In the first installment of this series of posts about home staging client types that can make you wish you didn’t charge a flat rate, we discussed The Distracted Client. Today I’m going to talk about another common time-sucking client type that can help bankrupt a home staging business operating with a flat rate pricing structure; “The Chatty Client”.
Some clients just love to talk! It’s great to build a rapport with the people you will be doing business with, but consider this scenario…
You’ve quoted a flat rate for your home staging consultation and when you meet with your new clients everything seems to be going great. They really seem to like you, which makes you feel good for about the first 10 to 15 minutes. That is until you realize you’re not going to get paid for all the time you’re about to spend with your new “friend.”
First, they tell you a bit of the history about the house and why they’re selling. This is reasonable, except in this case it’s only the beginning of a very long story.
Next, they tell you what they like and don’t like about each and every room. If you’re doing a home staging consultation, this isn’t really relevant. If you’re there to do an interior redesign consultation, it’s critical information.
You feel your eyes start to glaze over as they pick up photos and trinkets telling you about the memories they have associated with each and every one of them.
You feel like all you want to do is run away as they proceed to talk about the history of every single piece of furniture they own and why they feel things should stay, or go into storage, before the house goes on the real estate market.
Before you know it, you’ve been there for 2 hours, and though you intimately know the house and its owners, you haven’t gotten anywhere with the actual home staging consultation. It may take you another 2 hours to get out of there making what you assumed would be a 2-hour appointment into a 4 hour one.
Congratulations, you’ve just taken what amounts to a 50% pay cut because you quoted a flat rate upfront. That’s why you never want to quote your rates that way and why I teach an entirely different pricing strategy in Course 2 of the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.
The Chatty Client can be an absolutely delightful, refreshing person to work with, if you like that sort of thing. But, if you are charging a flat rate, The Chatty Client can eat up your valuable time without earning you enough money to compensate for the added time you’ve invested.
With the right pricing structure, however, The Chatty Client can double your income on a single job!
Have you run into a Chatty Client before? How did you deal with the situation? Please share in the comments below.
In the next installment in this series, I will cover an important client type who you’re likely to meet often, The Pack Rat Client.
Don’t miss it!
Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®
President, Six Elements Home Staging and Interior Redesign
Entrepreneur and Home Staging expert Debra Gould, The Staging Diva, knows how to make money as a home stager. She has helped many long time Interior Designers make the switch into a more profitable house staging business. Discover her secrets to business success in the Staging Diva Home Staging Business Training Program.