I just got back from Las Vegas and the RESA Convention and my ears are buzzing with all the excitement and enthusiasm from home stagers across the globe. I’ve been doing staging training for almost 10 years now and I can truly say there has never been a better time to start a home staging career than now! Here are my 7 quick reasons why this is the best time to start a home staging career but I’ll have more to report on the RESA Convention in coming blogs:
Yep, the general consensus from the over 350 professional stagers at the RESA Convention is that they are BUSY. Their phones are ringing and they are staging and doing redesign like crazy. This isn’t too surprising because of the next handful of reasons but to say that 2014 was a good year for starting a home staging career, as well as staging statistically is an understatement.
When you look at the RESA Industry Awards and the amazing work these stagers do every day, you will truly become a believer in the benefits of staging. Michelle Minch, a Los Angeles Stager and 2006 Home Staging Resource Graduate, was the overall winner in 2015 for her gorgeous vacant work which is sampled below:
When stagers do amazing work, real estate agents, home sellers, home builders and everyone else take notice. The listing photographs stand out and these homes get the best price!
When I started the Home Staging Resource almost 10 years ago I knew that I needed to add Redesign training as well…great staging turns into move-in redesign. I was the only staging trainer at the time (and even currently I believe) who incorporates both certification in staging and redesign into the training business model which is essential. According to a recent Houzz Survey of 6,500 home professionals over 90% expect their business to grow!
Those of you familiar with my blog know that we polled over 350 home stagers and 3500 homes sold worldwide and asked them (and their agents) two critical questions: Are professionally staged homes selling for more than not professionally staged homes? At what percentage increase on average are they selling higher? While the responses varied, on average the homes that were professionally staged in 2014 sold for 10% more than the homes that were not professionally staged.
The training for staging and redesign has never been better! In fact, did you know that almost every one of the staging award finalists in the US categories (and some in the Canadian) are part of my Staging Mentors program? We now have so many wonderful, generous mentors I don’t even list them all on the site. The Staging Mentors program which is the third package in the HSR Certification training won for most Innovative Product or Service of the Year in 2015 at the RESA Conference!
Here’s a picture of me hugging my award at the Conference…
Not only has my training improved over the years, but I know that others have as well because we keep each other sharp and motivated. Most of all, we love to see our students succeed! I love what beautiful Kristi Barnett is doing in her psychological staging and tricky space trainings! Here’s a photo of us on the red carpet:
Okay, here’s where I may be a bit biased but I have to say that home stagers as a whole, are a very fun, hard working, innovative, kind group of people with hearts of gold! There is an enormous amount of respect we give to each other and our clients. Stagers are fueled by their passion in design and their perfectionist personalities. Here’s a photo from the RESA Conference of some of the HSR Grads over the last 10 years who I’ve had the honor and privilege to be a part of their training. As you can see, we are still having fun up on stage chit chatting…
Here’s another of some of the gals who missed the photo up on stage:
And another fun photo of our yearly HSR networking event where I buy drinks for all my grads prior to the conference. Even the bartender commented on what a nice, fun and cool group of people we are:
I would be a fool if I didn’t acknowledge that the rise and popularity of HGTV and websites like Houzz give people motivation to put beauty into their homes and buyers a “vision” of what they want to see in their next home. The professional home stager is the person who makes that vision a reality!
XOXO – Happy Staging!
Hope to hear from you!
Not all professional stagers are equal! Our HSR Certification training was the first and one of the only staging and redesign training programs that has been third-party, accredited by the Real Estate Staging Association, so invest in the best!
I love to share stories of personal growth and business success because I know it touches on our basic, core needs: to learn, be needed and to do something important and of value.
Nancy’s story touched me because she was not only surprised by her growth, she was able to truly help a house flipper turn a property that was sitting on the market for 5 weeks into something that sold immediately after she staged it. According to the recent 2014 home staging statistics, this is no surprise! Here’s her before-and-after photos and her story:
Thank you Nancy, for your story! To see more photos by Nancy, go to her website at: http://www.nancythestager.com.
Bring HSR your natural decorating talent and we’ll show you how to make a successful business out of doing what you love AND are good at!
I get this question a lot, “how can I start a home staging business working full time?” I understand the fear and anxiety that those folks feel because they want to be their own boss, follow their passions and their true talents BUT they need an income…I get it. Starting a home staging business is not easy!
Here’s a story of someone who was able to go from a full-time management position with guaranteed income to a successful home staging entrepreneur along with her amazing before and after photos…
Hi Audra, Sorry for the delayed response…The good news is that I was super busy working on a couple large staging projects when I received your email. I struggled with the decision to make my career change for years and I am so happy that I did!
Susan Batka, Professional Home Stager and Redesigner for Aerie Interiors based out of Alpharetta, GA
Educational background: Bachelor of Science in Psychology
Career: 17 years in the Medical distribution field. Most of my time was spent in Management of the Customer Service Team and later the Sales Team, during the interim of those positions, I ran a successful Sales territory. I was working full time when I started the HSR Certification Program.
I completed my training while still working with my former employer. I took my time going through the materials and refer back to them often. I felt that HSR prepared me very well to start up and run my own staging company…In fact, I believe that my sales background paired with my HSR training helped me confidently go in and secure my first staging job.
It is critical that you go in fearless and confident even if you are shaking in your boots! My first appointment was with a Real Estate Agent who was looking to sell his 7000 square foot home that he had designed and built! No pressure there! He still does not know that he was my first client and that is the way it should be!
I am now just starting to Market my company. My current clients have found me through my website or from word of mouth.
I have had a very busy Spring so far and anticipate it to get busier because my clients have been so excited with the results and have asked me to redesign their new homes!
Nothing, I am the happiest and more fulfilled than I could have dreamed of!
Yes, very much. I would not change a thing!
Believe in yourself, be confident, let your passions be your lauchpad!
That is the beauty of online training versus traditional classroom style learning. It allows you to “hit the rewind button” and refer back to the online classroom throughout the course of your business!
There could be a good month or two between your training and the moment you get your first staging consultation, so being able to go into the online training area and watch the consultation videos again is critical to confidence building!
Thanks Susan for sharing! If you’re thinking of taking the plunge into becoming a home stager, there’s never been a better time to do it! Here’s a quick video on becoming a stager if you’re interested…
I love design and probably own every staging and design book and magazine available. I’m really loving the design trends that are driving the staging trends of 2014 because they reflect the brighter economic outlook of sellers and buyers. When people feel good about their home equity, job stability and market conditions…great things happen in design! It’s no wonder that in a recent Houzz Survey all of the tradespeople (especially designers) were feeling wonderfully, optimistic about their revenue growth in 2014! There’s never been a better time to become a stager and designer!
1. Staged Outdoor Spaces – Can you imagine what this space would look like without the staging? Yes, it would be cold and dreary. Karen Hunter of http://www.staging-magic.com/, transforms this yard into an entertainers dream come true! Staging is about creating the vision of what life in the home would look like and including the outdoor living areas is critical! This staging trend is probably one of the most essential and I see so many sellers not have their outdoor areas staged. Remember a photo is worth a thousand words, so have the stager stage the outdoor space, take your gorgeous photos and that is what will sell the buyer online. 95% of buyers are online first trying to find the home of the dreams…what do you think this photo would say to the buyer?
Don’t forget to stage all of the outdoor space and especially the BBQ/bar area. The husband weighs in on the home decision and I imagine this staged outdoor area would speak louder than the table area.
2. White Kitchens – Huge trend now for home owners is light, white, bright kitchens! In a recent Houzz survey an overwelming amount of respondents desired a white kitchen in their home. A professional stager can easily offer this solution at a low cost since the right painter, accessories and accents are what is needed. When the kitchen comprises almost 30% of the buyer’s decision (according to NAR) a little more expense in this main area makes a world of difference in price! Elayne Forgie of http://forgiehomestaging.com/, works wonders in this space.
3. Birds On Display – The bird in the pillow is just a taste of what we will see more of in the future. Whereas last year’s trend was the white porcelain deer head on the wall and horses, this year’s trend is sweet, little birds. I also love how Monica of http://www.definedspacesstudio.com/, used a palette of wheat yellow and variations of blues to create this dreamy bedroom. Okay, I know the chevron pattern is a bit over-used but in this instance it anchors the palette of yellow and blue nicely.
4. White Slipper Chairs and Bright Pops of Color on a White Canvas – White slipper chairs have always been popular but now we’ll see more of them in these whimsical settings where pops of bright hues help to modernize the space. This staging and design technique by Jo McLaughlin of http://jomclaughlindesigns.com/, looks great throughout the home as the overall sunny economic outlook reflects the bolder color palettes people desire. I also love the metallic framed art which is also very popular right now whether silver (as in this photo) or gold.
5. Speaking of gold….the next big trend is warm gold/brass accents – Framed mirrors, art or brass bar carts add warmth and sophistication in any room. Carmen Cuesta of C.C. Loeb Interiors beautifully displays an old wooden table with a touch of vintage and greenery. Certified Home Stagers and Home Stylists have many inexpensive tricks they use to add glamor to a space using what home owners already have.
6. Purple Accents in Small Doses – We all know that the Pantone color of the year dictates future color trends (that’s why we’re seeing so much yellow and turquoise now manifested in design (Pantone’s past colors) but this year’s Radiant Orchid I believe will be best seen in small doses in living areas (as in this staged living area by Lisa DeFrancesco of South Shore Staging and Photography, http://www.ssstagingandphotography.com/.
And while you won’t see Radiant Orchid on the walls in the living areas of truly staged homes, you will see it in beautifully redesigned/styled homes. Susan Batka of Aerie Interiors, http://aerieinteriors.com/ creates a sensual and inviting space for the bolder client. The zebra print rug really helps to anchor the space and look.
7. Dual Coffee Tables – placing two coffee tables next to each other to scale a larger space is a much better staging solution than just one.
8. Clear Tables, Chairs, Lamps and More – Glass has always been an excellent staging tool because of it’s reflective nature and ability to create more light in what would probably be a dark space. Elayne uses glass tables, glass hurricanes and glass lamps to move the minimal light throughout.
White is Right in Big Doses – While white kitchens is the hottest kitchen trend, white also sells when it’s in an 80% dose as in this living room.
9. The Navy Comeback – Navy blue is making a come back in a huge way! Navy just stole our hearts originally via patterns like chevron, ikat and floral (as in this chair) but now it’s really making it’s presence known as a “new neutral” that pairs well with yellow (as shown), turquoise, coral, chartreuse, wheat …basically all of the bright 2014 on-trend colors that add pop to a space. Navy is one of those versatile colors that can work with bright or earth tone accents (just open your latest Pottery Barn catalog to see it with earth tones).
10. The Statement Piece Over-sized Chair – There are so many things I love about this staged space but the dramatic, over-sized, wing-back chairs are my favorite. Every space needs that one thing that makes the buyer go “wow”! Kristine Ginsberg of http://www.elitestagingandredesignmorriscountynewjersey.com/, the USA Top Professional Stager of the Year invests in luxury accessories that create harmony and sophistication in her spaces. Plush elements like the platinum garden stools, mirrored console and geometric lamp shades serve to pull together this space.
In a new Houzz Survey all of the tradespeople (especially designers) were feeling wonderfully, optimistic about their revenue growth in 2014! There’s never been a better time to become a home stager and designer!
11. Non-Matching Chairs Around the Dining Table to Create Interest and Memorability – Those of you who are familiar with my staging and design training know that I never stop at 10, so here’s another trend I think will play strong in the staging world. You can remove the end chairs in a formal dining space to create space and to also take a great, real estate photo head-on OR add unique, statement piece end chairs to take an interesting side photo of the space. Remember, staging is always about the best photo since 95% of buyers are online first, so pick the shot, then stage it.
I’m really loving the design trends that are driving the staging trends of 2014 because they reflect the brighter economic outlook of sellers and buyers.
Can you believe all the Home Staging Resource members who attended the 2014 RESA Convention? There were over 60 of us and boy did we have a blast! Every year I speak at the RESA Conference and learn so much that I add to our HSR Certification training. I love that online training provides me a “real time” educational avenue to provide critical information to the hundreds of HSR Members across the world!
Over the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing some of the things I learned at RESA, as well the success stories I got to hear firsthand from this incredible group of women. Make sure to stay tuned by signing up to the right for our blog. I also am spending a ton of time adding what I learned from the RESA Conference to my HSR training area, so everyone can benefit from the takeaways which is the beauty of online training.
My Training Takeaway – I’m going back through our example contracts that we provide in the training using Kimberley’s mantra and making them stronger and more steadfast.
My Training Takeaway – Add to the training “Realtor Partner Plan” and “Realtor Presentations” a page/slide on how the stager makes the agent look awesome.
My Training Takeaway – Completely redoing my social media and networking section to reflect the 2014 trends, add the tips and tricks of connecting with clients and being a “good stalker” which will make it easy for HSR members to make agent partnerships.
My Training Takeaway – Add more information and video in my Week Two Marketing section that helps stagers connect easily with their propects and clients, so the “fear factor” never comes into play. I also am pushing the Staging Mentor program since is an easy way to take the fear away by working at a home and with clients under a Mentors guidance.
My Training Takeaway – Expand on my six buyer demographic Internet research steps and add a “Buyer Demographic Profile” form to that section.