Friday, April 11, 2008

New Products in Home Staging and Interior Redesign

It's been a while since I posted to this blog, but I've recommitted to doing so.

But to bring you up to date, let me first say there are a lot of new training materials, courses, books, promotional products - you name it - now available to help you grow your home staging and redesign business.

As the real estate market has undergone some serious trials lately, it opens up new horizons and opportunities for home stagers across the country. So in my view, there is no time as good as the present to kick off a home staging career or to revitalize one you've already begun.

We've got all the tools you'll need to get you where you want to go too.

So pop on over to Decorate-Redecorate.Com and get all the details.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

What is So Important About Staging a Home?

If you are one of the thousands of people trying to sell your home, you may already know the answer to that question. Staging can mean the difference between waiting months or even years before your home sells and selling it right away. It can also make the difference on how much money you will have in your pocket after you sell your home.

Possibly, when someone mentions staging a home to you, you cannot help but think of the theater, and in a way you are entirely correct. When you work in theater, you not only have to rehearse the play, but you need to plan the backgrounds and every little detail of the scenes that are necessary to move the play forward and show the audience where each act of the play is supposed to be taking place.

Essentially, it puts them in the picture. The effectiveness of the stage can make a big difference in the play. Well, the same is true for a home that is about to go up for sale. When you correctly interpret the staging for a home, you convince the prospective buyer that the home is the beautiful place they simply cannot afford to pass up.

If someone is looking at homes built in the 1950’s because that is the era they love, you need the appropriate décor and setup to make them believe they really are in a home built in the 1950’s. That beautiful claw-footed tub in the bathroom with the new white handled faucets on both it and the sink say exactly what you want it to say without anything having to look old and decrepit.

When you have a home worth five hundred thousand dollars and the client wants it to look like a million, staging it correctly with deep, plush carpeting, beautiful woodwork, high end wallpaper, and all of the trimmings is going to convince the buyer that this indeed is a home that looks like a million bucks.

An improperly staged home is not only going to turn people off, but make a lot of other people pick another home with the exact number and size of rooms over it that they find more appealing. Walking through a beautifully appointed home that a buyer can fall in love with is going to practically guarantee a sale, oftentimes over another house they might have been considering making an offer on.

However, if someone searching for a new home sees a place that has ugly striped wallpaper, dark, ugly colors, and worn-out carpeting, the first thing they will think about is how much time and money it will cost them to tear it all out and fix it up.

Whether you are considering doing it yourself or hiring a professional to turn your home into a perfectly staged setup, take a moment or two to check out Decorate-Redecorate.Com. If you decide to do it yourself, you will find a great eighty page guide that will walk you through the process from start to finish so that you know the finished product will be a good one.

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Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Do the Right Thing for Your Client

Today I received an email from a young man who had done some research on the internet, exploring which training program would be right for him. He had narrowed it down to mine and one other person's.

He told me he had been bedridden for 2 years, is just now learning to walk again, suffers from MS and needs medicine each month at a very high price. He wanted to resurrect his former design business and was selling off possessions to raise the money to take my Diamond Course and wondered if I'd extend him a payment plan.

I didn't agree to a payment plan for him, in part because I don't offer one and I don't like the idea of giving one person something I don't give to everyone, but the main reason was because I sincerely believe it was not in his best interest at this time in his life to start at the Diamond level.

Assuming that what he told me is all true (and I have no way of verifying anything), here's my assessment:

1) He's obviously not in good physical health
2) He's obviously not in good financial health
3) He's trying to start at the top when he is better off taking smaller, less stressful steps (since he can purchase any component in Diamond on an "a la carte" basis and probably won't need the design training as he already has had a decorating business)

I'm a mentor as well as a trainer. I see my role as that of a "protector", not just a business person seeking to make profit.

I feel it would have been irresponsible of me, assuming he presented me with truth, to allow him to go forward at the Diamond level.

I vowed many years ago to try my best to always do what I believed was the "best" thing for my clients, even if it meant no profit or less profit to me. It's just how I operate. Many other people might have just locked in the sale of a much higher course.

Regardless of your own circumstances, whether you're living in abundance or just scraping by, I believe God will honor you if you always try to do what you know in your heart is best for the other person.

So again I encourage you:

1) Give more than you promise
2) Do what's best for them, irregardless of whether it's the most profitable route for you

You can never go wrong with that philosophy and standard of excellence. Be someone your client's can thoroughly trust to advise them in a direction best for them.

I guarantee you, you will not be sorry.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Letterhead and Envelopes

Who is the best source for business cards, letterhead, etc.? I prefer desktop paper sets which look professional, and can easily be made to fit my business.

Depends on your quantiity. If you're just doing up a few, or on demand, just stop by a Staples or Office Depot or Office Max and pick out some nice quality paper with matching envelopes. Using Word, you can create easy letterhead and envelopes. They usually come packaged in sets of 25 or 50. Don't go to a printer unless you doing 500+ of the same thing - too expensive for small quantities.

You can also purchase business cards from them too in quantities of 1000 cards or more for best pricing.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Bouncing Back from Financial Disaster

Yesterday I received a call from a delightful gal going through a hard time because of a huge financial setback caused by her husband, A State beauty queen, she had enjoyed a beautiful home, acclaim, fame and fortune. Now it was virtually all gone.

She took a high priced staging seminar and was very disappointed. Then she found my course and was upset that she didn't know about it before.

But what she needed more than anything was encouragement. And that's what I could provide her. You see, I've been there; done that.

Years ago I made some foolish decisions about starting a wicker store, right in the early eighties when there was a huge recession. Furniture stores were going out of business right and left. I ignored all the business warnings and plunged ahead.

I not only lost my store, I found myself in huge debt, pregnant with no health insurance. I went into total depression, fearful that I would also lose my home.

But you know, when you go through times like this, if you try to see it as an opportunity, you can use the experience positively. Let it propel you to move forward, because forward is the only direction open to you.

Many people start things and quit right away. They can't conquer their fears and don't want to work hard to achieve their goals. But when your back is against the wall, you have no other options. So you just go and do it!!!

If you find yourself in a difficult time financially, count your blessings. If you have your health, you have everything you need to turn the situation around.

I came out of my depression, regained new goals, learned from my mistakes and have gone on to become wildly successful. You can too.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Testing Your Marketing Strategies

No matter what procedures and pricing you have in place now, you should always strive to test what you're doing.

What you're now doing is your "control" method, your "control" pricing, and so forth.

So let's call your "control" method/price, Presentation A. Use Presentation A for 2 weeks or for however long you want to be sure you've given it a fair chance to succeed.

Then alter something. Change the price. Change the offer. Change the headline. But only change one thing at a time.

Call this new method/price Presentation B. Now switch to Presentation B for the same length of time as you gave Presentation A.

Consider beefing up your offer by adding an additional product or service at the end. An add-on can literally generate 3-5 percent more profit. It need to be a companion product or service - something that makes sense for the client. People love bargains and special offers, no matter what income bracket they are in.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

When Is One Successful?

I'm trying to lose some weight and bring down my chloresterol, but when shopping yesterday I couldn't help it. I had to have some Panda Express orange glaze chicken and fried rice.

But I was a good girl and didn't eat all of it at one sitting. I brought half of it home, along with the two fortune cookies. I know, I know. But I paid for them and wasn't going to leave them behind.

Tonight I ate them both so I could read my little fortunes.

One of them said, "You have a strong potential for success." The other one read, "Success will be yours."

I thought to myself, "You're too late. I'm already successful."

So why is it that we want someone else to validate us or tell us we're going to have a great future? Do you possibly think there is a fortune cookie out there that tells people they are going to "fail" or that their future holds nothing but failure?

Of course not.

If you feel good about who you are and what you have accomplished, you are successful, even if no one else thinks so.

Don't let anyone rob you of your own feelings of self worth. When you feel good about who you are, and you have a plan of action, no one can stop you.