Best Paint Colours For Selling Your Home

In the past 10 years the Exterior and Interior color trends have not changed much. Look around at any of the new developments or in home decor magazines and you will start to get an idea of what the trend is. If you are in the market now or the next few years check out color trends on line and with your preferred paint store or better still contact a PRES professional home stager!

By ‘trend’ I don’t mean trendy as ‘here today, gone tomorrow’ I mean trendy in the sense of being ‘most popular’ at this time period. This too will change but not for a few years yet. We can safely say that ‘beige’ has been extremely popular for a ‘home-selling’ paint color but of course this does depend where you live. In warmer climate cities colors tend to be brighter and in more ‘edgy- sophisticated’ developments you will see brighter and darker color trends for drama. Now in 2013 we are seeing ‘warmer’ beiges replaced by more grey toned ‘cooler’ beiges.

Interior Resale Paint Color Trend

– A 2nd Bedroom being used as a Den needs to be converted back…

Dated, dark green with black ivory stenciling....

Dated, dark green with black ivory stenciling….

After – This 2nd Bedroom was painted in Benjamin Moore CC90 Natural Linen which is always my ‘go-to beige’

A neutral color scheme with a new closet makes this work now!

A neutral color scheme with a new closet makes this work now!

Before – This teenager’s Bedroom needed a modern-color update…

Bright colors for a young person...

Bright colors for a young person…

After – The grey tones in this room give it much more ‘broad buyer appeal’ now

Grey tones make it more updated and sophisticated.

Grey tones make it more updated and sophisticated.

My favourite store to work with is Benjamin Moore because as an Interior Decorator/Redesign Stager they provide me with a very professional ‘architectural kit’ which has large color samples to work with. However, you can buy or they will lend you their Designer Classics Collection and this is primarily what I use for choosing redesign staging paint colors. As mentioned in a previous newsletter I always coordinate with the flooring as that is what is staying. You can add color with your accessories.

My standard selection from the Benjamin Moore Designer Classics Collection is:

BEIGE – Grey Undertones

Escarpment CC 518
Metropolis CC 546
Overcoat CC 544
Asphalt CC 548

BEIGE -Yellow Undertones(toned which means they all have grey added to them)

Brandy Cream CC 60
Natural Linen CC 90
Muslin CC110
Barely Beige CC 140
Stone House CC 120
Sandy Brown CC 150
Honey Harbour CC170
Summer Harvest CC 190
Delaware Putty CC 230
French Vanilla CC 248

BEIGE – Pink Undertones

Dusty Road CC 310
Sandpiper Beige CC 368
Stone Castle CC 396
Old Montreal CC398
Old Stone CC424
Bone China CC 426
Smoky Taupe CC 490
Rocky Road CC 470


Maid of the Mist CC 728
Killarney CC 698
Tea Light CC 610
October Mist CC 550


Cloud White CC 40 (this is the only one I use!)

TIP You can buy testers and do your own color boards or paint a small area on the wall of your client’s home. For staging most clients are looking for the home stager to make the suggestion for them. Always check the color morning, noon and night time to get the whole color picture as color is most affected by lighting. Most buyers are coming through Open Houses from about 12 – 4pm so that is when you need to pay attention.

I have many clients who in the beginning do not like the neutral colors but I have to remind them that ‘the way you live in your home, is not the way you sell your house’ and of course, we want the colors to have BROAD BUYER APPEAL!

Is Your Networking System Paying Off?

For most solopreneur home stagers NETWORKING is one of your key marketing strategies because you do not have a ‘company’ working on your behalf. You now are responsible for finding ways to attract new potential clients to work with you.

Are you joining networking groups where the members are your ideal target market, or who can give you referrals? This is an important question to ask yourself because there are only so many hours in the day that you have to spend on your marketing.

When I am teaching or conducting workshops on networking, I always recommend that you focus on ‘Quality’ and not ‘Quantity’. It’s not about how many cards can you get; it is about ‘how many relationships over time can you build’. In earlier ezines I talk about people needing to ‘Know You, Like You and Trust You’ before they will buy from you. We need to have our marketing pieces whether in person or electronically seen by them between 7 and 12 times. So it makes sense that just because you meet someone for the first time that they may not necessarily want to ‘buy from you’.

Follow up is critical after your networking event. When following up from a networking event it is considered very old school and unprofessional to follow up and try and sell something to someone you just met. You want to focus on ‘pull’ marketing rather than ‘push’ marketing so people self-select and want to buy from you. Find out how you can help them.

TOP 10 Networking TIPS – Creating a Networking System that Works For You:

This is a system that I have used for years and 85 – 95% of my business has come from people I met at networking events. The business may not have come directly from the person I met but from what is called ‘Word of Mouth’ referrals – meaning someone who met or knows me, referred someone else to me whom I had not yet met.

This is what you need to do:

  1. Determine which networking group is a good fit for you. If you are considering joining something like a BNI (Business Network International) attend as many as you can before you decide which one is a fit for you. Remember your time is money so you want to spend it in meaningful places that will give you a great ROI on your investment.
  2. Attend as a guest a few times before you decide to join. You can go to many networking events without having to become a member.
  3. If you are shy and don’t consider yourself outgoing go with a friend, but don’t stay together for the whole event.
  4. The focus in networking is on the person you are meeting not on you – Ask Questions to get to know them: “How long have you been doing what you do?”, “What do you find most challenging in your business?”, “How did you get started?”, – you are there to learn about the other person not to tell them everything about yourself first; wait your turn.
  5. Wear your name badge on your right hand side of your top – that way when shaking hands you can easily see each othe’s name.
  6. After you have chatted and exchanged business cards make a little note on the card about something to remind you of that person – sometimes a personal note on the card can be a great way to reconnect.
  7. You have heard the expression ‘The Fortune Is In The Follow Up’ it’s true! When you follow up send everyone you met an email within the week. Always ask if there is anything you can help them with in your follow up email.
  8. If there is someone you do want to meet with privately, ask them for a coffee meeting. The way to build your network is by meeting people one-on-one face-to-face so that you develop a relationship.
  9. If  you are on Facebook or LinkedIn see if they are too and connect with them. Social media is a great way to connect but stay connected by following and blogging in discussions and join groups. Make comments – become engaged so people can connect.
  10. Make sure they get into your database!!! You need to build your ‘tribe’ of followers and make great connections. You want to be sending out your enewsletter at least once a month and connecting through social media sites on a more weekly (sometimes daily basis). Mail Chimp is a ‘free’ enewsletter platform that you can customize with your logo, etc. Constant Contact is a popular software to use as well with good technical support to help you get started. With most database systems you can enter the contact name and they will then receive an email asking if they would like to sign up (OPT IN) for your ezines/newsletters. If they are really interested in what you have to say or offer, they will ‘accept’. You can always send people directly to your site to sign up for future mailings, reports, courses, announcements, etc. but just in case…

You want to make sure that every networking event you attend has your ‘ideal client’ attending as well. If not your ideal client, then look for strategic alliances to help build your business. Check out new networking events every 6 months so you meet new people. Be choosey though when you join because networking is an investment of TIME, MONEY & ENERGY! Set your intention before you go and please, have FUN!

Dreaming of becoming a home stager? We have an incentive for you!

How does saving $500 sound to you? It’s true but you need to sign up for our September or November 5 day Certified PRES Home Staging and Redesign Training by AUGUST 16, 2013 to receive this gift!

It must be this glorious summer heat we are experiencing in the Lower Mainland that has me making these ridiculously generous offers! We would love to teach you how to start and run your own home staging and redesign business this year! Now is a great time to learn what you need to know because the real estate market needs you desperately. If you’ve been looking at the MLS or other internet listings you know how BAD some of those properties look. Sellers need you NOW so if you really want to become a certified home stager please consider this fabulous offer:

ONE-TIME-ONLY offer to receive $500 OFF the 5 Day Certificate PRES Home Staging Home Study course for either:

SEPTEMBER 9 – 13, 2013 Or NOVEMBER 4 – 9, 2013

SIGN UP NOW! REGISTER and pay your $500 deposit to save your space (class size is limited) by Friday August 16, 2013

Our signature 5 day hands-on professional Certified PRES Staging & Redesign certification course is currently taught by Canada’s Staging Guru Dana J. Smithers.

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.

PLUS enjoy our new venue – we are the only home staging school to hold our course at Fluff Rentals – the most amazing rental inventory showroom in Vancover BC! (value priceless!)

PLUS become eligible to become one of our monthly PRES Featured Stagers

PLUS Receive Special Pricing on all PRES Professional Development Courses

PLUS Receive a ‘FREE’ personally autographed Start and Run Your Home Staging book written by Dana J. Smithers!

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

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 DREAM INTO REALITY!

Graduates with certificates

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.

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!

7 Secrets to a Successful Trade Show – Big or Small!

Throughout the year there will be many opportunities for home stagers to use ‘trade shows’ as one of their key marketing strategies. Spring brings new hope with it and this is a time when many home owners are attending home & garden shows and design shows. You may find some local opportunities or some larger trade shows that draw people in from other areas. Fall is another great time for tradeshows as people shift their summer outdoor mindset back into ‘nesting’.

While there are specific seasonal trade shows, you can also find opportunities to do small table displays with your local networking groups. Whether you are going to do a small, local trade show for a few hours or a big trade show for a few days here are a few suggestions to make it run smoothly for you:

Here are some ideas and my 7 Secrets to a Successful Trade Show:

Decide on who your target market (ideal client) is and focus on having an attractive display that will draw them in to your area. As a home stager you can create a fantastic visual display by setting your ‘stage’ up with furniture that fits the space + invites the attendee into it. ‘Less is more’ is the golden rule here as well!

  1. Have good visual and big signage for attendees to see from all areas in the room not just in your small space. Banners with your branding are most popular right now and are easy to assemble and disassemble.
  2. Have props that show people what you do. You might do this with the furniture you are using or use your best ‘Before & After’ photos done up on 2 x 3 laminated story boards. Find an attractive easel to prop them on and switch them up during the day.
  3. People are drawn in with food so have some wrapped candies (chocolate works) available but keep them out of the reach of children as they tend to take a lot!
  4. Provide a ‘giveaway’ with your branding on it – keep it small to reduce expenses. Nail files, pens and notepads are always popular.
  5. You need to have a DRAW for a PRIZE. You might want to make it a ‘FREE HOME MAKEOVER’ for living or selling OR perhaps you go the route of having a large Gift Basket. Make your gift basket suitable to your target market e.g. if mostly women attending a spa basket is great, if mixed a gourmet food basket would be a good choice.
  6. While the prize to them is good, the prize to you is in getting their contact information for Follow Up! Make a simple form for them to complete requesting their contact information – name, address, phone, email. I also include a space for them to tell me their home challenges. For the challenges I put a box in front so they just need to check off where they need help e.g. • colour • clutter • getting ready to sell • furniture placement • flooring etc.
  7. Wear comfortable shoes and change them throughout the day if you are there for a few days. If possible have 2 people in the booth to spell each other off for washroom and food breaks. Take some time to go and visit other booths as well as there may be some prospects or strategic alliances for you.

If you want to do a talk at a trade show or networking event, find out who the decision maker is and approach them with an outline of your talk. In most cases you will not be paid for this but you are establishing yourself as an expert in your field and that is worth a lot!

And if you decide that participating in a trade show is not the right marketing strategy for you at this time CONSIDER THIS…make up some Information Packages and go around to any potential clients or strategic alliances (think realtors, painters, moving companies, kitchen & bath stores, etc) and introduce yourself to them. Give them your package and take their business card to FOLLOW UP directly with them. Invite them for a coffee so you can get to know them better and see how you can mutually benefit one another. And that will cost you very little but could give you a very big return (ROI)!