Q&A Home Staging in a small town
How viable is home staging in a small town? What is the best advice for growing a successful staging company in a small town?
Thank you for allowing me to answer your questions. The great thing about Home Staging is that it works wherever a residential home is going to be sold on the Real Estate Market. According to the National Association of Realtors 2021 Profile of Home Staging, 82% of buyers’ agents said staging a home made it easier for a buyer to visualize the property as a future home. I noticed that while reading the report, there was no mention of staging in a small town versus the city or metropolitan area. That’s because there’s no limit to the impact staging can make on the sale of a property.
Regarding the second question, it occurs to me that there’s a belief that all residents of more populated areas know what Home Staging is and are in favor of it. Let me tell you, that’s simply not true. When I cold call Real Estate Agents, it continues to surprise me how many have never heard of Home Staging, therefore they do not know a stager. One of the many opportunities we deal with as a community, is that we get to educate Agents about what Home Staging is, the value it delivers and provide credible statistics to support our claim.
When it comes to growing a Home Staging business, regardless of location, here are my recommendations:
1) Join a local Realtor Association as an Affiliate member and attend events regularly. That way, you can get to know Agents and other Affiliate members and they can get to know you. They must know you, like you and trust you before they do business with you. It takes 7-20 "touches" before a person will remember or trust you enough to hire you.
2) In networking with Agents, be sure to get their business card and email address. Start sending out follow up emails about once a month with interesting facts and statistics about staging, success stories etc. Visit open houses and collect business cards. Upon introducing yourself, let them know you don't want to intrude on their time with buyers but would like to meet up sometime. Grow your email list from collecting those business cards. Eventually after several contacts with them, they will start to think of you as they need you.
3) Make sure you have a listing on Google, Yelp, and other local places. Post regularly on social media and post very specific pictures. Who are trying to attract? Horse farms? Homes with pools? Homes with no neighbors nearby? Log homes? You pick your target market and feature it often and add tags. It’s free. And it works.
4) Another great recommendation is to find homes that have been listed a long time (you can see that on Redfin or Zillow) and contact the Agent to see if they would be interested in staging.
5) Last and certainly not least, be clear about what services you offer and why. It’s common for New Stagers starting out to strive to be everything to everyone for the sake of getting business. You will set yourself up to fail and confuse your clients if you do this. Whatever you decide on, stick to your guns, no matter how much you want to be liked by others. Your reputation is based on your performance and reputation will always precede you.
Once you've got some good photos and some good stats, it is easier to market your service. You might have to visit some real estate offices to pitch staging to them. Some Agents do lots of staging and some have zero interest in it. Just find a few (or even just one to start) that see the value, and then you're in business. By the way, being nervous when starting out is perfectly fine and normal. The more you do it, the more comfortable you will become and your confidence will skyrocket.