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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.


Staging Diva Dispatch

Quote of the Month!

"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like hard work." Thomas Edison

Staging Diva
Biz Tip

Set up an easy way to track your expenses, otherwise you'll lose.

If you're into home staging, you're a creative person and unlikely to enjoy keeping track of your expenses. But, if you don't develop an easy system, you'll end up paying more in taxes and buying unintended "gifts" for your clients!

Let's say you're out buying bedding and other accessories for a client; before you leave the check out, write the client's name at the top of your receipt. Then it's easy to sort by client later. Don't forget to identify your own business expenses, which you'll want to claim to reduce your taxes. Things like gas, office supplies, flowers and parking fall into that category.

If you purchase items for a client and you are giving them the receipts, make sure you keep a copy too. You will need these photocopies to account for your purchases as a business expense, which will offset the income you report from charging your clients for these items. If you fail to deduct the expense, you'll be paying more than you should in income tax.

This is an excerpt from one of the 21 lessons in the Staging Diva Biz Booster eCourse

circleWe also discuss this and related topics in the Staging Diva Training Program, course 2, The Business of Home Staging: What you need to start and how to grow"

Calling all California

A real estate agent team in Fullerton CA wants to create and promote a home staging service in partnership with Staging Diva.

Read More

A Concord CA-based agent wants to create a master list of home stagers covering Contra Costa County.

Read More

Great Book


Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything 

This fascinating book explores, among other things, how and why real estate agents and brokers are losing their power. It also supports my argument for why many agents believe they have a vested interest in NOT recommending home stagers.

circleRead my review and learn why this bodes well for home stagers

Build your company image

If you're serious about building your company image, don't neglect your logo.

Does your logo project the professional, design-oriented company you are trying to build?

Do you feel a tinge of embarrassment when you hand out one of your cards?

Here are three logos from listings in the Staging Diva Directory. All enhance the stager's credibility. They are linked to their directory listing if you want to learn more about these Staging Diva Graduates.

new view logo

urban lane logo

detailed home logo

Stay connected to fellow Staging Diva Graduates

Staging Diva Network

The Staging Diva Network (online discussion group) is a supportive community where you can share the joys and challenges of building your business. 

I answer questions within this forum and you also get advice from others in the group.

You'll learn lots and feel inspired by the discussions with your fellow Staging Diva Graduates.

Current discussion topics include:

- Where to get rental furniture and other resources

- Meeting in NY to attend a taping of the Martha Stewart Show
- How to run a staging seminar

- Dealing with challenges, marketing and more!

Learn more!

  Issue 7: October 2006

Hi ,

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 "Unsubscribe" link at the very bottom of this email.

September and October have been busy with lots of homes to stage and a move to a new system so that when you purchase from stagingdiva.com, you get your materials immediately. When I'm out staging a house, you won't have to wait until I get home to send your course materials or ebooks, you'll get them as soon as you order. Automation is great, but it's been quite the challenge to implement!

In last month's issue I incorrectly said you'd be getting an email that you'd need to reply to if you wanted to continue to receive this newsletter. I've worked around the problem, so don't worry. You'll continue to receive this newsletter until YOU choose to unsubscribe.

Thanks to all of you who wrote expressing concern about being dropped from this list. I'm pleased to know that my content is meeting your needs! I hope you find the content of this month's issue of Staging Diva Dispatch helpful; and I welcome any feedback!

Debra Signature

Debra Gould, President Six Elements Inc.
Creator of The Staging Diva Program

In this issue:

Main Section

Projects with no stagers!

Avoid this Pricing Pitfall

Important Service Announcement

Student/Graduate Success Corner

The Business of Home Staging

Staging Diva in the Media

Left column

Quote of the Month

Staging Diva Biz Tip

Calling all California Stagers

Great Book

Build Your Company Image

Stay Connected to Fellow Staging Diva Graduates

Projects With No Stagers!

I've had many home staging projects recently with no graduates to refer the clients to. Reasons I don't have someone to recommend include:

  • Not having a local Graduate
  • Not knowing if the Graduate has actually set up their business because they haven't kept me advised
  • Not having a Graduate with their own website or a page on the Staging Diva Directory so that the client can see samples of their work
  • Not hearing back from a Graduate quickly enough when I send them a lead
These are examples of the project locations I've had over the last few weeks without recommending someone: Bend (OR), Montreal (QC), Houston (TX), Yorba Linda (CA), San Fernando Valley (CA), Kelowna (BC), Toronto (ON)- many projects!

If you're in any of these areas, consider that any one of these projects would likely have more than paid for all your Staging Diva Training plus a listing in the Directory of Home Stagers

It's incredibly time-consuming playing matchmaker for hundreds of leads and then finding out who's in that market, contacting them, etc. If I don't immediately know who to send a lead to and that they'll be ready to handle it, most project leads are now being posted at my blog.

You can read about new home staging projects anytime under the category Staging Help Wanted, and contact me directly if you're interested.

Avoid this Pricing Pitfall

Many home stagers, price their services by the room or square foot. This is a huge pitfall that can mean the death of your home staging business, because you'll burn out long before you make a living.

Many factors that are beyond your control will influence how long a home staging project takes, and you won't know about them until you're actually into the project.

I've had 2,500 square foot homes that took less time than 1,000 square foot condos, but it didn't matter because I don't price by the room or by the square foot!

Here are just 3 of the dozens of time-sucking, yet uncontrollable factors that can influence the time it takes to complete a staging project:

  • how much the client likes to talk (some will tell you the history of every piece of furniture and why they love it)
  • the client is busy attending to ringing phones and screaming toddlers while you're trying to meet with them
  • the house is so filled with clutter it looks like it belongs on one of those Oprah episodes about obsessive hoarders

My goal isn't to sound negative, I believe home staging is one of the best careers out there for creative people who enjoy decorating and have an interest in real estate. I want you to think about the many things that can happen in the real world so you can avoid boxing yourself into a corner by quoting a rate upfront of $X dollars per room or per house.

Staging Diva Graduates are covered for all these eventualities if they follow the pricing strategies I recommend. In fact, any of the above time-sucking factors just mean more income for the home stager.

"The Staging Diva Program totally exceeded my expectations. The sections on how to price for your services, how to make sure you get paid, marketing techniques and what to do when you're at a Home Staging Client Consultation were especially invaluable!" (Maureen Scherrer, CA)

To learn more about how to avoid these pricing pitfalls and how to earn what you should as a home stager, check out Course 2 of the Staging Diva Training Program "The Business of Home Staging: What you Need to Start and How to Grow".

Important Service Announcement

If you've been trying to decide when to take your home staging training, or you still have a course or two to complete, please note the price for all courses is going up on Wednesday, November 1.

Even at the new prices you'll be able to make back all the cost of your training with one good project, but I just wanted to give you advance warning of this change.

"The Staging Diva Training Program was worth every penny. My first project was worth $5000." (Erin Rhindress, MA)

"I felt like I got twice the education for half the price." (Pamela Parker, TX)

"The Staging Diva Training Program is one of the best investments I've ever made." (Jeanette Cataldo, MA)

"The Staging Diva Program is so much more convenient than those hand's on programs and I can use the money I saved to build my business." (Grace Herman, FL)

"I took what I learned in the Staging Diva Program and made over $4,000 on my first project." (Kathleen Fischbein, NY)

As of November 1, the Staging Diva Home Staging Training Program including ten hours of live classes with me (or recordings), plus over 50 pages of notes and the Staging Diva Home Staging Checklist will be $895. Single course recordings with notes will be $199.

You'll still s.a.v.e $100 when you purchase all 5 courses in one transaction, but you'll s.a.v.e an additional $100 if you order before November 1.

Student/Graduate Success Corner

The Staging Diva Directory welcomes Laurie Mahoney of Designed Staged and Sold, Inc. of New York. As the Ethan Allen Designer/Stylist she worked on the coffee table book, "Ethan Allen's New American Style: Stage-by-Stage Decorating for your Home."

Read full article here

Congratulations to Joy Nan of Decorating Studio NJ who took what she learned after one Staging Diva course and presented to 50 real estate agents. She immediately got two projects for homes that had sat on the market for over a year.

Congratulations to Carolyn Carter, Done In Day Inc. who booked more business in her first six months after taking the Staging Diva Program than she had the whole previous year.

And she just completed taping of a segment on staging for a TV show called HouseSmarts.

Staging Diva Students and Graduates, send me your successes so we can celebrate your triumphs and inspire others!

The Business of Home Staging

There are over 50 articles available for you to read about The Business of Home Staging, organized into these categories:

  • Celebrating Entrepreneurs
  • Home Staging Business Tips and Training
  • Home Staging Help Wanted
  • Home Staging in the News
  • How to Stage a House
  • Proof Home Staging Works/Staging Statistics
  • Real Estate Trends
  • Staging Diva Announcements
  • Staging Diva Bookshelf
  • Staging Diva Graduate Success
  • The Staging Diva Diary
Aside from being an educational resource, I've created an opportunity to build your own Internet presence by adding comments to the stories. It's easy. If you read something that you want to comment on, just click the comment link at the bottom of the story. 

Read The Business of Home Staging

Staging Diva In the Media

century21 logo The October issue of Canada's largest decorating magazine, Canadian House & Home features my "how to hire a home stager" tips for homeowners and includes the fact that there are no real credentials so clients should be wary of anyone claiming to be "accredited". The article also invites readers to visit the Staging Diva Directory to find a stager in their area. Many of the Canadian graduates have already picked up new projects from this publicity.

I'm the featured expert in "The Art of Seduction in Real Estate," episode 5 in a series promoted by Bravo TV in Canada and Sundance Channel in the US. I haven't heard it yet, but it should be a 20 to 30 minute feature, launched later this month. Episode 3 featured Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Peter MacKay, in "The Art of Seduction in Politics." 

My goal in participating in "The Art of Seduction in Real Estate" was to build understanding and awareness for home staging and build traffic to StagingDiva.com. This will enhance the value of membership in the Staging Diva Directory as more homeowners and agents go there looking for a stager.

century21 logo I wrote an article for the Century 21 Heritage newsletter going out to 3,500 homeowners throughout Ontario promoting the idea of home staging in general, and the Staging Diva Directory in particular. This is one of the many marketing ideas discussed in course 4 of The Staging Diva Training Program and it's sure to generate project leads for local graduates.
century21 logo The Staging Diva Directory of Home Stagers, created 9 months ago, has generated at least $30,000 in home staging projects for Graduates. As media exposure and search engine ranking grows that figure will rise exponentially, especially with new Graduates joining.

.Learn how you can get staging projects from your directory listing.






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