I asked wonderful ASPM Carol Erks to share with an ASP what she was doing in today’s market and also how she markets her business. When I read what she wrote I then asked her if I could share it with you all and she graciously said yes. I am proud of her and it is a joy to share her words and thoughts with you. This is one of the great reasons, and there are many, to become an ASP: to share ideas together in our wonderful awesome network of ASP’s. Thank you Carol for sharing.
Barb Schwarz, The Creator of Home Staging® and the ASP Designation and Course.
Staging Support is here for you. Sit back-enjoy a lemonade and hopefully this lengthy letter shares insight with what I do and how I work.
Thanks Barb for passing along this email.
There is an “old” real estate saying; “keep it simple stupid”. No-I don’t mean you…… Foot in mouth. It is just a saying… 32 years of real estate experience makes me an “old” Realtor. Kinda like Staging to the oldies. Don’t be dismayed. I have energy!
I hand out my business cards and marketing material. Each day I get out of bed, get dressed for work and conduct business, whether it is Staging or marketing. My daily motto is, “Tizz better to give than to receive”
People are always inquisitive and will call to ask question on Staging. Walk, talk and knock and send, this will get you business. Be personable and approachable and never go out into public places without hair make up and dress for Staging success. At one of the national conferences Barb said; never let your roots show.
Realtors are ALWAYS coming up with excuses of to busy to give much time. This is because of the network of phone calls coming into their business day. There is always someone looking to dig into the Realtor’s bank account. Stagers looking to Stage® are no different in the eyes of the Realtor®. So be sure you “give before you get”. This is experience speaking. I think of all the times I stayed in my office until the office assistant sent the sales person on their way.
A little story. In this world of business you have to “give to get”. I am working on “a true work in progress”. My favorite painter who works on my projects, was talking about going to court due to an inexcusable workmanship,…the painter was unhappy with the the representation, the attorney, then invited him to lunch and made the painter pick up the lunch tab for her and her assistant. (the painter could well afford to buy lunch for 4). During this crabby airing his frustrations of the court time the day before, a sudden turn of conversation…the painter thanked me again for a large restaurant gift certificate I gave him 3 years ago! Why did I give him the gift certificate? I wanted a painting bid on my home exterior…he called me out of the blue one morning and said…today…I am coming to paint your home. I asked for the bid. He said there is no bid, he painted my home for free! And the attorney. She may soon be long forgotten.
When I present myself to Realtors, I use the logic of an agent and talk on their level of real estate without overkill. There is good reading out there to help you understand Realtor/sales logic. Perhaps you have sales back ground and have the knowledge of marketing repetition. Buy them lunch. Give a Staged gift/present to the office assistant so the gift is noticed by others. A gift of Just Because…Candy is always appreciated. Cupcakes are great too. Food gets attention in a real estate office. Keep your name in front of them always. One day they will pick up the phone and call you. Realtors pay for my services to get help their listings sell faster and for more money.
I have confidence in my Staging. When I present myself at appointment time to sellers, I use home ownership logic. Make small moves when entering their space. Always ask if it is ok to see one room/prefer seeing the living room. Mention your pricing.
Do not hesitate when giving your pricing. Practice your marketing edge in front of your mirror. When you love yourself in the mirror-you have conquered the Staging negativity. After all if Staging is to expensive why are so many people using it.
I have just begun my 4th year into ASPM Home Staging. January started with a BANG and has been going ever since. I had to make it happen. Statistics say it takes 5 years for any business to reach solid ground.
It is never easy for any of us. It just looks better from the outside looking in. We work very hard and it sounds like you have the savvy energy it takes. Keep up the good work.
One great example of Stagers left out in the cold: My last consult “over the phone” (don’t share prices over the phone), came in as a referral from a Realtor. Stager # 1 lost out/personality conflict. Stager # 2 lost out/over priced her competition. (Me). You need to know your market. Income of area makes a difference. MN can not charge CA pricing. Why? Income ratios are less as well as cost of living is less in MN.
There is a fine line (cracks) in our economy and its all about the money. Think of the times you were going to purchase a car, buy a pair of shoes, grocery shop, or go on a vacation. Before you went to spend your money, you knew how much money you were willing to spend within a few dollars-depending upon the size of purchase of course.
Whether you have $10.00 or 10,000; a person with a budget knows what they will spend on Staging. If they say they have no idea, they are embarrassed or uncomfortable and somewhat scared of you. Regardless of the sellers home value they will have limitations on staging finances. I use a merchant credit card account thanks to Barb’s previous marketing of the Stage Now-Pay Later.
As always, I say, I will do as little or as much as they choose. Barb has the neatest trigger words to use for client comfort marketing.
Don’t reinvent the staging wheel. Barb is the wheel and she keeps retreading it and does a bang up job. Read her books. Listen to her webinar/$29.00 is very cheap education and if you learn just one thing, walla, you made a great investment on Barb’s time. Be sure to social network.
Join me in Facebook-stagedtosell.
Be careful of overkill in your marketing techniques. Wow what an honor to be in the biz. Always use ASP or ASPM-just as a Dr or Mr or Mrs. to Identify yourself. Do you have a domain/web page? If not go to Go Daddy. Inexpensive and very market driven.
Keep in touch. Whew. Did I overkill my message to you?
Warm Wishes from MN….
Carol Erks, ASPM
Staging My Home