Category Archives for "Member Success Stories – HSR Stagers are Killing It!"
Home stager’s who have had great success following their dream of staging!
Home stager’s who have had great success following their dream of staging!
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When we first viewed this apartment, it was filled with the deceased owner's outdated furniture and personal effects.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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
Here are more fantastic photo transformations of Donna's Manhattan staging project...
If you like to see GORGEOUS before-and-after photos, then you will LOVE this post about a Manhatten staging project…
I love hearing and sharing stories of personal and professional success from my HSR Grads! Today I'm sharing a story and gorgeous photos from Dina Ferguson, a Scottsdale home stager who not only rebounded her business when the economy tanked but also overcame the odds of moving to a different state! Here's her full story and amazing work from four months ago to today...enjoy!
Dina sent me this letter last June...
Hi Audra - I worked as an Interior Designer for 7 years, but switched to being a special education teacher (my original degree) when the economy tanked. As much as I have enjoyed working in education, my focus has been to find a way back into the design trade.
Once I decided that staging was the best fit for me, I began researching local stagers, websites and training companies. I was reluctant to spend the money for another training or certification (I have 60 units of design coursework already)
Hi Audra, I moved to a new area where I know no one two months ago. I began working the marketing tips your provide in the training and got my first vacant staging job!
How cool is that? Not only did Dina start a brand new business, she moved to another state and already is getting calls for work! These photos are from that vacant job and I would absolutely say she is in the RIGHT INDUSTRY....what do you think?
Wow! That is the only way to describe this training. As an entrepreneur and design professional wanting to shift gears into the staging platform, I found this training invaluable for the business and marketing expertise. I can't thank HSR enough for sharing this information and motivating me to expand into this next phase.
Another HSR Grad success story about a Scottsdale home stager who started out as an interior designer and made a cross-state move to start her staging business.
I never get tired of hearing "success" stories from people who "took the plunge" and decided to invest in our certification training AND themselves to become a stager! This featured stager story is about starting a business semi-retired and doing the travel you love to do too! There is no "one size fits all" in this business and in Week 1 of my training, I walk people through finding the business model that will fit their life style.
Join me Oct. 4th at 4pm for a FREE, live webinar on what you need to know when getting started in the staging industry! I also talk about the "right business model for you" so click to reserve your space...
Kathy "Kiki" McNair of Kiki Staging based in Folsom, CA wanted a business she could do while also retiring to her condo in Kona, Hawaii twice a year for 2-3 months. This may sound like a tall order but believe it or not, the Department of Defense used to completely pay for our training for military spouses because it is such an ideal, portable business model when you incorporate both staging and redesign.
Audra, I thought it was high time that I let you know how my new business is doing. I started the course on 2/21 while at the end of our 2 month stay in Hawaii. My husband is retired and we are able to come to our condo twice a year for 2-3 months. Pretty great, right?
We are currently back on island for 2 more months and I hated to leave my new business!
Anyway, I finished your course and started with a redesign client. I worked with her for 3 months and completely redesigned the interior and best of all, she's thrilled and I had so much fun!
I also staged 2 homes and both sold within a month of listing. The homeowners and realtor were very happy with my work. One was completely empty and the other partially empty. I also did some consultations for redesign and color.
I am so thrilled to have a new and fun business that I can even do in Hawaii. An interior designer here contacted me to assist her with a job.
I am fortunate that I can work as much or as little as I want to!
Thank you for the opportunity and skills you have given me to have a new and fun career.
You are welcome Kiki! It's so wonderful to see how people make their business...their own. Being semi-retired but having a business that you love is absolutely not work! Just ask Kiki.
Another stager and redesigner success story! Kiki was a semi-retired traveler who lived in Hawaii a third of a year and wanted a business that suited her lifestyle…
In fact, every time someone signs up for my home staging certification program, I interview them to get a picture of what their background is and what their hopes and goals are for their business. I am always so inspired and humbled by the responses I get! Here are just a few that I've gotten in the last month:
"I've been rearranging rooms since I was a child, so I can't wait to finally follow my dream of design and make money at it!"
"My mother was my design inspiration and when she passed away last year, I knew I had to pursue this"
"My goal is to create a staging empire!"
"I got bored of being retired and wanted to do something I loved and that would make my children proud"
"I'm a real estate agent who has always LOVED design, so my goal is to dial in my own listings, as well as help other agents stage theirs"
"I have had an Interior Design business for over ten years and wanted to incorporate home staging as an additional service"
"I hate my full time job and feel stuck...my goal is to work hard, learn like crazy and do staging and design full time!"
Five different professional home stagers tell their story of how they got into the industry, how long they’ve been doing it and their opinion on training.
As I prepare for the 2017 RESA Convention, I realize that there are a few things about the staging industry that is dramatically different than in years past. Last year, I spoke with hundreds of home stagers who all had some interesting advice, learning lessons and business tips I wanted to share in this post since I'm seeing a shift in the staging industry and anticipate even more for 2017:
The staging industry is growing leaps and bounds and stagers who have a real design talent are busier than ever before! So many of the stagers that I spoke with said they have to turn down work or refer it elsewhere there is such a need for their services.
Stephanie Cutlip of Beyond the Door Interiors in Tampa, FL sent me an email only 6 months after joining HSR telling me:
Hi Audra, my business is taking off so much I can't keep up. All of the houses that I have staged have sold within a week. I've quickly learned that I want to focus on interior decorating and redesign. Staging has opened that door for me....Thank you for a wonderful training program. I wish I had more time to follow you.
Designers are losing business to the home staging industry. Why? Because the designer's number one target market is the "New Home Owner" and that market is working with a home stager FIRST as a Home Seller before they become a new home owner. Home stager's get "first crack" at that market and in my training I go into detail how to position "Move-In Design" services to sellers, so that your business grows!
This is why going with a training company that covers BOTH home staging and redesign is essential to getting a full understanding of the industry and how to capitalize and grow your business. I talk about discovering your niche in my free webinar on January 11, so if you're feeling like a hamster on a wheel, you will want to attend that free event!
It used to be that home stager's would spend quite a bit of time having to educate real estate agents on the benefits of home staging BUT now it's the agents who "get it" and are educating the seller. I spoke with so many stagers who all said that their agent partners know the sales price of the home will never be as good if the home is not "dialed in" by an objective stager.
The savvy agent who wants to have the reputation of getting top dollar will "insist" on the home being professionally staged.
The staging industry is NOT a saturated market, so there’s plenty of business for everyone! In fact, the Staging Mentor program that we introduced a few years back (and won the RESA Innovative Service of the Year Award) resulted in several Staging Mentors bringing their trainees to the conference! Our list of amazing Staging Mentors is growing because as an industry, we are all dedicated to our craft, elevating the quality of work and creating opportunities in staging, styling and design that you would not have found years back.
Michelle Minch of Moving Mountains Design a Los Angeles Mentor has connected with several of her trainees at the RESA Convention. In the photo above, I'm with Michelle and Laurie Mattson an HSR stager out of Twin Cities, Minnesota who won the RESA Top Ten Stager Award a year after mentoring with Michelle.
The 2016 RESA Conference marked the third year in a row that the US Stager of the Year was a HSR Certified Home Stager and graduate of our program! Just like "not all home stagers are equal", certainly not all home staging training companies are equal! I've seen so many training companies come and go over the last 11 years, so don't short change yourself and DO YOUR RESEARCH. If the training company doesn't do anything to build awareness (blog) and market you (have a directory of stagers), then don't invest in them.
Becoming a home stager takes a lot of time, education, resources, connections, knowledge and hard work. There’s a lot to know in this industry because staging is an EXTREME art form. The "business" of staging involves many different types of needs from vacant to occupied AND great staging leads to design, so make sure to pick a home staging training that covers both business models. A stager needs to be connected to continued education, designer discounts and resources to better serve their clients and that's why I'm always on the hunt for saving my members time and money!
This point follows on all the others because when I look at home staging photos today and compare it to five years ago, it blows me away! One of the main reasons for the improvement in design work is that sellers truly get what they pay for when it comes to staging. If a seller tries to low budget a staging project, the results will be less than stellar. Spending a bit more for a model home look will net the seller so much more in the resell and agents are very aware of this!
This is an industry filled with generous, kind-hearted, smart, strong and artistically talented individuals that is such a pleasure and privilege to be a part of! If you've been rearranging rooms since you were a kid, then consider joining me at the RESA Convention and becoming a home stager. Don't put it off since there's never been a better time!
As I prepare for the 2017 RESA Convention, I realize that there are a few things about the staging industry that is dramatically different than in years past…
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