Lori Kim Polk was one of the first big names I learned in home staging. Her presence on Active Rain & Stage it Forward was legendary. I know I admired her work, her blogging style, how she always seemed to be positive and promote ethics and professionalism. I’m thrilled now to have her on my home staging mentoring team and excited to have this interview to share with you.
Why did you decide to become a home stager?
As an artist, I knew all the elements of design and function. I staged 2 of my own homes that sold on their first Open House, so I knew I had some staging talent.
What did you do before you were a home stager?
I was, and still am, an Elementary School Teacher and artist.
Tell us a little about your business, how it operates and who your clients are:
Most of my clients are investors, but I do see the homeowners coming back around. I work everyday and pick my hours.
What’s your favorite part of the business?
I love seeing the transformation, and looks on my client’s happy faces.
What’s your least favorite part of the business?
Who are some of your favorite stagers?
You know… I have learned so much from so many fabulous stagers that I can’t pick just a couple. I have made some wonderful friendships, close friends, and I am proud to be part of an organization that promotes high standards and ethical staging. I have too many favorites for all that staging involves 😉
Tell us about your best staging experience.
My best and worst experience was at the beginning of my staging career when for a moment, I honestly didn’t know if I would be able to complete a job on a 5000 sqft luxury home. Every item I brought in, became lost in the space, I didn’t think I planned well for each space within the home, so I concentrated on completing the main entry and living first. The Open was in 2 days. I was running out of furniture, my assistant got sick, it was raining, and I would have to call my movers to another trip for more furniture the next day. So I walked out on the deck that overlooked the Sacramento Valley and said a little prayer. Soon after, there was a knock on the door and there stood a realtor with clients who asked to look at the house. They were there for a short time and left. Within 20 minutes I get a call from the listing agent who said that they just received a full price offer on the house and wanted to buy all the living and family room furniture. He said to stop staging, don’t bring anything else in. Though the homeowner only wanted to pay for what was brought in at that point, I was saved… whew!
My best experience is always my last staged home that flies off the shelf within hours.
What was your favorite room or art or accessory?
I love to use White orchids
If you were to pick a theme song for your career as a home stager, what would it be?
Bachman Turner Overdrive “Taking Care of Business”
Staging in Stilettos
What would you tell someone new, thinking of getting into home staging?
I would tell them to invest their career into a great training program such as SAR. I would also say that it takes several years to actively see a profit, therefore, don’t quit your day job when you first start out.
Read more home stager stories in our, “I’m a home stager.” series.