7 May 2020
Do you know how home staging works? Usually, people who aren’t that deep into real estate associate Home Staging with pillows and decorations (if they have any associations whatsoever). Such a pleasant and light work, arrange a few accessories, take photos, and done! Today, I would like to deal with this myth and show you how the whole Home Staging process looks like backstage. How to home stage effectively and why do it?
How to sell a house for top dollar? How to rent a flat fast? These questions are googled first when we’re preparing to sell or rent a property. Then we usually come across this magical term – Home Staging. It allows us to rent or sell an apartment quickly and at a high price. But how Home Staging works and to make effective?
HOME STAGING – 10 STEPS TO SUCCESS
Home Staging is a whole range of steps to make your property much more attractive in your prospective buyers’ eyes. It will help you find a buyer or tenant of your apartment much faster. Also, you will be able to get a higher price than you would get by selling or renting an apartment without Home Staging.
HOW HOME STAGING WORKS AND WHAT ARE THE STEPS?
If you hire a Home Stager the first thing you are going to do is a consultation. During the consultation you will be discussing the scope of work, taking photos, and making main arrangements. You should also define who your target customer is and briefly discuss the marketing process. The Home Staging consultation should be followed by a valuation of the work that the Home Stager will have to do. Almost always it is an individual valuation, as the scope of work can vary greatly. Usually, such a meeting lasts about 30-60 minutes, but for the Home Stager, it is a much longer time (preliminary market research, commuting, and talks before the meeting are about 2-3 hours in total).
2. IDENTIFYING THE TARGET CUSTOMER
Identifying the target customer and researching the market is the next step in the Home Staging process. Unfortunately, not all Home Stagers do it, but I believe it is one of the most important tasks in this profession. How else will you prepare the apartment to charm the right client? The one who dreams of a flat like yours? It is this expertise and ability to analyze the market that makes Home Staging such an effective marketing strategy. Thanks to it, owners and investors can quickly sell or rent a property and complete transactions for above-average prices. Cushions and decorations are only a fraction of the whole strategy that a Home Stager should follow during their work.
What next? Calculations! How much can you increase the profit from the transaction thanks to Home Staging? How high are the necessary costs? Which costs are optional and how all that affects the final price? Conducting a financial analysis, establishing a budget, and planned profits is also a necessity if Home Staging is to be effective and efficient.
Decluttering is recently a very popular term which means that everything that takes up unnecessary space in the apartment and has no specific function should be removed from the apartment. The presentation of an apartment that has too many items can make customers feel that it’s simply too cramped and non-functional.
A properly prepared flat should allow the clients to imagine themselves living in it. To envision them starting a new chapter in your flat instead of seeing you and your current life. That’s why it is necessary to create such an opportunity by removing all your souvenirs, photos, and other personal things.
I know it’s one of those harder steps, especially when you’re parting with an apartment you really liked. However, the sooner you separate your emotions from the sales process, the greater your chance of success. What you like doesn’t have to appeal to your client, so one of the goals of Home Staging is to prepare the apartment in such a way as to show its potential to the prospective buyers. To present the vision showing that their life in this flat will be just the way they expect it to be.
6. FIXING AND REFRESHING THE APARTMENT
Home Staging isn’t about pasting over the cracks and flaws (never!) – everything that needs fixing or refreshing should be refreshed and fixed. If you have any doubts about it just imagine a situation where your client finds one of those flaws. Surely they’ll think there are more things covered up, they’ll feel distasted and the transaction will not be finalized.
7. MANAGING THE ORDERS AND TRANSPORT
There are a lot of these orders and purchases (who has ever done a renovation, knows!). Furniture from various shops and all kinds of accessories. Managing this is one of the most important tasks because everything has to be on time so that the whole project is prepared as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is also important to ensure all payments have been made and to collect all invoices for cost documentation, which can then be useful for tax purposes.
8. STYLIZATION AND DECORATIONS
Cushions are not the only decorations in Home Staging. There has to be a particular color palette, accessories and the whole space has to be arranged in a way to suit your client’s (and not your) taste. Because first, you need to know who you are aiming at with your ad and who will like this apartment. Use the stylistics that will show them a specific lifestyle they identify themselves with. What is extremely important here is the functional design of the space – sometimes you have to rearrange this and get rid of that.
Remember that you need to clean the flat before Home Staging and sometimes also after. Depending on how long it lasted and what was done you will need to wash the floors, windows and wipe the dust. Putting a dirty flat on the market is one of the most common mistakes which not only makes the whole process a lot longer but also has a real influence on the feelings of the clients who will want to lower the price. And let’s face it, it would be a shame to make a discount just because it was dirty, right?
Normally, I would just end here but my approach to the subject has expanded considerably with my experience of investing in real estate. I moved on from Home Staging to my original Insta Staging strategy, which also adds elements of sensory marketing and storytelling to the whole process so that I can get the most profit for the owner from the whole property marketing.
Insta Staging is the cherry on the cake, the final touch that makes a difference like dipping the strawberry in chocolate or salting the caramel. It’s my input into the evolution of Home Staging.
It is a completely different approach to the photos and videos promoting the property – they don’t have to look like they were taken out of the interiors catalog or Oscar movies. They are supposed to charm people with a truly Instagram look. A little imperfect, lifestyle, but deeply stimulating the imagination, with a distinct climate and making customers looking for an apartment find what they usually admire on Instagram. Only this time in reality. And this time they will be able to enter this reality by themselves and not just watch it at someone else’s place. You already understand how unique it is for a client, right? And what is unique to the client and sought after by the client works very well for the profits made by the investor.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST
Now, tell me honestly, did you know Home Staging takes so much time and consists of so many steps? Or have you associated it with only adding some pillows and accessories?
By the way, if someone was to pay big money just for delivering the cushions and flowers then well… maybe they should just hire a supplier.
Let me know what you think and if you are a Home Stager, maybe you can add some other things that you normally do as part of your service?
P.S. First time here? Download a free fragment of my e-book “Home Staging. How to effectively prepare an Instagram interior to make good money on it“, from which you will find out, among others..:
- how a flat should look after Home Staging
- what are HS hacks
- how to use sensory marketing in real estate
- how Home Staging works
- You will also find there a helpful list related to diagnosing the apartment to be done before Home Staging and the HS checklist.
If you want to know how Home Staging works and DIY, click here.