In part 1, I discussed your first objective in using this home staging marketing strategy which was: initiating and starting to build your relationship with the real estate agent.
Now for part 2. Here I discuss your second objective which is:
Demonstrating your own expertise as a home stager
This is where you give the real estate agent a sample of your expertise. You might say something like this:
“If I were doing a home staging consultation for this home seller, I might have suggested . . . for this room. This one simple change would really . . . which will make the home much more appealing to prospective buyers.”
In this way you’re providing a free sample of the kind of helpful advice you give your clients.
The analogy here is the free spritz of perfume you get while walking past the cosmetic counters in a department store, or the food samples you get at the grocery store. My 3 year old used to love going to Costco and shouting “free food” while pointing to each new sampling station. If you’re anything like me you went in for 5 must-have items and came out with a cart full of stuff you never intended to buy, especially from the food section!
Notice this “free sample” of your home staging talent, delivered to an agent at a real estate open house, only took a maximum of 15 minutes of your time (to walk around the house and then provide your one or two suggestions).
This is a much more effective strategy than falling into the free home staging estimate trap which is where you go out to do an estimate for a potential client and before you know it, you’ve actually done a free home staging consultation!
The real estate agent may pass your suggestions on to the home seller as his/her own, but that doesn’t matter. The point is you’ve still given a solid example of how you know how to make a home easier to sell without doing anything too complicated, expensive or time consuming. And, this is key when you’re speaking to agents who may have no first-hand experience working with a home stager, or who may have been unhappy with a previous experience.
For easy design ideas that you can use with both real estate agents and home sellers, see the Staging Diva Ultimate Design Guide: Home Staging Tips, Tricks and Floor Plans.
Giving the real estate agent an easy way to recommend you to their client
By handling your meeting at the open house with the agent in this fashion, you’ve also provided a way for the agent to bring up the subject of home staging to his/her client by saying something like:
“We’re really not getting any offers on your home as it stands right now, but a home stager can make suggestions that will make your home more appealing to buyers. One stopped by the open house today and she recommended for example that you . . . . imagine what other ideas she might have for us? Here’s her card and brochure, perhaps you should give her a call!”
You can plant that idea in your conversation. Consider how tough it is for an agent to bring up home staging if they’ve already had the listing for a long time. You’ve just given them a way to ease into the topic with their clients!
Stay tuned for part 3 in this series where I discuss objective number 3 of using this marketing strategy, which is:
Educating the real estate agent about how home staging can help him/her make more money
Until then, I would love for you to share your thoughts on this article so far. Have you tried this sampling technique when meeting agents at open houses? Had they ever used a home stager before?
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Inc. Home Staging
Discover the ONLY Home Staging Business Training Program taught by a seasoned entrepreneur who has successfully grown her own home staging business. There are many ideas for marketing to real estate agents in course 4, Staging Diva Sales and Marketing Secrets to Boost Your Home Staging Business.