The Way You Live in Your Home is a Reflection of You. Do You LOVE What You See?

During the 5 day PRES staging and redesign training course we bring our new students into real client’s homes so they put into practice the 10 Step Secret Formula they learned in the classroom. One of our training homes wanted a ‘fresh perspective’ on her home as she did ‘like it’ but didn’t ‘love it’. We came in to do what is called a ‘redesign’ and is very personal - not to be confused with staging for selling where we still make the home inviting but appeal to the seller’s buyer.

After the consultation with her I had a fairly good idea how she wanted to live in her home, and she exuded a lot of positive energy around her collections from their world travels and scuba diving trips.

This is what her Living Room looked like when we showed up to do our redesign which is a one-day home makeover using what she already had:

Looking at the Living Room from the dining room. Note the large glass curio by the entrance way.

This is the ‘After’ where we made some significant changes especially with the diagonal placement of the sofa. Her cherished glass curio cabinet doesn’t really show off her collections the way she would like it to. So… we removed it to the family room.

This is her Family Room when we first arrived. A little cluttered and not too easy to have a conversation comfortably. They have so much beautiful art we knew we could make it look better.

The television is in the corner opposite the sofa and another chair is on the other side of the sofa.

We decided that this needed to be the new ‘Travel Room’ and we would showcase her collections and her treasures from her world travels. She was ECSTATIC with the changes and it’s not that often that a husband LOVES what we do! Now he did say he was ‘stunned and impressed’ so we’re taking that to be a compliment!

All their collections are in their ‘Travel Room’ and they LOVE IT!

Top 10 BEST Marketing Strategies Workshop October 19 – Vancouver BC

Are you feeling stressed because you aren’t attracting new clients and you are not sure what to do next? Is your dream of creating a successful home staging business fading fast? The PRES® Staging & Training programs are offering a one-day workshop on the Top 10 Best Marketing Strategies for home stagers, redesigners, designers and other home stylists to help you grow your business. Whether you have just started your business or have been in business awhile, you will come away from this workshop feeling good and relieved because you will create your own marketing plan you can easily follow

In a nutshell marketing is all about ‘informing and educating’ potential and existing ‘ideal clients’ about the solutions that you have to offer to solve their problem. Are you sending them the right message and using ‘pull’ strategies instead of trying to ‘push’ your business on them? Is it possible you are not entirely sure any longer who your ideal client is?

Dana teacing at a workshop

Dana J. Smithers, a home staging expert and author of Start & Run a Home Staging Business will share her proven on-line and off-line marketing strategies that you can easily implement while creating your 90 Day Marketing Plan. Find out what really works and why you need to be continually marketing to keep you funnel full and to build your ‘list’. Lots of handouts for you to plan and create your own marketing plan.

Course Outline & Outcomes for your ROI:

  • Understand the Top 10 Best Marketing Strategies for your ‘On-Line & Off-Line’ Marketing Tactics
  • Develop an effective 90 Day Marketing Plan that you will want to follow
  • Learn Low Cost vs High Cost ways to market your business
  • Gain clarity on who your ‘Ideal Client’ really is & how to market to them
  • Create a Marketing Wheel that is easy to implement
  • Understand the importance of your Brand
  • Learn how to make your ‘Message’ to your ‘Ideal Client’ about ‘Needs’ and not ‘Wants’

Dana doing presentation at RE/MAX

Workshop Date and Time

Date: Friday October 19, 2012
Time: 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
Location: Flüff Rentals – 1363 McLean Drive  Vancouver BC (Google Map)
Cost: PRES® Graduates $197 plus hst Other Professionals $247 plus hst
Registration: Is required. Register and Pay Online hereOr contact: info@presstaging.comor phone 778 278 8883EARLY BIRD SPECIAL: Contact by OCTOBER 5th, 2012.For PRES Graduates $147 plus hst Other Professionals $197 plus hst

5 Steps to a Successful Realtor Office Presentation

Every real estate office has weekly meetings. Most often these are first thing in the morning but some do have lunch and learns. Industry partners such as stagers are invited to come and do presentations if what they are offering is seen as a value to the realtors. As a home stager you know the value of your services but not all realtors or home sellers do. So you need to be prepared with your WIIFM (what’s in it for me) when you make your pitch. As home stagers we are one of the best marketing tools that realtors can have whether they pay for our services (best case scenario) or the home seller does.

1. Call to Set your Appointment
You need to contact the Office Manager who arranges the weekly meetings. You can look on that company’s website for that contact name or phone the receptionist to find out who it is.
When you are making that introduction of yourself prepare a script if you are somewhat nervous. Let the office manager know the WHIFM (what’s in it for me). Tell her/him of your successes and what is unique about you. If you happen to know a realtor in the brokerage then ask them for a referral introduction to you because this will get you one step closer to making a connection. .

2. Keep your Presentations Simple
The length of time you will be given to talk varies from office to office. It can be as short as 15 minutes or as long as 45 minutes. Be prepared to answer questions and to talk longer if need be. Power point presentations are great for certain events, however in smaller offices I recommend keeping it more informal so you can connect more on a personal level.

Creating Simple Realtor Presentations:

  1. Introduce yourself and your company briefly through your credentials, training and experience
  2. Quote some statistics on staging homes you have done or do an internet keyword search for ‘staging statistics’ and you will be sent to several different sites
  3. Prepare a one or two page handout called ‘ 5 TOP Staging Tips’ – be sure to include great branding with all your contact information. Put this in a color folder along with your business cards and/or  post  cards
  4. Use large visuals such as the foam picture/story boards about 2’ x 3’ and laminate them (any print store will do these) of your Before & After photos. It’s best to have your best B & A photos so you can discuss what you did in the home using their existing furnishings and/or  rental inventory
  5. Have a Free Draw where each realtor is required to put their business card in a box/bag. You can have a draw for a ‘FREE’ home staging consultation or a ‘FREE’ home staging ½ day or full day job. This is all  part and parcel of your ‘List Building’ that will grow your business.

3. Have FUN Presenting
The realtors who attend your presentation are interested in finding out what you have to offer. You know you know what you are doing, you know you are a fabulous stager so set the stage for having some FUN and show them what you are all about. If possible come into the office early and make friends with some of the early birds. This will help when you make your presentation and they will support you more. You can always get a list of realtors in the office beforehand and make a point of seeking a few of them out. People will buy from you when they ‘Know You, Like You and Trust You’ – this is one way to accomplish them getting to know who you are.

3. Practice Makes Perfect
Many people have a fear of public speaking and the only way to get over that is to ‘do it’. If you have a lot of fear then practice, practice, practice or you might consider attending something like Toast Masters to become confident in your speaking ability. For most realtor talks you will have up to about 30 attendees so it’s most likely going to be more comfortable for you than giving a talk to hundreds of realtors. I used to do my own recordings of myself so I could see where I could improve and get the timing down correctly. If you can’t do that s just practice in front of a mirror and time yourself.   Because you have your props (story boards of Before & After photos) they can guide you through your talk more easily than just memorizing your words.

4. Follow Up
Follow up is key to your success. You can get the office listing of all the realtors in the office and since you did the Free Draw you have the attendee’s business cards in your box/bag. First step is to follow up by phone with all who attended and other active realtors who did not attend.  Second step would be to email them if you did not get connect with them by phone. Suggest getting together to buy them a coffee and give them your Introductory Offer to try out your services. This is all part and parcel of your on-going ‘List Building’ that you must do to continue to grow your business. Third step would be to send them a card – Thank You or Nice To Meet you card. If you are not familiar with the automated Send Out Cards system I highly recommend you check into it here and try them out. They are like an on-line Hallmark store but you can also send gifts along with the cards.

Established & Successful Refresh Home Staging Inc is For Sale!

Several years ago I had the pleasure of training Karli Weinmaster who has established a very successful home staging and interior decorating business in Vancouver BC. With a new family taking precedent in her life she is looking for a buyer for this turnkey operation. Read more about this great opportunity:

Refresh Home Staging Inc . located n Vancouver, British Columbia, this home-based, small business for Home Staging and Interior Decorating Services has built an outstanding reputation with Realtors and Home Owners throughout the Lower Mainland. Founded over 5 years ago, this small business has grown steadily over time, with over $60,000 invested in Staging Furniture, Artwork and Accessories! The Home Staging industry is relatively new and growing fast!  With our reputation for reliability, customer service and great design, we offer excellent value to the new owner.  With its current owner seeking retirement, this turnkey operation includes all the business’ hard assets and is a great opportunity for buyers seeking an established, well-respected business in a fast growing exciting industry! The asking price of the business (including assets of $60,000) is $59,000.

Benefits to Buyer;

  •  Incorporated Company
  • Website and Branding in Place
  • Good Reputation with Realtors
  • Advertising – Just published 6000 Presentation Folders for Realtors at 2 Sutton Group Offices
  • Advertising – Post cards displayed at Realtors Offices.
  • Advertising – Listed as a partner with 3 Remax Crest Offices
  • Work with over 25 local Realtors

For more information contact  Karli Weinmaster Owner Refresh Home Staging Inc. – Tel: 604.684.7526


Afraid of ‘Selling’ Your Home Staging Services?

Most new entrepreneurial home stagers have difficulty with the concept of ‘selling’. They love the creative aspect to home staging and they get excited about creating their marketing materials and love doing the actual home staging and redesign transformations. But in reality you need to be able to ‘sell your services’ to someone who will buy them or, you will soon be out of business.

So why not take the fear out of selling by just saying that you are ‘getting to know someone and deciding if you want to continue to grow that relationship’. Does that sound more doable and less fearful? When I was in corporate sales we always worked with the 80 – 20 Rule: The Pareto Principle. In essence it simply means that 80% of your sales come from 20% of your clients.

So what this suggests is that you need to look at building quality, long-term relationships with clients that you like doing business with. Forget about ‘hard selling’ to prospects and/or existing clients, but rather take the approach that you want to get to know these contacts better by developing stronger relationships. People buy from you when they ‘Know you, Like you and Trust you’.


There will be a variety of opportunities for you to build relationships so that you can ‘soft sell’ your home staging and redesign services. Here are a few that have proven to be the best for new and seasoned entrepreneurs:

  • NETWORKING RELATIONSHIPS – go to many different networking events with the intention of finding your ‘ideal client’ at these events.  Choose to join the ones that you feel most connected with and who also have the same values as you do.  Once you find a networking group you want to join then make a commitment to be there each time there is a meeting.  Get to know the other members.  Find and connect with people that you genuinely want to do business with.  Let them get to know who you are and what you do.  We have all been to those networking events where right off the bat someone wants to sell you something and they have not taken any time to get to know you, or even what your needs are.  This can be offensive and many a good sale is lost by not taking time to build trust with one another.
  • REALTOR RELATIONSHIPS – when you are first starting out you need to be ‘out there’ meeting as many realtors as you can spending about 65% of your time doing this. You will be able to discern which ones you have the best fit with and who you will continue to develop relationships with. Ideally over time you can develop more exclusive relationships with fewer realtors. However you always want to be meeting new realtors due to the nature of the market.
  • STRATEGIC ALLIANCE RELATIONSHIPS - think about all of the industry-related people that you know that you can develop stronger relationships with.  Going out for a coffee or sending a card to keep in touch over time, will definitely pay off for you.  Alliances can also be great for referrals as well and this group can help build your business.
  • HOME SELLER RELATIONSHIPS - while you may only stage a home the same client once every few years (or perhaps not even this often) remember that you can also move this client into their new home.  Also, never underestimate the value of home-seller referrals. Referrals can add up to be a sizable income source for you.

So have some fun, keep connecting with new prospects and remember to get your ‘self’ out of the way and go and connect with someone. Your negative self talk isn’t going to get you closer to your goals – just one little positive action on your part can make a big difference in growing your business. It’s helpful to remind yourself that someone does want to buy what you have to offer, you just need to find them and connect. And it’s okay to not want to connect with everyone because not everyone will be your ideal client!