Color Transforms a "Me Too" Condo
This spring will see a lot of condos sitting for too long in markets that were previously hot. Some agents cling to the belief that it's all about dollars per square foot. That might be true if buyers only shopped with logic. But they actually buy on emotion.
It's really tough to make a condo stand out from the many others for sale in the same building. That's why home staging is so critical.
recommendations are especially important as nothing warms up a space
faster than the right coat of paint. Most new condos are painted
sterile white, which does nothing to enhance their often boxy
the gratifying things about home staging is the real difference you
can make in people's lives, here's what my client wrote after the
"I would like to thank you for your help in staging our condo. Everyone that has passed through our home, be it friends, family, or prospective buyers, absolutely loved it. Most importantly, we were able to distinguish our condo unit from the several other comparable ones in our building and, as a result, even in the slow month of July, we were able to sell it in only six days, at 98% of our asking price! Thanks again!" (Roman Rozanec)I have to say it's really nice reading an email like that! When I was working in the corporate sector it was rare to receive such heartfelt appreciation. Roman and his wife are now building a new life in Australia with way more c@sh than they would have had if they hadn't had their condo staged to sell.
For more color ideas check out the Staging Diva Ultimate Color Guide.
Did you notice how much stronger the above client testimonial is because of the results orientation? Learn how to get client testimonials like these from your clients.
Opportunities Find You When You're "Findable"!
I'm struck by the number of home stagers who still don't realize that THE place to get new business is the Internet. They waste m0ney on door-to-door flyers (where a response rate of 0.10% is considered good) or placing a single ad in the local paper (where 90% of the audience isn't moving now) and wonder why they're not getting enough business.10 "Must Have" pages for a Home Staging Website
I address all the effective ways there are to drum up business in course 4 of the Staging Diva Training Program, but here are a few samples of the calls I received in the last week because of my websites:
* A real estate agent wants to present me to a small group of investors who have five brand new $1 million properties going on the market in the next 6 to 8 weeks that need complete staging.
* A developer of high end retirement properties called to see if I'd be interested in putting the finishing decorating touches on all the public spaces of their new building. Total budget for accessories like vases, bowls, throw cushions, etc. is $23,000! Now that's a shopping trip I'm looking forward to!
* The producer of a new HGTV series wants me to provide staged homes for their different episodes. A chance to feature my work.
group of 8 California brokers invited me to be the guest speaker at
their next "Mastermind" meeting. I'll explain why hiring a home
stager is in their best interest and how to hire the right one in
this completely unregulated industry, since there
is no such thing as "accreditation" or
director of another HGTV show I'm already working
on needed background on the psychology of staging for the show. He
was grateful for the hour I spent with him and so I took the
opportunity to pitch him on my own show concept. After all, once you
have a director on the phone, why waste the opportunity to turn it
into something bigger!?
To build a business you need to go out and find opportunities
and you need to put yourself in situations where opportunities can
I created the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers so that Graduates would have an easy and low cost way to get on the Internet and be part of a site that I would drive traffic to for them. For example, I ran a campaign last week "Home Staging Offers Hope For Desperate Home Sellers" and within days had the Staging Diva Directory linked from about 1,800 other websites! This will create new opportunities for any stagers listed there.
I'm still waiting for Better Homes &
Gardens to run their staging story, which includes the
Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers. That's a 38 million
If you're not part of the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers and you're going to build your own website, there are 10 must have pages that you should start with.
1. Home Page
Hereís where youíll talk about what home staging is and what markets you serve. Donít forget to include your state or province. Remember website visitors come from all over the world and many city names are common between different states or provinces.
You must write your own copy for this page or hire someone to do it for you. Itís plagiarism and copyright infringement to copy web content from someone elseís website and put it onto your own, unless you do so with their permission and you quote them. Taking what they have and changing an occasional word is still copyright infringement!
Hereís where youíll include portfolio-worthy before and after photos of homes you have staged or decorated. DO NOT USE STOCK PHOTOS as this practice misleads potential customers and will destroy your credibility if you get caught passing off someone elseís work as your own.
If you havenít had a paying client yet, shoot photos in your home or that of a friend if youíve decorated it. The key here is that if youíre selling your decorating or staging talent, the photos must represent your own work.
3. About Us
Hereís where youíll include a photo of you and a profile of why youíre great at what you do, any experience you want to share, testimonials from a few clients.
Donít include a photo of you holding your child, itís not relevant to the task of promoting yourself as a professional home stager and will in fact work against you.
The photo of you is important because people hire people and they want to see who you are before phoning or emailing you. Remember that how well your website encourages people to contact you is highly dependent on how well you write about who you are and what you do.
If the copy isnít compelling, prospects wonít bother to call or email you.
4. Contact Us
Donít forget to make it easy for people to contact you. Include a phone number and email address (though to decrease spam you might want to include a contact us form that users complete rather than publishing your actual email address).
Itís important to have a mailing address as well, but donít put your home address on a website. Use a PO box or mail forwarding service instead.
Itís a great idea to sprinkle testimonials around your website, but you should also have a page devoted exclusively to them.
Testimonials have much greater weight and credibility if they include full names at a minimum. Also nice are photos, city and company names (if applicable).
Read the rest of the story and find out what the other 5 must have pages are here.
NEW Staging Diva Dialog Gets Your Questions Answered!
I'm always looking for ways to provide ongoing support to as
many Staging Diva Graduates as possible. There's already the Staging Diva Network
Online Discussion Group, but not everyone wants to interact that
way. Some just prefer the idea of being able to be on the phone with
me in the give and take that comes with live
Student/Graduate Success Corner
The Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers welcomes these recent Graduates. Congratulations on getting your portfolios together and putting yourself out there for homeowners, agents and the media to find:
Diva Directory of Home Stagers welcomes back these Graduates who
have committed to a SECOND FULL YEAR of
participating in the directory:
HOT TIP: Did you
know that you can s.a.v.e. $90 by paying for your directory listing
for a full year rather than month-to-month?
Email if you'd like to
switch and s.a.v.e!
Staging Diva Students and
Graduates, send me your
successes so we can celebrate your triumphs and inspire others!
PLUS, being included
in this newsletter gets you a F/ree home on StagingDivaDispatch.com
(the more links I provide you with, the better for your business
Staging Diva In the News
Read the rest of my story here; it's now on about 1,800 websites with a link back to the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers.
If you're a Staging Diva Graduate who is serious about building your staging business and you are not part of the Directory yet, what are you waiting for?
Builder Magazine interviewed me (last July) for a story about how staging offers home builders a cost-effective alternative to purchase incentives in a slow market. The story, "Spiff Up Your Standing Inventory: Builders share their strategies for moving houses that need to be sold or resold" is in the key January 2008 issue, the largest circulation month.
I'm often on websites or in newspapers and magazines that I don't even know about. If you find something and you can provide a sample copy or the Internet link of a source I didn't know about, I'll send you a thank you gift!
Read more about Staging Diva In The News and remember that all this coverage creates more staging project leads for Staging Diva Graduates. There are hundreds of home staging jobs posted in my blog.
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