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 Staging Photos

I never get tired of hearing how my HSR members are doing and especially SEEING their incredible home staging photos!  I get quick emails daily about how starting a home staging business has changed their life, along with home staging photos and success stories of home's that sat on the market for months, now selling for a great price because it was staged. 

Seeing is believing, so in this post I'm going to display people's exact words and their gorgeous home staging photos...enjoy!

Michelina of NJ Home Staging and Design

Hi Audra, I just wanted to share some of my success! Since I started your HSR program 9 months ago I’ve done almost 40 home staging projects! I do almost 5 a week currently...steady each week now.

My business is exploding, I’m in NJ and a one woman show. I’m a little overwhelmed but do not want to slow down. I attached my website for a few of my projects for you to see...

Michelina's Home Staging Photos...

Michelina's Home Staging and Design


Me and Kristine at RESACon

Hi Audra - I'm so looking forward to seeing you at the RESA Convention and taking your seminar! I just received an email from one of your students.... I raved about HSR and YOU, telling her how much you care about each and every student becoming a successful stager. I also told her it's 6 years later and we are still in touch. I helped her out with some bar stools for a project she's working on. I love representing HSR, which truly put me on the road to building a successful staging company. I attached photos of my work for you to see...

Kristine Ginsberg - Elite Staging and Redesign


Kristine's Home Staging Photos...


Hi Audra,  

Thank you for reaching out to me about my business! I am certainly still just beginning to get my portfolio together but have made some contacts with other professionals and realtors in my area. I can’t thank you enough for having such a thorough course and preparing me for all the aspects of this industry. I have included just a few before/after photos and some design photos as well. I’m still working on my photography skills. 😉 - Heidi Neely, Heidi Elizabeth Designs


Heidi's Home Staging Photos...

Heidi Elizabeth Designs

Heidi Elizabeth Designs


Claudia Johnson - Model By Design

I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled I am with this program and my new endeavor in this field. I feel so prepared and confident starting my new business because of your program. Worth EVERY SINGLE penny!  Here in Utah looks like there is a void in the market when it comes to home stagers. There really is a demand for it and I am already having a hard time keeping up!

Thanks! from the bottom of my heart! You've changed my life! I am able to stay with my kids and make money doing what I love most!

Claudia's Home Staging Photos...


Darsie Cole - Arroyo Grande, CA  805 Redesign

Honestly, I have been shocked by my interest and desire to get set up with my business and Ive been absolutely swamped with the core material and as a result, I've hardly deviated from your main course information/tutorials.  I love it ...Cruising through life as I was when I found you, I thought this would be a little something fun for the side of everything else I had going. Well now, as I said, I'm consumed and totally committed to my business. Your training absolutely laid it out there succinctly for me to see that my interests absolutely line up with tremendous opportunities and potential that I'd probably would not have recognized without your detailed training and direction.


Darsie's Home Staging Photos...

805 Redesign


Audra, I've been so busy, I'm taking a three week Vacation in San Diego as of today 🙂  I have now 10 homes staged at the moment.  My husband is isolating the pole barn in our yard, so we can heat it. He's happy for my success, but not that I'm taking over his pole barn. lol  Here are a few photos of the latest house...The house was on the market all summer, I staged it and it had two offers in 1 day. 1 was full price 🙂 I am currently in San Diego, may daughter just gave birth to twin boys this morning!

Jeri Jo Meyer, Inspired Home Real Estate out of DeWitt, MI

Jeri Joe's Home Staging Photos...

Inspired Home Real Estate

Inspired Home Real Estate

What Will Your Story Look Like?

Ready to Become a Professional Home Stager and Redesigner?

I never get tired of seeing awesome staging photos…do you? Here’s 6 emails I recently got along with their photo work for you to see…

5 Tips for Getting Home Staging Jobs

I get this question all the time from people interested in becoming a home stager:

"How do I get "hired" as a home stager instead of owning my own company?"

I get it...not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, so I'm going to tell you my 5 hot tips for getting hired on for home staging jobs, as well as give you real life examples of how it happened and their photo transformations...ready?

#1

Get "Formal" Training in Home Staging

This really should not come as a surprise to anyone right?  If you want to become a hair stylist, you go to cosmetology school.  If you want to become a real estate agent, you take the classes and get your license.  Why should the home staging industry be any different?

Certainly  you don't have to have "home staging certification" in this industry to become a home stager (that's one of the beauties of the industry)... BUT if you want another home stager to hire you and see you as a credible, talented, employee it REALLY HELPS!

HSR Grad and one of my FAVORITE stagers in the world, Orlando Reyes a home stager based out of Orlando, Florida​ is a RESA Chapter President and one of my amazing Staging MentorsThe before-and-after photos you see on this page were from a vacant staging job Orlando mentored a recent HSR grad (Keithia) and also hired another HSR grad, Sarah Wake Davies for this job.  He has since hire more HSR grads for his ongoing jobs.

Look how great they look in this on the job "selfy"!

Orlando, Keithia and Sarah working hard!

How did Orlando connect with so many HSR Grads for help on his home staging jobs?  Stagers Connect.  At the Home Staging Resource, we have a very active, private Social Network called Stagers Connect where members collaborate, connect and many times post jobs in our "job posting group" in order to get other qualified, similarly trained HSR stagers to assist.

Living Room BEFORE

Staging Certification does matter when you are hoping to get hired!

Living Room AFTER

#2

Connect With A Veteran Staging Mentor

Once you get some training, I recommend connecting with a Staging Mentor in your area right away!  I have a formal program Staging Mentors program where you can pay to connect with "the best of the best in the industry" for a job shadowing day that will show you all the in's and out's of the job. 

What's makes our Staging Mentors program unique, is that the money goes directly to the pre-qualified, veteran, staging mentor, so they give you an incredible training experience!  You can try and contact mentors directly for work if you don't want to pay (especially if you've been formally trained), but you usually get what you pay for so don't expect them to be very responsive (the good ones get calls almost daily for this).

Kitchen BEFORE

Kitchen AFTER Orlando and Crew

#3

Get A Referral from Your Staging Mentor

Frankly, I would be very surprised if the top two suggestions didn't land you a job if you are a super star.  Staging Mentors are looking for employees all the time, so their best resource is usually the person they mentored already.  BUT if your mentor is not hiring, then you should get a quick letter of recommendation from them for the job you did and use it to send as a reference to other stagers in your area. 

A reference is invaluable and Staging Mentors are some of the most respected stagers in the industry!

Dining Area BEFORE

Dining Area AFTER

#4

Network with Your Local Stagers Through RESA

Make sure to connect with your local Real Estate Staging Association chapter, so you can meet other stagers and find out if any of them are hiring.  Most every Staging Mentor is in leadership at RESA, so they can also guide you to the meetings and best ways to connect with others.  This is an incredible industry of generous individuals, so be open and willing to learn from them all.


Beautifully Staged Bedroom

#5

Be Willing to Work Hard, Learn Tons and Get Along

One thing you learn as an Entrepreneur is that it doesn't matter whether you are working for yourself OR someone else...you have to produce results!  If you are not working hard, connecting with prospects, bringing in business and staging/designing your heart out, then you may not be producing enough to be kept on.  Staging is hard work but oh so rewarding!

This industry is all about learning and growing!  You will NEVER stop learning about design, shopping resources or real estate if you are an awesome stager.  There is so much to know in this industry that it can be overwhelming, so stagers by nature are constant learners.

These kinds of "After" results don't come without A LOT of hard work!

Great "After" Offfice

Finally, if you go through all the of the above and still can't find work with a stager then consider going into business for yourself...I've never had anyone regret that decision.  I have a free video training that walks you through whether this industry is for you, so I encourage you to watch it.

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?

Here's a few more AFTER photos from Orlando that I never get tired of seeing...

The best way to get home staging jobs is to do like any one else who wants a job in a particular field…get schooling!  No one is going to hire someone for a coveted home staging job without them having some sort of formal training or background in home staging or design.  In this article I provide 5 essential tips for connecting to the industry and getting home staging work from other home stagers.  Getting home staging jobs is not too hard if you follow my tips.

Realtors Who Stage…

realtor staging training

4 Secrets to Success for REALTORS® Who Are Also Home Stagers

Lately I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries from agents looking for "Realtor Staging Training". I get it, the market is hot and home staging works to get the price the seller is hoping for BUT…not all agents can be stagers. Why?  I’ve found in the over 10 years of training, there’s a formula to agents who have great success selling AND home staging themselves.

Living Room Before Staging

realtor staging training

After Staging by Sinatro Real Estate, Staging and Design

I’m going to give you my secrets but also share a true, success story (with before and after photos) from an HSR grad who does both Real Estate and staging very successfully!

1.  They Have the "Staging Sickness”

What is the "Staging Sickness”? The sickness is those folks who have been rearranging their rooms since they were children. That's it.  I've found that the best home stagers ALL have been rearranging their rooms since they were children.  Now if you think that everyone does that, you are VERY wrong.  Trust me, most people never rearranged their rooms as children (my two teenage boys have never done this!)  The point I'm trying to make is this...

Great home staging is an art form born out of an innate passion for design. You were either born with that passion or not.

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Michael Sinatro of Sinatro Real Estate, Staging and Design out of Hartford, CT has the "sickness". He's not your typical stager as a young, father and husband with a background in selling high-end furnishings and textiles to designers.  Michael decided to quit that job and become a real estate agent who also stages and helps with move-in design which is a unique business model.

Michael and his adorable family

2.  They Know Their Limitations

You cannot be all things to all people. Being a 6-figure agent and a 6-figure home stager are usually two separate jobs, so unless you have the “sickness” outsource the work to someone who does.

In Michaels case, he outsourced the job of being an agent on this project to an agent who was more knowledgeable about the area. He staged the home beautifully but understood that he could not deliver the best to his client on the selling side, and sourced that portion out. By knowing his limitations, he created trust and lifelong clients in the seller and agent he worked with.

Bedroom Before

realtor staging training

Bedroom After Sinatro Real Estate, Staging and Design

3. They Take Great Care of Their Relationships

I’ve heard some agents who stage say that other agents will not refer staging business their way because they don’t trust them not to steal their client. Trust is an issue and being trustworthy and recognizing that the agent is your most important client of all (for stagers) is essential to success.

The successful staging agents that I know are constantly referred staging business from other agents because they can A.) Trust them B.) Know they have extreme talent (the “sickness”) and C.) Know that they are qualified…which leads me to the fourth point...

Bathroom Before Staging

realtor staging training

Bathroom After Staging by Sinatro

4. They Invest in Their Credentials & Education

Real Estate Agents understand almost better than any other industry the need to constantly educate yourself on your industry. Home Staging Certification when done right should NEVER end! Why? The art of home staging is closely aligned with design and the real estate market which are two constantly changing, evolving industries.

Realtor staging training should involve not only the "how to" but also the business logistics to serving other agents with your staging business.​

When you decide to become a professional home stager you are committing yourself to lifelong learning as an entrepreneur

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What other traits have you seen allow agents who also stage to be successful?

I’m going to give you my secrets but also share a true, success story (with before and after photos) from an HSR grad who does both Real Estate and staging very successfully!

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?

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!

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