Archive for the ‘home staging statistics’ Category

How to Raise Your Prices

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

In the last month or so, I’ve staged a couple of high end homes. The last one that I honestly just finished today, I charged about $7500 for and a lot of people are charging high prices and a lot of people are still sort of mystified about how do I actually raise my prices.

But the one that I just did, it’s a great house. It’s about 3500 square feet. We only did the great room, which is like a living room, the kitchen, the dining room, the master bedroom, master bath and an office. So the rest of the house we didn’t do, just so you know. The fee is about $7500 and a lot of times, people will say to me, “Well Karen, how do you charge so much for your services?”
Well, let me tell you about the three different ways you can actually charge more for your home staging services. Now, the one thing I will tell you is you might start out by doing one and then take another leap and a third leap. So even if you don’t do these all at once, and you do them sequentially, you will continue to make more money. But you have to have the confidence to stand behind lifting up your prices and you have to be able to back up your service with extraordinary value.

So first of all, raise your prices. This is what normally happens. I’m going to tell you what to do and what not to do, right? So number one, raise your prices, right? How many times do we have to say it?
But they came to me initially and they were like, “Well, I’m charging $40 an hour,” or something like that. First of all, it was just like horrible to me because number one, you always want to have some kind of formula or a flat rate versus an hourly rate because you will make a lot more.

Also when you’re hourly, people want to rush you and they look at you as an hourly worker. So you don’t want to do that. You definitely want to be able to flat rate your prices or have a formula for your prices, like a square footage formula. But if you are ready to raise your prices, it’s hard to just randomly raise your prices. You can just go, “Well, I’m charging $100. I’m going to charge $1000. So as of December 1st, we’re going to charge $1000.”

Boom! Well, all of a sudden you will lose every client you have, right? That’s what people are afraid of. They’re afraid they’re going to lose – how many of you are afraid? If you’re afraid of losing customers because you raised your prices, and I think that’s always a huge, huge thing, right? So that’s the number one question people say. Well, what will happen? Well number one, you may lose customers. OK? So I’m just letting you know that upfront.

Number two, chances are if you position this effectively and correctly, you probably won’t and you will make more money. But it can’t be random. So, that’s how not to do it. You can’t just randomly raise your price. If you decide to raise your prices, you have to have a reason. So sometimes the reason has a lot of credibility and sometimes they don’t. Sometimes you will raise your prices and this happens a lot in the last few years where people said, “Well, gas has gotten so expensive. So I need to raise my price because of the price of gas.”

Well, your customer doesn’t care about that. They still have to pay out for gas too. So that’s kind of a reason that I don’t really think holds water. Sometimes people will say, “Well, I’m going to have to charge a distance charge on that.” Again, I don’t think that’s a great reason for raising your prices. I think that that’s part of just doing business. You should charge accordingly if it’s going to be a good distance away. One of the things that I realized with my clients and why I’m able to charge more is they don’t like to be nickel and dimed. People don’t want to know, “OK, well, we’ve got this fee and that fee and this fee and that fee.” They just like, “What is it?”

I think that’s why I’ve been able to charge more is because then I say, “That includes your drop-off, your pick-up, your move-in, your move-out. We carry insurance on this. It also includes a monthly touch-up if it needs it. It includes this and this and this.”

I kind of go down the list and they go, “Holy cow!” That’s way better than what anybody else is doing. So a lot of times, if we give a reason, and then we break out the services, now we can justify raising our prices.

So if we have a real reason why we’re raising our prices, then we can break out the services and say, “Here’s everything that’s going to be included.”
So you want to have a whole list of everything that’s included, everything from drop-off, pick-up, a monthly reset fee, travel feel, shopping, et cetera or you can work it in reverse.
Now, the other part under number one in terms of raising your prices is obviously increasing your monthly fees.

So again, you can just randomly do that or you can have a reason for it. So you could say, “We’re going to raise our monthly fees as of December 1st,” or you can say, “We’re going to raise our monthly fees and here’s why.” Then give them a very solid reason as to why you’re going to raise your monthly fees. Now, here’s another thing you can do with your fees. There are a lot of home stagers who will include the first month of monthly rental fees in their staging price, which is what I always recommend. But you don’t have to.
So if you want to raise your fees but you’re having a hard time increasing the staging price, just start having a monthly holding fee from day one as well. So that’s another way. So that’s all under step number one in terms of raising your prices.

So number two, number two is all about adding value. So the first thing, we talked about raising your prices. You can raise them randomly or have a reason, right? We talked about the breakout services, whether you want to include those upfront or charge for all different kinds of things as well as your monthly fees.

Now, what I would do is, I would add value and that’s what I normally do with all of my clients. So I always talk about everything my service includes and not only do I say, “Here’s what my fee is and here’s all the things that it includes,” so I give them a pretty lengthy list of everything that it includes. But in addition to that, I always offer a small – a modified I should say color analysis and curb appeal consultation. So then you can do them as independent services or very simply you can add them as a value. Now when you add something as a value, it gives you and your services more value.
So now you can say, “Well, I know Sally charges $2000. I charge $2500, but here’s why,” or “We’re going to change our prices. Now you can still get everything you’ve always gotten before at the same price or if you would like to step up and sell your house much faster, I will also include the other services.”

Now instead of being $2000, it’s $2500 or $2250. It doesn’t have to be a huge increase because if you think about it, you’re just charging an extra $200 and you do five staging’s that month, that’s an extra $1000 and you’re already there anyway and making it more valuable, because most home stagers aren’t willing to do a value-added service or they don’t have the knowledge or the know-how to do it.
Now, the other thing that I think you can offer people that adds a lot of value is letting them be a preferred member. Now this has been very successful for a lot of our home stagers and our home stager trainers. Kristy Morrison does a beautiful job with this, where you really have a preferred membership, I should say. It’s just like being an APSD member when you get preferential treatment for being an APSD member.

A lot of people are welcome but you have special benefits, special perks for being a member. So in terms of preferred membership, what I would do is, I would show the agent, the investor, and the seller your preferred membership pricing versus everyday pricing. So your preferred membership pricing might be $1000 for up to 2000 square feet and five rooms and whatever, however you want to lay it out.

So they really feel like they’re getting something but in order to make that work, they have to commit to using you exclusively for the next year. They have to fill out a form.
They have to give you a credit card so they know they’re auto charged every single time you work with them or they work with you, so to speak.
They have to commit to you and you have to commit to them. They may say to you, “Well, I don’t want you to stage these other people,” and they might assign those people.
Then you decide. Does that work for me or not? Now generally speaking, they won’t ask you to do that. But you should ask them to commit to exclusivity and then give them an exclusive price.
So now all of a sudden, you’re adding a lot of value because you give more than other stagers. You have more confidence. You have more know-how because you can include these other additional services and you’re able to give a better pricing structure because you get more business.

Now that doesn’t mean that you’re the Walmart of home staging or that you have to give away your services. It might mean you’re still more expensive than everybody else but with members, you give a very, very good discount for every single staging.

The best part about this is if you had 10 clients and each one of them has five staging’s over a period of a year, you have 50 staging’s that year or even better, they had 10 staging’s. You would have 100 staging’s that year. That’s just like managing 10 preferred clients.
Now a few of you are going to say, “Credit cards? I don’t take credit cards.” Well, if you don’t ladies and gentlemen, you need to. So go to PayPal and set up an account. That’s what professionals do. That’s what you need to do. You need to be able to accept credit cards.

You may always get checks. That’s fine. It doesn’t change the fact that you need to be able to accept credit cards especially with your preferred members because part of them being preferred, a benefit that they get, is that they don’t have to worry about the payments.
You just do an auto charge and you automatically send them a receipt. They learn to expect that so they don’t have to try to dig out a check or a credit card every time. They don’t have to worry about, “Did I pay you or not pay you?” et cetera. That’s part of a service that you offer or you can do it in another way or you can add this to it that they get a punch card just like when we go to the coffee shop. We get a punch card and with every staging, every seventh staging, they get one free or every 10th staging, they get one free.

Think about you. How many things are you a part of? How many things do you like to be a part of? Because you like to join things. That’s who we are. We’re social animals. So that’s what you have to think about. People like the preferred membership.
Number three, create celebrity. So, this is something that about a year ago now I guess I decided to do because, well, I had a lot of good credentials. I really wanted to build this. I wanted to build my celebrity.

So, two things happened for me. Number one, RE/MAX Europe got a hold of me and they said, “We would like you to create our Luxury Marketing Training System for all the real estate agents in all of Europe in 33 countries that RE/MAX is in.”
So that was a huge kudos for me. It was a point of celebrity for me because now in the real estate agent world, I can say, “You know, by the way, I’m the creator of the Luxury Marketing Training System in all of Europe.”

Now the other thing that I did was I wrote a book. I wrote Love Sells and then I marketed it like crazy and it ended up being an Amazon number one best seller.
I know what a lot of people are thinking right now. Yeah, Karen, I can never do all those things. Well, of course you can. Why do you think I’m different than you? I don’t normally just know how to write a book. I don’t normally know how to just create an entire training system for 33 countries. I dug my heels in and I did my research. I worked hard. I did everything I needed to do.
So you can do the same but it doesn’t have to be that intense. It could be pretty mild.

So those are the best few ways on how you can actually make more money on your home staging services. But you know what? You got to get out and do it. You have to add something behind you. You have to add something behind you that allows you to continue to raise your prices.

Of course the more you go, the more well-known you will become, the better your results get. All those things lend themselves towards you increasing your price.
Karen Schaefer Founder, APSD The Association of Property Scene Designers
Go to www.APSDmembers.com to request a complimentary Digital copy of our Session #1 Certified Home Stager Training Program

According to a recent study, homes located near Open Spaces will yield best investment today and in the future.

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

According to a recent study, homes located near Open Spaces will yield best investment today and in the future.

As the real estate market slowly begins its ascent once again, buyers are starting to look for more open spaces to enjoy which is quickly paying off for the current owners.
In a May 3, 2013 article by Sanette Tanaka of the WSJ, she found homes built in land-conservation developments sell for 29% more than homes built in traditional rural developments.

That’s the conclusion of a Colorado State University study of home prices in conservation developments, where residential real estate is limited and a substantial amount of land, usually 50% to 70%, is set aside as open space. “That could mean wildlife habitats, agricultural lands, important cultural sites, open space for scenic vistas,” says Sarah Reed, co-author of the study and associate conservation scientist with the Wildlife Conservation Society.

The problem with this is locating the right home with the Open Space that is best for you and your family as once buyers are fortunate enough to own this type of home, they traditionally don’t want to sell for 10-20 years.  However, the cycles are changing and the opportunity is strong to currently look for homes with designated Open Spaces.

As proof, Karen Schaefer, Amazon #1 Best Selling Real Estate Author, asks home sellers, home buyers and real estate agents, to consider these three viewpoints when looking for a new home, investment or vacation home with surrounding open space.

  • “Bloomberg.com reports that the rebounding vacation home market includes scenic mountain, oceanfront or golf communities throughout the country…. Based on the current economic recovery, second home sales have picked up dramatically. Bloomberg sources estimate sales of getaway homes will increase between 600,000 and 650,000 units annually through 2015.”

  • “Researchers compared 2,222 home sales in five counties in Colorado between 1998 to 2011… Based on the analysis, homes in conservation developments sold for 29% more than homes located in conventional residential projects.’’ Sanette Tanakah, WSJ

  • “For a homeowner, this means that the value of their home will be greater just by being in a development with open space,” Prof. Sarah Reed.

This is easy to see when homes such as the one at www.27638MistyRoad.com have the best of all worlds with a 700 acre reserve boarding the property, 360 mountain views peace, serenity and you are still only 20 minutes to a big city.

“This type of lifestyle, whether for everyday living or as a second home or vacation home is simply what people are striving toward in the coming years.  Needless to say, because of this, it is a sound investment.

Now is the time to take advantage of homes that border open space and conservation developments.  The home at www.27638MistyRoad.com epitomizes open space living for the ‘outdoorsy’ family looking to ‘get away from it all’ but be back in it within 20 minutes.

Karen Schaefer is the author of Amazon #1 best seller, ‘Love Sells; How to get Every Home Buyer to Fall in Love with YOUR House,’ and a trusted authority on the luxury real estate market, the creator of the Luxury Real Estate Training System for RE/MAX Europe and its 12,000 agents, real estate investing, real estate sales, real estate marketing, home staging and curb appeal. She is also the Founder of APSD, The Association of Property Scene Designers, a home staging and marketing training company in 14 countries along with being the owner of Simple Appeal Home Staging and Design. Ms. Schaefer has been featured in over 25 Major newspapers, blogs, TV Channels and press releases spanning the US, Canadian and European Markets.

Including:

  • Wall Street Journal
  • Victoria Times
  • More.com
  • Calgary Sun
  • RIS Media
  • San Francisco Chronicle
  • HGTV

…along with many others and has spoken in front of thousands on such topics as marketing homes for sale, massive open house events, selling vacant and distressed properties, effective home staging and curb appeal, investing in real estate and building home staging and real estate businesses.

For a complimentary Open Space Home Experience DVD visit http://www.27638MistyRoad.com

Setting the Stage

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Setting the Stage

As we know today’s buyers are very savvy and know what they want and are willing to pay for it. Since 98% of buyers start their search on line pictures are worth a thousand words, so before pictures are taken the scene needs to be set for each room.

Making sure the look and feel of the home appeals to the target buyer is one of the first steps in properly preparing the home for sale. Before setting the stage make sure to determine a realistic budget for the seller so that they will receive the best ROI (Return On Investment). Consider focusing on the main selling rooms (Entrance, Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Family Room and Master Bedroom and En-Suite) if the budget is limited.

I always recommend try and work with what the seller has in their home first before bringing in anything. This will keep the budget to a minimum as it is about helping the seller make money rather then spending it. Consider your focal points and what you need to bring in from your inventory, from a furniture rental company or move from other rooms in the home to create the WOW factor in each space.

Buyers only see what is put in front of them so staging each room for its intended use will allows them to see how their furniture will fit. Make sure that the furniture and accessories compliment the style of the home, so that it will show the homes best features.

Having a well dressed home prior to going on the market will allow the real estate agent to do their job, which is market and sell. A well dressed home will sell faster and for more money. In the end it is a WIN WIN situation for all parties involved including you as the stager. You are part of the agents team so making sure to always put your best foot forward will in turn help you grow your business because agents really do recommend their stagers to other agents and agents want to work with stagers who make their job easier.

Setting the stage will get you noticed!!!!

Carla Woolnough

Carla Woolnough is the founder and owner of Stage to Fit Inc a furniture rental and sales company specializing in short term rentals located in Mississauga Ontario, Canada. She is also the founder and owner of professional home staging, decorating and renovation company Nex-Step Design. Carla has staged thousands of homes for resale, maximizing potential selling prices and minimizing on-market listing times for her clients.

Carla is also the co-creator and national spokesperson for RE/MAX Canada’s Fit to Sell program which educates agents and home owners about the necessity of preparing their home for sale. Committed to educating homeowners and realtors who would prefer to stage their homes or listings themselves, Carla has created the self-help How To Stage Your Own Home DVD series. This innovative series includes step-by-step “how-to” teaching tips which will help maximize equity and minimize the listing time. Carla grew up in a real estate family and resides in Guelph, Ontario, Canada with her contractor husband Scott Woolnough.

Scene Surprises

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Scene Surprises

This month, I am really placing great emphasis on effective scene staging.  You will notice, I said ‘effective!’  When it comes to scene staging, many people do what I refer to as a ‘drive by staging’-tossing in random plants, candles and towels and thinking that suffices as scene staging-just so we are clear, it does not.

While there are very specific steps to scene staging which I cover with the APSD 6 step home staging pyramid in the Certified Home Stager Training course, I think one of the best elements is the ‘surprise’ that you incorporate into the scene.

Recently, I was in Florida where Pete and I met his family for a few days who had flown in from the U.K.  His nephew, Oliver (Please note…cutest 6 year old in the world that calls me Auntie Karen) was there and just completely fell in love with Pete—he would sit with him, swim with him, eat with him….you get the idea.  When it was time for us to leave, which was a day or so before Oliver, he became very melancholy.  He walked around thinking for a while and then finally asked him Mum for his bag of candy that he kept in the refrigerator.  Keep in mind that until this time—he had not offered to share these ‘priceless’ reese easter eggs…but he took the bag and pulled out 2 pieces (thankfully both were well wrapped in foil!) and stuck one in my suitcase and another in Pete’s.

When we arrived home and opened our suitcases, it was so much fun to see the candy and it reminded us immediately of Oliver and his devilish ways.  In other words, it was  a great surprise!

Effective scene staging will do the same thing- especially when you surprise your buyer. It will endear your clients to you (the agent, investor, seller AND buyer) and it will make the home you staged, memorable.  So each time the buyer considers which home to buy, yours will be on the top of their mind.  That is why in our APSD Certified Stager Pro training, we focus on effective scene staging unlike any other scene staging you have ever experienced!

It is also why, this month—we are offering the training for ½ off!  Hurry though, it is only good for 7 days!  Happy Staging everyone and enjoy this month’s edition of The Home Staging Report.

To your home staging success,

Karen Schaefer

Founder, APSD

The REAL Secret to Transforming your Home Staging Business

Friday, April 12th, 2013

April 2013 | Volume 2, Issue 4
Note from Karen
By Karen Schaefer, Founder and Creative Director APSD

Hello,

This month our APSD Home Staging theme is ‘Transformation.’ Many of you committed to being ‘ALL IN’ with your home staging businesses this year and I think part of being ‘ALL IN’
means that you are committed to transforming your business in order for it to really be an exceptional home staging business.

Well our team here at APSD is committed to helping you transform your home staging business forever which is why this month, all the articles have to do with business transformation, last month’s pro call with Mannie Tantawy was all about what it takes to really transform your home staging business (just like she has done!) and just like we have done with our all new APSD Certified ‘In Person’ Home Staging Training program.

Plus, be sure to join me and Real Estate Investing Expert, Richard Roop for this month’s Pro Call (April 17th) as we discuss the much-asked about topic of handling Real Estate Investment opportunities while acting as a Home Stager.

Life is about transformation and while it can be scary it is always SOOOO GOOD in the end!

So, get ready to pull up your big girl panties and transform your home staging business into the most amazing business ever!

Oh–and don’t forget to transform your mindset and skill set–the best way to do this is to get yourself into the next APSD training and associate with all the right people! I’ve included a calendar below. I’ll see you there!

Enjoy this month’s edition of the APSD Home Staging Report!

 

 

Founder and Creative Director; APSD® – The Association of Property Scene Designers – “The World Leader in Home Staging Training and Certification”

Using rental furniture to transform a space – Home Staging

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Using rental furniture to transform a space
By Carla Woolnough, www.Stagietofit.com

Before Home Staging

Before Home Staging, Carla Woolnough

When it comes to selling a home appealing to the target buyer is one of the keys to selling a home quickly and for the most money, but what happens when the furniture in that home doesn’t appeal to the target buyer? How do you convince the seller they need to remove the furniture in the space so rental furniture can be brought in?

As we know buyers today want a move in ready home, so creating the look and feel of a model home will help buyers envision themselves living there. Make sure the sellers understand the ROI on having them store their furniture and having rental furniture brought in. Creating a look the buyers want is key to helping the seller get the most equity possible.

You may not need to remove all the pieces, maybe you only need to change out the sofa with something that is more up to date or something simple like replacing the dining chairs so the space if more elegant rather then casual. Whether it is redoing the entire space or adding a few key pieces this will change the look of any space. Don’t just make simple changes, look at the big picture and what you can do to make a huge impact on the space and have buyers following in love with the property from the moment they see the pictures on line to when they walk through the front door.

After Home Staging

After Home Staging - Carla Woolnough

Stage to Fit is the largest short term furniture rental company in the Greater Toronto area visit our website at www.stagetofit.com

(Home) Staging With Excellence – Taking Your Business to the Next Level!

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

 

As home stagers, we work hard to do a fantastic job for all of our clients.   We provide consultations, color consults, occupied and vacant stagings – as well as a multitude of other services.

But what can we do to take our business to the next level, continue to grow, differentiate ourselves from the competition and doesn’t cost a dime?

Adding a consistent dose of excellence to all we do within our businesses!  To implement being extraordinary – we need to determine what our own definition of extraordinary is.
I have five core tenants that I consistently implement in my business which I’ll be sharing with you in Karen’s APSD® newsletters – and more – to help you bring excellence to your
staging business and take your business to  the next level.

My first focus is providing exceptional service to all my clients.  Serving your clients is key  to growing your business and STAYING in business. This is, for me and many of you, the # 1
way to grow your business!  Create a culture of client service with your team members and build that into your mission statement so it’s something that is always front and center!  It’s
‘All About the Relationship’  we build with our clients – one of trust, service and collaboration ; However, Just like a garden needs consistent care to flourish so do your relationships to
ensure they remain strong .

Being  a problem solver for your clients is a big part of delivering exceptional service.  Home Staging To Sell staged a beautiful vacant home in Chapel Hill, NC last fall.  The owner of the
home lived at the beach three hours away.  The home was a gorgeous contemporary with decks that wrapped about the entire home – with built in benches and flower boxes.    The decks
unfortunately were in dire need of power washing . The walk way to the front door was also covered in leaves and debris.   It totally took away from the curb appeal. We called the home
owner and shared what we saw .and  offered, for a fee, to power wash the deck and take care of the front walk way.   He was appreciative and we got a great testimonial as well as a very
pleased client and realtor.

Not every stager can do this type of “extra work”  but there are so many ways to go above and beyond to solve problems.

Look for ways to differentiate yourself in the marketplace by going above and beyond each time you interact with a client and watch your business grow!

Barbara Heathcote
APSD® Certified Trainer
Home Staging to Sell, LLC
www.homestagingtosellnow.com
Serving Raleigh/Durham and Beyond!

Getting Social with Social Media – Top 10 IPHONE Aps for Stagers pt1

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

TOPIC:  Top 10 IPHONE Aps for Stagers pt1

Technology is all around us and is growing faster than we can keep up but in order to make our lives EASIER I have made a list of the TOP 10 IPHONE apps every stager must have! Now, if you don’t have an iPhone then I strongly suggest you get one as it changed my business  tremendously! I was able to be more productive immediately so let’s get started!

1) BASE CRM (Free) – Every stager needs to keep track of their clients and when you are starting out you don’t want to spend an additional $50 a month or more on a massive CRM (Client Relationship Management System). Base is accessible online so technically you do not need the iphone APP but it sure does make life easy! Track clients, upcoming jobs, incoming funds and repeat business with ease.
2) Zillow.com or Realtor.com (.ca in Canada) (Free) –I’ve counted these two apps as one because they essentially are the same thing. These apps allow you to search properties for sale in your area and the Canadian app even gives you a list of realtors in your area that you can easily market to.
3) Sign in Send (Free) –This is the most amazing app EVER! I prefer this app on the IPAD as it is easier to handle but in a pinch you can use it on your cell phone. This app allows you to upload your pre-written contrasts and should your client have not signed and sent it back to you prior to your arrival you can whip out your phone and say “please sign here so we may begin” this has saved so much paper work as well as time of having to run around and collect contracts.  Definitely a MUST have app! The paid version has no ads in the email you are able to send so the decision is yours.
4) Dropbox (Free) – This is by far the MOST amazing tool out there. Essentially it is a file folder that you can access with your own specific log in details from anywhere in the world! I have used Dropbox to store ALL of my business files and when my computer died I just got a new one and opened up Dropbox and my business didn’t stop! Without this app I could have had some serious issues! Also many applications also link to Dropbox for backing up files like BASE CRM & more. Get your own FREE DROBOX account here – http://db.tt/OhoC371 (be sure to download and install for proper usage)
5) Mint (Free) – Mint pulls all of your financial accounts into one place so you can easily set a budget, track income and expenses and view all accounts in one area. This is extremely secure and does not allow for funds to be transferred.  I love the pie charts, budgets and emails I get if I have over spent on a category!

This is all the time I have right now for my top 10 apps. Be sure to tune in next month to see my next 5 app suggestions that EVERY stager needs!

ATTN:  Keep those questions coming!! I’m looking for some questions that YOU have regarding Social Media (any media -facebook, twitter, linked in, how to use etc) and I will try and answer them in a future HSR Article! Send your questions to membership@apsdmembers.com

Kristy Morrison
Chief Operating Officer -APSD
CEO Capital Home Staging & Design
membership@apsdmembers.com

Are you Afraid to sell your home staging services?

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

Are you Afraid to sell your home staging services?


People work too hard at selling their services vs. selling themselves these days. It seems that none of us are having fun any longer and unless your client can have some kind of fun they don’t really want to participate.  And, if you can’t get them to say ‘yes’ to your home staging services, pretty soon, it won’t be fun for you either.  The problem?  You don’t want to fully commit, but that is what it takes…full commitment.

Let me give you an example:  Each year Chick fil a ; the chain that runs a funny tongue in cheek campaign with cows advertising for you to ‘eat more chicken’ has a cow appreciation day…if you show up dressed like a cow, with any cow theme, you get to eat for free. Last year 400,000 people dressed like cows.  Their biz is up 12% and they don’t open on Sunday’s…They committed to something personally and professionally and it works.

So, the question is, what are you committing to?  Now, lest we all jump to conclusions and assume I am suggesting you attach a cow theme to every home you stage, allow me clarify.  Today the world needs to laugh.  I need it, you need it and your client needs it.  Additionally, it helps your business to stand apart from every other Home Stager that is saying exactly the same thing to the same potential client.

What can you say or do that is different?  That will literally help you to stand out, be remembered and stay in the mind of your customers?  This is reminiscent of what we do with Pockets of Emotion™ when we are staging, but for now, let’s stick with marketing.

You can do a variety of things:
1) Stick with a consistent them, like Chick fil a has done, all year round.
2) Change your marketing monthly to suit your specials and occasions but with an underlying consistent message.
3) Be consistent with anything.

If you choose to stick with a theme like Chick fil a has done, you need to first stop and think about who you are marketing to and what kind of theme would appeal to them.  This is no different than prior to beginning to stage, you define the customer as we state in the first step of our home staging pyramid.   Same thing applies.

When it comes to choosing a fun marketing theme, think about what works in your marketplace.  When I was only doing real estate investing, I was marketing to a funky, hippie town that was a very desirable place to live but I really had to get into the mindset of my potential seller.  So, I had an artist take my image and turn me into a caricature of a hippie girl and I held a big peace sign that said “Karen Buys Houses” and the tag line was “Activate your Flower Power and Join me on a Sit-in about selling your home today!”  Then, I did a follow up campaign with peace patches and Cheech and Chong air fresheners.  Yes, it was bold but the results were amazing.  I ran the campaign for 2 years.
I did a similar campaign with a cowgirl theme and received the same outstanding results.

These were consistent campaigns, directly targeted at my buyer and they worked for as long as I ran them.

Secondly, you can also run campaigns each month to suit a special, an event or a holiday.  If you do this the one mistake people make is they forget about an underlying message that must always be consistent.
Even now, I run multiple Home Staging Training Campaigns throughout the year but always have a consistent message about ‘the business of home staging.’  With my own home staging company, I would run marketing campaigns every quarter to coincide with the specials I was offering and then I would always attach my tag line of “Anybody can make your house pretty, we make it sell!”

By doing so, my marketing would stand out, but each time a client or prospect would receive a piece of marketing they would see my tag line and know that it was from me.
Finally, as long as you are consistent with anything, it helps.  It may not be chick fila but at least it will trigger memory response for your customer.  This does not mean just putting out your logo will make any difference at all, it won’t.  But, if you decide that you still want to market like everyone else by just using a few pretty photos and your logo and assume your client will immediately race for the phone…please, at least offer an amazing USP (Unique Selling Proposition) as I have done above.

Ultimately, the more fun and consistency you can offer your customer, the better off you and your business will be.  I realize I will receive flack for this as many of you will interpret this as less than professional, or less than serious…but think about it.  If you had 10 people with great results or a team with great results tell you what they could do for your home, would you take the boring, serious, traditional person, or the one that also had great results, but added a bit of humor, compelling marketing and a fresh perspective?  I know the answer…but you are welcome to tell me your thoughts!

To your greatest success,

 

 

 

Karen Schaefer
Founder, APSD™ The Association of Property Scene Designers
The World Leader in Home Staging Training and Certification
www.APSDmembers.com

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Monday, September 24th, 2012

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