Quote of the Month!
"Sometimes you just have to gag your inner whiner to let
other voices (like your imagination) get a word in edgewise." (Carol
A "portfolio" is a key tool in presenting
your talents to prospective customers. With worksheets, checklists
and countless tips and techniques, I show you how to create a
portfolio step by step. You'll learn how to establish yourself as
THE home staging expert in your area and win business! Over 100
pages of practical no-nonsense information to help you
Spring Course Dates
Want to take the Staging Diva
courses live with me?
Registration is now open for the April Live Staging Diva
TeleClasses. I only take 15 students in a conference call. All notes
are emailed to you in advance. You get a phone number and password
to join your fellow students and me in the live calls on the 5
April 2008 schedule and register before it's full.
Of course you can always order course
recordings so you aren't tied to the live class schedule. And,
you get to listen to the material as often as you
A Special Thanks to The
Manager of Operations is absolutely fabulous and supervises many
others behind the scenes.
Sandy is my Executive Assistant who does a
great job getting Graduation Certificates out to you in a timely
fashion, keeping the Staging Diva
Network humming, editing photos and putting together Directory
listings and many other behind the scenes details. Email her when you need
Peggy and Sandy will quickly handle your
questions about registrations, certificates, course downloads,
memberships and more.
Don't worry, I'm still accessible but with over 500 emails a
day, I need help! If you ask Peggy or Sandy something directly that
they feel needs my attention, they always forward your message to
I also review and edit all directory listings, before they go
live and create the tags for search engines to find you.
Don't take home staging training just because you want
"credentials" since there are none (not
official ones at least).
Anyone can call themselves a professional home stager, there
are no requirements or licenses to do so.
The only real reason to take a course is if you feel the
content will improve your chance of success.
Decide exactly what you need to get out of a program and then
that offers that.
Look for a trainer that has a proven
track record of success as a home stager.
Otherwise, what proof is there that their methods work in the
Look for evidence that there's a genuine interest in sharing
real information and providing ongoing support for your
Check out comments
from real people who have taken the program.
Are you promised unlimited one on one access to the head of
the company, forever? Ask yourself whether this is realistic and
whether you are being promised other things that are impossible
single training program will be right for everyone! You owe it to
yourself to research your options and choose wisely, based on your
the rest of this story
student comments about the Staging Diva
19: March 2008
You are receiving this newsletter because you
expressed interest in learning about the business of Home Staging.
If you don't want to continue, use the "Preferences" link at the
very bottom of this email.
Now that we're firmly into the key spring real estate market,
I wanted to focus this month's newsletter on how you can make the
most out of this time of year as a new or established home
This is the time to carefully evaluate your pricing strategy
and I've given you some tips in this issue. As an aside, I just had
a plumber in to snake a toilet and adjust the drain in a sink. He
was here for 20 minutes and it cost me $279 including tax. Why are
home stagers so afraid to charge what they're worth when our clients
make tens of thousands of dollars from our
If you're anything like me, you probably take dozens of
photos of each room before and after you stage it. Over time, you'll
quickly find yourself buried in thousands of photos. How to keep
track of it all? I offer my tips and what I learned the hard way in
One of the keys to attracting new clients is a strong
portfolio. This means not only the photos it contains, but also how
you write about the benefits you offer your clients. Remember
they'll only hire you if you can demonstrate that you're a solution
to their problems. Are you doing that? Does your home
staging portfolio need a spring tune
Thanks to all my readers who sent messages of condolences
last month. Your heartfelt words were deeply
I hope you find the content of this issue of Staging Diva
Dispatch helpful. I welcome your feedback and/or new story ideas!
Best wishes for the spring real estate market and any vacation plans
you may have for March Break!
Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.
Creator of The Staging Diva Program
P.S. If you missed the
Preview session I ran in February, you can listen to the recording
How Much is Home Staging Worth?
Why I Love Teaching Home Staging
How To Keep Track of your Portfolio Photos
Student/Graduate Success Corner
Staging Diva in The News
Quote of the Month
Staging Diva Spring 2008 Courses
The Staging Diva Team
How Much Is Home
One of the top reasons for not making enough money in home
staging is not charging enough. Here are 3 tips to help you
establish your home staging fees:
1. Consider all the time you donít get paid
For example, preparing for a client appointment, answering
potential clientsí questions in advance, scheduling and
re-scheduling appointments, travel time, follow up calls (before,
during and after the project), keeping track of client expenses and
time on each project, bookkeeping, standing in line at the bank,
If you think $100 or even $250 per hour is too much to charge
a client, remember the many hours you put into your business that no
one pays for.
2. Consider what tangible benefit you bring to your
home staging clients.
Do you believe you provide real value to your clients? If you
donít believe this, it will be very difficult to convince them. It
might help to think about how much financial value you can bring to
a client if you do the job well.
Donít fall into the trap of feeling embarrassed about your
rates. Done well, a home staging project should generate anywhere
from $10,000 to $50,000 profit for the homeowner.
So, why shouldnít a professional home stager be paid
This house sold for $71,000 over asking.
My client invested about $900 in my advice during a home
Someone could easily say, "wow, $900 just
for advice, thatís a lot of
But if you asked, "what if you could invest $900 and
make $71,000?", few people would consider that too
Home Staging is an investment in a potentially significant
financial return for the client. Consider this when determining your
3. Remember that when
youíre in a service business you are selling your
You have limited "inventory" so make sure youíre not always
"on sale!" Since you canít manufacture more hours in a week, the
only way to earn more is to charge more for your time.
The Staging Diva course "The Business of Home Staging: What
you need to start and how to grow" includes a detailed discussion of
If youíve already taken the course, now is a great time to
review your notes so you make sure you earn what youíre worth during
this key spring real estate season.
If you havenít taken course 2, you can
order a recording of it right now for only $199. Youíll make
that back easily on your first client because I share with you
everything Iíve learned about pricing based on my MBA training and
the real world experience of being an independent entrepreneur since
I have also built a lucrative home staging business
from scratch in a very competitive market.
In Staging Diva course 2, youíll learn what I charged clients
five years ago and how I systematically increased my rates over
time. Iíll share the
single biggest discovery I made in how to best price home staging
services for pr0fit.
Youíll also learn what other home stagers charge and how to
avoid their mistakes!
Why I Love Teaching
I struggled my
whole life with the fact that I was creative but at the same time I
was raised to believe that I had to earn a living. I was scared to
study art at university thinking that would mean I'd end up as a
"starving artist" and disappoint others.
Instead, I spent
over 20 years wondering how my life could have been different and
more satisfying if I hadn't been so practical and done a
Communications and a Masters degree in Marketing.
staging in 2002 finally allowed me to take my innate talent for
decorating and interest in real estate and turn it into a successful
business. I was
finally using my creativity instead of feeling stifled and
As my staging
company (Six Elements) got known, I started to hear from hundreds of
people who wanted to do the same, but didn't know how. That's what
motivated me to create the Staging Diva program in 2005. I wanted to
give others a way to use their own creativity and build their
financial independence too!
||Here's what April Fitzpatrick of Stage
the Way (LA) wrote this past week, "I can't tell you how
empowered I felt taking the Staging Diva Program! I only
regret starting a staging project before listening to your
training. I have done SO many things wrong. Thank you for
generously sharing your knowledge. In 10 hours of instruction,
you have saved me from years of being underpaid and
overworked! I can't thank you
It was a bit of
a Staging Diva reunion February 21 when we had the first monthly
meeting of Staging Diva
Dialog. It was great to reconnect with Staging Diva Graduates
and share new ideas for taking their businesses to the next
about Staging Diva Training
|Gary Baugher of An Eye 4 Change (TN)
wrote me after, "I feel last night's first Staging Diva Dialog
Q & A session was a success. Your support and passion for
the business continue to amaze me."
Staging Diva Graduate? Learn how to sa.ve. $10/month on Staging Diva
Dialog membership right now.
How To Keep Track of Your Portfolio
hundreds of homes over the last five years and along the way I've
accumulated over 7000 before and after shots. I tell you this
because I've got myself into quite the mess, not adequately thinking
through how I'd keep track of all these images for easy retrieval
months or years later.
When you have hundreds or
thousands of photos,
how will you keep
clarification, these are all digital images stored on my computer
(and backed up of course).
estate is a passion of mine, I'm better at recalling a house/project
by the street name rather than the name of the client. So, I filed
all my before and after photos in digital folders with the home's
address as the file name. That worked great for a while, say the
first few thousand images.
But memory loss
(mine, not the computer's) being what it is, years later I can
recall the house where I transformed that fabulous living room. In
fact I can even picture all the rooms and the neighborhood, but I
have no idea anymore exactly what street it was on. So how do I
easily find the photos of it?
My advice, avoid
the chaos I've created and file your images by room type instead. I
would be much better off if I had folders on my computer labeled
instead with names like these:
- Powder Rooms
- Kids Rooms
- Master Bedrooms
- Guest Rooms
- Home Offices
- Family Rooms
- Living Rooms
- Dining Rooms
- Curb Appeal
the idea. It would even be great to subdivide the above into sub
would also serve you well when the media requests photos for a
story. I had to send shots out to three publications recently and
usually they'll ask for something specific, like a "bathroom
makeover", or "staging a vacant home". If I used this system it
would be much easier to scroll through my selections of that type to
decide what to send.
Here's another tip: Your
digital photo comes out of the camera with a title like
"DSCN0079.jpg". Store your original photo and when you rename it,
keep the number in the name. For example, your new name might be:
"kitchenaft0079.jpg". If you resize the image for a certain purpose,
it would become "kitchenaft0079sm.jpg". That way you'll always be
able to get back to the original image if you want to do something
else to it!
This is an example of what I've learned in the
trial and error of running my own staging business over the last
five years. I share tons of practical advice like this in the Staging
Diva Home Staging Business Training
||Congratulations to Staging Diva Graduate Susan
Rutter of Staged by
Susan, LLC (OK).
month of joining the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers
she wrote to say that she has a new client, a builder with
model and new homes to stage. He wants to have an ongoing
business relationship with Susan. Talk about a quick pay back
for her investment in training and joining the
|Congratulations to Linda Vervoorn of
House New Look (ON) who, within only 2 short weeks of
joining the Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers, was
invited to quote on staging a vacant $2.5 million dollar home!
month's issue of this newsletter I wrote about the
importance of letting opportunities find you. This is a
perfect example of that principal at work!
|Congratulations to Donna Dazzo of Designed
to Appeal LLC (NY) on her radio interview on home staging
February 16 for WFUV-FM, the public radio station in New York
City. This will boost Donna's reputation as the local home
staging expert which means clients will be willing to pay more
for her services. This is a key strategy discussed in the Staging
Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.
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
Can potential clients easily find you? Learn how you can join
Diva Directory of Home Stagers. You don't need to know anything
about how to build a website because we do it for
|Terri Gunn of Baltimore
Home Stagers, LLC
Serving Baltimore, MD area: Anne
Arundel County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Carroll
County, Howard County
|Pat McArthur of
Home Staging and Design (ON) switched from monthly billing
and signed up for a full year's participation in the Staging
Diva Directory. Not only is this a commitment to building her
business, she s.a.v.e.d. $90 with the switch.
how you can s.a.ve. $90 too!
|Lori Korsen of Harmoni
Serving all of Rhode Island:
including East Greenwich, North Kingstown, South Kingstown,
Narragansett and West Warwick
Garritty of The Design
Chic Home Staging & Redesign
Serving Alberta: Calgary, Okotoks,
Cochrane, Airdrie and Chestermere areas
Libby writes: "The Staging Diva Program is chock full of pertinent
information, inspiration and motivation. Thanks again for a wonderful training experience.
Debra trains at my speed and thinks at my level. I love her
no-nonsense style. I'll be up and running next week with two leads
for my first projects already. I'm very excited about this
|Congratulations to Libby Telford, Style it Right
LLC (NC), for completing her own website within weeks of
completing the Staging Diva Training Program. This is a
beautiful site. Great content, great photography and
professionally designed. Libby is well on her way to
establishing herself as THE home staging expert in her local
just got an email from her that says, "My office phone is totally
lighting up! I've booked 3 jobs in the last hour, plus I have more
emails to work, and voice mails to review! All this on top of the 2
major projects I've been juggling over the last few weeks. I'm
running out of space on my calendar! It's happening Debra! I'm on a
Gold Medal Run!!!! I just had to share my excitement with someone,
and the first person I thought of was you. Right now is once more
the perfect time to say.... Thank You for Everything! I
couldn't have gotten here without you, and the Staging Diva Team, at
my side!" Leah is one of
the charter members of Staging Diva Dialog Program and I look
forward to her questions in our monthly Q & A
Graduates. I know she'll have great questions as always, which will
benefit the whole group.
||Congratulations to Staging Diva Graduate Leah
Fritz (WI) of Perfect
Place Home Staging, LLC. Leah completed the live courses
with me in November 2005 and it's been a pleasure to watch her
business grow ever since. Leah doesn't know this but I had her
pegged as one of the future Staging Diva success stories right
from the beginning because of what an active participant she
was in the program.|
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 my newest website
(the more links I provide you with, the better for your business