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!
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…
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.
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...
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
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
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!
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.
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
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…
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?
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 Mentors. The 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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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