Random thoughts on my first year of home staging…..

                  About Staging:

  • Staging is  exhausting…especially when the house is three floors.
  • Staging in rainy/snowy/windy weather is nasty.
  • There’s a lot more to a staging job than the actual hands-on time at the property.
  •  Some doors are too small to fit a refrigerator through.
  • Slipcovers can often be your best friend.
  • Cushions/throws are my second best friend.
  • Outdated light fixtures are one of my pet peeves.
  • Curb appeal is just as important as interior appeal.
  • I don’t get hungry when staging on site!?

About Realtors:

  • Some Realtors fight about every dollar.
  • Some Realtors think they are stagers.
  • Some Realtors ARE stagers.
  • Most Realtors do not stage their listings (here where I live anyway).
  • Most Realtors want their stagings done ASAP.
  • Some Realtors respond to voice mails, emails promptly.
  • Some Realtors rarely respond promptly.
  • Some Realtors rarely respond.
  • A lot of Realtors stage a house only if it is on the market for a long time with no results.
  • Realtors often pay for the consultation.
  • Realtors may occasionally pay for the staging.
  • Some Realtors are difficult to work with.
  • Some Realtors are great to work with.

About home owners (clients):

  • Some clients fight about every dollar paid to me.
  • Some clients give me more than I charge.
  • Most people do not know the difference between staging and decorating.
  • Most people have too much ‘stuff’.
  • Lots of home owners trust me with their home and contents.
  • Some clients’ houses are not very clean.
  • Some clients’ homes are spotless.
  • It is often difficult to get clients to agree to the staging because of the cost.
  • Homeowners sometimes pay for the consultation.
  • Homeowners usually pay for the staging.
  •  Most home owners (and Realtors) think any house can be staged in 4 hours.
  • Most homes CANNOT be effectively staged in 4 hours.
  • Some clients’ dogs bite. (not me thankfully…photographer was not so lucky.)

About money matters:

  • Electronic transfers are the easiest way to pay and to be paid.
  • Many clients want the option of paying with a credit card.
  • Getting a large deposit on the job up front is the best way to go.
  • Getting a signed contract before starting is ideal.
  • Getting a signed contract before starting is often difficult.
  • Realtors occasionally pay for the staging
  • Realtors often pay for the consultation.
  • Renting my accessories/bedding/small furniture pieces is a great second stream of income.

About inventory:

  • Keeping track of accessory inventory is difficult.
  • Suitable storage space for inventory is a must.
  • A spare bedroom is not a good idea for a storage place.
  • A larger vehicle is an asset.
  • There is no rental business catering only to stagers (in my city).
  • It is very difficult to rent  sofa tables, dining room buffets/servers and accent chairs.
  • Much of the furniture in the rental stores is too large for a lot of the downtown homes I stage.
  • Best use of my inventory product is my wall art/mirrors.
  • My collapsible cardboard bed from NextStage is the bomb!

                                                                     Randoms:

  • Some ‘flipped’ homes are not a good buy for your money.
  • Some ‘flipped’ homes are a good buy for your money.
  • The best part for me is seeing the transformation in the ‘after’ shots.
  • Keeping up the e-marketing & blogging is very time consuming.
  • Email is a great way to correspond with clients/Realtors…there will be a record.

Things I need to improve, consider and/or fix:

  • Getting a signed contract before starting any job.
  • Getting 50% deposit before starting any job.
  • Getting a better storage area for my inventory.
  • Finding out latest inventions in staging products. Eg. Decorative curtain rods that cause no damage to walls or facings.
  • Booking my stagings so that I don’t have too much work one week and no work the next week.
  • Doing some regular blogging instead of playing catch-up.
  • Hiring some help for hanging wall art, dusting/windexing/steaming, lifting/moving furniture.
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