Got your attention, eh? Isn’t it amazing that negative headlines capture our attention more than positive ones?
Now that I have your attention I’ll set your mind at rest by saying the necessity for staging listings has not gone away. In fact, it has intensified! What is going away is half completed staging, surface staging, fluffy staging, and vignette staging. Putting your head in the sand and ignoring these changes may cost you a listing or your customer to lose equity returns.
What do I mean? You may think that the economy is up or down. Actually, 2018 real estate is forecasted to be great! Some people believe that and some don’t. If you didn’t have your best year yet, or things are tough for you for one reason or another then many people cut back on marketing, which is crazy because marketing is a leading contributor to sales success. Most marketing gurus will tell you to evaluate marketing and keep an eye on it, but don’t set your budget based on last year’s results. Focus on what you want! Cutting back sends a message of its own (just as stepping it up would).
Staging property is a marketing advantage you cannot afford to forfeit.
You don’t know what your competitor is doing. Do you know sellers are contacting stagers directly in order to maximize their market appeal? Those properties will be your competition! Have you ever thought that by not partnering with a stager, you are missing an opportunity to secure listings? Yes! Today more than 40% of stagers’ business comes to them directly from the seller! That is not because they plan to sell it themselves; it is because they know staging works and they want to take whatever time is necessary to be prepared for market. What that means to you is that stagers are a hidden source of leads that you can not tap into without a relationship with a stager.
What is important for you to know is, even though the staging industry has grown exponentially, essentially it is still like the Wild West before the sheriff arrived. There are great stagers, bad stagers, and those who muddle along in mediocrity. The really bad news is, many of them don’t know what they don’t know or how much the industry has changed.
Some things to watch for when hiring a stager for your team:
- has credible credentials and references,
- has at least $2,000,000 in liability insurance,
- has errors and omissions insurance,
- has tools to help you market the service and enhance your service,
- understands how market differences, generational differences, trends, and global economics play a role in how a property should be staged,
- has been educated in real estate staging, design, color, and ethics, and knows staging is not decorating,
- knows that use of color is a strategy to draw the eye to focal points not to overwhelm and be the star.
CSP teaches stagers to understand that even though staging is a non-regulated industry, we work in the regulated real estate industry. It is why at CSP we have ethics, insurance, continuing requirements, and specialty designations like those available in the real estate industry, like senior move management and green build science.
Staging is not going away! It’s growing up and getting better. The industry is getting stronger and standards are getting higher. We believe it’s not a place for amateurs and all in all this is a good thing for the consumer. Don’t you agree?
Survey says… some proof!
- In the opinion of people who answered a public poll conducted by RIS Media, 91.3% of people said staging made a difference to how a property shows.
- More than 63% of buyers say they would pay more money for a move in ready house.
- 92% of buyers said energy efficiencies and green features are important to them and they will pay up to $12,400 more for the property.
- The statistic you absolutely need to know is that the Internet is the first source for viewing property – 97% of people now look on the Internet first. What that means is they are “driving by” the listing and you don’t know it.
For You: A staged listing means great photographs, with fewer days on the market, and more impactful showings!
For a Seller: Staging before marketing starts means they are giving themselves the best opportunity possible to secure a buyer in the shortest amount of time for the highest return on investment.
For a Buyer: Buying a thoroughly staged property is their best investment because everything that needed fixing, replacing, repairing, and upgrading was done. They won’t have to invest money in making changes when they move in. The placement of furniture and accessories do not detract away from the features and benefits of the property, so they can see their new home and not the seller’s old one.
First impressions are created in the blink of an eye, and you certainly never get a second chance to make a great first impression.