My customers and I are so excited about the fun, pretty design aspect of the staging that we don’t talk enough about the business behind the design. The business aspect is really important for people who are interested in staging to understand. Why? You can ask. As you will see in this video interview, I recently found that people who receive their first staging quote often experience a sticker shock. It is not uncommon for this to kill their motivation for the stage. I am used to it and I have the data, the anecdotal evidence (many of which I have) and the testimonials that clearly show the benefit of the staging. In the simplest case, it pays for itself in the market in a shorter time and a higher selling price. However, what I neglect is what a stager does behind the scenes to support my customers and my business. Staging is hard work with narrow margins. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE IT and it has increased my real estate business, but it is okay if people know how the staging price is earned.
Full Disclosure I am a real estate agent and my company is 5 Points Realty. My partner Briley Burris is a broker colleague at 5 Points Realty and hosts 5 Points Talks. Fuller disclosure; I lead the marketing team for 5 points realty. Briley and our social media marketer came up with the idea of conducting short interviews with industry experts. I was an easy first guest, mainly because I am a total ham and love the spotlight and could talk about productions all day long.
Making this video was a lot of fun, but it was cathartic for me too. The practice of the “interview”; Someone who asked me questions about the staging business and my answers that were heard by an audience revealed the secrets of the staging business that people who are interested in staging simply cannot understand and can only know if they do hear it from a stager. It became clear to me that I wasn’t taking enough time to educate my customers about the logistics of the staging. This video and blog are a step to change that.
Here is some additional insight into the staging business.
- The average stage lasts about 14 hours. This includes selecting the inventory, packing, loading / unloading and assembling the stage on site. This does not include meeting customers, procuring material, delivering furniture and artwork, planning and billing.
- Moving staging must be flexible and work for the timeframe of buyers, sellers, dealers, builders, contractors, and the whims of selling and closing a house. This flexibility is associated with costs for the stager. If a schedule change needs to be made within a day or two, the moving team will still have to be compensated.
- A warehouse needs to be bought or rented to hold all of the inventory that a stager needs for many phases. This includes everything you can imagine, from dining tables to artificial plants. Storage space is not expensive.
- A moving company must be hired for each phase and each phase
- Furniture and carpets are worn out enormously in the house and with every move. Furniture often has to be replaced.
Phew, I’m better. Thanks for letting me get this out. Feel good when you hire a rabbit. Not only do they make money, but I can assure you that they make a living.
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