San Diego Home Staging Blog
|Posted on August 26, 2018 at 8:12 PM||comments (371)|
What are some things I can do to help get my home sold?
We all hope that when we put our home on the market that it will sell quickly and for the price we want. Your home is most likely one of your biggest assets & you're going to want to take the time to figure out how to maximize your investment when you are getting ready to put it on the market.
As a home stager my advice to sellers is to do everything possible to increase the home's appeal to your target buyer. What does that entail?
There are lots of things that are going to affect how well your home sells including market conditions, location, price, condition and marketing. There is not much you can do about the first two - market conditions and location are going to be things you won't be able to do much about. If the market is slow you might decide to wait awhile to list your home. Your location is fixed.
But you can do something about everything else. You can take care of the condition of your home as it goes on the market. And marketing and price will be directly related to the agent you select.
So what things can you do to be sure you have addressed these factors?
Some of the things that you can do to affect how buyers perceive your home are to take care of:
- Deep Cleaning
- Deferred maintenance
- Neutralizing decor that is highly taste-specific
- Home staging
Many of these things you can do yourself. Get the family together and go through each room! Take a look at the entrance to your home & be sure your landscaping is in good shape.
Once you have done what you can a good home stager can help you accomplish your goals and get your home market-ready and that is appealing to buyers!
A good home stager will go over the things you can do, what they offer & give you an idea of what their company can provide. Interview at least a couple of staging companies to see samples of their work, check reviews and get to know their expertise and background. Look at photos of other work they have done & ask questions about their design plan for your home.
Find someone you are confident has the experience and design expertise to make your home look its best. Home staging when done well can help your home sell 90% faster and for 10% more than homes that have not been staged!
Marketing & Price
It's important to interview more than one agent to understand their marketing strategy, background, experience and to decide if this is someone you can work with successfully. The marketing strategy will be important in exposing your listing to the right pool of buyers. You want to know that when potential buyers go online to find listings in the area they are looking that your home will show up.
The agent you select will also be able to help you determine the best price.
Most agents will provide professional photos. Take a look at other listings the agent has represented and see what you think of their presentation & photos.
If you take care of those things your home will go out on the market in the best possible way to find the right buyer!
What if my home has been on the market for a while & hasn't sold?
It's never too late to go back and look at each of the areas we're discussing. Is the condition of the home at its best? Are there deferred maintenance issues that may be putting off buyers? If buyers see obvious areas of concern the likelihood is they will infer that if you haven't taken care of something they see at first sight you may have neglected other areas of the home.
Be sure your home is sparkling clean and looks its best when buyers are scheduled to see it. Before showings and open houses have a checklist and go through to be sure you have put things away. Add fresh flowers and be sure to address cooking or pet odors.
Always take a look at the outside of your home as well as the inside. First impressions matter and you want your home to look well-maintained and cared for as they walk up to the front door. Take care of landscaping issues and add colorful plants or pots to the front porch where you can.
If you haven't hired a stager find one you can help you go over the things that might be holding up the sale of your home. If you have staged your home & it's been on the market awhile it may need refreshing.
It is never too late to go back and take a second look at the impression your home is making on buyers. Your agent should be able to give you more information on the feedback from buyers who have seen your home. If you are getting lots of remarks that the home seems dark, that is one of the issues you can address with minor changes. Sometimes it's as simple as a coat of paint or removing dark curtains. This is another area where your home stager can really help.
Whatever time & effort you put into preparing your home for the best possible sale will be worth getting the best return on your investment & being ready to take the next step in your life!
|Posted on January 21, 2018 at 11:06 PM||comments (413)|
Homescapes Home Staging San Diego was honored to receive the 2018 Houzz Award for Customer Service. This marks the fifth year in a row that the company has been honored by Houzz.
Homescapes Home Staging - San Diego
Awarded Best Of Houzz 2018
Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building,
Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World
PRESS RELEASE: Carlsbad, CA, January 21, 2018 – Homescapes Home Staging of Carlsbad, CA has won “Best Of Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. This award winning home staging company was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals.
The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2017. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2018” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.
“Our goal is to offer home staging at the highest level of customer service with a high-end look at reasonable prices in order to help our clients sell their home quickly & for the best price.”
"The Houzz community selected a phenomenal group of Best of Houzz 2018 award winners, so this year's recipients should be very proud,” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing at Houzz. “Best of Houzz winners represent some of the most talented and customer-focused professionals in our industry.
Follow Homescapes Home Staging on Houzz http://www.houzz.com/projects/users/jburzell
About Homescapes Home Staging
Judith Burzell started Homescapes Home Staging after several years of remodeling homes & seeing the dramatic difference it made to a sale when the home was staged. The company has received multiple industry awards over the years & is dedicated to providing quality staging accompanied by excellent customer service.
Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com.
|Posted on June 4, 2016 at 4:06 AM||comments (77)|
Is your home on the market & it hasn't sold?
As the owner of a home staging company in San Diego, CA I hear this question all the time. If you have your home listed for sale & you’re not getting the offers you want, what could be the issue? Here are some ideas on what it might be. And if you haven’t listed your home yet, here is a chance to get it on the market for the sale you want.
What factors are affecting the sale of your home?
There are five primary things that are going to affect how your home sells.
1) Location (we’ve all heard how important location is)
2) Market conditions
Let’s take them one by one.
*Hint: with the first two there isn’t a lot you can do to change how your home is going to sell, but we’ll give you a couple of ideas! The last three will be your chance to make a difference!
1 – Location. If you picked a great location when you purchased your home you are most likely still going to be OK on location. If you selected a home in a great location that shouldn’t change unless something changed in the neighborhood since the time of your purchase (was a commercial building constructed nearby, a major road that added noise, a new flight pattern from an airport, or general downturn in the condition of the homes in your area). If you were able to pick well when you purchased your home, you should be fine on this point. If you are in a location that had issues to begin with or there has been a change in circumstances that is detrimental to your sale, what are some of the things you can do?
- If you have a noise issue, can you add plants or structures that will baffle the noise, or add sound-proofing?
- If something has been built nearby that is an eyesore, can you block it with a fence, tree, or reduce the impact in some other way by adding better window coverings, a fountain or other improvement?
- If the neighborhood has gone downhill can you talk to your neighbors or homeowner’s association? Would sprucing up your own front yard make a difference? Sometimes one owners’ efforts will help inspire others to make a change!
2 – Market conditions. This is another area where there isn’t much you can do as a homeowner that will help the sale of your home. Market conditions are going to be in flux. Hopefully, when you are ready to sell you will be lucky enough to list in a great real estate market when homes are selling well. If not, it will be more of a challenge; but, there may be some things you can do that will help. If you have seasons in your area where the market fluctuates throughout the year & you decided to sell during the slow season, you might want to wait to list your home until sales pick up. Sometimes if you can wait a while longer, in a few months or a year the market may shift. I’ve seen some homeowner’s decide to ride out a poor market by deciding to rent out their property until market conditions improve. This is an issue where timing may be everything.
3 – Condition. At last, something you can really do to make a difference when you are selling! The condition of your home is a critical factor in how well it is going to sell. A clean home that is well-maintained with a yard that has inviting curb appeal & with a great look inside is going to sell faster & for a better price. Here are some things you can do to help get your home in the best condition:
- Fix it. If your home has things that need to be fixed get it done before you list it if you can. This is the time to take care of deferred maintenance. If your property looks well cared-for potential buyers are going to assume that you have maintained your home over time & that they are less likely to have problems in the future.
- Deep clean. Now is the time to get everything spotless, organized & put away (you’re moving soon anyway, take this time to start packing!) Check for details like baseboards, corners, around tubs & sinks to be sure they are fresh. How about floors & windows? Check for odors & be sure if you have pets to deodorize & put things away if you can.
- Get organized. Your home will look larger & more appealing if you follow the general guideline, less is more. Reduce clutter, pack or put away the things you are not using, consider putting personal hygiene items like toothpaste and shampoo into baskets that you can slip under the counter to hide. Then spruce up that area so that it shines! And de-personalize where you can. You want potential buyers to envision themselves living in your home so don’t distract them with your personal mementos & family photos. Look at the demographic of the potential buyers you think are your most likely buyers & focus on them.
- Hire a professional home stager. Here is a proven way to help you sell your home quickly & for the best price! Statistics show that a home that is well-staged will sell approximately 80% faster & for an average of 12% more than a similar home that has not been staged! The return on your investment in home staging is the largest return of anything you can do as you prepare to sell your home – at over 350%. A home stager will help you present your home in the best possible way to attract buyers. Hiring a quality company is definitely something to put on your “to do” list. Be sure you find a staging company that has experience & look at their website and reviews. Interview more than one. Ask to see photos & examples of their work or if they have a home currently staged ask to see the listing. How long have they been in business & how many homes have they staged? Most importantly decide if this company is a good fit. They are going to be helping you sell one of your most valuable assets & you want to feel like you can work together.
- Look at your homes curb appeal. How your home looks as buyers drive up to see it is going to set the stage for how they perceive the property. Is your yard well-maintained? Are shrubs & bushes pruned and the lawn trimmed? Try freshening up your yard with new plants, colorful flowers and mulch, gravel, bark or other ground cover.
4 – Price. Setting your price right is often the most critical factor in getting the right buyer. Let the experts (your real estate agent or appraiser) guide you when you are making the decision on where to set the price. Many sellers get an idea in their head about what they think the price should be & they won’t let go of it. Being realistic is going to be a huge help in getting your home sold. Your agent is going to look at the comps (the selling price of homes similar to yours in your area that have recently sold) to help you set the best price. And for some tough love, remember, buyers don’t care what you need to get from the sale of your home, they want to know that it is priced right.
If you set the price too high you risk letting the house sit on the market. If a home has been listed for too long buyers are going to question if there is something wrong with it. You will also open the door to people thinking you are in a financial bind & need to sell the home, which will attract low offers.
The cost to hold on to a home that doesn’t sell because the price is set too high is almost always more than the first reduction in price. The same is true for the cost of fixing things from deferred maintenance or investing in the cost of quality home staging.
When you are selling your home you want to get on the market with all of the boxes ticked that say your home is going to make the best first impression possible, that it’s priced right, the value is there & the condition is such that it helps buyers fall in love when they step through the front door & can’t wait to get their checkbook out!
5 – Marketing. How your home is marketed is also critical to your sale. Your best friend when you are putting together your marketing plan will be the help of a qualified real estate agent. Interview two or three agents & get referrals from past clients. Check their reviews & look at their website. Ask questions about their prior sales. How many homes have they sold overall? In the past 12 months?
And most importantly, decide whether they are the right fit for you. You’re going to be working closely with them & you’re selling what is most likely your most valuable asset. You want the partnership to work to get your home sold. You want your agent to create a marketing plan where the greatest number of your potential buyers will see your listing. A good agent will see that you have professional photos for your listing. Buyers today are most likely going to see your home for the first time when they are looking online. Having great professional photos of your home looking its best is going to attract buyers & get them out to look at your home!
Have I done all that I can?
If you take a look at each of the areas that are going to affect the sale of your home & do your best to work with each one to have your home looking its best, it’s priced & marketed right, then you are in for a great sale! If you are having trouble getting the right offers, think about what you can do to make some changes to get the results you want.
As a home stager I am sometimes asked to come into a home that has been on the market for some time & add staging to help showcase the best that the home has to offer. I have seen great results over the years & many homes turn the corner on sales after staging. But if you can, take the time to do your research and get it right the first time.
Are you ready for a great sale?
It’s true, you only get one chance to make a first impression! I would wish you “good luck on your sale” but perhaps a better way to close is to say that if you are getting ready to put your home on the market your best results will be if you “do your homework” – if you do that your chance of getting the sale you want is greatly increased.
|Posted on May 30, 2016 at 6:35 PM||comments (4)|
|Posted on December 4, 2015 at 4:43 AM||comments (444)|
Are you getting ready to sell your home? Here are 5 things you need to know!
If you are getting ready to put your house on the market there are five primary things that are going to affect the sale.
Two of those things you can’t control – but there are three that you can!
1) Market conditions – market conditions have a huge effect on how your home is going to sell. The things that affect the market are inventory (availability of homes for sale), affordability (the ratio of prices to earnings), housing values, interest rates, mortgage rates & the overall economy.
There is nothing any of us can do to affect the housing market. It simply is what it is – with some exceptions! If the market traditionally fluctuates in your area through the calendar year if you can plan to list your home during the peak season (traditionally mid-March to mid-April - this will vary regionally) you may increase your chances for a quick sale at the price you want.
2) Location – you’ve heard it all before! Location, location, location – where your home is located is probably the most important factor in how your home is going to sell. If you chose well when you purchased and your home is located in a desirable area, you are set. If the area has declined or your specific location has issues with things like noise or proximity to something like commercial or industrial areas, your sale is going to be negatively affected.
Again, there is really nothing you can do about the location of your home. So focus on taking care of the things you can do to make a difference!
3) Condition – the condition of your home is going to be one of the most important factors in getting the sale you want. Unless you are prepared to put your home on the market with the idea that someone will come in and completely renovate it, top to bottom, you are going to want to make the best impression possible on potential buyers. Be sure to take care of deferred maintenance, curb appeal & deep clean.
And most importantly, be sure to have it professionally staged. A staged home will sell 80% faster and for 15% more than a similar home that has not been staged. A professional stager is trained in maximizing every area of your home to appeal to the broadest range of buyers. Interview stagers the same way you would an agent. Get their background, be sure to see samples of their work & ask questions about how they would help you prepare your home to look its very best. The cost of staging can vary, but this is most likely your most valuable asset! This is not the best time to cut corners, so find a quality company. You want your home to stand out among all the rest & get those offers coming in. In most cases the monthly cost of staging will be less than the carrying cost if your home doesn’t sell right away. And the first price reduction is almost always less than the cost of quality staging.
4) Price – in order to get the offers coming in you need to price your home right. It doesn’t matter to potential buyers what you “need” to get out of the sale. The house needs to be priced just right – not too low and not too high. Don’t assume that if you price it over comparable homes buyers will come in & make a low offer with the hope that you will negotiate. More likely they will just walk away. And this is where your real estate agent will make a difference. Your agent will do a comparative analysis of the homes in your area & help you determine a fair price.
When you are ready to select an agent be sure to interview several. Check their background & experience. Look at their marketing plan & ask them for statistics on how the homes they have listed have sold (the number of days on market, number of price reductions, how many homes have they sold, how many years have they been in business, check their reviews). Then pick the agent you think can do the best job & is someone you think you can work with.
5) Marketing – how you market your home will be one of the most important factors in getting the sale you want. Marketing strategies have changed a lot over the past 15 years. These days buyers are shopping for homes online & that may be the first place they see your home. You want an agent who knows how to get your home in front of your pool of potential buyers – ask them how they are planning to do that!
You’ll want professional photos that showcase the best your home has to offer and a marketing strategy that is directed at your target demographic. Your agent should be able to tell you who that is – are you near great schools? Your target buyer may be a young family with children. Is your home single story? That opens up your target market to anyone who can’t or doesn’t want to climb stairs. Do you have local shops within walking distance? Are you close to good public transportation? Those things should all be part of a good marketing plan.
Be proactive as you get ready to list your home for sale & you can count on the best possible result!
|Posted on October 28, 2014 at 7:44 AM||comments (5395)|
|Posted on September 17, 2014 at 4:45 PM||comments (80)|
HomeScapes SD Home Staging works with & supports the Home Stagers Network, an organization designed to support the home staging industry. The Home Stagers Network works to educate people on the benefits of staging your home when you are preparing to sell, provides a network of support to home stagers & supports charitable work where we can share our skills. We are partnering with the Home Stagers Network in their volunteer program, "San Diego Dream Homes", which will co-ordinate on-going participation in local volunteer work in the San Diego area.
Their 1st project supports Habitat for Humanity (HFH). HFH need donations (new or gently used items) for their stores. The donated items are sold & the proceeds are used to support Habitat for Humanity's great community projects. In the future there will be opportunities coming up to work on newly constructed homes where stagers can help out on-site. I'll keep you posted when something comes up, if you want to get out there & help!
In the meantime, until there is an active home-building project to volunteer for, they need things now for their stores. We will be gathering donated items over the next month to take into the Escondido store. They also accept items in the SD store & for large items they will pickup! This is an on-going project, so we will post a reminder each month that we are gathering items for donations. I will also post when volunteer opportunities for home stagers in San Diego come up where we can help out on-site.
If you are a San Diego home stager & would like to help out, you can contact me through a comment on this post or through the website's "Contact Us" page. For stagers in other areas, if you are interested in starting a similar project, leave your contact information & I will share the information that we have gathered so far. Our next project is shaping up for the holidays! If you are not a stager & would like to participate, leave a comment & I will get back to you.
Happy staging! Let's share what we know & love!
|Posted on September 6, 2014 at 8:20 AM||comments (262)|
Sep 6 2014
Is SEO optimization really so complex that you need to go out & hire an expert? Maybe not! Is that heresy in today's tech-driven world? Recently, when I was sitting next to a consultant who specializes in SEO optimization & asked that question, he laughed out loud.
Two years ago I didn't have the slightest idea what search engine optimization was. SEO was some technical term that didn't affect my life or business - or so I thought.The first rule of business is that you need to have something of value to offer potential customers. The second rule is that you need to find the best way for your customers to find you.
This is a home we recently staged to help get it sold as quickly as possible for the best price. As a home stager this is what we have to offer our customers - but what could I do to help them find me?It was pretty clear that the first step was looking at how internet searches work.
And if you want your business to come up high on an internet search, you need to know what SEO optimization is & a little bit about how it works.As the owner of a small home staging business in San Diego, I eventually realized that I had to come to terms with learning (yet again) another lesson in technology & that meant getting acquainted with SEO optimization.I am a complete novice.
I love my business, but a background in home staging doesn't lend itself to a high degree of sophistication in mastering the ever-changing challenges of today's technology. And yet to succeed in business, in today's world we don't have much choice but to jump in & see if we can figure out some way to find our potential pool of customers so that we can let them know we have something of value to offer them.
When business was slow this last winter, I decided I would either need to hire an expert to help with my SEO optimization or try to understand a little about it on my own. Out of pure curiosity, I began to read one article after another about search engine optimization & what it means.The goal was to get a higher ranking on Google, Yahoo or any other place where my very specific client base might find me. So far, it's been working pretty well. Shockingly well, in fact.
Is it dumb luck? Or is some of our success a matter of sticking to classic good business practices that have been around for decades - rather than putting our focus on trying to outwit & manipulate this monster of information, the internet.Following best business practices to me means offering the best product & service you can provide, working to be consistent, honest, reliable, informed, current, relevant, & in the end giving them what they want.
Because in the end, that's what it's all about - the ultimate goal for any business is to give the people what they want.How can doing that - just running the best business you can using the best possible classic business principles - help you find your target audience & get new clients to know you & trust you enough to buy what you are selling?
As I searched through articles on how to promote my business on the internet, it occurred to me that most of what they were talking about was raising your standards to try to be the best in the business - offering people answers & giving them something of value.When people do an internet search they have a question they want answered. They are going to type in the search words that they think will most likely bring up websites and articles that can help them answer those questions or provide a product that will.Classic good business practice is about quality, value, content, consistency, solid information & reliability. And sometimes it is about following rules (although sometimes it is about breaking them, but that's another article).
If you are attempting to get a higher ranking on Google, how important is it to take a look at their rules & regulations? Google makes their rules quite clear and available. There's no question what they are looking for.When people type in key search words as they are trying to come up with answers to their questions, Google wants the most relevant, reliable, informed, engaging, quality content that it can weed out of all the detritus on the internet to come up - they are trying to give the people what they want & need.
If you focus on following the rules and creating valuable content on your website or publications, you have far more to offer that person sitting at their computer than someone who is trying to play the game & do whatever they have to do to scam their way to the top of an internet search.Maybe the key is to create customer focused information that answers a need & provides quality content that your target audience is seeking where they are looking for it. And you want to work with the people who can get you there.
If you are starting with Google, look at what they have to offer. You want Google to help you promote your business, why not take a look at what other services & products they have to offer. Is it possible that part of the secret to Google's mysterious algorithm could lie in networking their own products & services? Does it make sense that a company would set out to make their products and services work in concert with others in the same company?
Do you want Google to work for you? Try expanding your knowledge of what they have to offer. I found over 101+ different products & services with a simple search. Google is the most popular search engine on the Web. There is a vast array of great products to discover, from Adsense, Analytics, Places, Maps, Android, Google+, Mail, Docs & my favorite new product, Waze (a great new traffic and navigation tool).
Google+ is catching on slowly but surely. It's a great place to share information. Linking your publications, website & posts on Google+ & actively sharing, can only help with your SEO optimization.My home staging business in San Diego took off when I worked on developing better content on my website, defined our brand & niche market, and became active on social media sites. I began to post on my blog, shared posts, & published articles with original content that I thought would be of interest to our potential clients.
I've shared everything from staging photos to nature photos to gorgeous travel shots, just to lighten things up once in awhile!
If you've ever investigated SEO optimization you've probably come across the concept of content marketing. If you are familiar with the term, you might have noticed that all of the descriptions I used earlier on classic good business practices (providing a quality product, information that is valuable, relevant, consistent, reliable, customer-focused, and original), also fall into the most common definition of content marketing.
A lightbulb went off when I finally realized what "content marketing" was all about! When you focus on providing a quality product backed by quality information that is focused on your potential customer's needs and answers their questions, those are the things that a search engine wants to come up when someone sits down at their computer & asks a question. They don't want a bunch of empty content, blatant advertisements, spam, high-pressure sales techniques or inaccurate information.
It seems to be working.
The irony is that while it works today, things change so quickly in our technology-driven world that this could all be obsolete tomorrow & our ranking could crash and burn - and if that's the case, it means it's time to hang it all up & book that vacation to the Seychelles!
|Posted on May 23, 2014 at 9:45 PM||comments (182)|
Six good reasons to hire a professional home stager
We recently received an inquiry from a real estate agent asking us how a hiring a professional home stager when you are ready to sell your home is different than just de-cluttering & organizing your home. I wanted to share my response.
I received the comment form you submitted to my website, HomeScapes San Diego, a local home staging company. You mentioned that you would like some information on the benefits of hiring a professional home stager that goes beyond what de-cluttering & organizing can do. Home staging may include some de-cluttering & organizing, but it goes far beyond that. Anyone could, & should, de-clutter. But if you want the best price for your home, home staging is the way to go.
What professional home staging does is give you an edge when selling your home over other homes for sale in your area - which often means the difference between getting it sold & having it sit on the market with the price trailing downwards. When you put your home on the market (often someone’s biggest asset) you want to come out of the gate running & looking your best!
1 - Statistically, staging your home professionally will help you sell quicker & for a better price - homes that are staged sell an average of 80% quicker and for 10% more than those that are not & staging is the best return on investment a homeowner can make when selling (NAR)
2 - A professional home stager, who has been trained & has experience, knows how to showcase this particular home to make the best first impression possible
3 - When you professionally stage, you help buyers see how rooms can be defined, how the space can work with their furniture & it helps them envision themselves in the space
4 - Professional home stagers are trained to know how to showcase the home to appeal to the broadest range of potential buyers in the targeted demographic for this home, without the personal bias a homeowner may hang onto about the home, which could prevent them from having the perspective needed to get buyers attention
5 - The cost of using a trained home stager is a drop in the bucket compared to the average first price reduction if the home doesn't sell (typically home staging can range from $1,000 - $2,500 - far less than the first drop in price, usually no less than $10,000)
6 - Good home staging increases the perceived value of the home - with improved curb appeal, decor & better photographs, the homeowner gains because they have re-inforced the perception that the home has been well-tended & has been taken care of overall.
Let me know if you have any comments or questions. It was a pleasure to provide some information on why we believe in professional home staging to get any home sold quickly & for the best price, regardless of market conditions. If the home is priced right, a staged home will sell faster than its competition!
Thank you for your inquiry. A picture says it best - take a look at the "Before" & "After" photos of the home we staged last week, below.
|Posted on April 18, 2014 at 1:11 AM||comments (132)|
LEARNING TO BE FLEXIBLE!
Building your home staging business
Do you want to increase profits? It’s all about being flexible and keeping an open mind:
Flexibility & the ability to adapt & make changes is key when it comes to running a business & seeing a profit.
I am in the business of home staging. We have a business plan and model that we are constantly revising to adapt to changing circumstances & things we are learning. I am constantly challenged, even with two decades of owning my own businesses.
Today’s business owners need to be savvy on multiple fronts: internet marketing, social media marketing & continual changes to the sites we are all learning to use. This is a different business world than the one I first met two decades ago.
But the overall principles for success in business have not really changed. The underlying tenets to creating a successful business are the same, but how we go about it & the tools we need to master are different.
THINK LIKE AN ENTREPRENEUR!
Thinking like an entrepreneur requires a basic skill set. You can find dozens of articles on what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur. Almost every list includes having a passion for your business, tenacity, vision, the ability to take risks, break rules & learn from setbacks.
What does it take to move from that basic skill set and turn an idea into a successful business? Of all the traits I have seen listed, I believe flexibility and adaptability are the most important. It is the same for the survival of any organism.
Success in business is founded on adaptability and the ability to assess where you are & make necessary changes. That takes an open mind. It means being able to make an honest appraisal of what is working and what is not.
You may need to consider questioning the belief that you are ever finished with creating your business model. There is a fine line between finding what works and staying with that & being able to see when circumstances have changed & when you need to adapt to move on.
Successful business owners are committed to constantly looking at their business model and being brutally honest about what is working and what is not. They are open to a constant flow of new ideas and changes in the marketplace and how we are being challenged to market with changes in technology.
That social media site that gave you 90% of your business in 2010? Well, it may not be much of a player in 2015. We all know how fast things change today.
Entrepreneurs know the value of rule-breaking at times and the ability to look ahead and defy convention when we see a new open road. People who are able to spot trends in the early stages have a huge advantage.
get your ducks in a row to get your home staging business goingGet your ducks looking like this…
TRY SOMETHING NEW!
A step beyond recognizing & moving with trends is the entrepreneur who is able to break with convention and actuallycreate change. The freethinkers of yesterday who defied convention became the innovators who broke through outdated models in their field. They were the ones who had the courage to break out of the norm & come up with new ideas that changed the world.
Many of the world’s great innovators, from great artists to literary geniuses to business giants, were mocked when they first came out with ideas that defied conventional thinking. Think: Frank Lloyd Wright, Pablo Picasso, Steve Jobs & Larry Page. They were all freethinkers who were unafraid of taking risks and creating something new.
Flexibility and adaptability show up in many small ways in the way we think and act. The words we think and speak reflect our attitudes about how the world works and can show us just how open-minded we really are when we take a hard look.
THINK SOMETHING NEW!
If we accept that mastering the art of being flexible and adaptable can translate into a more successful business – which in the long run means greater profits - how do we do make that change?
First look at a couple of definitions. “Open-minded” is defined as being “willing to consider different ideas or opinions”. “Flexibility” is defined as “the ability to recognize & adapt to fluctuating situations.”
What could be more fluctuating than the rapidly changing world of technology today where we are trying to do business?
It all comes back to how we think. If you accept that you have the power to direct your thinking, then you realize you can change your thinking habits to become more open-minded and flexible. We have the power to re-frame the way we think and train ourselves to become less rigid in our thinking.
Rather than sticking with an opinion that is unwavering, we can chose to step back, reserve judgment and consider new options.
A FORMULA FOR SUCCESS: A.L.C.
One way to look at it is to try the formula: ALC: “Act”, “Learn”, “Change”. In life we are always going to need to “Act” in order to put an idea into motion. Once we do that, if we have an analytical approach with an open mind we can assess how that idea worked, “Learn” from its successes and failures, then “Change” - that is what adaptation is all about. Do that once, then do it again & keep on doing it. The process never stops.
Try it – make a decision about something you want to try with your business. Let’s take advertising. You make the decision to “Act” and take an ad out on FaceBook. You watch the analytics and you see how the ad is doing. It’s not performing the way you had projected.
Begin to research how other people are doing the same thing and see what kind of results they are getting. Figure out what they are doing differently. “Learn” from that analysis. Then “Change” the things that are not working. Then start over and do it again.
ALLOW THE WORDS YOU USE TO CREATE WEALTH!
How we think is reflected in what we say and do. If you’ve made a decision to be more flexible and adaptable, try tracking how you are putting that into action as you interact with others. What you ‘put out there’ can indeed affect where you end up.
Here is a small example of how this works in my business. I see a lot of discussions about my field in articles and on social media sites. There is always some discussion on best business practices. One such community for business owners is LinkedIn.
LinkedIn has some great opportunities for business networking and sharing ideas through discussions that offer support to business owners. The group discussions allow people to post questions and answers to a wide range of topics. It is a great place to learn.
One of the most interesting things I have learned from that site, is that there is a tendency for many participants to have firm, uncompromising, even judgmental, beliefs about just about everything - from basic rules for how a home should be staged (should you use table settings in kitchens or trays on beds, silk vs. real plants, air mattresses, leave business cards at homes you’ve staged), to the best business model (should you rent furniture or own your own), or the best way to use internet marketing – the list goes on & on.
The discussions can get heated and sometimes the participants are downright insulting to one another. You hear “I would NEVER do XYZ…” or “anyone who does XYZ is ….” – not the model for an open and supportive discussion and the free flow of ideas. You’re not learning when you head is filled with judgments.
Reserving judgment and thinking before you speak may not only be a kinder alternative, it can help you train yourself to keep an open mind. Doing that allows you to explore the possibility that someone else might have a better idea.
Even if you still don’t agree 100%, by keeping an open mind you may find that there is some small lesson that you would otherwise have overlooked had you not indulged yourself with that “AHA, I would never do that”- moment. That small lesson could result in a slight ‘tweak’ you make to your own business model that ends up making a difference. Sometimes those ‘small’ ideas create breakthrough moments for your business.
AN OPEN MIND WILL ADD TO YOUR BANK ACCOUNT!
For me the answer is that there is no one right way to do any of these things. There is no ‘one size fits all’. It depends on the situation: your geographic location, your client, the current market, availability of resources, budget constraints, local tastes and trends. For home stagers, if the home is at the beach an ocean-themed décor plan may be perfect year-round – in Ohio in the dead of winter, that’s not going to work.
If you step back and reserve judgment, listen and learn, you may decide that your opinion that inventory purchased at the local discount store is tasteless is unfounded - it might be the perfect solution for someone else in a different area with a different budget. It might even work for you someday. And rudely expressing that judgment has just shutdown someone in the discussion. When we don’t keep an open mind we are at a standstill.
It is the free-flow of ideas that is at the heart of being flexible and adaptable. If we learn to check our egos at the door and step back from making broad judgments about how other people run their businesses, we might just learn something. And that little thing we learn might be just the thing we need to know to succeed & grow profits.
While the examples here might seem silly to those outside the field of home staging, the basic issue – being flexible & adaptable when it comes to how you approach your business model - is critical to seeing your company grow. Inflexibility can show up in the many tiny ways we interact every day.
In order to live things need to grow and change. Being open to that change, not set in old, narrow ways of thinking, can be your greatest tool to creating a successful business & seeing greater profits.
May you all succeed doing the thing you love most!