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Category Archives for "Member Success Stories – HSR Stagers are Killing It!"

Home stager’s who have had great success following their dream of staging!

Surprised by Success

Is your staging business success surprising you?  It should be. 

We are in an unprecedented housing market where homes that are staged are selling for a lot more money (according to the recent 2018 home staging statistics of over 4200 homes).  When sellers see their updated and beautifully staged home sell for 20-50K makes sellers and real estate agents big believers in the benefits of staging!

In this post, I'm going to share two stager's stories of being surprised by success in the form of two emails I received recently from new HSR students who are just starting their home staging career.

Andrea McAtee, a HSR Certified Professional Home Stager out of Lincoln, NE tells her story...

I'm sure you've heard the saying, "when you do something you love, you'll never work a day in your life", oh how true this is. I remember being 7 years old, wanting to rearrange my parents living room cause I knew even then, it could look so much better. At 12 years old, embroidering on my pillowcases, because they needed sprucing up. When I turned 16, and received my first paycheck what was the first thing I buy?  Canvas art, because I had nothing on the walls in my bedroom.

Years later in my 30's, relatives would invite me over to give them ideas on where to put things, shelves, artwork, etc. Still had no idea I had any talent, or could ever make this a career it was just something I did for fun.Within the last few years staging has really grown in popularity, and I thought to myself why NOT make this a career. So doing a google search one day I came across, "The Home Staging Resource" I signed up for their newsletter, attended a few webinars, and knew right away this was the place for me. I took the online class, and received my certificate. I am now a certified professional home stager for Lincoln, NE and surrounding areas. I don't think I have ever been so excited, well except for maybe the birth of my children, and getting marred. 🙂

Andrea's First Vacant Job Before She Even Finished the Training!

Here's the recent email I got from Andrea about her first, very fast success...

Hi Audra, my business is doing great so far even got my first vacant project before I was done with the course, just like you had said. I really didn't think it would be this easy. My first Facebook ad went out and I don't think it was a week later a lady messaged me needing help selling her home. It had been on the Market since December, the family had already purchased and moved into a new home. So the need to sell was pretty urgent.

I met with her that week for a consultation, rented furniture and staged that next Saturday, they had the first open house after staging that Sunday. There was only 1 person that went through that home however is now pending contract. I am completely amazed!

The home hadn't even been on the market a month after staging. My confidence is through the roof, the client couldn't be more than pleased. I now have another staging project at the end of the month for a $5000 square foot home.


Thanks so much Audra for the amazing training you provide, I tried to start this business about 10 years ago and just couldn't get it going. This has always been my dream, I remember taking a couple of your webinars and thinking oh my goodness yes I did rearrange furniture in my bedroom, everything you talked about really resonated with me and life couldn't be better.

Jil Young, an HSR Certified Home Stager out of Goldsboro, NC sent me this email about her struggle and success...

Hi Audra,

Thank you for offering such a great Home Staging Resource program.   It is amazing what I have learned through your program the last past 30 days! I attended a 2 year design program years ago but never was able to wrap my arms around the business launching of a company. You have amazingly defined a methodical process that allows me to proceed forward with a new confidence...

I was invited to lunch to meet a friends friend who is Real Estate Agent. I'm new to this area and I wanted to hear about her Real Estate business. I had my business cards, knew my scripts and had a copy of my Client staging report "Simply Staged to Sell". By the end of the lunch the Real Estate Agent asked me if I would be willing to partner with her so she could add this crucial additional service to her marketing package to have the completive edge over others. I said YES!

How cool is that?!  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?

This housing market is hopping and here are two stories with before-and-after photos from two new HSR members of success…

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 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!

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…

Interior Designer Becomes a Stager Story

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...

Scottsdale home stager Dina

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)

scottsdale home stager dina2


Currently, I am in Week Two of your training and WOW!  Your training is worth every penny and more.  Staging is not rocket science, but being an entrepreneur and knowing how to market your business and build a brand is! I would NEVER have been able to do this on my own.

scottsdale home stager


Flash forward to today, I sent Dina an email just "checking in" and got this very cool response... 

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! 

Scottsdale home stager5


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.

Dina Ferguson Debut Home Staging

Here's A Video of another Interior Designer Turned, Award Winning RESA Stager of the Year...

What will your story be?

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?

Enter your text here...

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.

Great Business for the “Semi-Retired”

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.

Before Kiki's Redesign

Kiki finished the training in April of 2017 and send me this email a mere 3 months later...

Kiki McNair

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!

After Kiki's Redesign

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!

Before Kiki's Redesign

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.

After Kiki's Redesign


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!

Before Kiki's Redesign


Thank you for the opportunity and skills you have given me to have a new and fun career.

Kiki McNair

After Kiki's Redesign

Another Happy Client!


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.

Now 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?

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…