Time flies when you are having fun (Stagers always are!). Soon 2013 will be here. Those who know me know I care very deeply about those who have made the commitment to their Staging business. That is why I thought I would share some tips this week for next year’s business plan.
Here’s my first tip.
How to Create a Powerful Value Message and Why it Matters
You’re at an open house together with a Realtor® you’d like to form a business relationship with when a visiting broker stops and asks what brought you there. “I’m an Accredited Staging Professional®,” is likely your response. Unfortunately, that description will not spell out the value you bring to a transaction to the consumers and even many real estate industry professionals you tell it to. In today’s tip I thought I’d share with you how to make sure every message you deliver, whether delivered in person, print or online, is as effective and powerful as it should be.
No matter how you meet a consumer or real estate industry professional – in person, through your blog or website, and even Facebook and Twitter – it’s essential to make sure that the messages you provide instantly give a vivid picture of what you do and the positive impact of your work.
1. Power Messages to Clarify What You Do
Those you come in contact with may be unfamiliar with exactly what Staging is and what Staging does. Make sure to include a power statement immediately. You may consider mentioning the selling impact of Staging as proved by the ASP® statistics we provide you with at Stagedhomes.com, such as “I help sellers and their Realtors® sell homes faster and for more money.” You may also consider sharing “I’ll gladly share how I as an Accredited Staging Professional® help sell homes for top dollars in any market.”
For many years I’ve developed messages that speak directly to the needs of sellers and their Realtors®, and I invite you to use them – they are available to you at the Staging University. Some of them include key messages I’m sure you’ve heard me say or maybe read in our many publications:
1. Decorating is personalizing, Staging is depersonalizing. Staging is not decorating.
2. Staging is not about decorating your home; it’s about selling your house.
3. “Clutter eats equity!”
4. “We can’t sell it if we can’t see it.”
5. “The investment of Staging your home is less than your first price reduction!”
6. “Start packing because with me as your ASP® Realtor® or Stager, you’ll be moving.”
7. “If we can smell it, we can’t sell it.”
Many more power-messages are available at the Staging University®, available through a link at Stagedhomes.com. I invite you to use them – they work! And, when you directly quote me in articles and other materials, please make sure to cite me as the source.
2. “Let Me Tell You How I Work”
Both consumers and real estate agents expect you to have a process which you follow for each Staging project and every client. Because the vast information resources available on the Internet consumers are very well-informed and educated, and now more than ever our clients want to know upfront what we’ll do for them, and the results we expect to deliver.
Many years ago I developed a communications theme that has become a benchmark in our industry: outline how you work. By telling consumers and agents alike “Let me tell you how I work” you immediately answer the questions they most likely ask themselves yet may not think to ask. I promise you increase your chances of earning their trust, and, of course, their business.
Do you have a description of how you work?
3. Career Book
Hopefully you’re using a Career Book as taught and showcased during the ASP® training program. I hope you know that you can read up on on Career Book tips at the Staging University®! Here’s a video in which I give you some tips on how to use the Career Book as part of your personal marketing efforts.
4. Conveying Your Message Online, Visually
It can often be challenging to fully describe our work in words no matter how well we create our written messages. Fortunately, the result of our work is highly visual, and that’s why it’s so important to make sure we share examples of our prior work by using lots of photos and videos.
The Internet allows us to share pictures and videos instantly and to a very large audience. If a picture says a thousand words, videos probably convey at least a million. Consider telling your story by the use of extensive photo libraries, accompanied by a description of each project, including any challenges and the solutions you provided.
I hope these suggestions will enable you to effectively share your past accomplishments with others and instantly show the value you bring to clients and the professionals they work with.
Tomorrow I will discuss the advantages of making a SWOT-analysis.
Always working for you,
Barb Schwarz, ASP®, ASPM®, IAHSP®
The Creator of Home Staging®
Founder and CEO,Stagedhomes.com
Founder and Chairwoman, IAHSP and the IAHSP Foundation