Without a doubt the end result of a home’s staging should be a great visual impression. Because this is so, home staging has come to be viewed as an “image” industry. But as a relatively new industry, home stagershave much to learn from their counterparts in other more established image industries such as advertising, interior design, and landscaping. Professionals in these fields know that to sell and grow their own businesses; they must first present a good visual image of themselves. This impression starts with the logos, business cards, and websites they use to market their products and services.
Be leary of staging hypocrits. If home stagers are going to pitch the need and importance of investing money to ready properties (which is a home seller’s “product”) for market, then the stagerneeds to invest money to do the same for what they sell… their staging services. To be fair and judged credible, a home stagerneeds to invest in their business image. But more than just spending money. A stager’s image, communicated through business cards, brochures, and websites, must demonstrate knowledge of and skill to apply basic design principals. Why? Well, basic design principals are universal and govern all visual creativity, including the skill and ability to properly stage a home.
Picture what they preach. Another area, where real estate stagersneed to practice what they preach, is in the portfolios they use to sell their ability. First and foremost, the work they show MUST ONLY be theirs… and it better look good. If stagers are going advise sellers and Realtors as to the importance of using good photography to capture and present a home, then again, a stager needs to do the same with photography they show of the their work. A stager’sportfolio is a key, yet often overlooked tool that communicates quality, skill and ability.
Seller’s looking to hire a stager can use a stager’s online portfolio topre-screen and judge a stager’s talent and ability. The best portfolios address the following 3 points.
- Versatility & Proficiency – Every market is different and examples of the work a stager shows should represent the types of homes being sold in the markets they serve. However the more depth and diversity a stager can show the better. The most compelling portfolios will show staging work that was done in both big and small homes, vacant and occupied homes, low to high end homes, and the ability in to work with a variety of design styles.
- Same View Point – Proof of a stager’s skill and ability is often shown in Before & After photographs. But quite often the Before photo is taken from a totally different position in a room, from the After photo. The best sales testament that shows a stager’s ability and talent come from having Before & After photographs taken from the EXACT same angle.
- Quality Photos – While it may not be possible to take the perfect Before, the After image needs to be well photographed. Stagers that invest the time and money to take quality photos visually communicate their commitment to their profession.
Just as a home that is for sale is being judged by how it looks, sellers can use the business images a stagers shows of themselves to judge skill and ability. The best home stagers will picture what they preach.
Stage It Forward…