Now that we're into September, while the weather may be cooling down, the fall real estate market is heating up! There couldn't be a better time to take a good look at your home staging business and make sure your image is polished to perfection for the (potentially) busy months ahead.
Have you been in the business long enough that you don't feel you need to do anything different? What a shame! All home stagers should do a bit of maintenance on their businesses regularly no matter how long they've been in the industry.
The following is a classic 5-point “Are you ready?" list to help you prepare for the fall real estate market whether you're a new or more seasoned home stager:
1. What are you wearing? No, I won't get into wearing white after Labor Day here, but you should go through your wardrobe and make sure you have some appropriate, fashionable items from last fall that are not out of date and that still fit. Make sure your shoes are in good shape and your jackets have been dry-cleaned. You should invest in a few new pieces now as well to help get you through another season. Treat yourself to a new hair cut. Besides giving yourself a new look for fall, you'll feel great and get an instant confidence boost.
2. Spend some time on your website. If you're like most people who have a website, it's never going to be finished, and it shouldn't be! You should constantly be adding new content and updating your photos and testimonials. As your business evolves your website will too. If you don't have a website, how are homeowners going to find you? Graduates of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program are given the option of adding their profile to an exclusive Directory of Home Stagers. It acts as an instant web presence and allows homeowners and Realtors® to find an expert home stager in their city very easily.
3. How current is your portfolio? If you've been busy and haven't had time to update your portfolio with all the great before and after shots you've taken over the summer don't put it off any longer. With fall being such a hot time for homeowners to list their properties you can't afford to have a home staging portfolio that's less than perfect.
4. Are your marketing materials current? When did you last give your marketing materials a facelift? Do you think it's time? Did you get some cheap business cards when you first started your business and feel ready to upgrade to something nicer? Has any of your contact information changed? When you have your business cards all ready to go, you have to use them in order for them to do you any good! Get out and network. If you haven't already, join your local Chamber of Commerce or referral group and start getting connected.
5. Do you have a plan? Do you have a marketing plan for your home staging business? You don't have to invest 40 hours creating a big fancy marketing plan. Spend focused time at your computer or sitting down with a pen and paper to make a list of marketing goals along with a list of specific steps you will take to reach those goals. The more specific you are the better, and keep it simple so that you will take action rather than feeling overwhelmed. Fall is the perfect time to do this. Staging Diva Sales and Marketing Secrets to Boost Your Home Staging Business includes a handy list of inexpensive marketing tactics you can start using right away.
So, are you ready? Because ready or not, the fall real estate market is creeping up behind you! Don't make the mistake of staying in your comfort zone. Try something different in your marketing or add something new to your website. Make sure you're at the top of your game for this season and you will be rewarded for your efforts!
Internationally recognized home staging expert Debra Gould, president of Six Elements and creator of The Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program has trained 900 Graduates worldwide on the business of home staging. Debra is the author of two home staging guides and offers a Directory of Home Stagers to help homeowners and real estate agents locate home stagers who will decorate homes to sell quickly and for top dollar.