I remember meeting Bernadette Flaim at a StagersExpo seminar where I was one of the speakers. I was immediately taken by her business savvy. It’s the biggest weakness that I often find in home stagers, but she had an abundance of it. I remember talking shop until I was pulled away by obligations of the day.
Later, when I decided to leave the home staging training company I was teaching for and reboot my own training company, I knew Bernadette would be on my list of ‘Dream Team” instructors.
How long have you been a home stager?
Why did you decide to become a home stager?
Becoming a home stager gave me the opportunity to express myself creatively, applying the orderliness of form and function and, at the same time, still allowing me to continue to enjoy the business aspects of helping to effectively sell a product. I later realized that “knowledge is power” (and influence) and so I decided to become a Realtor® giving me the ability to “talk the talk” with sellers and realtors when I believe it is necessary to legitimize the process and to overcome any possible objection.
What did you do before you were a home stager?
I worked as an Administrative Manager /Office Manager in Executive Recruiting for 16 years and 3 years in the not-for-profit sector, as a Special Events Coordinator before that
Tell us a little about your business, how it operates and who your clients are:
Attention2Detail provides a creative team approach to staging homes, specializing in vacants, and size-challenged spaces. As certified interior redesign specialists they find solutions to their clients’ interior redesign challenges. My business partner, Susan Corbo, and I believe that “form follows function” and that the essence of good design (and staging) contains balanced amounts of both.
What’s your favorite part of the business?
Working with clients and seeing their joy when it suddenly all comes together!
What’s your least favorite part of the business?
The administrative madness it brings!
Who are some of your favorite stagers?
Melissa Marro, Karen Otto, Jill Banks, Juliet Johnson, Jessica Pirone, Cindy Mussman, Claudia Jacobs and Matt Finlason
Tell us about your best staging experience.
The whirlwind staging of a tiny basement, one-bedroom (slightly dated) condo that, once it was staged, sold in 2 days at full asking price! We believe it was all about focusing on the demographic and psychographic of the buyer that sealed the deal.
Tell us about your worst staging experience.
The long, protracted staging of a luxury four-floor luxury condo – the client hung on the realtor’s every word, who later “allowed” the seller to price it $150K too high. The newly finished living room floor was damaged by the cleaning person (who was hired by the realtor) and had to be redone causing us to get behind schedule. My partner got into a screaming match with the Realtor and all the stress of what should have been our “piece de resistance” put tremendous strain on the A2D partnership. Our Matt Finlason approach to “appealing to the dreams and aspirations” through the application of appropriate furniture and accessories that work with psychographic and demographic of potential buyers of this property sadly never realized the science to this new way of staging when the overpriced property was de-staged 3 months later unsold.
What was your favorite room or art or accessory?
The child’s room we created on a budget for a bank-owned property. It was the one thing the Realtor said would sell the space – it did as well as several others in the building, which had sat empty on the market for several years. (see attached photo)
If you were to pick a theme song for your career as a home stager, what would it be?
“Almost There” – Anika Noni Rose (Disney’s Princess Frog)
An excerpt – I Remember Daddy Told Me Fairytales Can Come True, You Gotta Make ’em Happen, It All Depends On You, So I Work Real Hard Each And Every Day, Now Things For Sure Are Going My Way, Just Doing What I Do, Look Out Boys I’m Coming Through
If you were going to write a book about your staging career, what would it be called?
The Life of a Stager – It’s a Mad, Mad World
What would you tell someone new, thinking of getting into home staging?
Be well “schooled” – know that the business of staging is all about the “business.” You can’t only create beautiful spaces that sell, but you must have the knowledge of what it takes to run and sustain a successful business because the love of what moves you, alone will NOT pay the bills. Complete knowledge will give you the power to succeed.
Connect with Bernadette through social media:
Read more home stager stories in our, “I’m a home stager.” series.
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