Home Staging Business and Marketing Strategies to Sell Properties

Riches in Niches

As more and more Home Stagers, Professional Organizers, Interior Designers and Real Estate Agents come to APSD for Home Staging Training and Certification, I realize the importance of teaching the concept of “Riches in Niches.”

Some of you already understand this idea and have specialized in one area or another, and others are still trying to be everything to everyone. I started with the idea that I could please everyone too. And I did, and then I was tired and broke. You have to face facts. As women (I know we have some GREAT guys too, but you don’t have the “pleaser” instinct of women!) we already have to please so many other people each day. We please our spouse, our children, our neighbors, our boss – basically anyone that walks in our path.

As I decided to make the real choice and lead the home staging industry, I realized that I could no longer be everything to everyone. I had to be extraordinary with my strengths and visions and help those that were willing and able to receive and exceed with my brand of training. I knew that I wanted to focus on the true business growth aspect of Home Staging Training and Certification. I didn’t want to teach people to put candles on a table. I wanted to teach systems, marketing and business development in an industry I loved. I wanted to teach creativity, lifestyle and money making techniques.

So, I niched myself and APSD as The Global Leader in Home Staging Training and Certification with a specific focus on exactly what I mentioned above.

And because I see the need of “niching” or creating a specialty, I teach 19 different streams of income to our highest level APSD member, Property Scene Designer. I want them to have the , education, resources and ability to niche. The same is true with my APSD Stager Pro’s. I teach 4 different streams of income in that course so they can become experts in certain areas and stand above any other Home Stagers in their market. Kim Holdbrook, one of my Certified APSD Stager Pro’s is awesome at Curb Appeal. She should make it an area of expertise. Mannie Tantawy perfects Origami displays and is already standing out as an expert in this area. Terri Garner is an expert with Home Staging for investment properties as is Cindy Captein. There are many more certified APSD Home Staging Professionals that have also seen the benefit of “niching” their home staging services, and have done so.

It does not mean that you can’t provide an entire menu of services but if you can become known for one specific thing, you will always be the “go to expert” which then opens the door for additional opportunity.

Here Is how you develop your niche:

1) Decide what aspect of Home Staging you Love the most. Do you love doing vacant homes? Maybe working with investors is your niche. What about high end properties? You might specialize in homes over $1 million. You could also focus just on certain type of Home Staging service, like Curb Appeal or Marketing.

2) Once you have decided what you love to do, become the expert. Take the training you need to get to the top of the pack. Practice, practice, practice. Next, you have to toot your own horn. Go out and start telling everyone who will listen, that you are the expert. Then own it internally and do an extraordinary job every single time.

3) Continue to Educate yourself. You can take a course, listen to CD’s, become a member of a great organization like APSD that offers continuing education, look at others work, attend Home Staging events, etc. The biggest mistake that most so-called experts make is they stop learning and growing. Then, others that are willing to receive education surpass them.

4) Market Yourself and your work endlessly. The more you talk about your specialty, the more others will as well. So, don’t be afraid to brag a little about your results and your extraordinary achievements. Before you know it, others will be doing it for you.

An easy way to begin to develop your “niche” status is to listen to the APSD Complimentary call I recently did on Curb Appeal. “Curb Appeal, Creating Impact and Profit in your Home Staging, Design and Real Estate Business.” You also still have time to take advantage of a very special offer I made at the end of the call! http://www/apsdmembers.com/curbappeal

To your joy and success,

Karen Schaefer
Founder, APSD
The Global Leader in Home Staging Training and Certification

Selling Home Staging

Bringing out the positive and downplaying the negative is essential in presenting your home in its most positive light. Here are 11 tips for home staging success to help get a faster and more profitable real estate sale.

1. Alter the layout of books on a bookshelf with some stacked vertically which can become a pedestal to show off a piece of pottery, collectible, heirloom or other art item. Go throughout the books and prune your collection to create a less cluttered look.

2. Make sure all of the furniture in a space is functional and remove items of furniture that contribute to overcrowding rooms.

3. Get the furniture off of the walls. Many people are tempted to push all of the furniture along the edges of a room in the mistaken belief that it makes the room look bigger, when in fact it creates a more train-station type of look with seating around the edges. Granted in very small rooms, there are not many options, but try moving the furniture off of the wall and incorporating an area rug, maybe even off-angle in the room layout.

4. Smaller furnishings also work wonders in small rooms to give the room a sense of proportion and space. For this, even rental furniture may be called for to bring in pieces sized more appropriately for small rooms, and just having less furniture will help.

5. Remove heavy curtains and replace them with lighter window treatments with a slightly transparent or sheer quality to improve natural light in the room. Bright rooms tend to look bigger.

6. Lighting makes a big difference not only for movie sets, but also for a well-staged home. Increasing the types of light available for each room will help create a brighter mood. Balance natural light during the day with task lighting and accent lighting such as table lamps or wall sconces. One way to allow more natural light to flow into a room is to simply clean the windows!

7. Accessorize with art, baskets in the bathroom with folded towels and perfume trays, centerpieces and greenery or plants in key locations.

8. Curb Appeal includes a nicely groomed front yard and entryway. Your front door may require a coat of fresh paint along with new door hardware. Perhaps a sitting bench or some nice looking potted plants will dress up the entry. A new welcome mat of sturdy quality will help the initial impression.

9. De-clutter the drawers and closets: Yes they look in there, so having organized drawers and a half empty closet will help the potential home buyer envision their own items in the place of yours, which is the first step toward purchasing the property. The potential home buyers need not be distracted by personal items and clutter, but be able to envision their own items and lifestyle applied to your home, after all you are selling it so the next person will redecorate and change everything around to suit their taste anyways. The easier they can imagine themselves living there, the better chances you will have of selling the property.

10. Send the family pet on sabbatical. As cute as Fluffy or Spot is, many potential home buyers do not own pets or may even be allergic to them. A pet on the premises when the home is being shown may leave the owner to think carpets are ruined and hair or pet odor will remain in the home when they buy it, or they just may subconsciously want to look elsewhere. To appeal to the widest audience, send your little darling(s) to grandma, a friend or relative or someone you know that can take care of them for a while. In the worst case, you may have to pack up fluffy for every showing and drive him or her around the block a few times. (Please don’t leave pets in the car unattended- especially with windows rolled up..)

11. If you have to do any major remodeling, be aware that the new owner may rip out your hard and expensive work and redo it to their taste, so cosmetic fixes will have the best return. If any rooms in the house need to be redone, the most important ones to look at are the kitchens and the bathrooms as they may return the highest percentage of your investment.

Final touches right before a home showing may include freshly cut flowers, the scent of fresh cinnamon boiled on the stove (but remove the pot before the showing), or fresh apples and cookies placed in plain site in the kitchen. Sometimes light music can help create an ambiance.

In any case, selling a home can go smoother if you prepare the home in advance. Having a professionally staged home can save you thousands in the long run, and get your home sold faster.