Staging Diva Dispatch, written by home staging expert Debra Gould, is a monthly newsletter filled with real estate staging business tips and articles for aspiring and established home stagers. The Staging Diva shares practical solutions and ideas to help you decorate homes to sell quickly, and make lots of money doing it.
While I didn't have to pay for my own advice, I did have to hire a painter, junk removal service, handyman, gardener and buy/install a new kitchen floor. I opted for cork because it could be installed quickly right over the old vinyl and fit with the retro chic look I'd already created.
The costs added up quickly and I found myself saying, "why would I spend close to a $1000 on a new floor for a house I'm selling?"
The reality is that kitchens are key with home buyers. Mine was a 1920s kitchen that had never been renovated. Instead, I'd painted over the old laminate counter tops, backsplash and cabinets, and added new hardware and lighting.
But, I had never got around to redoing the floor, falling into the common trap of being too busy and learning to ignore it. I knew that prospective buyers would notice the old floor immediately and it would get them thinking about how it really was an old kitchen under all that primping. I needed to complete the look if I had any hopes of seeing the selling price I was hoping for.
a whirlwind of activity with only 5 days to complete all the work
and have my home photo-ready. I also wrote the ads and the script
for the video tour my agent produced. By the way, I sold after 9
days on the market at well above the asking price, and got the same
closing date as my new home-- less than 60 days away!
It seems my "Do You Think Like An Entrepreneur?" quiz in the May issue of Staging Diva Dispatch failed to make the points I hoped it would. I'm still getting emails from new stagers who:
I am committed to giving you the knowledge and tools you need to start and grow a successful staging business. But, you've got to be willing to put in the time and commitment to using what I share with you, and to giving all those little new business "seeds" you'll plant along the way, time to take root and grow.
Being an entrepreneur isn't easy; that's why most people work for others. Steering your own ship is scary; that's why most people spend their whole lives letting other people dictate what they do everyday.
I almost gave up staging every month during my first year.
had given up, I never would have realized what lay just around the
next corner. I wouldn't have realized that when it seemed like
nothing was happening, people were actually starting to talk to each
other about my company. I couldn't see it because many of them were
people I didn't even know who heard about me from others, read about
me or saw my website.
How could I know the agent I'd met 4 months earlier was about to give me a $5,000 project that would also later lead to a TV news feature story?
How could I know the color consulting client would call me back to choose all the finishes for her new kitchen, send me shopping for a new dining room set, or a year later call me back to renovate two bathrooms?
could I know that exactly two years from starting my staging
business, I'd have the incredibly surreal experience of being
interviewed by The Wall Street
Journal and CNNMoney on the very same day, and that they'd both
come to me?
point is, you plant the seeds and you keep planting the seeds, even
when you can't see anything happening.
sit home waiting for the phone to ring. Don't spend two or three
hours a day hanging around with others who aren't getting anywhere
in their own businesses. All you'll end up doing is reinforcing each
other's lack of success.
We're all addicted to instant gratification which is completely unrealistic.
commitment to your own success and ask yourself every
If you can't come up with five, resolve to do better tomorrow. Make a plan and stick to it, no matter how many more pleasant distractions come your way or how tempting it is to come up with excuses for why you aren't getting the results you want.
may sound harsh, call it 'tough love'. I sincerely want you to go
out there and be successful at whatever you choose to do. But you
have to REALLY choose it! You have to stand in your power and make
things happen. When you're ready to do that, I've got the tools you
need to make it happen. If you don't act on them, they won't
Learn more about the Staging Diva Training Program.
you're already a Graduate and feeling "stuck", take a look at the
Survival Strategies for being an entrepreneur that I gave you in
Course 1, the low cost business building ideas in course 2, how to
turn a prospect into a buyer from Course 3 and all the marketing
ideas in Course 4.
Clearing Up Confusion About Staging Project ReferralsHow the Referral System works
A homeowner or agent contacts me because they want a stager.
direct them first to The Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers and
if they can't find someone there, they're invited to complete a form
at the Staging Diva
Home Stager Locator Service.
If the client finds a stager on their own through a listing in the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers, there's NO referral fee charged to the stager.
If the client fills out the form using the Locator service, I post an article on The Business of Home Staging advertising the project.If a stager wants to apply, they use the link in the story that takes them to the Home Stager Project Referral Service.
Stagers who apply and complete all the information requested are recommended to the client after I've seen their website/portfolio.
It's then up to the client and stager to follow up with each other.
If the stager gets work, I collect a referral fee.If they don't get work, I've invested considerable time and effort and the stager has gained experience dealing with a potential client at no cost to themselves.
Who can participate in the Staging Project Referral Service?
To participate in the Referral Service stagers must:
don't apply for projects unless you meet the criteria indicated
above. We will not accept emails of brochures or portfolio photos as
a replacement for having a professional looking website or profile
page on the Staging Diva Directory of Home
Reasons not all project leads turn into paying work
Even though I've been
staging homes for a long time and I'm well known, not everyone who
calls me to discuss their project actually hires me. This is a
reality of the business and one that you can't take personally
(though this is sometimes hard, especially when the prospect sounds
so interested at first).
I've heard from a few
stagers who have had project referrals through the Staging Diva
Project Referral Service and then are frustrated that some leads
don't seem to go anywhere right away. The reality is that not all
leads will turn into projects, regardless of their source. Some of
the reasons for this are:
Graduates who have been hired for staging projects that I recommended them for include:
Ann Counard, Linda Schleihauf, Janet Belbeck, Queena Murdock, Nancy Philippsen, Lisa Allen, Sveta Melchuk, Retta Schick, Tracey Philip Jones, Nancy Dart and Andi Atteberry.
I hope this clears up some of the misconceptions about this program. If anyone has suggestions for how it can be improved, I'd love to hear from you.Learn more about joining the Staging Diva Directory so clients can find you on their own and you avoid referral fees!
Student/Graduate Success Corner
Congratulations to Graduate Peggy Depalma of Sanctuary Solutions who has received media coverage and is writing articles for local Food & Home Magazines.
Peggy also partnered with "Make-A-Wish" Foundation and donated her services to create a dream room for a 5 year old suffering from leukemia. The project snowballed into a $10,000 makeover with neighbors donating funds for furniture, Home Depot donating floors and retailers donating a Play Station and new plasma TV. It made front page news in the local paper.
Staging Diva Students and Graduates, send me your successes so we can celebrate your triumphs and inspire others!
Staging Diva In the Media
With a circulation of over 38 million, this article will send significant traffic to the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers this fall! To buy a tiny ad in Better Homes and Gardens costs hundreds of thousands of dollars. The value of being part of the editorial content is even higher because readers put more faith in editorial than advertising.
For less than the cost of an evening out (or a Yellow Pages ad), you can be part of the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers! Once I build your profile page for you (you don't need to know anything about websites), I "host" your information on the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers for only $45/month. You'll be advertising your business 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on a site that I work on getting visitors to, so you don't have to! If you're a Graduate of the Staging Diva Program, I don't know what you're waiting for!
More information on how it works and how to get listed in the Directory.
A growing number of reporters are grabbing
their stories right off my websites without even interviewing me. If
any of you see me in a local paper or magazine, I'd appreciate you
letting me know! I'd be happy to send
you a thank you gift in exchange for a copy of the
Staging Diva and the Staging Diva Logo are trademarks of Six Elements Inc.
© 2005 - 2008 Six Elements Inc. All rights reserved.
Republication or dissemination of this content is expressly prohibited without written permission.
For more information contact: 416-691-6615.