I love Tara Boettger. (Though I always think of Tara Schinsing, as she was recently married.) She has a genuine and polite quality, in great ways, that I just don’t think many people have these days. Her enthusiasm and smile are infectious.
How long have you been a home stager?
I became a homes stager in 2006 after taking the ASP designation training with Stagedhomes.com
Why did you decide to become a home stager? / What did you do before you were a home stager?
I started my first company, Controlled Chaos in 2004, as a Professional Organizer. During that time I started seeing and hearing about Home Staging on TV and thought what a great concept! I kind of already do that as a Professional Organizer while the homeowners are living in the home.
In 2005 I decided that I wanted to add Home Staging as a service in Controlled Chaos, but I had no idea how the Real Estate world operated. So I decided to become a licensed Real Estate Salesperson to learn the ins and outs of the Real Estate industry.
This is when I first realized how important home staging is. I couldn’t believe the way home sellers were allowing their homes to be shown.
I used the commission of my first sale to pay for my Home Staging training from Stagedhomes.com.
Ultimately I realized I enjoyed staging homes rather than selling them. So I put my RE License in my back pocket and continued staging.
In 2009 I learned that I had two different directions that I wanted to take my organizing business and my home staging business. So I split Controlled Chaos from Home Staging and HOMEGIRL Home Staging was born.
Tell us a little about your business, how it operates and who your clients are:
My clients are mostly Real Estate Agents and Real Estate Investors.
Many agents use us for a simple home staging consultation on their listings as a cost effective way to help their home sellers.
Because I carry my own inventory of everything from couches and beds to art and accessories, in 2011 I saw a big surge in the number of investors using HOMEGIRL Home Staging to staging their vacant rehabs.
Late last year I also expanded and brought on another stager, Annie Hemmer to my team.
What’s your favorite part of the business?
My favorite part is when the homeowner sees their home after we staged or reads our consultation, and says “Why did I not think of that!”
What’s your least favorite part of the business?
Staging in the winter when everything is wet, slushy and cold.
Who are some of your favorite stagers?
Only name a few?
Love the business models that Melissa Marro and Linda & Gary Barnett have built in this business.
Love the asthetics of Birgit Anich, Tori Toth, and Donna Dazzo.
Love my locals, Claudia Jacobs and my Texans, Karen Otto
Tell us about your best staging experience.
I was called to stage a vacant builders home that had been on the market for over a year. I finished staging on a Wednesday, and that Sunday was the first open house with it staged. They had 2 offers from that open house. Staging works!
Tell us about your worst staging experience.
I used to not hire movers, I thought I could save money by moving furniture myself and with the help of my husband. Thankfully that didn’t last too long.
Remember that episode of friends and Ross is moving a couch and yelling PIVOT….
What was your favorite room or art or accessory?
I love throw pillows and have recently started making my own covers, cost effective and I can get exactly what I want!
I also love the unexpected sequence pillow that tends to show up in many of my stagings.
If you were to pick a theme song for your career as a home stager, what would it be?
I don’t know about a theme song but I love staging to Linkin Park and Lady Gaga
If you were going to write a book about your staging career, what would it be called?
Sh*t Home Sellers Say.
What would you tell someone new, thinking of getting into home staging?
First I would tell them to try to work with a home stager/staging company before starting you own business. Many people think home staging is a such a “fun” business to be in, which it is, but it is also hard to get started and actually takes a lot more than staging to keep your business running.. If you work with a home stager first you will be able to see everything that goes into a staging business, the marketing, the networking, the money, the schlepping of inventory, dealing with homeowners etc. You might rethink opening your own business and just continue working with someone.
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Read more home stager stories in our, “I’m a home stager.” series.
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