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Friday, May 13, 2011

Realtors - Don't Tarnish Your Hard Earned Reputation

Realtors - Don’t Tarnish Your Hard Earned Reputation
by Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP
Owner & Principal Stager, Sensational Home Staging

There are many articles expressing the need to Stage from a financial standpoint and buyer standpoint, but I have not read any that address this service from a REPUTATION standpoint.

Realtors need to know that Staging listings will help THEM gain market share and keep a great reputation as a successful agent.
It positions you as the Agent that gets the job done. You are the “hero in the hood” and all the neighbors that are watching take notice when the sale goes PENDING.

When Staging is not included – there is a lot at RISK.
Think about it. When a house or product is listed for sale and is NOT presented well and Staged – the house languishes on the market.

This means it will have to have a price reduction in order to respond to the market and buyers. This makes the Seller unhappy.

As the listing agent, you promote YOU as the marketer and expert to get the house SOLD.
You have your signage out front and in the house. You are promoting this property online, and hopefully marketing it using various methods to gain exposure.

When the house does not sell – and sits and sits – this makes YOU as the agent look like you can’t get the job done. Your reputation suffers as a result. This makes you unhappy. It makes your broker unhappy.

Maybe you even lose the listing that you have worked hard to win, hard to market and hard to sell. BUT – the house was not Staged and therefore did not appeal to the broadest audience.

When the house does not sell, your reputation is TARNISHED.
Damage is done. People in the neighborhood that are looking to list their house will not consider you because you were not successful.

It is a high price to pay. And NOT Staging costs you.


Do you really want to be known in the neighborhood as the Realtor who could not get the job done? Do you really want to have people going through a house that presents poorly with your name all over it?

Staging Recommendations and Resistance
Now I know that sometimes you do recommend Staging and tips to Sellers and they resist. I also know that sometimes you don’t want to tell the Seller the truth about their house because you don’t want to hurt their feelings and risk losing the listing. And I know sometimes the Seller has some pretty odd things in their house that you just have no idea how to eliminate.

It takes skill and patience – and that is where working with a professional Stager can really help.

When you Seller says to you, “I don’t want to spend the money on Staging,” AGREE with them. Tell them you don’t want them to spend it either. Tell them you want them to INVEST their money – in STAGING – because Staging their house will help them get the highest return on their sale.

They either INVEST in time and dollars to Stage up front, or they will lose far more on the back-end with price reductions.

Then work with your ASP Stager – who has statistics and information to help you demonstrate to your Seller that they cannot afford NOT to Stage.

Don’t risk tarnishing your reputation because or resistance or fear. Get an advocate to help you – partner with a Stager who is ready to use their skills and knowledge to get your clients on board.

Make it standard protocol that all your listings are Staged.
Many Realtors I work with will not take a listing if the Seller does not agree to Stage it first. WHY? When the house is Staged it makes your job much easier to market a product that looks great for all buyers. It reduces the time on the market and helps the Seller get the best price possible based on the market.

IF a price reduction has to happen, it is not because you have not used every tool possible to attract a Buyer . . . it is just the market. And when the house does sell, it will still sell at a better price and faster than the marketed un-Staged competition. These are FACTS that have been proven time and again and there is data and statistics available to back the statement up.

And the best part is . . . when you do include Staging, everyone WINS!
Your Seller is happy because they get their house sold in the best time frame and at the best price possible based on the market. You are happy because you are successful, and you’ll earn more commission! And the Buyer is happy because they were able to mentally move in to the Staged house.

Don’t risk your valuable REPUTATION . . . use Staging for your clients. Staging is not just for them – it’s also for you.