Nedra D Hines
On The Flip Side . . .
Because my business is fairly young, I continue to find so many things stagers don’t talk openly about or share with the public. This blog is for anyone who is considering a future in home staging or interior design. It’s great if you have a talent for making things “look pretty” and have a genuine interest in it. Just know that the time you spend staging a home or designing a space is extremely small compared to the other areas that will need to be attended to if you’re looking to create brand awareness with the Real Estate community that lasts. Professionally developing yourself will enhance your service, brand and sustain a lot of relationships.
I will share what has caught me by surprise as I continue to navigate the interesting world of Home Staging:
Writing – just like I’m writing this blog right now, I can do it because I have somewhat decent writing skills. My major in college was Finance, so numbers are my strong suit AND I read enough so that I can absorb someone else’s skill and make it my own. The reason I’m writing this blog is because I want my brand to create more recognition with Google and other search engines and one of the best ways to do that is by blogging because CONTENT IS KING!
Presentation – When I first started networking, I wasn’t too surprised when I told certain industry partners that I staged homes, they would immediately respond “At least you LOOK like a Stager!” To shine some light on how important your aesthetic presentation is, let’s take a look at a hairstylist: If you were looking for someone to style your hair and you met a hairstylist with disheveled hair, would you hire that person?! Probably not. If presentation isn’t a skill of yours, partner with someone who can show you how to present yourself because people look and they talk
Networking – In order for people to hire you, they have to know you, like you and TRUST you! That means you will spend a lot of time going to different realtor and real estate investor events to meet and network with people. If you tend to be shy, I highly recommend consistent practice with networking because people have to know you. Another important thing to note is that networking is for the long haul, so don’t expect 10 people to call you looking for a home stager. It doesn’t work like that. Again, they have to know you, like you and TRUST you, so it takes up to 15 "touches" for them to feel comfortable enough to call you. Show up and be one of them – avoid coming off like a pushy salesperson who’s desperate to get a sale because that’s a turn-off for most people
Public Speaking – If you are interested in making an impact with your real estate community, public speaking opportunities will get you in front of a LOT of people. I’m a Nervous Nelly when it comes to public speaking AND I’ve participated in Toastmasters International long enough so that I can speak in front of people when called on to do so. In planning for an event earlier this year, I volunteered to speak in front of 200 people and had no problem doing it. This skill will come in handy in any event situation or if you need to record a video for clients. As I'm writing this blog, a contact in Chicago just booked me for a video interview next week to get some insight on how I plan to make an impact on the community of entrepreneurs
Software and different automation tools – I declare that I do not like learning curves! Learning a new software or tool is usually pretty stressful for me because I just want to hurry up and figure it out!! The truth is, being patient and open to learn is necessary if you want to support your business as it grows. For my E-Staging Consultation process, I learned 4 different tools and I did it because I want to have an automated process that also keeps track of clients and where they are in the E-Staging process so that nothing and no one falls through the cracks
Hand and Power Tools – When in doubt, ask one of the reps at your local hardware store how to use hand and power tools. You can also watch an instructional YouTube video and I promise you will encounter situations where tools are required. Lefty Lucy, Righty Tighty!
I’ve spent at least a decade in personal and professional training and development and that has made it easy for me to take on the areas that I mentioned above. If you know for yourself that you’re not interested in any of that, consider partnering or hiring someone who has those skills. No professional home staging business is lead by one-dimensional people. There should be someone who is “hands on” with business operations, as well as someone who is great at marketing, networking and public speaking.
I’ve definitely given you enough to think about and just know that whatever you decide is based on where you want the future of your company to go and it doesn't have to be a certain size or look a certain way.
*This post contains affiliate links