Tuesday, January 28, 2014

I Am Going to Steal Your Clients

I am going to Steal Your Clients
by Jennie Norris, ASPM, IAHSP-Premier, SRS, REO
Owner, Sensational Home Staging

Do you believe that can happen? When we work in a relationship based industry do you believe that someone else that is new can come in and steal your clients? I hope your answer is, “No.” Because simply put when we have taken the time to cultivate and nurture relationships we should not be in fear of our clients going off to use someone else.

The impetus for my post is a student who recently got started in a different market than mine was discouraged when reaching out to colleagues to shadow for experience. One of them shared that because this new person would be Staging in her existing area she considered her competition and would not give any help or opportunity for shadowing. It made me sad. I have always been open to anyone who wanted to learn – whether sharing professional documents to practices to practical hands-on experience. I know many of my ASP® and ASPM® Colleagues are the same. It saddens me that I cannot say the same for others – maybe they were not taught as I was that “more means more” in our industry. The more Stagers there are, the more Staging is being promoted, and the more Realtors will incorporate it and the more Sellers will want it.

Do these people that don’t want to share really believe they have “secret” techniques and practices that no one else is doing already? I laugh – what we do just is not that complicated. Get your egos out of the way and realize this industry is really not that big. My philosophy has always been to share – openly. I have benefitted from blog posts, comments, and sharing from my Stager colleagues across all designations. We might have started in different training arenas but I believe ultimately our goals are the same – to run a thriving Staging business and do the best for our clients. I know not everyone that sets out to be successful in Staging actually makes it – the biggest factor to success is to have a long-term vision and be able to market and promote your services effectively. You can be the most talented person but if no one knows who you are, you will have no business.

This idea that one Stager can Stage the entire city or region where they live is ridiculous. We would die trying.  Even high producing Staging companies do not have a region sewn up. There is so much business to go around. We don’t have to live in fear of someone else’s success. So if you are in that mental fear space and believe that collaboration is not a good thing – think again. That person that is entering your region as a business owner might just make things BETTER for you. You will not have to do all the educating, all the marketing and branding of Staging as a service. And you might even find someone that you want to partner with for larger projects!

I could have named this blog post, “Collaboration vs. Competition” which is really at the heart of this message. Loyalty with clients goes both ways so when you have developed a successful relationship with a client and continue to nurture that foundation, there is no reason for them to look around. It is “out of sight, out of mind” so we do have to be ever present in their thoughts which means we do have to find ways to contact them with helpful tips or just a sincere “I was thinking about you” sentiment.

After Staging over 2,700 houses I know the value of working in collaboration with another colleague. I can go faster, I am more productive and it is a relief to know that it is not always all up to me. To have someone to lean on for support is key in our industry because life happens. There will be times when you wish you had a reliable resource to refer to – and that only comes with opening our minds up to developing relationships with colleagues. Collaborate and don’t be so scared about sharing. The sandbox is a friendly place.

For help getting houses prepared for sale in the Greater Denver Region give Jennie a call - 303-717-7918 or www.SensationalHome.com