No Free Lunches in Vacant Home Staging

By
Home Stager with Art and Soul Home Staging

No free lunches in Vacant Home Staging? When I started I was advised by my mentor one Saturday afternoon a few months back, to take small steps. Go to Open Houses, leave my card and offer some free consultations to Realtors, and for sure, don't take on anything I can't deliver. In the meantime, get your vacant home staging packages together so you'll be ready if that's what you want to do...later on down the line. All sounds pretty straight forward and doable. I get the picture.  Check out the furntirue rental showrooms. Get to know the the friendly staff who is more than willing to help and offer me some neat deals. Shouldn't be so tough to get a package together! And off I gon the next day to a few open houses. This is fun.

First Open House and the first Realtor that I speak to the next day is definitely not a Free Lunch: "I've got a vacant condo. Do you do vacant home stagings?" Gulp, no one said that was going to happen immediately after class and before even attempting to all my homework done! I'm a smart cookie but am thinking,"Boy have I got my work cut out for me starting Monday."

July 17, 2009: Real Estate Staging Association Summer Meetup with a Free Lunch! Little did I know how fantastic this gathering of passionate Home Stagers was going to be for jump-starting Art and Soul Home Staging. Several of us decided to work on starting a local RESA chapter here in the Los Angeles South Bay. The week following that meeting and my first blog on AR, a contact from my website asked me to submit a bid for a vacant property listed at $1.8M. This is much bigger than the packages I had put together.

Also, since then several of us have met to work on the RESA project. I've been invited to help stage a vacant home (and yes, I was treated to a Free Lunch) and install furniture and artwork for another stager's interior design project. Moreover, I've known that all the theory in the world is helpful and the actvity over the past couple of weeks is reminding me of that. Until I actually did a vacant home staging, I couldn't have imagined all the details involved and what I should be including in my services.

Here's what's happened just in the last three days and still no free lunches, even if I did have time. While organizing inventory, my doorbell rings. It's a local listing agent doing door-to-door asking if I want to sell my house. Nope, but I'm a Home Stager, myself. She does staging, as well, but has a vacant property and could I call her. Cards are exchanged. Saturday I visit a couple of open houses and am much more confident than the first time. The first one is not only vacant and freshly renovated, the toilet is still sitting in the newly remodeled Italian Tile Shower in it's plastic gift wrapping, waiting to be installed (no, not in the shower). I tell the Realtor, that I grew up in the neighborhood in a house that had this same original floor plan and I'm a Professional Home Stager. "Fantastic! We need you! Here's my card. My boss inherited this house that he grew up in. Call me Monday at 11!" Next house, totally remodeled and vacant. However, at the other end of the specturm, the young agent doesn't know anything about Home Staging and once I explain it to him thinks this house could sure use it. "Please send me more info and give me a call on Monday!"

My own Realtor who is backing me and Home Staging has a tenant occupied listing. "Deb, the tenants are moving out Aug 20 and we need to stage this place. Go take a look at Sunday's Open House. It's the perfect candidate for our compelling success story!"

I've got the picture: vacant home staging is what the agents I'm meeting are asking for and it's not a free lunch. It's demanding, is all in the planning, and also fun. So what were you telling me about starting out with consultations, that vacant home staging is another beast altogether, and maybe newbies don't want to bite off more than they can chew? Gosh, has someone told any of the Realtors that I've been meeting, because not to many of them seem interested in consultations so far?

Next chapter, at least as of this morning. It looks like the bid on the tenant occupied condo is going to go through! And I'm loving it all, not expecting any free lunches and knowing that when it finally all pays off, I'll be offering some Free Lunches of my own.

 

 

 

 

Posted by

Debby Dutilh

Art and Soul Home Staging

Los Angeles, CA 90045

424-227-0061

close

This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
Location:
California Los Angeles County Los Angeles
Groups:
Real Estate Staging Association
Staging Works!
Real World Home Staging for Newbies
Tags:
vacant home staging
home stagers
los angeles
resa
real estate staging association

Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the robot to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the truck to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Rainer
46,116
Debra Valentine
Designing Details ~ Staging & Design, LLC - Bountiful, UT
Utah Home Staging for, Bountiful, Salt Lake & Surrounding Areas

While I'm very happy for you, I'm so envious Debby! I have been to countless open houses, and will continue to attend them, and have not had one lead from those efforts. Realtors are nice, but they always have an excuse as to WHY this home (or any they list) does NOT need staging. You give me hope!

Aug 14, 2009 12:09 PM #1
Rainer
15,447
Debby Dutilh
Art and Soul Home Staging - Los Angeles International Ai, CA

Hi Debra, I agree that there's a huge gap between the nice conversation, exchanging of cards and actually getting a house to stage. All we can do is persevere in educating Realtors and home sellers. And btw, your beautiful website should certainly help convince them!

Aug 14, 2009 12:34 PM #2
Rainmaker
249,331
Lori Kim Polk
Premiere Home Staging : Home Staging Services - Roseville, CA
Home Stager - Roseville, Sacramento

Deb.... glad that you are feeling confident in what you are doing.

Aug 14, 2009 09:51 PM #3
Rainer
70,066
Pangaea Interior Design Home Stager - Redesign - Model Homes
Portland Oregon - Portland, OR

I go to open houses too. Some weeks nothing seems to come of it. Although recently a broker called me for a consultation and I had met her a year ago at one of her open houses. So you never know. Regarding the vacants vs. the occupied consultations ... it is harder to get those occupied consultations because so many brokers think that they are doing that themselves. It takes them figuring out that you do it better than they do.

Aug 16, 2009 08:06 AM #4
Rainer
15,447
Debby Dutilh
Art and Soul Home Staging - Los Angeles International Ai, CA

Lori...your support has always been a boost for me. Thanks!

Pangaea...I agree about the occupied consultations. I'm sure brokers have good intentions, so how do help them to figure it out that we do it better than they do?

Aug 16, 2009 10:36 AM #5
Rainmaker
171,839
Cynthia Bartch
Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio - Granville, OH
Redesigned Spaces; All Round Nice Gal

Hi Debby, You sure took the bull by the horns concerning getting into vacants, kudos to you!!! I specialize in owner occupieds and they are well received in my area. I wonder if it's geographical thing?

Aug 21, 2009 08:05 AM #6
Rainer
15,447
Debby Dutilh
Art and Soul Home Staging - Los Angeles International Ai, CA

Hi Cynthia -- It could very well be a geographical thing. I've wondered about that myself. Also, I just posted a reblog written by Maureen Bray, about about the Stager's Requiem and what "the real story" is. Take a look.

Aug 21, 2009 08:31 AM #7
Rainmaker
171,839
Cynthia Bartch
Home Stager/Property Stylist & more! Granville, Ohio - Granville, OH
Redesigned Spaces; All Round Nice Gal

Yep Debby, I did read and comment on Maureen's blog, it was great.

On another note why did you get a kersplat (the red X) when you re-bloged her blog? Check it out where it says "Posted By". You should get 25 points for the re-blog.

Aug 21, 2009 08:41 AM #8
Rainer
15,447
Debby Dutilh
Art and Soul Home Staging - Los Angeles International Ai, CA

Cynthia, Not to worry about the kerspat so long as people are getting Maureen's message. Thanks for pointing it out.

 

Aug 21, 2009 08:56 AM #9
Rainer
57,876
Kate Paris
Empire Network Realty - Orlando, FL
RealtorKateFL Central Florida 407-230-7807

Hi Debby, what a great post! Thanks for the reminder that we need to work the open houses. I think this is a great shot in the arm for new stagers...even for us veterans.

 

Aug 26, 2009 10:05 PM #10
Rainer
15,447
Debby Dutilh
Art and Soul Home Staging - Los Angeles International Ai, CA

Catherine: Thanks for your comments! I find working the open houses corresponds to my marketing personality and what better way to see all the differences in how properties re being presented.

Aug 27, 2009 12:09 AM #11
Rainmaker
1,020,637
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

One reason for getting the red X is if you checked the box saying the material was not your own.

Great post and I'm thrilled for your success.  I haven't had any success visiting open houses.  I, like Cynthia, specialize in occupieds...the majority of my calls are for consults.  Interesting!

Aug 31, 2009 07:29 AM #12
Anonymous
Post a Comment
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the lamp to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Show All Comments
Rainer
15,447

Debby Dutilh

Ask me a question
*
*
*
Spam prevention

Accessibility option: listen to a question and answer it!

To submit the form,
drag the music-note to the circle on the side.

Type below the answer to what you hear. Numbers or words, lowercase:

Additional Information