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!