Gregg Churchill, an HSR Certified Stager and Designer in Australia gives his 5 best design and staging tips:
What makes great design is up to your own interpretation, but I do know that when I see great design it hits me right away. We all have different styles and thoughts on our own personal design which is often influenced by all the new TV Star Designers e.g.: Sarah Richardson, Candice Olsen; Martin Lawrence-Bullard; Colin and Justin etc.) and all the inspirational shows they have on our TV screens, brought right into our own homes. I watch and record all the TV shows to learn as much as possible from them all.
In summation I would recommend that what every avenue you decide to pursue in your Home Staging career, always have fun and enjoy every minute of what you are doing. Try and specialize in one category for best results e.g. vacant home staging.
Always have something different to offer your clients study your opposition from time to time and see what they are offering and you may not be or never thought to. Stay abreast, keep up to date and never stop learning. Learn from as many people as you can and you will always be the best in your chosen field. Enjoy!
Gregg Churchill of Mr. Home Staging in Perth, Australia is truly a talent! Recently he as featured in Design Shuffle and I’ve got his gorgeous photos mixed in with his incredible story…
My story is a simple one. I have always had an itch to get into both interior design and decoration, even from a young age and have always been interested in being creative and designing interiors. I am fascinated why and how the inside of a home is planned and how and why we live in that space.
I was a Project Designer for a major international food retail company for 10 years, and as their in store project designer. I firstly learnt how to draw plans the old fashioned way, on a drafting board and then got into CAD to design the inside of supermarkets and in store coffee shops and restaurants which was great fun as there are a lot of the interior design elements and fundamentals that I needed to understand to design and plan a pleasant in store shopping experience. I then ventured onto my own and acquired a retail franchise from the same international retail company and ran my own 1200 square metre supermarket with 55 permanent staff and 25 casuals for the weekends. After 5 years of burning the candle at both ends, working 16 hours a day for 7 days, I decided to sell up and have a change of direction. That is when I stumbled across HSR on the internet.
I did heaps of research on the subject and decided to join up with HSR for a number of reasons. I found the site to be very user friendly and made me feel like I wanted to belong to this company. I found the other companies who offered a similar course, didn’t offer it in a professional way. I found they just were not as professional in there sell to me as a prospective future client. I also liked the name HSR, as it exactly what the name described, a resource for home staging. The staging videos were very warm and friendly as was Audra’s recorded voice.
I would never recommend getting into Home Staging without this HSR qualification as you are entering a world where the general public are very sensitive and guarded when you go into their private domain, we are all sensitive about our homes. You HAVE to have a recognized certified qualification behind you and know what you are recommending to the public, as after they are paying you for this advice and expect good sound design advice. The many forms on offer from HSR are priceless as without them, I would have been lost and to even begin to try and do them yourself would be impossible. They are a short cut to starting your career right away, looking the part and they gave me a lot of confidence right from the very beginning.
Here in Perth Western Australia, our main economic industry is mining and it is booming at the moment, especially with the huge exports to China and the east. The property market has recovered in a big way, interest rates are at their lowest, and properties are selling in weeks instead of months. The WA public were a bit slow in adopting home staging 2 years ago, but this year I have seen a huge demand in business, especially before holidays like Easter where I was turning work away as everybody wanted their homes staged before Easter weekend.
The longest I have had a staged property on the market is 3 weeks and the shortest was 4 days (That property had been standing vacant for 42 days & once staged sold in 4 days) so I advertise that fact. I have, to date, a 100% success sold rate with my staged properties….This year, I was getting a lot of people contacting me, but for interior design, so at the beginning of this year I began an Interior Design Diploma course and am almost completed with it.
Are you not getting the amount of business that you would like? Are your marketing efforts falling flat? I find that success in business comes from avoiding these five common pitfalls and thinking in “out of the box” ways to create additional income. In the HSR Training I have an hour long video detailing these alternative income streams but before I get to those, I need to also detail the problems I see most people do in their business that keeps them from having success…
One of the first things I have people do in my training is to list their strengths and how their background strengths can help their new business. I also have people list their weaknesses which will be “threats” to their business if they are not careful. The encouraging truth is that there are several ways to market yourself in the staging and redesign industry but what may work for one personality, may not work for another.
The key is to take your previous “life’s talents” and embed them into this new business and venture. For instance, I have ex-teachers who focus on agent presentations and classes in order to market their staging business. I have my outgoing personalities follow my “Open House Assessment” formula in order to market their business face-to-face. For those who are introverts, I teach them advanced ways to market their business online so traffic comes to them. The key is to focus on your strengths in order to market your business.
>>Know that whatever your background or current situation is, there is always a way to capitalize on it as a new entrepreneur!
Tori Toth of Stylish Stagers in New York used her prior experience as a TV Reporter to create video that helps to market her business and success!
Would you go to a restaurant advertising great burgers, tacos and sushi? Then why are we trying to be all things and talents to all clients and markets? It’s okay to expand your business within the staging and redesign world but to also say you’re an expert in Feng Shui, Organizing, Windows, Upholstery and an Artist is a bit overdone and cheapens your core talents.
This same truth holds for real estate agents who also want to be expert home stagers. Do you think your clients believe that you are awesome at both when each require very separate skill sets?
>>Pick One or Two Specialties and Be Awesome At Them!
Many people enter into the staging industry believing they have to invest in lots of furniture and accessories to make a go of it which couldn’t be more false. There is plenty of non-vacant business out there for everyone (I’ll list some ideas in my “Out of the Box” article). The truth is, there are several different “markets” (vacant, investor, occupied, high end, cottage, neighborhoods, commercial, styles) that we can “specialize” in yet too many stagers tend to not pick a niche or specialty in any one market
>>Consider a Niche Market and Be Awesome At It!
Hopefully this article helped to add clarity to your business!
XOXO – Happy Staging!
I love to hear the story of someone who finally decides that a career in staging and design is for them, they pull the trigger then BAM…they are assaulted with work! Keep in mind, this doesn’t happen most of the time, since having a business is about marketing BUT when it does happen…I can’t help but feel these people are FINALLY in their CALLING.
I know what you’re thinking, you’re equating the term “calling” with a religious association but I’m here to tell you that “callings” can be any form of work/activity that you were born for. You feel in the zone. You have non-stop energy and you can’t help but think, breath and live it 24/7. I know, because I’m in my calling…for now. I know because most importantly, I hear it everyday from those who are finally taking advantage of their amazing design talent and doing what they were meant to do…stage and design.
All I can say is WOW! let me give the quick version…..I purchased your Training on Dec. 31 st after looking on and off your website for about a year. After getting access to the website I knew I had made the right decision, so I plunged in and had the goal of starting my business By March 1st.
I ran into a friend who is an agent at the Apple store the last week of Feb and updated her on my new training and she was excited…..3 days later she called and said their was an agent in her office looking for a stager and she gave her my info….the rest is history...I staged my first home on Monday 3500 sq ft with a Realtors tour yesterday and had amazing feedback and great marketing. I have my second scheduled for this Friday, vacant 3200 sq ft my third scheduled for Monday 4000 sq. ft vacant home. My 5th scheduled for two weeks from today 4000 new home Builder. And two redesigned consultations scheduled. Needless to say I am happy, excited, and did I mention worn out! I am truly loving my new company!
Mary Hatch www.thisstagedspace.com
Great job Mary!
XXOO – Happy Staging!