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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

No Gimmicks – Just Staging - We are not a ME TOO industry

No Gimmicks – Just Staging - We are not a ME TOO industry

I was watching “What Women Want” recently - great movie from Mel Gibson’s heyday – and one of the slogans he and Helen Hunt come up with for Nike was, “No Games. Just Sports.” It got me thinking. With Staging – there are so many “sister” industries sticking a toe into what we do that I am concerned that the public may not be fully aware of what is really needed to sell their house.


Do we really want to be a “ME TOO” industry where
anyone can claim to be a specialist in Home Staging?

What industries am I talking about?
1. Decorating

2. Interior Design

3. Feng Shui

4. Professional Organizing

I have respect for people that are trained in these areas but they are not professional Home Stagers.

To me someone that is a professional has training and knowledge about the industry they serve – Real Estate – and knows where the lines are drawn between these stand-alone industries. This is not to say that someone that has a business in the areas above can’t Stage – I just believe wholeheartedly that they need to get educated about what Staging principles are so that they are providing true Staging – not applying the principles of their specialty industry without understanding what the goals are for Staging a house – because that does not serve the client in the best way and the outcome is not going to be what the client wants or deserves.

And they are NOT the same as Home Staging.

Just because they THINK they know what to do – does not mean they do – and I have seen enough “staged” houses by non-professional "stagers" to know it is becoming a major issue for our industry. If we don’t address it now – our industry will be watered down, we will lose money to these “ME TOO” people, and the purity of Staging will be lost.

Let’s take a look at how they differ from pure Home Staging.

Home Staging:

Definition:

a) Home staging is the act of preparing a private residence for sale in the real estate marketplace, regardless of location or condition. It is using the seller’s timeframe and budget to prepare their house for sale so it appeals to the most buyers, sells faster and at the best price.

The goal of staging is to make a home appealing to the highest number of potential buyers, thereby selling a property more swiftly and for more money. Staging techniques focus on improving a property's appeal by transforming it into a welcoming, attractive product that anyone might want. Staging involves depersonalizing a home to make it a house that any buyer can envision themselves living in, and create a broad buyer appeal. It is also a method for protecting the Seller and their family as their house is being marketed to the mass public. The house can still have warmth and pizzazz with things that add color but the goal is to sell the house.

Now, as you read these definitions below – ask yourself, “Do any of the definitions (found online) say the words, ‘real estate’ or ‘prepare a house for sale’??”

1. Decorating:

Definition:

a)Make (something) look more attractive by adding ornament to it.

b).Provide (a room or building) with a color scheme, paint, wallpaper, etc.

Decorating is the service of dressing up a home – it is all about personalizing the home for the people that live there. When selecting paint colors or decorative treatments there is no thought to a buyer and what they would like to see in the home because these people are not selling. So, when a Decorator sticks a toe into Staging their focus is naturally going to be on the “stuff” versus the space.

2. Interior Design

Definition:

a)The art or process of designing the interior decoration of a room or building.

interior design - the trade of planning the layout and furnishings of an architectural interior that may include architectural layout, lighting, painting and furnishing a home or commercial building.

b) the branch of architecture dealing with the selection and organization of furnishings for an architectural interior

Interior Design is also about personalizing the interior of a home or building. Interior design is a multi-faceted profession in which creative and technical solutions are applied within a structure to achieve a built interior environment. These solutions are functional, enhance the quality of life and culture of the occupants and are aesthetically attractive.

3. Feng Shui

Definition:

a) (in Chinese thought) A system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (qi).

b) The Chinese art or practice of positioning objects, especially graves, buildings, and furniture, based on a belief in patterns of yin and yang and the flow of chi that have positive and negative effects.

According to feng shui websites by feng shui practitioners, The aim of feng shui is to create a living and working (and dying — feng shui is for graveyards, too) environment in harmony with nature and the flow of energy.

4. Professional Organizing

Definition:

a) Professional organizing is an industry that has been developed in order to help individuals and businesses design systems and processes using organizing principles and through transferring skills.

Professional organizers aim to help individuals and businesses take control of their surroundings, their time, their paper, and their systems for life. Professional organizers help redirect paradigms into more useful cross-applications that ensure properly co-sustainable futures for their clients' spaces and processes.

The definitions for ALL the sister industries are found online. Did you read the words, “REAL ESTATE, SELL A HOUSE, PREPARE HOUSE FOR SALE, OR SELLERS” IN ANY OF THE DEFINITIONS?

NO. Hmmmm.

How did this happen?

Well HGTV is in part to blame for the blurring of the lines between Home Staging and the sister industries. When you have shows called, “Design to Sell” and have an interior designer floating around the episodes doling out Staging advice – and in reality is remodeling the house and adding design elements – not Staging – it creates confusion within the industry and with the public.

Then I believe Professional Home Stagers that are successful are responsible too. Let me explain. Even though the industry was created in 1972, the late 90’s saw the birth of the launch of professional Stagers setting up businesses to serve Realtors and Sellers for the first time. Back then we were considered “the ugly stepchild” of the design world.

It has taken 12 years of professional Home Staging business owners educating the public and real estate industry about Home Staging to get where we are today. I believe that when the MONEY and SUCCESS part of Staging became known (because Staging can be lucrative) – these other industries realized that what WE do is a necessary part of Selling a house – and it is an industry that does not require a “mad money” mentality where a homeowner will only pay for it IF they have some extra money laying around, like the sister industries.

And they wanted a piece.

Because Staging increases the sellability of a house – Sellers realize it is mandatory and more than that, Realtors realize that it is now a mandatory part of Selling any house. Not only that, but Realtors that incorporate Staging as part of their business practices and listing services are more successful, and will be repeat clients for a professional Stager – versus the other industries that have to constantly be creating new clientele.

How do we “fix” this?

We all need to be sharing what Staging IS and what it is NOT – it is NOT decorating, interior design, feng shui or professional organizing. Staging is a service used in the Real Estate Industry – to prepare a house for sale. Period.

Can someone that is skilled in a sister industry also Stage – yes – BUT they need to understand that they are not using the same principles and the goals are not the same as their primary service area. I also believe they NEED TO GET TRAINING OR EDUCATION in Home Staging - whatever form that takes. The reverse is true too – I know many Home Stagers that are also talented in the sister industries. Usually they market that sister service as an off-shoot of what they do, and they have a background and education in that field.

Now before you get all fired up – if you are in one of the sister industries – I acknowledge that there are talented people in those industries that DO a great job with Staging – BUT those people understand the differences in the industries – and have been able to apply their talent and creativity to Staging – not try to make Staging fit design, decorating, feng shui or organizing.

Do you feel the way I do that it is disrespectful to those of us that invested a lot of time, dollars, and passion into our STAGING businesses to be LUMPED together with those that have done NONE of that?

The fact is any of us COULD market ourselves as a Feng Shui person, a Professional Organizer, or Decorator – because NONE of those industries are regulated. Anyone can set up shop in those fields.

I don’t do that – because I RESPECT those industries and the people serving them – and I UNDERSTAND that they are different than what I do – in process and goals. My passion is for Staging – I love what I do and the process behind it.

On behalf of all the talented Home Stagers serving the real estate industry, I respectfully ask for the SAME CONSIDERATION.

When I do a Staging to Live that is a home makeover I draw the line at where I know I am not qualified to help them – and bring in a re-designer, decorator, organizer, or design person to take over. I have NEVER been brought in to a project any of these sister industries are working on – with a homeowner that is selling – they just take the business. To me, that is wrong and does not show respect for professional Home Stagers everywhere.

My focus though will be on REALTORS and SELLERS – to make sure they know that those other industries are NOT Staging and should not be confused with what Home Staging is.  Hire the right person - the best person for the project - that knows what to do - and they will get the results they want.

Who’s with me?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Home Staging Marketing Made Simple - The Key To Succeeding in Business - NEW BOOK by Barb Schwarz and Jennie Norris

I am honored (and excited) to co-author this book with Barb Schwarz - and it's for any ASP or ASPM that wants to continue to succeed and capture market share or for someone that is just getting started and has no idea what to do for marketi...ng. Over 100 pages of useful info and specific ideas! These were unveiled at our ASP-IAHSP Conference and orders are being taken now. Only $29 (reg $39) through the end of the year - you can place an order with me, with Kirk (kirk@stagedhomes.com) or with any SHC Trainer. As the cover jacket says - we offer 70 years of collective marketing experience and know that the difference between an ASP that is super successful and one that flails - struggles (or fails) - is marketing. We can never stop marketing either - it's a book for ANYONE - whether new or a seasoned ASP.


Order your copy today:  https://picasaweb.google.com/108905468916034140102/MarketingMadeSimpleTheBESTBookOnHowToSuccessfullyMarketYourASPBusiness?authuser=0&authkey=Gv1sRgCO62_PGul7WpmgE&feat=directlink




Saturday, November 3, 2012

Habitat for Humanity ReStore beneficiary of Denver IAHSP Worldwide Staging Service Week Project

The Members of the Denver Chapter of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP) conducted their Worldwide Staging Service Week Project today in Littleton, CO.  Habitat for Humanity was the beneficiary of this year's project - and Accredited Staging Professional (ASP) Members of the Denver IAHSP Chapter created appealing vignettes to help draw buyers into the store - and show them what can be done with the donated items in the store.

Two teams created a living and dining area - using only what was found in the ReStore.  Members did bring in accessories to help add surface appeal.  Some of the creative things done were to add a "fireplace" to the Living Room set up - using tiles and glass blocks to create a foundation for the mobile fireplace.  In the Family Room, doors with window panels were set behind the couch to create a look of a "window" and wall.

Shoppers voted on their favorite rooms - and the winning team was given $50 gift cards for the Habitat ReStore.  It was a fun activity and benefits a great cause - helping build houses for those in need - and supporting Habitat For Humanity.


Thursday, November 1, 2012

Wonderful Willow Creek home - Sensationally Staged for sale

This wonderful patio home is listed for sale by Derek Gilbert, KW DTC - (720)480-9877 and is located in a desirable part of Centennial close to shopping and schools.  This house won't last long!!


Jennie Norris earns IAHSP Premier Designation reflecting top business practices in Staging Industry

Jennie Norris - Accredited Staging Professional Master (ASPM), IAHSP, ASP, ASP-SRS, ASP-REO, has earned the prestigious IAHSP Premier Designation recognizing top business practices in the Staging Industry as given by the International Association of Home Staging Professionals (IAHSP).  IAHSP has set the standards of excellence, ethics and education for the Home Staging industry since 1999.  IAHSP is the ONLY Home Staging association requiring education FIRST before accepting members.

IAHSP recognizes the need for a base of excellence and education in its membership and does not allow just anyone to join.  Members must demonstrate professionalism in their businesses and client interactions. They are accountable to an international board of peers, and must demonstrate professional standards in their business, online exposure, and client interactions to remain an active member of IAHSP.

The IAHSP-Premier recognizes among other things a business owner who has business insurance, professional policies, code of ethics adherence, merchant account, and active participation in both the international association and local chapters of IAHSP for ongoing education, learning, and support.


Jennie is excited to be able to serve her clients even better with the recognition of how she established and maintains her company and for her involvment in IAHSP.  Jennie served as the President of IAHSP International Board for 2009-2010 and currently serves on the International Board as Ethics and Special Projects Director. 

The ASP Designations (ASP, ASPM, ASP-SRS, ASP-REO) and IAHSP, IAHSP-Premier are the only nationally recognized designations in the world of Staging. The ASP Designation and Accreditation reflect the highest form of training in the Staging industry and are given by Stagedhomes.com, recognized as a school, to students in the Staging industry.


For help in preparing your vacant or occupied house for sale contact Jennie Norris, ASPM, ASP, ASP-SR, ASP-REO at 303-717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE. 

After Staging over 2,700 properties since 2002, Jennie has yet to meet a house she could not Stage.

Jennie Norris earns Designation for Distressed Properties and Investor Market

Jennie Norris - Accredited Staging Professional Master (ASPM), IAHSP, ASP, ASP-SR, ASP-REO, has earned the prestigious ASP-REO Designation to help serve clients in the Distressed Property (Short Sale and Foreclosure) and Investor Markets. This designation recongizes education and training specific for handling the needs of the REO market including Staging REO Properties and working with Asset Managers, Investors and Banks.


Jennie is excited to be able to serve her clients even better in this market segment, having already worked with REO Properties and Realtors that serve that market. Her knowledge has increased with specific techniques and abilities to handle concerns relative to the REO and Investor Markets. Jennie is networked with Asset Managers and Realtors that work the REO market, and Investors that purchase many of these properties, and provides the Staging services for those in this market niche. The REO Market represents a significant market segment with more foreclosure properties set to be released by banks at the end of 2012.  Jennie has positioned her business and services to reflect the increasing needs of Short Sale Sellers, REO Properties, and Investors.

The ASP Designations (ASP, ASPM, ASP-SR, ASP-REO) are the only nationally recognized designations in the world of real estate. The ASP Designation and Accreditation reflect the highest form of training in the Staging industry and are given by Stagedhomes.com, recognized as a school, to students in the Staging industry.



For help in preparing your vacant or occupied house for sale contact Jennie Norris, ASPM, ASP, ASP-SR, ASP-REO at 303-717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE.  After Staging over 2,700 properties since 2002, Jennie has yet to meet a house she could not Stage.

Jennie Norris earns Designation for Home Staging for Senior Industry

Jennie Norris - Accredited Staging Professional Master (ASPM), IAHSP, ASP, ASP-SRS, ASP-REO, has earned the prestigious ASP-SRS Designation to help serve clients in the Senior-Mature Adult Market.  This designation recongizes education and training specific for handling the needs of the Senior market including transitioning Seniors to assisted living.  

Jennie is excited to be able to serve her clients even better in this market segment, having already worked with many Seniors and Realtors over the past 10 years that serve that market.  Her knowledge has increased with specific techniques and abilities to handle concerns relative to the Senior Market.  Jennie is networked with Senior Transition Move specialists and provides the Staging services for those in this market niche.  The Senior Market represents the fastest growing segment of our population and Jennie has positioned her business and services to reflect the increasing needs and to serve them in ways that honor them.

The ASP Designations (ASP, ASPM, ASP-SRS, ASP-REO) are the only nationally recognized designations in the world of real estate. The ASP Designation and Accreditation reflect the highest form of training in the Staging industry and are given by Stagedhomes.com, recognized as a school, to students in the Staging industry. 




For help in preparing your vacant or occupied house for sale contact Jennie Norris, ASPM, ASP, ASP-SR, ASP-REO at 303-717-7918 or 888-93-STAGE.  After Staging over 2,700 properties since 2002, Jennie has yet to meet a house she could not Stage.