Time to Expand Your Home Staging Business?

At some point in time you will be making the decision whether or not you want to expand. Sometimes this decision can come about because you are feeling so exhausted from trying to do everything yourself. Or you may have hired on some contract workers but found that they are not always available when you need them. Regardless of ‘why’ you need to think about expanding there are some ways that are better than others.

Chances are you have heard this expression before and maybe not really understood what it meant, or perhaps you did but were not sure how you were going to accomplish this.

You want to be working ‘ON’ your business

not ‘IN’ your business…

Woman Multi-taskingWhen you are first starting up your home staging business you are juggling not only how to run your business but how to manage your life now that you are an entrepreneur. You may find that even though you have started your business your family members still have expectations of you doing all the great things for them that you have always done. I guarantee if you try to be all things to all people and not set any new boundaries – your life will be absolutely chaotic and absolutely no FUN!

So let’s take a look and how you can expand your business without the chaos, and where you get back to having more fun and doing what you love to do.

7 TIPS on Expanding Your Home Staging Business

  1. DELEGATE: Whether you are just starting or have been in business for a while decide what you can give to someone else to do. It does not necessarily mean that you aren’t good at it, it just may not be a good use of your time and energy. For me, one of the first things I delegated was my bookkeeping. It not only drains my energy, I’m terrible at it! Is it time for you to hire some contract assistance or is it time to hire your first employee? Your numbers will tell you that but so will the amount of energy you have to do what you do best.
  2. LEARN HOW TO SELL: This is every staging entrepreneurs Number 1 priority – you must know how to sell your services. You know what you do best and you are most likely the one person in your business who has the most ‘energy’ for making the sale. It doesn’t mean that you can’t ‘delegate’ someone to make follow up calls for you and set appointments, it does mean however, that you will be the one doing the sales call and closing the sale.
  3. FIND BALANCE: I don’t really believe that entrepreneurs will ever have balance in every area of their life so, I don’t suggest striving for that. What I do suggest is to find ‘your balance’ and most likely a good part of your week will be you working. You also need to take good care of yourself and this might mean some form of exercise, eating nutritious meals and taking some ‘me’ time. Set boundaries with your family and friends so everyone is clear when it’s personal time and when it’s your business time.
  4. REVISIT YOUR SERVICES: Every quarter I take a look at where my revenues are coming from and even ‘if’ I thought they ‘should’ come from one area and they are not – it’s time to focus on the area that generates the best income for my business. Always be open to changing your business plan if something is not working for you. The same goes for your marketing plan – if you had some strategies in place and they are not attracting new clients then change them and find out what will you in front of more clients.
  5. BECOME THE EXPERT: I know I’ve talked about this in a previous newsletter but it is important for you to stand out from other people offering the same services that you do. Be ‘creative’ not ‘competitive’. Provide more value than what the actual cash value of your services is. Get yourself known in your community through writing for your local paper, doing talks at realtor offices or libraries – people can only buy from you if they know about you!
  6. KEEP LEARNING: Continue to learn new tools to grow your business particularly in the area of social media – this needs to be part of your strategic marketing plan. I highly recommend checking out eVision Media‘s social media program if you are unclear about what you need to be doing. Check out networking groups in your area for speakers who can teach you more about growing your business. Find your local home staging networking groups and get involved with them. Find someone who is successful and follow them – you can always do what they are doing – make it authentically yours.
  7. HIRE A COACH: Most home staging entrepreneurs that I coach love the creative, decorative, fun part of home staging and redesign. What they don’t love so much is ‘selling’ and ‘marketing’ their business. Their energy goes from a 10 (being high excitement) to a 1 within minutes when I ask about their plans and strategies. Find a business coach who is the right fit for you and invest the money in growing your business. Your coach can live anywhere but if they have experience in your business all the better.

Entranceways reflect a lot about who lives here…

The first impression of the entrance for living is different than it is for selling. When someone is living in the home the entrance should reflect their personal style. It should say something about how this person likes to live in their home and also it starts the colour scheme of the home. It’s very personal.

For selling the entrance has a different goal to achieve. With that first impression being so critical in the buying decision it needs to invite the prospective buyer in with a warm and welcoming feeling. Not crowded – not too personal but spacious and clean. The best colour palette for me is still a neutral paint colour. I like to accessorize with trendy colours and let the walls stay in the background.

The PRES students recently went in to transform an entrance that had become a ‘catch all’ area for shoes, books, pictures, etc but didn’t really meet any of the criteria that it needed to.

The dark wood units are housing the family’s shoes and other things and the wood colour does not go with the other woods in the room. You do get the impression that this family is all about family and it is yet it doesn’t tell us much else.

DeAnn Entrance Before

We really wanted to do something that reflected more of the personal style of the home owner and invite some calm into this busy family life…

DeAnn Entrance After

From a Feng Shui perspective a small water fountain would be the perfect addition here. The old monk’s door is a treasure she fell in love with many years ago. The serene Buddha with the new plants breathe new life and energy into this space.

This is what she had to say…

“All I can say is WOW! We are LOVING the space that you and the women created yesterday! I had to leave for a class shortly after you left, so didn’t have time to just sit in the space and take it all in. However, it was just soooo incredibly lovely walking in the door last night to this peaceful, pulled-together, warm, inviting space! I just stood in the doorway with my coat and shoes on looking around and loving every bit of it. My husband texted me while I was in class, saying ‘WOW! It looks great!’. Big response from someone who usually doesn’t pay much attention to these things. He even said ‘Thanks for attracting this into our lives’!

After 20+ years of having a busy, FULL house with kids/teens/dog I can’t even tell you how much the calm, organized beautiful space impacts me (us) physically and emotionally. When you look at something every day that bothers you but you just put it aside, you get used to it in a chronic way — until it shifts and then you realize how ‘heavy’ it had been weighing on you. Thank you for breathing new oxygen and ‘lightness’ into our home!

Even though you were working with furniture that’s almost two decades old, it all looks new again! Who would have thought?! As I kept saying yesterday, it feels crazy but in a great way!! It’s mind-blowing because it’s the same stuff that was here but it just has a completely new energy and feel. “

How a 20 year old home was reborn!

“Oh my God, Oh my God, Oh my God” is what she kept repeating as she looked at her 20 year old home once we transformed it! One of the things I absolutely LOVE about the Certified PRES home staging and redesign training programs is that students go into real client’s homes to apply the theory they learned in the classroom.

Every home owner has things that they really love but they don’t necessarily know how to utilize the space to showcase what they do have. We love to transform rooms into inviting, comfortable, sophisticated spaces and that’s exactly what we did here! Our home owner is a busy entrepreneur, mother and wife who spends the majority of her time ‘taking care of everyone else’ in the home. This isn’t a new story to us at the PRES Staging Resource Centre – we hear this all the time. What is so wonderful about coming into this home is that the client has absolutely gorgeous furniture, accessories and art that we can play with. And play we did!

From “Not Sure What Really Works in this Living Room and Dining Room if anything ….”

DeAnn Living Room Before

DeAnn Living & Dining Room Before

To ” I absolutely LOVE THIS SPACE!”

DeAnn Living Room After

DeAnn Living Room After2

Colleen McClure the new PRES Staging Instructor did a fabulous job of working with the new April students to show them how easy it is to redesign a home for living, or staging it to sell.

Colleen McClure with students

Announcing new PRES Staging Trainer – Colleen McClure!

Super excited to introduce Colleen McClure of Colleen McClure Designs who is the new PRES Staging & Redesign Trainer! Colleen is a successful interior decorator and a Certified PRES Staging & Redesign Professional. She is super excited with traveling across Canada with the PRES Staging & Redesign training programs.

Read more about Colleen…Colleen McClure

Currently Colleen McClure is known as the Blind Lady for Budget Blinds in Campbell River, Courtenay and Comox. Over the years she has honed her skills in learning as much as she can about window coverings and took a specialized course in California to learn the latest trends. She is experienced in all window fashion treatments and blinds bringing everything to your home for a seamless decision making process.

Colleen is a Certified Professional Real Estate Stager (PRES®) and is known in the industry as the ‘Making it Easy for You’ gal. Colleen started her interior decorating career in 1997 and she has continued to dazzle and amaze her clients at how easy she makes the entire decision process whether it’s for one room or an entire home. She is absolutely passionate about the colour choices that she helps her clients make. Colleen believes that colour can make or break an entire look of a room and she is a professionally trained colour expert with Maria Killam as a ‘True Certified Color Expert’.

Clients praise Colleen for her ability to mix styles, textures and finishes which keep her designs personal, thoughtful and fresh. She has an appreciation for all styles and the need to reflect each client’s personal space, lifestyle, and character. Clients appreciate her open, easy and accommodating nature plus her expertise in pulling various design elements together to create a unique and inviting space for living or selling.

Colleen will be part of the April Certified PRES Staging & Redesign training program and is super excited to be doing something that she absolutely loves. She is in the process up updating all her social media sites and getting the word out there about adding home staging training to her business model!

Tired of working 7 days a week and doing it all? Join City Stagers…

This month Meetup City Stagers is excited to have Isabelle Guay of Flow Home Staging share her success stories. She’ll discuss how to establish goals, create systems, determine when is a good time to expand and delegate, and finally how to best use your time to generate revenue. Building a strong team will give you confidence to take your business to the next level!

This event is happening on March 18th at 7pm at Home Ingredients Home Ingredients at 65 West 7th Avenue in Vancouver BC.

Isabelle Guay Flow Home Staging resized

Isabelle Guay is both a PRES Certified Professional Stager & Redesigner (PRES) and a Certified ReDesign & Staging Specialist™ (CRSS™). She has been a PRES Featured Stager showing her expertise in creating a great looking space for a very happy seller.

She is the owner of Flow Home Staging & Design, one of the leading home staging and interior design companies in Vancouver. With over 500 homes successfully staged or designed over the past 6 years Isabelle has built a strong business that keeps on growing. Known for her creativity, professionalism, and personal style, Isabelle is always on top of real estate and home décor trends.

Position Yourself As a Home Staging Expert

Believe it or not, anyone can call themselves an ‘expert’ in any area of business. You don’t really have to ask anyone’s permission to call yourself an expert – do you? You can claim that you are the ‘Number 1 Home Staging Company’ and no one is really going to ask you how you came up with that – are they?

You do however need to ‘be an expert’ and ‘feel like an expert’ as most realtors and sellers would prefer to deal with a ‘home staging expert’ versus someone who doesn’t see themselves the same way.

Definition of an Expert:

Someone recognized as a reliable source… An expert is a person with extensive knowledge or ability based on research, experience, or occupation and in a particular area of study… A person can become an expert by virtue of training, education, professional, publication or experience believed to have special knowledge of a subject beyond that of the average person…

So why do you need to be a ‘home staging & redesign expert’?

Expert SealOnce you consider yourself a home staging expert you can charge higher rates than others who are not yet experts in their field. Your growing reputation in the field attracts home owners and realtors who want to work with you. Other industry professionals may start to ask for advice about something they are having a challenge with or want to explore.

In my experience over the years because I positioned myself as a home staging expert I was often contact by libraries and private organizations to speak at their functions. Real estate companies look for speakers at their conferences. The media likes to profile experts and you may be contacted for television and radio shows. My magazine articles attract other publications and I get requests to write for other publications.

And, if I can do this so can you!

These are my suggestions on some of the things you can do to become an expert in home staging:

  1. Gain Experience - if you have already started your home staging and redesign business then by the very nature of you getting out and gaining experience you are on your way to becoming an expert. If someone asks you to help them with a job – just do it!
  2. Write Articles and eArticles - determine where you will get great exposure to start promoting yourself as an expert; contact local editors and if you get rejected just move on to the next contact; write an article once a week and send it out to as many places as you can think of; repeat…
  3. Write a Book or eBook – you may not think you have much to write about but I believe you can write an ebook about home staging and even a book if you are a good writer. You can always hire a copy writer if this is not one of your skills.
  4. Get Social Media Exposure – Create blog posts that provide TIPS to your target market. If you don’t have ideas of your own look at other peoples’ blogs and make an expert comment about the post. People will start to notice you.
  5. ‘Free’ Talks - find out where you can do some free talks about home staging. Libraries or community centers need to provide interesting talks to their patrons. Consider doing a talk with a realtor, mortgage broker and an inspector. With the stats on baby boomers and zoomers – downsizing is pretty topical right now.
  6. Network - get out an mingle with your target market and other like-minded professionals; join a BNI, a Meetup group, so many new networking groups keep popping up so check out new ones rather than staying with the same ones; keep your same story for all the networking groups you go to – don’t be one thing one week, and other thing the next week; stay focused on presenting yourself as the home staging expert in your area.
  7. Brand Recognition – create a strong brand with a strong message that you are the home staging expert your sellers and realtors need to connect with. Keep your brand consistent in all your marketing materials.
  8. Seek Knowledge - if you have not taken a professional course in home staging then consider getting certified. Continue to take courses or workshops that increase your knowledge base about running your business.

Regardless of what your training is or what your background it is important to decide what you want your future in the home staging industry to look like. Spend some time thinking about it so that you are truly passionate about delivering the services that you provide to your clients. Focusing on what you love to do attracts more clients!

For more great Marketing Ideas check out my ‘Free Savvy Marketing Tips for Stagers‘.

Getting Your Customers ‘Over The Moon’ About You!

If your sales haven’t been exactly what you were expecting last year, is it possible that your customer service practices may have something to do with sales? You might think you are providing an acceptable level of customer service but what if you went above your standard level – could that be a game changer for you?

Under promise and over deliver…

Satisfy CustomersThis is a great philosophy to live by when you are providing home staging services whether it’s a consultation, client consultation, recommendations or the actual hands-on home staging work, you want to give your clients MORE than they paid for! By giving them MORE you are going to attract MORE clients like them and you are going to get some fantastic testimonials and they are MORE likely to refer you!

Understand I am not suggesting not to charge what the project/job is worth, I am saying throw in ‘a little something extra’ that would make them feel ‘Over the Moon’ about you.

Assessing Your Customer Service Level

Take an assessment of some of the ideas here and see how you would rate yourself. How many can you say “YES I DO THAT” to.

  1. If a prospect/client has left you a message on your phone do you get back to them within 24 hours? I mean pick up the phone and phone them? If a prospect/client has sent you an email do you get back to them within 24 hours?
  2. If you do not return phone calls or emails on the weekend do you let your prospects/clients know that by putting this in your message? (Staging isn’t often just a Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm business so you might need to revisit this)
  3. If you are not going to be able to return emails or phone calls while you are on vacation or sick, do you have someone in place who can do that for you? Is everyone on your team someone you are proud of that can deal competently with your clients when you are not available?
  4. If you say/promise that you are going to do something for your client, do you do it on time and on budget? If things are off-budget do you take the time to consult with your client rather than surprising them at the end with an extra charge or do you absorb the extra charges?
  5. Do you always arrive just a few minutes early to your appointments and look professional? If you are going to be late do you let your clients know? Is your portfolio up to date with great ‘before and after’ photos that you will impress your client?
  6. When you do your hands-on home staging work do you do a little extra for your client and let them know what you did? Perhaps you staged a small area for them that you hadn’t agreed you would do? Brought in a small accessory that you knew would work well at no charge for them?
  7. Do you have a Follow Up system in place that allows you to keep in touch with your clients? Are you sending out a fabulous monthly newsletter that gives them great tips on what they need to do to get their property ready for selling? Do you let them know about your awesome Special Promotions you have coming up? If you know when their birthdays are and you have a close relationship with them – send them a card!
  8. Are your clients really aware of how much you enjoyed working with them and how much you appreciate having the opportunity to stage their property? Perhaps you give them a small branded gift that you leave behind after the job. Send Out Cards (or something similar) are great for saying ‘Thank You’ and you can enclose a small gift with your card.
  9. Do you take the time to phone your client to check in with how the sale of their home is progressing? If you staged a vacant home you will know when it has sold but it’s a great idea to touch base with your clients and if need be, do a little coaching to keep them positive and hopeful that a sale is just around the corner.
  10. Even if you did not get the home staging job you bid on, did you follow up with the realtor and/or client to find out what you could have done differently, better, etc.? Did you send them a ‘Thank You’ card and not an email?

Having said all of the above will improve your Customer Service it is a given that your home staging designs and talents are exceptional already! You may have been able to get a 100% on these Customer Service questions – that’s just great. If not, you can make the choice to change some of the ways you are doing business. Only you can determine your level of customer service but to really excel in today’s home staging marketplace, I think you need to pick up the phone more, meet more people in person and deliver on all your promises

Action Assignment

Take a close look at what systems you have in place as part of your Customer Service program. Is it time to revisit this and/or add some new services? What are 3 new things you could do to show your clients/prospects that you actually ‘personally’ care about them? Get inside your client’s head and think what would put a smile on their face!

**************************************************************

Want to use this article in your next ezine or on your website? Please do! Here’s what you need to include:

Dana Smithers is founder and creative director of the PRES Staging Resource Centre, a company devoted to teaching entrepreneurial women how to start and run their home staging business. Through her workshops, courses, mentoring programs, and products, Dana shows her students how to live their dream of becoming a home stager whether part time or full time. She is committed to her students’ on-going success.

Setting Your Intentions for 2014 — Your PRES Top 10!

In your business there are many universal laws at work. One of them is the ‘Law of Intention’ which is based on the fact that…

there is always an infinite amount of energy and information
present to create whatever you want.

This law of intention works hand-in-hand with the Law of Attraction. One of the first things you need to do as a home staging entrepreneur is to decide WHAT YOU WANT your business to look like.

What might some of your intentions be this year? Take a look at this list for home staging entrepreneurs and feel what resonates with you. Use the following phrase in front of each one below and you will know whether or not it’s something you really ‘intend’ to do or not. If you don’t get a good feeling from it, decide if it is something you don’t need to do at this time or is there some resistance coming up around it that you might want to examine more closely?

I (insert your first name) intend to:

  1. Review my 2013 Revenue Streams to determine where my sales came from. Once I do this I can decide what areas I need to focus on more or let go. My main source of revenues is from (fill in the blank) and I plan on increasing this by x%.
  2. Put systems into place that allow my business to flow more easily and free up time for work I need to do. I intend to delegate where it makes sense to pay someone to do things I do not do well and/or no longer want to do because I make more money doing other work I love.
  3. Have more balance in my life – create time for family and friends – my business is part of a healthy life but not my whole life focus. Take good care of myself having ‘me time’ so that I feel refreshed and am happy and productive doing the work I love.
  4. Complete a 90 day marketing plan (click this link for my ‘Free’ Savvy Marketing Webinar) that I can easily follow so that my ‘sales funnel’ is never empty and I am always attracting more new clients. One of my key tactics will be to (fill in the blank – network more, do more social media, secure some speaking engagements, have more ‘get to know me’ meetings, etc).
  5. Create more strategic alliances this year so that others (my unpaid sales force) can refer me. I will focus on having excellent relations with my alliances so we can both cross promote.
  6. Follow up with past clients to build stronger relationships this year and let go of relationships that drain me energetically and financially. Use more stay-in-touch tactics that are more personal than just emails/blogs/posts.
  7. Revisit my ‘ideal client list’ so that I am totally clear on who my target audience is and how to market and attract them. With new clarity I can find more opportunities and inject some new interest in my work and do some out-of-the-box marketing.
  8. Continue taking professional development courses, reading books, attending trade shows and conferences that help me grow personally and professionally. (My new ‘Free Law of Attraction’ teleseminar is great!)
  9. Pick up the phone more and meet with more potential clients and clients in person – and limit the number of texts and emails I am a slave to. These actions will allow me to be more engaging and sustain longer term relationships.
  10. Determine when the time is right to hire a coach/mentor who can help me take my business to the next level.

If you do not set your intentions someone else will, so try and do this on a daily basis
and you will be absolutely amazed at the results. They will change your life.

Action Assignment

Go through the list above ‘Setting Your Intentions for 2014 – the PRES Top 10′ and see which ones resonate with you AND add/delete/change whichever intentions do not work for you. It’s your thoughts that lead to actions, that ultimately lead to results so the best place to start is by becoming aware of what you are thinking.

**************************************************************

Want to use this article in your next ezine or on your website? Please do! Here’s what you need to include:

Dana Smithers is founder and creative director of the PRES Staging Resource Centre, a company devoted to teaching entrepreneurial women how to start and run their home staging business. Through her workshops, courses, mentoring programs, and products, Dana shows her students how to live their dream of becoming a home stager whether part time or full time. She is committed to her students’ on-going success.

How to Make Your Client Testimonials or Case Studies Work for YOU!

Testimonials or case studies are called ‘social proof’ that promote you in your business. They are a great marketing tool to use in your website, in any marketing materials such as business card, post cards, flyers, You Tube videos and even your enewsletter.

When I was recently coaching a home stager I was surprised when she said she had never thought to ask the home seller for a testimonial. She did express some frustration with Realtors® who didn’t get back to her with their promised testimonial. A testimonial can be a few words or a few sentences that express how the client (home seller or realtor) felt about your work. They are writing it from their perception.

A case study contains more factual and sometimes statistical information such as how long the property was on the market, the obstacles to the sale, how much more the property sold for over asking and other pertinent data. You can write this up yourself based on what you know about the property, the sale, etc.

Here are a few tips that will help you get the testimonials you want.

TIPS on how to RECEIVE and USE great testimonials in your marketing materials to position you as an EXPERT:

  • As a home stager you want to ask for testimonials from both your home seller and your realtor
  • Once you have completed the work, send out an email request for a testimonial and you can even ‘suggest’ topics that you want them to write about – ask them to talk about their emotions (nervous, excited, etc) and how they felt when they saw the reveal (what impressed them the most)
  • Vary your testimonials so that your potential clients can read about all of the services/differences that you make in staging, redesign and/or decorating or whatever services you offer
  • Put their text in italics to distinguish it from other text and use “quotation marks”
  • You can always shorten a testimonial as long as you leave in the integrity of the comments by using three dots like this … and continuing on
  • Never wait longer than one week for a testimonial because it is most likely you will not get it – a gentle email reminder OR write it for them and ask them to approve it or edit if they want to
  • Typically in our business because of privacy issues we don’t put last names attached to any home photos – so I recommend just using a first name and the city they live in
  • Always thank them for their testimonial either by email or better still send them a card – ‘Send Out Cards’ are great for this or any appropriate card – we all get too many emails and they can keep your card
  • Ask for referrals once you receive their testimonials and remember to keep in touch with them on a regular basis

NB: If you don’t have a TESTIMONIAL REQUEST FORM just email me and I’ll send you one that we use at PRES.

These are some of the HOME STAGING COACHING TESTIMONIALS that I have received. You can see that each one says something different and is very authentic to that coaching client.

“I had been in the home staging and redesign business for about three years and hadn’t seen the growth I had anticipated. I decided to work with a business coach and I really wanted someone who understood my industry and had experience in the areas I lacked. I had read several of Dana’s comments on Linked-In and she always seemed very generous with her advice and resources. After our initial “Get To Know You” phone call I knew this was who I wanted to help me take my business to the next level. During our bi-monthly chats we set goals and she held me accountable for my own successes. Dana has guided me through our time together with inspiration, humour, friendship and compassion.”

Angela – Toronto ON

“I took the PRES Training 5 years ago and also kept my “day job” because I felt so unsure about whether or not I would be successful. My passion for redesign and staging has not wavered, and recently I decided to take the plunge and make a full time commitment to my redesign business and hired Dana as my coach. Dana’s coaching has really helped move forward in my business and break through some emotional blocks. Using her ‘Law of Attraction for Women’ technique I have gained clarity and direction for my business, as well as inspiration and confidence as an entrepreneur. I feel empowered and encouraged by the progress I am beginning to see. Dana coaching and guidance has been magic!”

Mary Ann – North Vancouver BC

“After 2 years in business without success I decided that I was ready to make a change and give my business my all. I said to myself I’m going to give it a year and if things don’t improve I’m calling it quits. I purchased Dana’s 10 Best Marketing Tips, hoping I would find new ways to market my business. I chose Dana has a coach because she is a home stager and thought she would be more helpful to me because of that. I am so glad I did! Dana has helped me so much! My confidence has greatly improved and having the ‘Goals List’ after each call has kept me on task and focused. Her coaching has lead me to making contact with an investor and realtor who are interested in working with me, which I am so excited about. I would definitely recommend Dana as a coach if you are a home stager who feels lost and doesn’t know what to do next, like I was.”

Debbie – Richmond VA

“I took the PRES Staging and Redesign course at the beginning of this year, excited and nervous about starting my own business. It was such a fun and informative course and got me so excited about getting started. I feel I came away with knowledge about the business, contact information and names of people in the industry who could help me put the pieces together and start my business off on the right foot. Dana was always supportive and gave me opportunities to help her and continue my learning even after the course was completed.

I decided to hire her as a business coach recently and by the end of our 6 phone meetings I had a better and more professional website, redesign jobs on the calendar, articles in newspapers and was comfortable participating in and understanding networking groups. I now have a business I LOVE to do every day and continue to feel inspired and supported by Dana.

Thank you for everything Dana! I’m sad to know that our calls have ended because I often think of things I want to chat with you about. I can hear you now saying “keep in touch I’m not going anywhere!” and I really appreciate that about you!”

Joanne – New Westminster BC

Here’s a few sweet, short words from Louise – Chilliwack BC

Thank you from the bottom of my HEART! Your PASSION and ENTHUSIASM to help home stagers & designers to SUCCEED is AMAZING!

Understanding What Your Client is Going Through is Critical to Your Success as Home Stager and Redesigner…

When I teach the 5 day PRES home staging and redesign course I take the students into real clients’ homes so they can apply the 10 Step Formula theory that they learn in the classroom. In this home we did a ‘redesign’ which is technically a one-day home makeover for living, using the client’s existing furnishings. It is all about capturing the client’s personal tastes and validating what they have in their home does work – it just doesn’t quite work the way they had things set up.

Our training home client’s roller coaster of emotions went from excitement, to hesitation, to despair, to jumping in with both feet, to excitement, to angst of ‘what if it looks like how they like it and not how we like it’ to – finally JOY at the final outcome!

Some TIPS on Conducting the Client Interview/Consultation:

  • As soon as you meet the client acknowledge something attractive about their personal home décor items
  • Ask to take a tour of their home so you can ask them about things – I like to use the expression ‘Tell me about this’ so that way I know whether or not they are emotionally tied to a particular item
  • Continue to reassure them that they have lots to work with and how much you are looking forward to creating a new look for them – this builds their need to know, like and trust you
  • Ease their ‘fear of change’ by letting them know you offer a ‘Redesigners Guarantee’ which is to live with the changes for 2 weeks and if you still don’t like them you will come back and change things (in over 10 years I have never been called back to change anything)
  • Gain their trust and confidence by letting them know that they can always bring something back in and rotate the things we didn’t use
  • Really listen in the consultation to what their answers are to your questions – probe more if you feel they are hesitating about something and acknowledge the pieces of furniture or art that they really get excited about
  • If they start to ‘tell you’ where things should be placed and what should be moved into a certain space or room, they may not be a good client for a redesign. Tell them the more ‘open’ they are with allowing you to make changes the better the end result will be
  • Never tell your client exactly what you will do but make generalizations such as ‘we can move some of the furniture so the room flows more, and rehang some of the art so it works better together, showcase your gorgeous collections, etc.
  • Throughout the entire interview/consultation you are being very positive with your comments regardless of what you are thinking in your head!
  • In redesign as in staging, you do not need to ‘love’ the look of your client’s home nor their personal belongings or style – your job is to give them the best that you can and know that it will be so much better than what they could ever do
  • Listen for this commonly heard statement when you do the reveal “How clever, I never would have thought of that” and celebrate your success!
Older Posts »