Staging Your Parent’s Home Can Be Overwhelming….or not.

Staging your parents home truly can be overwhelming for so many different reasons. When the seller’s children help out with a lot of the prep work we become a team, and things get done quicker and with the most amazing results.

As part of the 5 day certificate PRES staging and redesign training course we recently staged a 39 year old condo, 950 square feet, with 2 bedrooms. When students stage a real client’s home they get first hand experience. They learn so much about ‘how to stage’ and gain their confidence and validation of their talent by seeing the end result. Getting a great reaction like a WOW along with the client testimonial is part of the high that inspires them!

Prior to the staging consultation I asked the client to send photos of where they were at with making the changes they needed before the actual hands on staging was done. It was obvious they had started work but still needed some professional advise for their ‘next steps’. The potential buyer is 55+ so the furnishings are fine with a few additions from the daughter such as plants and cushions.

Lots of personal collections

Lots of personal collections

You can see their treasures – the native art and the china cabinet full of personal mementos and china. All special to the seller but not for the buyer’s eyes!

After decluttering and depersonalizing the space…

Attractive and broader buyer appeal!

Attractive and broader buyer appeal!

The Master Bedroom bed was not in good condition so fortunately there was another bed to choose from….

Bed was not in good condition and needed to be replaced.

Bed was not in good condition and needed to be replaced.

With some minor cosmetic changes and using a duvet as a headboard (pillows inside) the overall look was improved.

Less cluttered and more harmonious with different drapes from another room.

Less cluttered and more harmonious with different drapes from another room.

Happy Daughter Testimonial:

We were very fortunate to have Dana Smithers and her students from PRES Staging training school to stage my Mom’s condo for selling. I met with Dana one week prior and she complimented us on all the work we had already done to be prepared for the actual hands-on staging. My brother and I had done a lot of packing up of personal effects and removing things we knew would not work to show the condo as well as we wanted. My brother did some painting as well in a neutral colour and Dana said it would be okay to leave one of the bedrooms in the soft yellow but she thought the blue feature in the living room would look better painted the same neutral colour as the entire living room. With more than one colour, she said it makes the room look smaller but suggested we wait and see what furniture placement changes they made to see if it had to be painted. She knew we were all tired and didn’t really want to do a whole lot more!

The day of the staging felt a bit like Christmas…we were very excited to see the finished space. We were thrilled with the changes! As we went from one room to the next we were amazed at how much better each room looked just using the things my mom had. The angled furniture placement in the living room made the space seem so much larger and very inviting. The new ‘library room’ looked so comfy and the art they used was just perfect. We loved their creative ideas with the bedding in the master bedroom – they created a head board look out of a comforter and in made the room so much more attractive. Anyone could imaging their belongings in this condo! My mom’s home has a whole new beautiful look that we know will appeal to just the right buyer! Thank you Dana and team for your magic.

Sue – North Vancouver BC

Rejoice in Your Successes & Mistakes – Home Staging Entrepreneurs Need to Celebrate Both!

In many of my previous enewsletters I’ve talked about the ‘ups and downs’ of being a home staging entrepreneur. We all love to be successful because we feel like a WINNER. I invite you to examine what you do when something goes well for you. Perhaps it’s a new client or a big staging job that you just got. How did you celebrate that success? Did you write in your Gratitude journal, buy yourself something fun or something you have always wanted to have, did you share your success with anyone? Believe it or not, how we handle our successes builds our character. And as far as the Law of Attraction goes, the Universe likes us to acknowledge the ‘Evidence’ that what we are doing is working so bring on some more of the same!

But how do we feel when we make a mistake? Like a LEARNER I hope! I invite you to examine what you do when something goes off track in your business. Do you quit? Do you bang your head against a wall? Or, do you take a step back, acknowledge what you did right, and what you could do differently next time. If you do this you will become more empowered in your business and have a lot less negative emotion circling in your brain. I sincerely doubt that you will make the same mistake again. It’s how you handle your mistakes that builds your character and by accepting ‘what is’ you can make the necessary changes and move forward.

Congratulate & Celebrate yourself if you:

  • took a course this year
  • tried something for the first time
  • took a ‘leap of faith’ and ventured into unknown territory
  • decided to take a risk because you didn’t want to hear yourself say ‘if only’
  • decided to ‘trust’ your decisions and to ‘trust the timing of the Universe’
  • acknowledged that you attracted your success
  • resolved a niggling (or big) challenge that you had with someone

Correct & Continue if you:

  • didn’t get the staging job you thought you would (What would you   do differently next time?)
  • lost money trying something new (Is there any way you can reclaim some of that money? I couldn’t attend a workshop I signed up for so I transferred the money to hiring a new coach with the same company!)
  • tried some new networking groups but did a terrible infomercial (Be more prepared next time by memorizing it)
  • paid a little too much for some services you didn’t think were worth it (Next time you can ask more questions and perhaps get a sample of   their service before buying or let them know you are not happy with the   charges)
  • didn’t get the amount of money you thought you would in the month (Get focused on making some sales calls that will cover both months)

Know that feeling like a WINNER or a LEARNER is all part of being an entrepreneur. It’s how you handle both results that will help you grow your home staging business.

Do you have the passion, persistence and patience needed to be a successful home staging entrepreneur?

I don’t know when you decided that you wanted to become a home staging entrepreneur or why you did but I do know that the ‘life of an entrepreneur’ is not necessarily an easy, steady climb to success. You may have thought it was going to be because you wanted it so badly and you are really good at it so naturally it ‘should’ be easy to succeed. Well the truth is that the entrepreneurial road is the ‘road less travelled’ because it isn’t easy. It tests your character and your belief in yourself (and perhaps even the Universe). But the rewards are great if you are willing to go the distance.

So when you find yourself coming up against roadblocks, challenges, sales not happening the way you planned, projects going sideways, clients not buying when you need them to – it’s time to examine what it’s going to take to get you through the rough spots.

There is of course a flip side to this – things do go smoothly, you achieve your sales targets, you love your clients, your clients love you and you get to do what you love! And for me this is why I am still doing what I started doing 10 years ago. And honestly I have gone through more roadblocks, bumps and hurdles than I ever thought possible. And yet, look where it has taken me – down the ‘road less travelled’ and the journey just keeps getting more interesting. I think it’s a road well worth travelling and I hope you do too!

So here are 3 things that will help take you through the ‘ups and downs’ of being a home staging entrepreneur…


  • Without being passionate about your work you will soon come to resent what you are doing especially if you get to the stage of doing it only for ‘the money’.
  • If you had passion for it at one time, what’s changed? Are you doing too many of the things you don’t love to do? Delegate them – look at what it’s costing you not to delegate.
  • Perhaps it’s time to just take a break from what you are doing. Take some time to reflect and ask yourself “If I could do anything in the world would I be doing home staging?” Depending on the answer what is it that you need to change to get where you want to go?
  • If you are not passionate about your work your clients can easily see this and in the process you become very unauthentic and unattractive to them and to yourself



  • Without you being persistent in taking ‘consistent action’ to create a successful home staging business nothing will happen to move you forward
  • Being persistent means that no matter what your little voice is telling you to do – like throw in the towel and go do something else – do not buy into this - call your coach or a supporter who can help you see the situation in a positive light
  • Your obstacles are only temporary and everyone has them – it goes with the territory – it’s how you respond to them and the solutions that you find that   build your character on your journey
  • It might just happen that by your persistence you reach a new level and make new connections that open up some new revenue streams you had never thought. You will never know if you don’t persist…



  • When I’m coaching home stagers I hear this a lot: How can I be patient when I see my expenses exceed my revenues? Every new business faces this scenario. So plan for this. You have to have some faith that everything happens for a reason and that reason is there to serve you. Calm down and decide what is it that you can do to get some business coming your way. Perhaps you haven’t been doing the marketing that you need to be doing. What can you do to attract some new clients?
  • I can also tell you that if you are not patient you will never know what you could have accomplished. Do you want the ‘What if’ scenario? What if I would have been patient just a bit longer for my business to take off. What could I have accomplished? Without patience you will never know…
  • The ‘timing’ of the Universe is not necessarily your timing is it? While many of us would like to be able to control more things in our life, timing is something we can never control. The ‘life happens’ stuff happens to all entrepreneurs so be patient and stay focused only on what you want to attract.


Turn your PASSION into PROFIT! Last PRES Home Staging Summer Course!

If you are still sitting on the fence time is running out to turn your Passion into Profit and start your home staging business NOW! It’s hard to believe the last 5 day hands-on PRES home staging and redesign course is July 15 – 19th and there are only a few seats left! 5 Days of fun, learning, growth, hands-on in real client’s homes to become a Certified PRES Professional Home Stager & Redesigner.

3 FULL DAYS of classroom learning and 2 days in REAL CLIENT’S HOMES applying what you learned in the classroom.

Classroom training with Dana J. Smithers - manual, workbook and handouts for on-going learning.

Classroom training with Dana J. Smithers – manual, workbook and handouts for on-going learning.

You will be amazed at how much CONFIDENCE and VALIDATION of your skills you gain by taking the Certified PRES Home Staging & Redesign course. We are the only home staging school that holds our classroom days in the FLUFF RENTALS design studio.

On Day 5 you get to apply what you learn in the classroom by doing an actual ‘rental inventory practicum’ in the warehouse on the last day of the course. The Fluff staff are great at giving us tours and letting new students sign up for their newsletter and monthly staging meetings.

Cushions are a 'must have' accessory and Fluff has 1000s to choose from!

Cushions are a ‘must have’ accessory and Fluff has 1000s to choose from!

The PRES staging training course teaches you the PRES step-by-step process you need to know to source rental products for your clients. We save you hours of wasted time if you don’t know what you are doing!

Fluff Rentals has a 10,000 square foot warehouse of the most amazing staging rental products.

Starting your colour story with a piece of art is always a smart way to build your overall colour scheme.

Starting your colour story with a piece of art is always a smart way to build your overall colour scheme.

2 FULL DAYS in real clients’ homes so PRES students apply what they learned. During the PRES training course you do a home makeover for LIVING and a home makeover for SELLING so that you have more skills to offer your clients upon graduation!

Staging Training Home ‘BEFORE’

What should be a dining room is being used as a family room for living.

What should be a dining room is being used as a family room for living.

Staging Training Home ‘AFTER’

Terry Osti Client After DR

What a fabulous group of Certified PRES Professional Home Stagers & Redesigners rececent graduates -enthusiastic – talented – ready to go out there to turn their PASSION INTO PROFIT!

Graduates with certificates

As the PRES home staging and redesign instructor, I am truly blessed to be living my passion. To see such amazing transformations from the time the students sign up to the time they complete the course – is a gift to me! Stagers and redesigners make such a huge difference in the way people live and see their homes. We create MAGIC out there for ourselves and for our clients. It doesn’t’ get much better!

Sizzling Summer Specials 50% OFF eBooks & Courses

I think the summer heat has finally gotten to me. I can’t believe these great ‘Sizzling Summer Specials’ I’m offering you! I know that most people love summer specials and so I thought why not send out some of my own ‘Sizzling Summer Specials’ for some of my online courses and products. Summer is a great time to kick back and take in some new learning at your own pace.

From now until July 31st, 2013
You can get 50% OFF PRES® digital products!

PRES® HOME STAGING HOME STUDY COURSE – On Line Course – ’7 Steps To Creating Your Home Staging Business’ Make Money Doing What You Love! In this 7 lesson, self-paced Certificate PRES Home Staging & Redesign program you will learn how to start and run a successful home staging and redesign business and how to stage and redesign a home. Included are 25 professional template forms all ready for you and your first client!

$497 for 50% OFF = $248.50
$797 with 50% OFF = $398.50
> Click here to get instant access

TOP 10 BEST MARKETING STRATEGIES for STAGERS & STYLISTS-On Line Course – Struggling with what to do next to attract more clients? Not sure who your ideal client is? Fed up with what you’ve been doing to try and get business? In this 6 lesson plus Bonus course Canada’s Staging Guru Dana J. Smithers is sharing how to properly market your home styling and staging business based on over 10 years of proven marketing tactics that grew her business to a 6 figure income!

$397 with 50% OFF = $198.50
–> Click here to get instant access

– Do-It-Yourself Home Staging is a simple, easy-to-follow home staging guide that reveals industry trade secrets and a no-fail formula to become “Open House Ready”. Be empowered to successfully stage your home yourself to sell quickly and for top dollar … by following just 10 easy steps! Curb appeal is what creates the ‘first impression’ – find out how to make it a great one!

$19.97 (regular $34.94) for 50% OFF = $9.98
–> Click here for instant download

D-I-Y eBOOK: TRADE SECRETS TO HANGING ART LIKE A PRO! – Do-It-Yourself Trade Secrets to Hanging Art Like a PRO! is a simple, easy-to-follow guide. It reveals industry trade secrets to deciding on what, where and why you hang your art a certain way and how you can always achieve the results you want regardless of the shape or size of what you are hanging!

$9.97 (regular $14.97) with 50% OFF = $4.98
–> Click here for instant download

Enjoy your summer of learning,

Are you taking advantage of Agent’s ‘Open House’ Tours?

Angela McKinnon of Home Dreams Home Staging is having a great time this summer getting new marketing materials together for her marketing campaign introducing her ‘Sizzling Summer Specials’ to realtors.

I’ve been coaching and mentoring Angela for the past few months and have really enjoyed how committed she is to taking her home staging and decorating business to a new level. I spend a lot of time working on branding, marketing messages and tactics that my coaching clients can use to attract more clients.

If you are feeling a bit sluggish and running out of ideas think about doing a few of these tactics to get connected or reconnected with your realtor clients. After all, if you are not out there staying connected someone else will be!

Some ‘Sizzling Summer Marketing Ideas’:

* follow up from any talks that you did earlier in the year with your ‘Sizzling Summer Special’
* Make an outrageous offer – why not 50% OFF – with the end date of a month but no longer than two months
* go to a real estate office where there are realtors that you would like to work with or are already working with and ASK for the list of AGENT’S OPEN HOUSES for that week. (Angela was smart – she brought a nice bouquet of flowers for the receptionist :))
* create a one page flyer with your BEST ‘Before & After’ photos and print it in colour with bullet points about the RESULTS the realtor’s clients will get by using this ‘Sizzling Summer Special’
* since summer is a more relaxed time for everyone – find out when the realtor’s golf tournaments or barbecues are and ASK if you can join them
* make mention of your ‘Sizzling Summer Special’ offer in your next enewsletter

Have fun – get creative in your own ‘Sizzling Summer Special’ offer!

You’d be crazy to pass up a ‘free’ home makeover from PRES!

On July 16th and 17th two lucky home owners are going to get a ‘free’ home makeover for LIVING or SELLING! PRES training home clients are ecstatic over the transformations in their home! We’re looking for 2 great (well, not so great actually) homes for July 16th or 17th 2013. .

During the 5 day PRES Staging & Redesign Training course, students are taken into real clients’ homes to apply the theory they learned in the classroom. Our training home clients are carefully selected by the PRES Resource Centre Founder & Creative Director, Dana J. Smithers. What’s essential in the training homes is that there are at least 3 major rooms to transform, enough art and accessories to work with. Some homes may have more opportunity for learning proper furniture placement and others may provide the perfect opportunity for teaching the ‘art of hanging art’. Whether we are staging the home to sell, or transforming the home by redesigning it for living the outcome for the client is the same – they LOVE the transformation!

You’ve heard the expression ‘The way you LIVE in your HOME is not the way you SELL your HOUSE’ and this couldn’t be more true than in this situation for this seller! Many people that have lived in their home for a long time change the function of their rooms to suit their needs. They might do this because they are now ‘empty nesters’ and have more options of how they can live in their home now. For STAGING the property to get ready for prospective buyers you want your home to be inviting and evoke positive emotions so buyers are excited to see themselves in their new space! Only about 10% of the population is good at visualizing which is why it is so important to create an inviting, functional look in each and every room. And that’s exactly what we did here…

The main living room is being used as an office area for living…

The way you live in your home is not the way you sell your house!

The way you live in your home is not the way you sell your house!

We looked in other rooms for more attractive looking furniture and found these sofas in the family room…

This is a much more inviting living room now!

This is a much more inviting living room now!

For many people who are not moving, the PRES students can come into your home and in just one-day totally transform the look of your home using your things! We call this REDESIGN and create more harmony and balance in a home. This is PERSONAL and all about the client’s lifestyle and personal style. This client loved her french decor items from her travels in France but wanted more flow to the home.

The living room BEFORE has things that she loves in it:

Living room is overcrowded with furniture and too many things - lovely as they are.

Living room is overcrowded with furniture and too many things – lovely as they are.

The living room AFTER is more to her liking…

So much more room to breathe. She still is surrounded by all her french treasures but now we can breathe!

So much more room to breathe. She still is surrounded by all her french treasures but now we can breathe!

The PRES Staging Resource Centre has been offering the ‘free makeover’ for home dwellers – owners and sellers for years now. By ‘free’ we are not charging for this exceptional home transformational service. We only ask that the home dweller or realtor (we do homes for realtor’s clients too) makes a donation to a charity of their choice on behalf of PRES Staging Resource Centre. We know that thousands of dollars have gone to worthy charities because of our offer – WIN – WIN!