"Dant-Dant-Dant-Another One Bites the Dust . . ."

By
Home Stager with Sensational Home Staging

Well - that was my weak version of Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" - which is a great song and I am deciding between that one and "I'm Still Standing" as my team mantra for this quarter! 

I have been receiving quite a few emails from Stagers in various areas - not just my region - that are going "out of business."  We are getting emails to buy up inventory, as these Stagers decide to pack up, cut their losses and move on.  This can lead to some pretty good deals for those that are sticking around. . . but it makes me wonder about the WHY.  Was their dream not big enough?  Did they expect success too soon and not have a plan for beyond 1-2 years?

And I say - with sincerity - good riddance.  Some of these Stagers I really liked - so it's nothing personal.  It's just that when the going gets tough, the not-so-tough pack up and leave.  And that leaves the tough to ride out the market and make more money.  I am OK with that.

I do feel sorry for some of them - some that over-invested too soon, to the tune of I have to say about $100K - without the business to support it - I just cringe inside.  I KNOW they were not taught that in any course they took - but impulse takes over and in anticipation of the big bucks they would earn - they bought and spent and got things like a truck, t-shirts, storage, furniture, and a ton of accessories - placed an ad on TV - and did not have a job yet!  What?  What were they thinking?  It took me 2 years before I did anything exhorbitant like that!

For others that got injured on the job - I know mostly it was because they undercut their competition, did not have enough help on jobs, and strained their backs or ruptured discs.  On one hand I want to say, "I'm really sorry about your back," and under my breath I am saying, "Serves you right - Cheapo!"  Does that make me mean?  These are the same Stagers that "beat" our price for Staging or maybe they beat your price if they are in your market.  I want to empathize, but I am sort of secretly happy they are leaving.  It makes my job a lot easier when I don't have to account for the cheapos in the market.  Forgive me - but maybe those of you that are in an honest mood will fess up to your secret glee streak too! :-)

And I am not a mean person - so I don't know where these thoughts come from except to think that "what comes around goes around" - and a person cannot continue to operate at a loss and stay in business, or operate a business without help - and not get injured.  Those are 2 truths that are part of Staging.

So - another one bites the dust . . . I think we will see a steady shake-down of the Staging industry with the demise of the real estate market - unless Stagers are able to reinvent themselves and find another niche market.  Those that have developed relationships and have set up their business for success with proper pricing, will stick around.  If we are not in this for the long haul, we will be singing that familiar tune . . . "Dant, Dant, Dant . . . " For the rest of us - hunker down, smile, and stick with the long-term plan we started with!

- Jennie

Posted by

Jennie Norris, ASP Master, IAHSP-Premier, SRS, REO, Owner & Principal Stager, Sensational Home Staging serving the Greater Denver region

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Rainmaker
115,480
Elaine M. Gage
A Wonderful Space, LLC
A Wonderful Space, LLC
Jennie- You are a mean, mean woman! Just kidding! I've had one good friend quit the business and someone I knew through my Realtor's association. My friend's reason for quitting, was because she just wasn't making the income she needed to feel like she was contributing enough to her family. I have my own opinion on that: she was trying to stage and sell real estate, and she was relatively new at both! And, she chose to advertise herself as a Realtor, and not a stager. But, it's a shame, because she had a real "eye" and did a beautiful job staging. The other failed because I believe her "staging" was just a way to get business for her husband, who did painting, flooring, tile work, etc. All her consultation reports were full of suggestions that the client hire him! And, people didn't go for it! So, I guess I have mixed feelings about when I hear of someone calling it quits! And here's MEAN for you...I'm sorry the second stager quit, because I LOVED beating her out for jobs! ;) WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS....
March 19, 2008 10:22 AM
Rainmaker
94,194
Jennie Norris
Denver Regionnulls Premier Home Staging Resource, ASPM, IAHSP, ASP-SRS, ASP-REO
Sensational Home Staging

Elaine - your comment made me laugh - good to know that the art of business does require competing.  You are probably right in both instances about your former stager colleagues.  What I have found with Realtors that also want to Stage - is that they have to choose one master or the other.  It's hard to serve both and do it well - and succeed.  So they have to pick which hat they are going to wear.  For your other friend - she missed a real chance at developing a business that did not rely on her spouse.  Staging is not about marketing someone else'e services - it's about what we can do to help present a property.  Looks like you'll just have to find someone else's butt to kick in your area - which I have no doubt you'll do!

- Jennie

March 19, 2008 11:38 AM
Rainmaker
115,480
Elaine M. Gage
A Wonderful Space, LLC
A Wonderful Space, LLC
Ordinarily, I'm not that mean--but this woman ticked me off from day one when I met her. My partner and I gave a presentation at an association meeting, and described what we give clients in our consultation reports. At the end of the presentation, she stood up and said "I do everything Elaine and Nancy do, PLUS I include photos of the areas that need work". OUCH!!
March 19, 2008 12:27 PM
Rainmaker
189,759
Janice Sutton
Home Stager - Temecula Murrieta
1st Stage Property Transformations

Love the song!  Thanks for making my husband and I laugh this am!  :)

I have had a direct competitor go out of business.  We had met for lunch about 1 year ago and she went on and on about how she was growing her business.  She mentioned her banker, her employees that worked all over 3 states for her and how she was opening up a store front in an industrial area!!!  I was shocked and kind of in awe.  I started doubting myself and thought maybe I was doing something wrong. 

Well she is now out of business and has moved to another country!  I still work with the same flooring company that she referred me to and they said she just disappeared!  I feel bad for her but I am not surprised. 

My business philosophy was always to grow slowly.  Slow and Steady wins the Race!!!

March 19, 2008 12:45 PM
Rainmaker
94,194
Jennie Norris
Denver Regionnulls Premier Home Staging Resource, ASPM, IAHSP, ASP-SRS, ASP-REO
Sensational Home Staging

Thanks for the comments all - it is amazing the circumstances that lead to someone walking away from Staging although I have never heard of anyone leaving the country, Janice!  LOL.

As for what course, if any, these people took - I can't say.  And it's not "my" course (although I see you went through the same one but I don't want this blog post to become a debate about blame).  Fact is, I took a course and have succeeded, as well as MANY other Stagers, and there are those that take a course and do not succeed.  It is not the course or content or cost or any of those things.  People want to try and blame an outside entity, but at the end of the day, the person staring back in the mirror is who is responsible for success - or failure.

It always always always boils down to one word:  Marketing. People give up on having to get out there - and when that happens, business slows down or stops.  Those that do not want to continue to stoke the fires of success will fizzle out.  Like in the animal world - it is survival of the fittest - and in our case, we don't mean physically - it's about marketing and creativity.

- Jennie

March 19, 2008 03:21 PM
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Rainmaker
94,194

Jennie Norris

Denver Regionnulls Premier Home Staging Resource, ASPM, IAHSP, ASP-SRS, ASP-REO
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Jennie's advice and experiences about Home Staging shared with colleagues and clients.

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