Vancouver Public Library talk tomorrow May 26th..

Want to learn how to start up a home staging business in just one week? ‘Staging Guru’ Dana Smithers of the PRES Staging Training Programs is sharing her journey from start- up to success! Her inspirational talk is tomorrow at the Vancouver Public Library at 7:30pm.

In her talk you will learn how she overcame many obstacles on her journey as a solopreneur. She shares her 3 top marketing strategies that she used to grow her business and become a home staging expert. She’ll tell it like it is – what skills and talents a great staging entrepreneur needs to be successful.

If you don’t know how much time you should be spending on home staging, administration and marketing & sales Dana will share those percentages with you. Having the right skill sets and learning business skills are part of a home stagers’ success but equally important, and sometimes more so, is the ‘home stagers’ mindset’. Find out why negative thinking is non-productive in growing a business!

Just by showing up you can WIN A COPY of her book Start & Run a Home Staging Business published by Self-Counsel Press.

Get $400 OFF her PRES 5 Day Professional Home Staging & Redesign course!

PS Now that the Canucks won last night they won’t be competing for that time slot with me – so no excuses, come and join me I would love to meet you!

Vancouver Library Home Staging Talk

National Post: Home Staging Tips for the Home Seller Part 2

Check out this 5 Part Series of Home Staging Tips written for the National Post by Dana J. Smithers.

Part 2 Home Staging Tips for the Home Seller

So, you are about to put your home on the market, but you wonder how it is going to stand out against similar ones for sale.

Most home sellers don’t realize they can interview several real estate agents to decide whom they want to work with. I recommend choosing an agent who has sold similar properties in your neighbourhood. Ask people you know — and who have sold recently — for recommendations. Find out what they did and didn’t like about their agent.

When you meet with your potential realtor, ask for credentials, references (and follow up on them) and what kind of marketing plan they would use to sell your property. Select the one who will go beyond just putting your property photos on the MLS.

Most savvy realtors will be partnered with a professional home staging company and will offer to pay for the initial consultation with the stager. If they don’t, look for someone who does, and who will pay for the initial consultation and/or the home staging job.

Hiring a professional home stager is going to save you time, money and energy — especially if you are new to preparing your house for listing. Gone are the days when it was only about location. I’m not negating this is still a key criteria, but if there are two comparable properties in the “right” location, the one that’s staged will sell faster.

According to the U.S. National Association of Realtors, 80% of potential buyers view homes first on the internet, and 75% who searched the internet drive by the homes to view the ones they liked online. Insist your realtor only takes their photos once your property has been staged and looks fantastic.

Make sure your realtor keeps in touch with you and works in your best interest. They should take other agents on a tour of your property so it gets maximum exposure. Remember, they are working for you.

When you have showings, request feedback from your realtor about what visitors liked and didn’t like. If there is something you need to change and it is a reasonable request, then do it — keeping your return on investment in mind.

If you are selling your property yourself, do not make the mistake of hanging around when potential buyers come for a look. It makes them uncomfortable and less likely to take the time in your home that they would if you weren’t tagging along. Be there, but make yourself scarce. And if you have a vacant property, get it staged – empty homes do not sell well

Part 3 coming next!

‘FREE’ webinar on “How to Start a Home Staging Business in Just One Week’!

If you are still not sure if home staging is the career for you then you will find the the PRES Staging Training Program’s FREE Webinar on ‘How To Become A Home Stager In Just One Week’ a great place to start!

Our webinar is offered the first Tuesday of every month from 5 – 6pm. The next one is June 7th.

Dana J. Smithers a Canadian home staging industry leader does a ‘live’ webinar so that you can personally ask her questions about home staging as a career. If you have never been on a webinar all you need to do is to contact us: and we will provide you with the access code from your computer. You can either phone in or use your microphone from your computer.

The power point presentation is packed with information about how to start and grow your business. You’ll learn staging secrets that propel you to success just by being on this webinar.

PS If you live in the Vancouver area you will have a chance to see Dana live at the Vancouver Public Library on Thursday May 26th at 7:30pm. She’ll share her business success secrets and give you the key marketing strategies you need to create a thriving home staging business.

National Post Top 5 Ways to Stage Your Home to Sell Part 1

Check out this 4 Part Series of Home Staging Tips written for the National Post by Dana J. Smithers.

PART 1 Top 5 Ways To Stage Your Home to Sell

Are you overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about getting your home ready to list?
In today’s marketplace, most buyers expect a home to be move-in ready. So what does this mean to the average seller? Well, it means you need to spend time, money and energy in getting your home ready to market so it stands out from the competition.
Naturally, the longer you have lived in your home and the more clutter you have accumulated, the longer the process of preparing your property will take. The stress and anxiety build up daily. To help relieve this and get on track for your first showing, follow my Top Five ways to stage your home easily and in time:

1. Determine for yourself, or with a professional home stager, what needs to be done to make your home move-in ready. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because you like the look and feel of your home a potential buyer will, too. You’ve heard it before — you must be objective. Think of your home as an investment, one that you now want to dispose of. You have to create a neutral look, but one that has a wow-factor, so any potential buyer can imagine their things in your space.

2. Decide where your best return on investment will be. If you only do one home improvement, I recommend painting your home in a neutral color. Take pictures off the wall, remove some furniture, roll up the rugs and do a major decluttering.

3. Make a written plan that includes the tasks that need to be done, who is going to do them and when they are going to be started, and a projected finish date. Post it so everyone sees it and sticks to it. Check off work as it gets done.

4. Prioritize the work so that once one project is finished, you can move logically to the next. The biggest mistake my clients have made is not identifying what needs to be done when. It makes no sense to have the cleaners come in before you have finished painting.

5. Know that you will most likely not get everything done on your plan. Focus on the key tasks of decluttering and depersonalizing. Create the look of lots of space, and remember that in home staging the motto is truly “Less is More.”

Part 2 coming next!

Speaking Engagements are a great way to establish yourself as an expert!

The Meet Up City Stagers group is comprised of enthusiastic professional home stagers and other industry related professionals who meet once a month to share, grow and encourage each other. Tonight I am speaking to the group about ‘Starting, Growing & Sustaining Their Home Staging Business’.

Since my new book Start & Run a Home Staging Business has been published, it is a good time to get speaking engagements and share my knowledge to help others. I do not do this not to impress, I do it to impress upon them how necessary it is to continue to grow their business and to establish themselves as experts in their field. However, in doing this I also continue to establish myself as the home staging expert or as I have been called the ‘Staging Guru’. (I like the ‘guru’ part because I bring in a lot of the Law of Attraction principles to my work.)

Look for speaking engagements in your area and you will find there are people out there who want to hear what you have to say! As a home stager libraries and community centres as well as private groups are always looking for good content for their patrons and clients.

PS If you can’t join us tonight, I will also be speaking at the Vancouver Public Library on May 26th at 7pm. I am truly hoping the Canucks will win before Game 6 as this will certainly lesson the attendance – in fact, I might not be there. (joking…)

Testimonials are a great way to establish you as an expert.

When your clients come home at the end of the day for the ‘reveal’ whether you are doing a transformation for living or selling you get their most emotional reaction. Use it to be part of your ‘Raving Fan’ testimonials in your marketing materials. This is one of the ways to start to establish yourself as a home staging expert. It’s easy and it’s authentic!

During a recent PRES Staging & Redesign training course students did a home transformation for living with the knowledge that the client was going to sell in a few years. The client wanted a big energy shift because she was divorced and yet still living with most of the same furnishings when she was married. Fortunately for us she had some beautiful furnishings so it was almost like shopping in a fantastic store like Pottery Barn.

This is what she had to say about it:

Grateful doesn’t even begin to describe how I feel for what Dana and her wonderful team did for me. The new sense of energy that the changes made just has me feeling lighter … like a cloud has been lifted and light has been added to our home.

When I first made the request to have my home be considered for one of Dana’s staging projects, she asked me what I wanted to achieve with the changes. I told her quite candidly that I needed a new sense of energy to flow through my home; having gone through a separation and divorce over the last few years, I really needed to finally feel like the marital home was now ‘my’ home. I actually liked most of my furniture and artwork but just couldn’t see the forest for the trees in how I could make some positive changes. And Dana really seemed to ‘get’ that.

Dana came out and did a thorough consultation with me, asking what I didn’t like and what wasn’t working. While there, she provided a colour consultation as I will be selling in a few years and wanted to do that in stages. She picked out some great colours that will really brighten things up.

When I came home on the day of the reveal both my son and I were astonished at how spacious our home looked. Dana and her students even managed to get our beaten-up much-used family room looking good and organized. Now THAT was a challenge! I love the flow of the home and keep remarking on how I love how our home now looks. It’s fantastic! So many friends and family have stopped by to look at the changes and all are amazed at what an enormous difference the changes have made to the look and feel of the entire space. And the best thing is, it feels even more like home now.

TIP: I email the client a few days after the transformation and ask for a testimonial. If i don’t get anything back from them by the next week then I write it for them. I do this all the time and because I can clearly remember the emotions and their reaction – I put it to paper (email really) and about 99.9% of clients just leave it the way it is.

Living Room Before

Living Room After

New Benjamin Moore Store In North Vancouver BC

You’re invited to the NEW BENJAMIN MOORE store opening in Park & Tilford! I just received my invitation and I’m sure they’d love to see you there too!

This is your invitation…

Allow us the pleasure of inviting you to the Grand Opening of our new Benjamin Moore store in Park & Tilford Shopping Centre North Vancouver. Your attendance will be greatly appreciated and your presence will do us great honour.

The Paint Depot Ltd
775-333 Brooksbank Ave
North Vancouver, BC
V7J3S8, Canada
TEL: 604-973-0170
FAX:1(888) 839-8274