaged in as much volunteer work during my high school years as I could find.

 When I was accepted into the UT School of Social Work, it seemed fitting; however, I had this nagging voice that wouldn’t let me ignore the dream of creating interior spaces that look and feel beautiful. After all, I was the girl who introduced herself to her would-be college roommate not by saying what my hobbies and interests were but by telling her that our dorm room would be decorated in purple and to please be sure she coordinated her bedding accordingly. Miraculously, she is still one of my most treasured friends.

I completed my graduate degree in Social Work and years went by. I found myself enjoying my career at a local non-profit for several years, but the feeling of “what if I could do what I really love” never went away. When I found out I was pregnant with my daughter, my husband encouraged me to take a leap of faith and make a change since we were about to embark on the biggest change of all. I wanted to be sure that whatever I did, I made it official; I started researching Professional Staging Certification programs. I found HSR and began the training.

I was a kid in a candy store going through the modules and learning more not just about how to stage and decorate but how to run my own business.

Before I even completed the training, I had my first client. I was in a total panic and made a couple frantic calls to Audra to get guidance on how to proceed as if I knew what I was doing. HSR gave me tools that helped me move confidently forward. I cannot believe that this journey started almost three years ago. My business has grown steadily, along with my family.

I specialize in Occupied Consultations and also work with design clients who want to improve their living spaces. I also now have a 10-month-old little boy. It is an amazing gift to live near my own mother who helps juggle – I mean watch- the little ones when I meet with clients. I get to plan my work around their needs and never have to miss out on special moments or events. As ridiculous as it sounds, I often find myself driving away from clients’ homes with a smile on my face.

I was recently asked the age-old “if you won the lottery, would you quit the next day” question. Without a doubt, my answer is “No!” I love what I do, I love the people I get to help, I love the realtors I work for who want the best for their clients, and I love that HSR helped turn my life-long daydream into my real-life job.

Here we are at the RESA Convention

What will your story look like?

Amazing Home Staging Before and After Photos

In the over ten years I’ve been doing home staging training, I NEVER get tired of seeing gorgeous, home staging before and after photos!  Successful staging is not “easy” or something you can learn in a book.  Amazing staging is an ART form born out of extreme expertise driven from a life time of a passion for interiors.  There is so much design talent in our HSR certified membership, I just had to share some of my recent favorites from our almost 10,000 photos in our Stagers Connect photo gallery…

Carolyn Rush of CR Interior Designs, a home staging company in Montgomery County takes a home with lots of character and works her staging magic:

BEFORE Staging

AFTER Staging

Look what Ginger Slemons of Elevating Spaces, a home stager in Salt Lake City did to this home!  It’s all about getting the buyer to stay in the home and eliminating those questions a buyer would have about a home that does not look “model ready”.  As you can see from these two home staging before-and-after photos PAINT makes all the difference!

And you all know what a pillow freak I am, so you can imagine how much I love the way this master bedroom home staging before and after is given some fun style with just a pillow…

Nichol Sandoval of DreamHome Staging in Hollister, CA staged this vacant home where before you mostly notice the bad valance and broken blinds.  Another critical reason to always staging a vacant space…look how the after staging makes this room look adorable!

 

 

 

Every tiny area of the home can benefit from a fresh perspective!  Laura McAllister of Laura Lorraine Designs, a staging company in Rancho Cucamonga, CA helped a friend redesign their entry table area.  Every area of the home, gives the interior stylist an opportunity to create style, function and a smile on the owner’s face!  I love how that tiny space now has big impact:

 

I’m buried in home selling success stories and wish I could share them all!  I also get to hear a ton of personal success stories especially from new members who just decided to take the plunge, follow their dreams and start a home staging and design business…

here’s a couple of my recent favorites that made me laugh out loud…

I am so excited about this business that I can barely sleep!  I dreamt about color  combinations all night. My boyfriend is looking at me sideways,  wondering why this makes me so happy!

Sure beats sitting in a cubicle.  Thanks so much for creating such a great program!

Best regards, Cyndi Latour

This was one of the first non-testimonials I’ve ever received and it made me completely crack up!

Audra, I cant thank you enough. Not a slow start but a slow/medium start to my new business but it finally clicked in and I am now turning down jobs because I am just too busy. There is so much information in your course that I was only able to skim through and if there is such a thing as a “slow season” I welcome the chance to go back and study it further. Looking back, the best tool I used to start my business was to sign up for your classes. The bad news is that I can’t recommend you because I don’t want my competition to have the valuable tools you have provided me…Forever in your debt.

I had to keep that one anonymous but isn’t that hysterical?  Anyway,

homes and people are being transformed in this industry…it’s a wonderful thing!

Finally, I just had to share an email I received from a new member, Janis Capone entitled, “A Great Friday the 13th!”

Janet had emailed me last week letting me know she had her first full, staging day on Friday, Nov. 13, so I quickly emailed her back some tips, encouragement and a request to let me know how it went…here’s what she sent today:

 Hi Audra,

Thanks for the congrats and well wishes.  Today was fabulous!  You really came through for me in so many ways.  I felt prepared, confident and comfortable with my first full home staging.  Your voice was a constant in my head saying,”You can do this”.  I practiced my pitch (like you instructed), I was complimentary of their home, I was honest and I listened to them.
Your words of wisdom really paid off. What great satisfaction not only for me, but more importantly my clients. Rewarded with many hugs and kisses and a check to boot! I know that there is so much more to learn and I can’t wait for this. So in closing, thank you for a great day and I look forward to many more.

 How cool is that?!  What will your story be?

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?

Home Staging Companies Are “Rocking It”!

Every time I get an email with staging success stories, I file them in my “to blog” folder…needless to say, I have too many success stories to tell for Spring 2015! Home staging companies around the globe are literally performing miracles in homes and getting huge returns for their sellers. Since I have too many stories to tell, I’m going to feature some of my favorite photos and recent quotes from HSR members and home staging companies...

Jennifer of Jennifer Neal Homes joined HSR after her real estate agent convinced her that that what she was meant to do in life. She joined HSR and crash coursed all night going 12 hours straight with no sleep. After her first staging job, she attended the broker’s open house and received four more jobs that day! When you see her photos below, you’ll understand why…

Kitchen BEFORE Home Staging

Kitchen BEFORE Home Staging

Kitchen AFTER Home Staging Companies

Kitchen AFTER Home Staging

Susan Stucki signed up for the HSR training just 3 months ago and she sent me this email last week...

Hi Audra! I'm sitting in my office now trying to plan for 3 houses I have to stage in the next 10 days!  I have already staged 6 homes and 3 still have my props.  So you can imagine how fast my inventory has had to grow...and haven't even had time to make a portfolio.  Your training was fantastic!  I couldn't possibly be doing this without all the information I learned from your course.

Susan Stucki

Cori Smith

Hi Audra, I just wanted to say "Thank You" again!  It has only been 3 months and I am learning so much.  Business is good...well great, considering the short amount of time that it has been.  I just completed a vacant staging and two redesigns...

I have to tell you how much I love the training that HSR provides!  I am learning so much and the marketing training and resources are so incredibly helpful.  I can honestly say the HSR training is THE BEST INVESTMENT I have made to start my business!

I loved getting this email from a member who took our course and is now mentoring for our Staging Mentors program...

Hi Audra, - BTW - I have been going gang-busters since I took your class. I actually partnered up with one of your former students, Tiffany Bryant! We've got excellent reviews all over the internet, and have become a Redfin Preferred Staging Company. We have a warehouse full of decor and stage full time! We staged over 50 homes last year! Thank you for the comprehensive training program and giving us the credentials to follow our passion!Linda Shepherd of Buyers Desire Staging

I have to really brag about Linda and Tiffany (above) because their home staging companies, home staging statistics out of Marlborough, MA were incredible!  On average, their homes sold for 12% more than the unstaged homes in their area which is ABOVE industry average.

Yep, home staging companies are rocking it so much that some are even turning away business...

Hi Audra, Business is great! In fact, I’ve made the choice to slow down a little right now. I'm determined I am not ready to hire assistants just yet so I am learning to pace myself a bit and become more selective in the projects I take on. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to be making these choices. Starting a home staging business has truly changed my life!

Lori Livers - A Houston, TX Home Staging Company

The "success" emails keep pouring in from lots of home staging companies...

Lisa DeFrancesco

Hi Audra, things are going great - Spring is finally here in New England and the real estate market is quite healthy. I've been very busy the last few weeks with photography appointments and staging consultations. The consultations have been going great - sellers are very receptive and I'm really enjoying working with them to get the offers pouring in! I have progressed quite a bit since joining HSR - with each new client I feel like I'm learning something new and expanding my skills and offerings. I can't begin to tell you how valuable HSR has been to my business - I am always referring back to the member library every time I need to come up with a new form or some current stats or if I need ideas for a marketing piece - so thank you, thank you, thank you!

5 Reasons Stagers Should Become a Redesigner

Become a Redesigner

I always say that the relationship between “home staging” and “redesign” is like two sides of the same coin.  They are very similar services but the “WHO” of the design element for the redesigner is very different.

What separates staging from redesign is whether we are designing the space for the buyer demographic or the home owner?

What’s the difference between interior design and redesign (or home styling)?  Redesign always starts first with using what the home owner already has and loves to enhance the space.  In fact, a great redesigner can literally work miracles in just a day in the home!

So why should a home stager also be trained in the art of redesign?  Here are 5 great reasons along with some fantastic redesign photos done by Debbie Simril of Debbie Simril Interiors

Family room before redesigner

Family Room BEFORE Redesigner

 

1.  It’s an Easy Up-Sell for Redesigners

Statistically, sellers are much more inclined to spend money on the home they are moving into rather than the home they are moving out of, so it’s a much easier “sell”.  You’ve just staged the seller’s home to sell, so they already know you, trust you and like you.  This should be a no-brainer for home stagers but I find that they just are not “positioning” their redesign business correctly, so they are missing out on huge income returns!

 

Family Room AFTER Redesigner

Family Room AFTER Redesigner

2.  Being a Redesigner is a Great Way to Keep a Favorite Client

We all have had those client’s we just LOVE, so why not keep the relationship going and work with them on their next big project?  Focus on quality relationships rather than quantity while building your design network of great referrals!

Remember to have a special business card you can hand to your favorite client’s as a thank you for being so wonderful to work with.  In the example I created below, you can put your business information on the back and hand write the discount/message you wish to give your clients.

3.  Design is More Lucrative

Yes, I said it…you will make more money if you position your business for BOTH staging and redesign.  Redesign projects tend to last longer and have higher dollar amounts then the average staging project.  I’ve been training stagers for more than 10 years now and I can comfortably say that my long-time veterans are now doing more redesign/design than staging (unless they focused on a niche).  Why is that?  Because they positioned their business to market first staging then second, redesign.  They followed my business model of doing both staging and redesign!

Dining Room BEFORE Redesigner

Dining Room BEFORE Redesigner

4.  Design is HOTTER Than Ever!

Yes, the career outlook according to a recent Houzz survey shows that the design industry is feeling more confident than ever!  This isn’t a huge surprise because it mirrors what is going on in the staging industry…when home values rise, so does home improvement spending.

 

Redesigned Dining Room After

Redesigned Dining Room After

5.  The Perfect Business Model

A lot of stagers who join my training program tell me that they were always slow in the fall/winter season since their business reflected the real estate industry lulls.  Ironically, redesign and design picks up in the fall and winter as people decorate for the holidays, so having a business model that incorporates redesign and holiday design makes for a well-hedged business model.

Finally, this is what Debbie Simril who after 15 years in the design industry decided to take the plunge and sign up for our HSR Certification in Home Staging and Redesign:

 

Debbie-testimonial

 

 

 

3 Ways to Start a Bidding War Through Home Staging

3 Ways to Start a Bidding War Through Home Staging

2014 was a good year for the real estate and home staging industry!  On average, homes that were professionally staged by an HSR Certified Professional Home Stager made over 10% more than homes that were not staged*.  As we get ready to gear up for an even hotter Spring 2015 home selling market, I wrote down 3 ways to get a bidding war on a home for sale.  Within my tips for getting a bidding war, I feature an amazing home transformation that you will not believe!  This article is featured in the National Association of Realtors, Styled, Staged and Sold Blog which you can view by clicking on the link below:

Read my 3 Ways to Start a Bidding War Through Home Staging Article!

 

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