Q & A: Is Cheap Staging Better Than No Staging?
Question: Do you find it mind boggling that the level of experience and quality of work by some home stagers is so poor? I mean really awful and bad for the industry as a whole. I actually feel badly for their clients because you know what it could have looked like and how it actually turned out.
I don’t even know how they are profitable except that they use all low-end furniture and then the rooms feel empty because they lack design, space planning and key components. Yet, agents and homeowners keep using them because they are cheap and in our market there’s no inventory so they’re selling and making them look like rock stars. So, is bad staging better than no staging? And how do you compete? Quality vs quantity?
I go through the MLS and just shake my head.
Answer: In any market there are going to be 3 kinds of clients: 1) People for whom the lowest price is the most important or only factor of consideration, 2) People for whom price is important, but they also consider quality important, 3) People who want the best quality, regardless of price.
Your ideal client should be Number 3. Number 2 people can become your customer if you have good marketing game. Number 1 isn't worth wasting your time on, unless you want to be the low-price leader in your market. You will never convert them, and you will waste a lot of time and energy trying to do so. Regarding "bad" staging, I have learned that many/most people aren't able to judge whether or not something is good or bad, only whether or not they like it or how it makes them feel.
If a "bad" (in your judgement) stager is able to make the real estate agent feel good about themselves, then that agent is going to choose the "bad" stager every time.
Unfortunately, most people don’t have a sense of what is good or bad staging as they don’t understand scale, proportion and all the things that are apparent to a trained eye. In the current climate of economic uncertainty, people are reluctant to spend money on staging at all because they see it as a luxury, so the lower the price the more attractive it is for them to do it.